Strength and anti-fragility: hallmarks of the TSC's history

The Tactical Strength Challenge began in 2002 when StrongFirst’s founder and CEO, Pavel Tsatsouline, created it to help military and law enforcement personnel with their preparation for the physical demands of their duty.

After the first couple of very small competitive events—the premier boasted thirteen participants—the TSC began to grow via a quiet grassroots movement directed by a few  key individuals (namely Andy Alexander, SFG and Steve Freides, StrongFirst Elite). Because it required a practical balance of absolute strength, relative strength, and general endurance, it gained popularity with everyday strength enthusiasts of both genders with a variety of backgrounds, experience levels, professions, and sizes.

StrongFirst renewed its interest in the TSC in 2013, operating and growing the event throughout the next decade. When the COVID pandemic began in 2020, the TSC pivoted to a temporarily virtual event. While it acted as an island of calm and consistency amongst the mass of unknowns during the pandemic, participation still waned dramatically due to both the temporary and unfortunately permanent closing of numerous host facilities across the globe.

Then in 2023, the TSC entered a new chapter. Wanting to dedicate greater resources to its primary purpose of strength education, StrongFirst passed ownership of the challenge to the “TNT brothers”, Derek and Ryan Toshner, Master and Senior StrongFirst instructors, respectively. The brothers—who had hosted and participated in TSC events for over a decade and had helped administer events in the years leading up to and through the COVID pandemic—are excited to continue the rich history of the TSC as a global challenge and community of strength expression.

We hope that you’ll add your own strength story to the TSC movement by joining us as an event host or participant!