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Celebrate Memorial Day…

25 May

with a WOD. For Warriors.

Last week our Iron Works women had the privilege and honor of participating in the WOD for Warriors. It was an inspiring morning filled with a lot of hard work, sweat, burpee box jumps, pull-ups, squats, digging deep, and team work. Leigh and I are so fortunate to be in the company of such dominating women, and they truly gave it their all for the cause.

Check out the women in the above photograph: real Army wives, (4 are veterans), having countless years of combined deployment separations, mothers of many children, doing EXTRAordinary things on a daily basis to improve their health, well-being, fitness, and strength. And, believe us….they are getting stronger every day!

The man in the photo…well, we were honored to have a special guest counting our reps for us. A true American hero, MAJ Daniel Gade.  He is the real reason all CrossFitters across the globe are doing this WOD.

It is really important for all Americans to do what they can to bridge the gap between Military and Civilian society for our veterans.  Plenty of people are so quick to spout the phrase “I support our Troops.”  What does that even mean?  I implore you to take stock before you say that.  What exactly are you actually doing to support them?  Find a way.  Even if it is just passing over a Starbucks gift card to a service member (especially an Enlisted member), you are putting your action where your mouth is.   There are many strong organizations that contribute to this cause.  Team Red White and Blue is leading the way.

The WOD for Warriors is one great way to actively remember the blood, sweat, and tears shed by thousands upon thousands of Americans, and to remind you to do something for the veterans who keep our standard of living so high.

So, before the usual Memorial Day barbecue cook-out find your inner warrior, get inspired by past-present-and-future American heroes, and get some work done first!

“21 Guns – A Memorial Salute”
 excerpt from WOD for Warriors site 

Partner #1:

21 Pull-ups
21 Burpee Box Jumps (20″ Rxd)
21 Firemans Carry Back Squat
21 Burpee Box Jumps
21 Pull-Ups

Partner #2 executes
Partner #1 again
Partner #2 again

The 21 reps signify a 21 gun salute, the 5 exercises are one for each Branch of the Military. Executing with a Partner signifies the bonds we aim to create between our Nation’s Warriors and the communities they grow in and return to, and doing it twice reflects the fact that we honor both the living and the deceased. 

Peace to each soul that sleepeth;
Rest to each faithful eye that weepeth.


to do pull-ups, you must do pull-ups.

26 Jan

My husband and I did a WOD today that I will forever deem the “forearm thrasher,” that is if I have the courage to incorporate it in our programming again!  It was one of those unexpectedly hard ones that at first glance you say “that shouldn’t be too bad” and then halfway through you wonder how you could  have ever thought that. A long, slow, and nagging hurt.

20min AMRAP

9 pull-ups
12 push press (95/65)
75m farmers walk (1.5 pood/1 pood each hand)

The first pull-ups went off without a hitch but after the first farmers walk I wondered how I’d grip the bar for the rest of the 18 minutes. My kipping pull-ups need work and spending more time gripping the bar than I had to today was not an option. I ended up doing an interesting combo of muscling through dead hang pull-ups and stringing 2-3 kipping pull-ups in between to get it done. After it was all over my forearms felt as if they going to burst through my skin.

I was humbled by the pull-up bar today but quickly reminded by my dear husband of a vital piece of information that I was forgetting: 18 months ago I could not do one single solitary pull-up. You see, me and the pull-up have quite the relationship, which is why I now practice them any chance I get. I couldn’t finish my application to the Air Force Academy because I couldn’t do the 1 pull-up required for the physical. I spent years doing lat pull downs and every other isolation exercise doomed to get you nowhere fast, always telling myself I couldn’t do pull-ups because “my shoulder feels like it’s going to dislocate.”  I went through 2 cycles of P90X doing chair assisted pull-ups. Do you think I could do 1 single pull-up on  my own after it was all done? Not even close.

That brings me to present day and 18 glorious months of  Primal Blueprint fitness and CrossFit that finally lead me to the pull-up. I went from the purple band to the red band, to un-assisted, plateaued at 5 dead-hang pull-ups for a while, incorporated the Armstrong Pull-Up Program and made another huge leap. Now it seems I can’t pass any type of bar without a quick practice set. Pull-ups will forever have a special place in my heart and I will forever strive for more. That being said…let go of fear, let go of excuses, most importantly let go of lat pull downs at the gym, and start your pull-up adventure today!

My best,

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