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WEIGHTLIFTING AND FITNESS MAGAZINE

Hero WODs – A Memory Of The Fallen

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Hero Workouts – No matter where you are in the world, just about every CrossFitter has faced a Hero WOD. But there’s much more to these workouts than just another physical stress test. They are intended to commemorate the many fallen members of the military.

On Memorial Day in the U.S., you don’t have to look at the chalkboard in CrossFit boxes around the world to know what WOD (workout of the day) will be on it. In memory of Navy Lt. Michael Murphy, who was killed in Afghanistan on June 28, 2005, CrossFitters worldwide complete the Hero WOD “Murph”, named after the fallen soldier, on “Memorial Day.”

The pull-ups, push-ups, and squats can be split any way you like. This Hero Workout is said to have been one of Murphy’s favorites, who called it “Body Armor” himself. After his death, it was renamed “Murph” in honor of the soldier.

Two other Soldiers who died on this mission were Jeff Taylor and Michael McGreevy. Hero WODs were created for these two as well.

“JT”

21, 15 AND 9 REPS FOR TIME OF:

  • Handstand push-ups
  • Ring dips
  • Push-ups

“MICHAEL”

3 ROUND FOR TIME OF:

  • Run 800 meters
  • 50 back extensions
  • 50 sit-ups

These three Hero Workouts were the first to be posted on Crossfit.com in July and August 2005. To preserve the memories and perpetuate the courage as well as the bravery of the fallen soldiers, CrossFit Hero Workouts were created.

Since then, a Hero Workout has been dedicated to fallen members of the military as well as first responders who have died honorably in the line of duty.

“Military, law enforcement, and first responder communities were among the earliest proponents of CrossFit. […] When a service member dies in the line of duty, a CrossFit hero workout is created in their name. Hero WODs are an opportunity to reflect on the sacrifices of the fallen – to speak their names and honor their memories.”

– CROSsFIT JOURNAL

The CrossFit community honors the fallen

For Lt. Col. Peter Andrysiak, commander of Fort Hood’s 20th Engineer Battalion, Hero Workouts are more than just a tribute to fallen soldiers. Because these WODs would also serve the grieving needs of friends and family.

On Nov. 5, 2009, an Islamist terrorist shot and killed four of Andrysiak’s soldiers at Fort Hood in an attack, killing a total of 13 soldiers and wounding 30. The lieutenant colonel’s four men were members of Lumberjack CrossFit, a military branch at Fort Hood, Texas. To honor the fallen soldiers, Andrysiak partnered with CrossFit to create a brutal endurance test based on a readiness test for Lumberjack soldiers. The workout became known as “Lumberjack 20” and was released a month later. A resulting charitable effort by the community raised $50,000 for wounded service members.

A workout to honor four fallen Lumberjack soldiers

A mental and physical stress test

For CrossFitters who don’t know the background of a Hero WOD, such a workout is usually like any other. For others, these workouts mean more than just a physical endurance test – they’re mentally challenging, too. Regardless of country or affiliation, they represent a tribute to fallen soldiers, provide a way to immortalize the fallen, and perhaps help ease the pain of these terrible tragedies and assist loved ones in their grieving process.

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