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5 ‘Hero’ WODs that everybody doing functional fitness needs to try

Following on from our previous blog about the Benchmark ‘Girls’, this time we thought we’d take a look at what are known to the functional fitness community as ‘Hero’ WODS. If you’ve been a member of a box for a while then you’ve probably already had the pleasure (debatable) of meeting a Hero WOD, but just in case you haven’t here’s some useful info:

What’s a Hero WOD?

Funtional fitness is a training programme that bears many similarities to military-style training and which these days is often used as such. A Hero WOD exemplifies this synergy. Each is named after a fallen service man or woman, and pays homage to those who have given their lives in the line of duty over recent years.

As such, these WODs are all about enduring (and endurance); they are far longer than most, usually between 45-60 minutes or more - and thus necessarily involve more bodyweight moves than heavy lifting. Usually when there’s a Hero WOD scheduled, there will be no strength work that day - just a warm up and some mobility before getting going with the WOD. As with all functional fitness WODs, they can be scaled to suit your ability. Depending on what your coach decides, you can often switch between exercises, and break things up as you see fit - ie. you don’t have to do it all in the order stated.

Here are just a few examples of some Hero WODs:

• ‘Murph’ - named after Michael Murphy, died in Afghanistan 2005.

  • For time:
  • 1 mile Run
  • 100 Pull-ups
  • 200 Push-ups
  • 300 Squats
  • 1 mile Run

Progression? Do ‘Murph’ in a weighted vest.

• ‘Luce’ - named after Ronald Luce, died in Afghanistan 2007.

  • 3 Rounds For Time:
  • 1K Run (Substitute for 1200M Row if you want)
  • 10 Muscle Ups (Substitute for Ring Dips)
  • 100 Air Squats

Progression? As with ‘Murph’, try a weighted vest.

• ‘White’ - named after Ashley White, died in Afghanistan 2011.

  • Five rounds for time:
  • 15' Rope climb, 3 ascents
  • 10 Toes to bar
  • 21 Walking lunge steps with 45lb (20kg) plate held overhead
  • Run 400 meters

Progression? Increase weight on lunges.

• ‘Bull’ - named after Brandon “Bull” Barrett, died in Afghanistan 2010.

  • Two rounds for time of:
  • 200 Double-unders
  • 135lb (61.25kg) Overhead Squat, 50 reps
  • 50 Pull-ups
  • Run 1 mile

Progression? Apparently this workout took Mikko Salo 33 minutes to finish, so you probably won’t need a progression… Scale down where necessary!

• ‘Randy’ - named after Randy Simmons, died in the line of duty February 2008.

  • 75lb (34kg) Power snatch, 75 reps for time.

Progression? Chase down the clock!


Why do a Hero WOD?

For many athletes, Hero WODs have an emotional or even spiritual element to them where many other, shorter workouts don’t: the extreme effort required to complete any Hero style workout is offered in service to the fallen hero. It’s about dedication, in all senses of the word. A Hero WOD is also another benchmark for you to come back to at a later date, measuring your previous score with your current one. More specifically, it’s a benchmark of how you’ve improved endurance-wise and, as with virtually any WOD, it might show up weak spots and strong suits, allowing you to tailor your training a little more so that you can keep improving all the time.

" For many athletes, Hero WODs have an emotional or even spiritual element to them where many other, shorter workouts don’t. "

How often should you expect to do a Hero WOD

Yes, all athlete WODs are demanding. Whatever is on that whiteboard, in fact, asks a lot of our bodies and minds (that’s just functional fitness; it’s why we love it, why we keep coming back for more, right?) but Hero WODs are long and particularly gruelling because, whilst you will need to pace yourself a little, they still demand a very high level of intensity, yet for an extended period of time. So, unless you’re superman or superwoman, these are not to be done on consecutive days. Boxes won’t programme them in all that often. Really it depends on your fitness levels and any injuries you might be carrying, but on the whole a Hero WOD might be best left as a fortnightly affair…

How to sustain yourself during, and recover from, a Hero WOD

We’d recommend all the usual suspects: Progenex Force pre-workout and Progenex Recovery or More Muscle within thirty minutes of finishing your Hero WOD. If you’re lactose intolerant then you can use our Flow product for pure salmon protein. Also, there’s no time better to use our new product, Progenex Build, than during a Hero WOD as its designed exactly for this kind of endurance workout. Oh and after a Hero WOD it’s even more important than ever to have a decent meal within two hours of finishing. See our previous blogposts for nutritional advice and information on topics such as grass-fed beef, wild salmon and best 5 ingredients for clean eating.

Tagged with: wods hero functional fitness

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