“Who’s the best lifter when parameters like size, gender and age are erased? The RGA Barbell Challenge provides an answer to that.”

RGA (Raw Gym Athletics) stands for the foundation of our concept; raw strength athletics based on classic barbell training.


Back in 2012, we noticed a lack of strength competitions that could compare athletes of different size, gender and age. We initiated a project to fill this void.

To do this we had to establish a reliable method for measuring relative strength. We also had to identify the appropriate exercises. This lead to a few years of research and statistical analysis within strength athletics.

The result; a barbell weight calculator that calculate a barbell load based on body weight, gender and age.

Where are we now?

Today we organise our competitions; “Barbell Challenge” and “Weightlift Challenge”, and what separates these from other competitions is that here men and women of any size and age can compete against each other, on fair terms.

There are currently two Barbell Challenges; Light and Heavy, which each consist of five events; Squat, paused Bench Press, Deadlift, strict Overhead Press and Bench Row (AKA Seal Row). The goal is to complete as many reps as possible within a given time.

The Weightlift Challenge basically has the same setup as the barbell challenge, i.e. to perform as many squat snatches and squat clean & jerks as possible, for time.

You can also compete in our 1RM Challenge, where you lift as heavy as possible for one rep max (1RM) in Overhead Press and Bench Row.

You can compete either at our Live events or Online by send us your videos for judging.