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Created to honor the memory of a fallen serviceman, police officer, or firefighter, the CrossFit hero workouts are some of the most challenging in the CF library. They’re designed to make the athlete suffer as a way of paying tribute to the ultimate sacrifice made by people like Murph (Navy SEAL Lt. Michael Murphy) and Ryan (firefighter Ryan Hummert).
Named for CrossFitter Amanda Miller, the Amanda workout doesn’t technically fit the profile of a hero workout, but the CrossFit community considers it one nonetheless. Miller, nicknamed “Guns” for twin pistol tattoos on her hips, took sixth in the Mid-Atlantic qualifier in 2009 and finished 55th overall at the Games. Shortly afterward, it became known
that Miller was dealing with recurring melanoma that had spread to her lymph nodes. On April 23, 2010, Miller died at the age of 24.
To honor her, CrossFit created the Amanda workout—an alternating couplet of muscle-ups and squat snatches (135 pounds for men, 95 pounds for women) performed for a 9–7–5 rep scheme. It was first completed on July 16 to open the individual competition at the 2010 CrossFit Games. Chris Spealler smashed it in 3:29. Kristan Clever posted the best women’s time, a 5:04, and went on to finish first overall.
What makes this workout so special from a fitness standpoint? Snatches and muscle-ups are two of the most difficult movements in the CrossFit arsenal. Squat snatches require speed, coordination, balance, power, and strength. Muscle-ups require massive upper-body strength and a well-timed kip—a gymnastics technique using momentum to drive the body upward.
When combined, these moves form a classically brutal CrossFit workout—and a fitting tribute to a CrossFit athlete who was ripped from our community far too soon.