"Tillman" - The April #sandWOD – Brute Force Training


"Tillman" - The April #sandWOD

Posted on 03 April 2017

The Brute Force Featured Workout for April will honor American hero, Pat Tillman. Pat was a top NFL Player who placed his NFL Career on hold to serve our country.

The day after the attacks of September 11, 2001, Pat told a reporter, “At times like this you stop and think about just how good we have it, what kind of system we live in, and the freedoms we are allowed. A lot of my family has gone and fought in wars and I really haven’t done a damn thing.”

So with this WOD, we honor those who did a DAMN THING.

In the spring of 2002, Pat married his high school love, Marie, and upon his return from their honeymoon, announced to the Cardinals he had decided to place his NFL career on hold to enlist in the U.S. Army with his brother, Kevin. The decision shocked many and garnered national media attention despite his refusal to speak publicly about the choice.

“Pat knew his purpose in life,” Dave McGinnis, former Arizona Cardinals head-coach said. “He proudly walked away from a career in football to a greater calling.”

Pat and Kevin joined the U.S. Army that July, committing to a three-year term. They were assigned to the second battalion of the 75th Ranger Regiment in Fort Lewis, Washington. They served tours in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003, and in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom in 2004. On the evening of April 22, 2004, Pat’s unit was ambushed as it traveled through the rugged, canyon terrain of eastern Afghanistan. His heroic efforts to provide cover for fellow soldiers as they escaped from the canyon led to his untimely and tragic death via fratricide.

While the story of Pat’s death may have been the most publicized in the War on Terror, it is Pat’s life, principles and service that are his true legacy. Pat’s family and friends started the Pat Tillman Foundation to carry forward that legacy by giving military veterans and spouses who embody those principles the educational tools and support to reach their fullest potential as leaders, no matter how they choose to serve.

Pat Tillman is honored with the annual Pat’s Run in Tempe, Arizona and with many satellite runs around the country.  CrossFit Football originally posted the Hero WOD “Tillman” in honor of Pat and many gyms around the country perform this workout throughout the year.

Here is a Brute Force Take on it...


7 Rounds for total time (include your 45 second rests):

  • 7 Sandbag ground to the shoulder Rx (100/70)/Scale (70/50)
  • 1 Full gasser with sandbag shoulder-to-shoulder switch at each transition
  • 15 Pull ups (if you do not have a pull up bar ring rows/Sandbag bento over rows are a greats sub)
  • Rest 45 seconds

* Score is total time to complete the work including the rest time.

* Rest will go fast so make sure you are breathing and continue to move as you rest. 



Sandbag Ground to Shoulder (alternating):

Standing with your feet greater than shoulder width apart, grab the sandbag by the sides or handles if desired. Using an explosive hip drive and locked out arms, pull the sandbag from the ground. Once the sandbag is in front of your hips, pull the sandbag up towards either shoulder.
Catch the sandbag on your shoulder, seeking to prevent hard “flopping” by gripping the sandbag tightly in your hands. Immediately throw the sandbag off your shoulder towards your centerline, touch the ground and perform another rep to the opposite shoulder.

Full Gasser: 

You complete a full gasser by running the width of a football field four consecutive times.

Start on one sideline and sprint to the opposite sideline, switch the sandbag from one shoulder to the other using the Shoulder to Shoulder Technique described below.  Sprint back to the starting sideline switch the sandbag from one shoulder to the other repeat by running down and back one more time switching and each transition. The football field is 53 yards wide, so one full gasser covers 212 yards. The goal is to maintain a high speed for the entire drill.

Sandbag Shoulder Transition (performed at the change of direction during the gasser):

Keeping your core tight, and your shoulders packed, press the sandbag directly overhead by engaging your lats.

Lock out your arms overhead seeking to move your head as little as possible (don’t tilt your neck). After briefly pausing at the lockout, lower the sandbag to your opposite shoulder, again engaging your lats and keeping your shoulders packed throughout the movement.

Pull Ups:

Hang from a bar with a pronated (palms facing away) grip.

Place your hands about shoulder-width apart. 

Pull up and raise your body until your chin is over the bar. 
*  If you can do kipping or butterfly kipping pull ups go for it. 

*  If you are at a track or football field and you do have access to a pull up bar setting up a set of rings off the goal post is a good sub.  If this is not possible a two-handed sandbag bent over row is also a good sub.  Keep the rep scheme the same. 


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