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The Top 10 Most Difficult CrossFit Hero WODs 2016

DaveHero
Dave Castro (@thedavecastro) and Jason Sturm (@barbelljason) at Heroes 4 Horton, Saint Simons Island, Georgia.

Since it’s early days, CrossFit has been honoring service men who have given their lives in service of their country and communities. From time to time, we will see a new Hero WOD released on CrossFit.com. These WODs have a reputation for being much harder than your average CrossFit workout. Many CrossFitters suffer through the WODs as a way of honoring those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.

These workouts are a staple icon to CrossFit, much like the classic Girls benchmarks that we all have come to grow fond of. Hero WODs mean so much more to the CrossFit community than just a hard workout and we’ve even honored fallen soldiers by having these as events at last year’s Regionals (“Randy” and “Tommy V”) and Games (“Murph”).

Difficultly Metric

We created this metric for each workout on Beyond The Whiteboard to help users get a feel for how difficult a workout is. We took a look at the percentage of people who had to scale down each workout. Based on that metric here are the 10 most difficult Hero WODs:

1. “Arnie”

Difficulty: 89
With a single 2 pood kettlebell:
21 Turkish get-ups, Right arm
50 Swings
21 Overhead squats, Left arm
50 Swings
21 Overhead squats, Right arm
50 Swings
21 Turkish get-ups, Left arm

Arnie
Los Angeles County Fire Fighter Specialist Arnaldo “Arnie” Quinones, 34, was killed in the line of duty on Sunday, August 30, 2009 during the Station Fire. His emergency response vehicle went over the side of the road and fell 800 feet into a steep canyon during fire suppression activities protecting Camp 16 outside the City of Palmdale, CA. He is survived by his wife Lori and daughter Sophia Grace, born three weeks after his death.

2. “J.J.”

Difficulty: 81
For time:
185 pound Squat clean, 1 rep
10 Parallette handstand push-ups
185 pound Squat clean, 2 reps
9 Parallette handstand push-ups
185 pound Squat clean, 3 reps
8 Parallette handstand push-ups
185 pound Squat clean, 4 reps
7 Parallette handstand push-ups
185 pound Squat clean, 5 reps
6 Parallette handstand push-ups
185 pound Squat clean, 6 reps
5 Parallette handstand push-ups
185 pound Squat clean, 7 reps
4 Parallette handstand push-ups
185 pound Squat clean, 8 reps
3 Parallette handstand push-ups
185 pound Squat clean, 9 reps
2 Parallette handstand push-ups
185 pound Squat clean, 10 reps
1 Parallette handstand push-up

JJ
U.S. Marine Lance Corporal Justin James “JJ” Wilson, 24, of Palm City, Florida, assigned to 3rd Battalion, 10th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, based in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, was killed on March 22, 2010, while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He is survived by his wife Hannah McVeigh, parents Lance and Frances, brother Christopher, and sister Jamie-Ella.

3. “Luce”

Difficulty: 81
Wearing a 20 pound vest, 3 rounds for time of:
1K Run
10 Muscle-ups
100 Squats

Luce
Captain Ronald G. Luce, 27, of the U.S. Army Company C, 2nd Battalion, 20th Special Forces Group, headquartered at Jackson, Miss., died August 2, 2009 in Qole Gerdsar, Afghanistan, after his vehicle was struck by a command wire improvised explosive device. He is survived by by his wife Kendahl Shoemaker and 5 year old daughter Carrie, and parents Ronald and Katherine Luce.

4. “Nick”

Difficulty: 78
12 rounds for time of:
45 pound Dumbbell hang squat clean, 10 reps
6 Handstand push-ups on dumbbells

Nick
U.S. Army Specialist Nicholas P. Steinbacher, 22, of La Crescenta, California, assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, based in Fort Hood, Texas, died on December 10, 2006 of injuries suffered when insurgents attacked his Humvee with an improvised explosive device in Baghdad, Iraq. He is survived by his parents Paul and Carolyn, and brothers Dan and Kirk.

