The Stories Behind The Hero WODs

The Stories Behind The Hero WODs

Do you know how the Hero WODs started? Do you know who you’re honoring every time you perform one of these grueling workouts? Look no further, we’ve got you covered!

There’s something special about the Hero WODs, some are incredibly long, others are unbearably heavy and most of them are just downright difficult. However, they’ll never be harder than the physical effort needed to combat under Afghanistan’s scorching heat. That’s what makes them meaningful, they give us a chance to dedicate a bit of sweat and pain to honor the men and women who gave up everything they had.

How did it all start?

The Hero WODs started back in June 2005 when a Taliban military group attacked four US Navy Seals in the afghanistanian mountains. Three of the four men died during the ambush, among these fallen soldiers were Petty Officer 1st Class Jeff Taylor,  Lt. Micheal McGreevy and Lt. Micheal Murphy. They were not only soldiers but also crossfitters, too. And since CrossFit was rapidly gaining visibility across the world, CrossFit HQ was given the opportunity to use their exposure to honor these fallen soldiers. That’s when the first three Hero WODs were created.

How can you submit a request to create a Hero WOD?

Did you know you can submit a WOD to honor a Hero? Well, you can!

These are the requirements to create a Hero WOD :

1.The Hero must be killed in the line of duty
2. The Hero must be a known CrossFitter
3. The Memorial workout must be requested by colleagues
4. The Hero’s surviving family needs to bless the memorial WOD
5. CrossFit HQ will need a high resolution photo of the Hero that is generally 1600 pixels by 1200 pixels
6. The date of the Hero’s death must be provided
7. The Hero’s rank and nickname (if there was one) must be provided
8. The Hero’s spouse and children must be provided – (send CrossFit HQ the spouse’s name, number of children, etc.)
9. The Hero’s favorite workout or exercises must be provided. Please let CrossFit HQ know what those are as they will take that into consideration when creating a WOD.

You can submit this information in this format to CrossFit HQ at and they will consider creating a new hero WOD!

The Hero WODs

Here are a few of the best-known Hero WODs along with sections of their heroic stories. New Hero WODs are constantly being added to the list so you may want to consult the CrossFit website to see the complete list of these workouts. ALL of these WODs are equally symbolic and special and here are ten of the (debatably)best-known ones!

Micheal Hero WOD


  •  Michael
    • Lt. Micheal McGreevy was one of the three men killed during the 2005 attack. Murph, JT and Micheal are the men that inspired the CrossFit community to honor the fallen soldiers by creating WODs bearing their names.
      • 3 rounds for time

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



  • JT
    • Officer Jeff Taylor was also part of Lt. Micheal Murphy’s team, he was also part of the three men killed in the 2005 Afghanistan ambush.
      • 3 rounds for time of 21-15-9 reps
        • Handstand push-ups
        • Ring dips
        • Push-ups



  • Murph
    • As mentioned above, Lt. Micheal Murphy was also one of the fallen soldiers in the 2005 Afghanistan attack who inspired the creation of the Hero WODs. During the unexpected attack, he found himself in a low reception zone so he walked across dangerous grounds in order to call for backup. He suffered a gun shot wound part way through this call but was able to finish the call and go back to help his men. Unfortunately, he succumbed to his injuries. To honor him, Murph was created. This combination of exercises was his favorite, he had originally named this workout Body Armour!
      • For time, A weight vest is recommended but optionalMUrph Hero WOD
        • 1 mile Run
        • 100 pull-ups
        • 200 push-ups
        • 300 squats
        • 1 mile Run



  •  Nate
    • U.S. Navy Chief Special Warfare Operator (SEAL) Nate Hardy was killed in 2008 during a combat operation that took place in Iraq.Nate Hero WOD
      • AMRAP in 20 minutes
        • Muscle-ups, 2 reps
        • Handstand push-ups, 4 reps
        • 2-pood kettlebell swings, 8 reps
    • You might be more familiar with a similar workout, The Regional Nate WOD that was performed during the 2016 Regionals, that WOD consists of 10 rounds for time of 4 strict muscle-ups, 7 strict handstand push-ups and 12 kettlebell snatches.



Randy Hero WOD

  • Randy
    • LAPD veteran and SWAT team member, Randy Simmons, was killed Feb. 7, 2008, in the line of duty.
      • For time
        • 75 reps of power snatches at 75 lbs.
        • CrossFit Fact: Dan Bailey can do Randy in 2:18!



  • DT
    • U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Timothy P. Davis, was killed while supporting operations in OEF when his vehicle was struck by an IEDDT Hero WOD
      • 5 rounds for time
        • 155-lb. deadlifts, 12 rep
        • 155-lb. hang power cleans, 9 reps
        • 155-lb. push jerks, 6 reps



  • The Seven
    • This WOD honors 7 CIA officers and one Jordanian officer. They were killed in 2009 by a suicide bomber after posing as potential informants reporting on Al Qaeda.
      • 7 rounds for time
        • 7 handstand push-upsCIA Seven Hero WOD
        • 7 135-lb. thrusters
        • 7 knees-to-elbows
        • 7 245-lb. deadlifts
        • 7 burpees
        • 7 2-pood kettlebell swings
        • 7 pull-ups


  • Tommy V
    • Senior Chief Petty Officer, Thomas J. Valentine, was killed on February 13th, 2008, during a training accident in Arizona.
      • For time
        • 115-lb. thrusters, 21 repsTOMMY V Hero WOD
        • 15-ft. rope climbs, 12 ascents
        • 115-lb. thrusters, 15 reps
        • 15-ft. rope climbs, 9 ascents
        • 115-lb. thrusters, 9 reps
        • 15-ft. rope climbs, 6 ascents



  • Lumberjack 20
    • This workout honors the victims of the Fort Hood terrorist attack in Texas. On November 5th 2009,  a terrorist named Major Nidal Hasan killed 12 soldiers, 1 civilian and wounded 43 others. U.S. Army Spc. Frederick Greene, Pfc. Aaron Thomas Nemelka, Pfc. Michael Pearson, and Spc. Kham Xiong, along with 11 of the wounded were active CrossFit athletes at Lumberjack CrossFit.Lumberjack 20 Hero WOD
      • For time
        • 20 deadlifts at 275-lb.
        • 400m Run
        • 20 kettlebell swings (2 pood)
        • 400m Run
        • 20 overhead squats at 115-lb.
        • 400m Run
        • 20 burpees
        • 400m Run
        • 20 chest-to-bar pull-ups
        • 400m Run
        • 20 box jumps, 24-inch box
        • 400m Run
        • 20 dumbbell squat cleans at 45-lb.
        • 400m Run


  • Nutts
    • This WOD was created to honor Canadian Armed Forces Lt. Andrew Richard Nuttall. He was killed in 2009 by an improvised explosive device that detonated during a joint foot patrol in Afghanistan.Nutts Hero WOD
      • For time
        • 10 handstand push-ups
        • 250-lb. deadlifts, 15 reps
        • 25 box jumps, 30-inch box
        • 50 pull-ups
        • 100 wall-ball shots, 20-lb. ball
        • 200 double-unders
        • Run 400 meters with a 45-lb. plate

I encourage you do go check out the other Hero WODs on the CrossFit website! The stories are heroic and the workouts made us sore simply from reading them! Let us know which Hero WODs you’ve done!

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