Friday Workouts of the Week — Hero Workouts

A soldier completes a thruster during a CrossFit competition.
Master Sgt. Charles Johnson, Area Support Group-Kuwait operations noncommissioned officer in charge, completes his final “thruster” during a CrossFit competition at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, March 23, 2018. (Sgt. Dylan Grace/U.S. Army photo)

Have you ever looked for a workout to do on a day that you felt like doing something different from previous workouts of the week? Look no further. A friend of mine published a book that includes biographies of 100 heroes in the military, special ops, police and firefighting professions who paid the ultimate sacrifice defending us at home and abroad. Each biography has a dedicated workout for you to try in honor of that fallen warrior.

Check out Hero Workouts -- 100 Workouts Dedicated to Fallen Soldiers and Warriors if you like fast-paced, CrossFit-style workouts. Even if you do not like this type of training, you will have a hundred biographies about these warrior's lives to be remembered for eternity.

Here are some of my favorites from the book to add to the Friday Workout of the Day:

Easily one of the most popular Hero Workouts is the Murph -- named after Lt. Michael Murphy. This Memorial Day challenge workout consists of:

  • Run one mile
  • 100 pull-ups
  • 200 push-ups
  • 300 squats
  • Run one mile

*Get the repetitions any way you can (Max rep set, pyramids or steady sub max super sets)

Another favorite is "Daniel," named in honor of Sgt. First Class Daniel Crabtree -- Army Special Forces.

  • 50 pull-ups
  • Run 400 meters
  • 21 thrusters (95 pounds)
  • Run 800 meters
  • 21 thrusters (95 pounds)
  • Run 400 meters
  • 50 pull-ups

There are groups in the biographies, too. "The Seven" workout is named in honor of the seven CIA officers killed in operations in Afghanistan: Harold Brown, Elizabeth Hanson, Darren Labonte, Jennifer Matthews, Dane Paresi, Scott Roberson and Jeremy Wise. "The Seven" workout consists of:

Repeat seven times

  • 7 handstand push-ups
  • 7 thrusters (135 pounds)
  • 7 knee to elbows
  • 7 deadlifts (245 pounds)
  • 7 burpees
  • 7 kettlebell swings (2 pood/72 pounds)
  • 7 pull-ups

If you need a reason not to skip leg day, try the workout named for Capt. Jennifer Moreno.  The Jenny is a workout where you do as many rounds as possible (AMRAP):

Repeat for 20 minutes

  • 20 overhead squats (45 pounds)
  • 20 back squats (45 pounds)
  • Run 400 meters

This is a book that will help you remember these brave heroes and perhaps make you work a little harder while you do something in honor of their life and sacrifice.

Full disclosure: I linked the author to my publisher and wrote the foreword, but I make nothing off the sale of this book. The author of The Hero Workouts, Carter Henry (USN), donates all of the profits to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.

Stew Smith is a former Navy SEAL and fitness author certified as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Visit his Fitness eBook store if you're looking to start a workout program to create a healthy lifestyle. Send your fitness questions to

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