5. “Jag 28”

Difficulty: 78
For time:
Run 800 meters
28 Kettlebell swings, 2 pood
28 Strict Pull-ups
28 Double Kettlebell clean and jerk, 2 pood each
28 Strict Pull-ups
Run 800 meters

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Mark Forester, 29, of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, assigned to the 21st Special Tactics Squadron, based in Pope Air Force Base, North Carolina, died on September 29, 2010, while conducting combat operations in Uruzgan province, Afghanistan. He is survived by his parents Ray and Pat, and siblings Terri, David, Joseph and Thad.

6. “Ship”

Difficulty: 76
Nine rounds for time of:
185 pound Squat clean, 7 reps
8 Burpee box jumps, 36″ box

Ship
Canadian Forces Sergeant Prescott Shipway, 36, of Esterhazy, Saskatchewan, Canada, assigned to the 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, based in Shilo, Manitoba, Canada, was killed on September 7, 2008 by a roadside bomb in Kandahar province, Afghanistan.

7. “Tom”

Difficulty: 75
Complete as many rounds in 25 minutes as you can of:
7 Muscle-ups
155 pound Thruster, 11 reps
14 Toes-to-bar

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
U.S. Army First Lieutenant Thomas M. Martin, 27, of Ward, Arkansas, assigned to the 1st Squadron, 40th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, based in Fort Richardson, Alaska, died on October 14, 2007 in Al Busayifi, Iraq, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with small arms fire. He is survived by his parents, Edmund and Candis Martin; sisters Sarah Hood, Becky Martin, and Laura Martin; fiancee, Erika Noyes; and grandmother, E. Jean Martin.

8. “Barraza”

Difficulty: 75
Complete as many rounds as possible in 18 minutes of:
Run 200 meters
275 pound Deadlift, 9 reps
6 Burpee bar muscle-ups

Barraza
U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Ricardo Barraza, 24, of Shafter, California, assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, based in Fort Lewis, Washington, died on March 18, 2006, in Ar Ramadi Iraq, when he came under small arms fire by enemy forces during combat operations. He is survived by his parents Francisco and Nina, his siblings Amanda, Rachel, Jamie, and Frankie, and his fiancee Maghan K. Harrington and her daughter Kayla.

9. “Holleyman”

Difficulty: 75
30 rounds for time of:
5 Wall ball shots, 20 pound ball
3 Handstand push-ups
225 pound Power clean, 1 rep

Holleyman
U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Aaron N. Holleyman, 27, of Glasgow, Montana, assigned to the 1st Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group, based in Fort Campbell, Kentucky, was killed on August 30, 2004, when his military vehicle hit an improvised explosive device in Khutayiah, Iraq. He is survived by his daughters Shelby and Erin, son Zachary, parents Ross and Glenda, and siblings Kelly and Daniel.

10. “Cameron”

Difficulty: 73
For time:
50 Walking lunge steps
25 Chest to bar pull-ups
50 Box jumps, 24 inch box
25 Triple-unders
50 Back extensions
25 Ring dips
50 Knees to elbows
25 Wallball “2-fer-1s”, 20 pound ball
50 Sit-ups
15 foot Rope climb, 5 ascents

Cameron
U.S. Coast Guard Lieutenant Junior Grade Thomas Cameron, 24, of Portland, Oregon, in training at the Aviation Training Center in Mobile, Alabama, died on February 28, 2012, when his unit’s helicopter crashed into Mobile Bay in the Gulf of Mexico during a training mission. He is survived by his parents Bette and John, and brother Alex.

Filed under: Research

About the Author

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I've been CrossFitting since 2007, originating from a small garage gym in Southern California called CrossFit Kinnick. Relocated to Brooklyn and now a member of Brick CrossFit. Obsessed with fitness, health, science, and all things related.

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