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The Hardest Hero WODs for Your Hands (Part 1)

April 14, 2020

The Hardest Hero WODs for Your Hands (Part 1)

“Hero WODs” are named after fallen warriors who died while serving their nation in combat. If you love doing difficult workouts or just like a challenge, Hero WODs are some of the most intense and difficult workouts you can face. As a result, these are commonly seen during competition of elite level athletes. If you want to test your strength, endurance, cardio, and speed, there's nothing better than Hero WODs.

There are many more than thirteen, but we've created a list of the most brutal workouts on an athlete’s hands. If you do attempt these, make sure to take extra care of your hands and calluses, use proper form & grip, and come prepared.

The Hardest Hero WODs for Your Hands:

1. Badger

Badger is named after the late Navy Chief Petty Officer Mark Carter who was killed in Iraq during an enemy encounter on 11th December 2007.

Complete 3 rounds for time:
30 Squat cleans (95/65 lbs)
30 Pull-ups
800 meter run


2. Barraza

Barraza is a challenging Hero WOD that will test your strength and endurance. Named after the U.S. Army Staff, Sergeant Ricardo Barraza who lost his life in Iraq during a combat operation.

AMRAP of 18 minutes:
200 meter run
9 Deadlifts (275/185 lbs)
6 Burpee bar muscle-ups


3. Big Sexy

Named after Sgt. Lance "Big Sexy" McLean, a police officer killed in the line of duty on June 29th, 2013.

Five rounds for time:
6 Deadlifts (315/205 lbs)
6 Burpees
5 Cleans (225/155 lbs)
5 Chest-to-bar pull-ups
4 Thrusters (155/115 lbs)
4 Muscle-Ups.


4. Bradshaw

In honor of U.S. Army 1st Lieutenant Brian Bradshaw KIA in Afghanistan June 25th, 2009.

Ten Rounds for Time:
3 Handstand push-ups
6 Deadlift (225/155 lbs)
12 Pull-ups
24 Double-unders


5. Clovis

Named for the brave U.S. Army 2nd Lieutenant, Clovis T. Ray, who died in Afghanistan serving his nation.

For Time:
Run 10 miles
150 Burpees Pull-Ups

Partition run and the burpee pull-ups as needed to complete.


6. Desforges

Desforges is named after Marine Sgt. Joshua Desforges of Ludlow, MA who died on 12th May 2010 in Helmand province Afghanistan.

Five rounds for time:
12 Deadlifts (225/155 lbs)
20 Pull-ups
12 Clean & jerks (135/95 lbs)
20 Knees-to-elbows


7. Dobogai

U.S. Army Captain Derek A. Dobogai, of Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin was killed in Iraq August 22, 2007 in a helicopter crash.

Seven rounds for time:
8 Muscle-ups
22 Yard dumbell farmer carry (50/40 lbs)


8. Erin

Named after Canadian Army Master Corporal Erin Doyle, killed in a firefight in Afghanistan, August 11th, 2008.

Five rounds for time:
15 Dumbbell split-cleans (40/30 lbs)
21 Pull-ups


9. Hamilton

U.S. Army Specialist Adam Hamilton of Kent Ohio, died on May 28th, 2011 of wounds suffered from an IED in Afghanistan.

Three rounds for time:
1000 meter Row
50 Push-ups
Run 1000 meters
50 Pull-ups


10. Horton

In honor of U.S. Army Spc. Christopher Horton, died September 9th 2011 in Afghanistan.

Nine rounds for time with a partner:
9 Bar Muscle-ups
11 Clean & Jerks (155/115 lbs)
50 yard buddy carry

Only one person can work at a time, but work can be shared however you choose.


11. Jason

Navy Seal Jason D. Lewis was killed by an IED in Southern Baghdad July 6th, 2007. “Jason” is a high volume workload of two movements. Sub Pull-ups for Muscle-ups if needed.

For time:
100 Squats
5 Muscle-ups
75 Squats
10 Muscle-ups
50 Squats
15 Muscle-ups
25 Squats
20 Muscle-ups


12. Johnson

Named in memory of 1st Lt. Michael E. Johnson who died during a military combat operation in Afghanistan on September 8th, 2009. During this workout, your hands will not get a break! Approach accordingly.

AMRAP in 20 minutes:
9 Deadlifts (245/165 lbs)
8 Muscle-ups
9 Squat Cleans (155/105 lbs)


13. Josh

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Joshua Hager, 29 was killed February 22, 2007 by an IED during combat operations in Iraq.

For time:
21 Overhead Squats (95/65 lbs)
42 Pull-ups
15 Overhead squats (95/65 lbs)
30 Pull-ups
9 Overhead squats (95/65 lbs)
18 Pull-ups


These thirteen Hero WODs are not only incredibly challenging in general, but extra hard on your hands due to high volume of rapid bar movements. Make sure to hydrate, fuel up, stretch and recover and always take care of your hands to prevent rips and tearing skin.

From our experience, a large number of tears happen in Hero WODs when athletes are pushing themselves to the brink. If you do tear, we got you covered with our world class line of hand care products.

Check back for Part 2.