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“Elijah McClain”

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Iron Roots Athlete Memorial WOD

848 42
  • AMRAP in 23 minutes
  • 2 Kettlebell Swings (2x24/16 kg)
  • 2 Strict Presses (2x24/16 kg)
  • 5 Bent Over Rows (2x24/16 kg)
  • 1 Power Clean (2x24/16 kg)
  • 9 Left-Leg Lunges (2x24/16 kg)
  • 9 Right-Leg Lunges (2x24/16 kg)
  • 6 Clean to Front Squats (2x24/16 kg)
  • Complete this whole round unbroken.

On a 23-minute clock, complete as many rounds as possible (“AMRAP“) of the prescribed work in the order written. Use one pair of Kettlebells. Each round must be performed unbroken, without dropping the kettlebells, in order to count. Rest as needed between rounds.

Score is the total number of rounds completed before the 23-minute clock stops.

Scaling Options

Reduce the Kettlebell weight (or Dumbbells if that’s all you have) such that you can complete a full round unbroken when fresh.


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namesake photo

Background: This workout is dedicated to Elijah Jovan McClain, a 23-year-old Black American massage therapist from Aurora, Colorado. He was born on February 25, 1996.

Elijah died after being placed in a chokehold by police and being sedated by paramedics on August 30, 2019.

According to Wikipedia, on August 24, 2019, an Aurora citizen reported to police that McClain was wearing a ski mask and looked “sketchy”, although the caller also indicated that he did not believe anyone was in danger, and that he believed McClain was unarmed. The three police officers who were involved in the incident, Nathan Woodyard, Jason Rosenblatt and Randy Roedema, said that their body cameras were knocked off during a struggle with McClain.

McClain was forcibly held to the ground with his hands cuffed behind his back, after which an officer applied a chokehold and paramedics administered ketamine to McClain to sedate him. While being transported to the hospital McClain went into cardiac arrest. Three days after arriving at the hospital, he was declared brain dead and was removed from life support on August 30. McClain’s autopsy was inconclusive.

The workout was designed by Natural Hair Girls Who Lift @naturalhairgirlswholift in collaboration with Iron Roots Athlete @iron.roots.athlete as part of their initiative to continue fostering conversations on the progress of supporting people of color in the fitness community. It was one of the initial memorial WODs for their ‘Walk With Us: A Program Series With a Purpose.’

The 23 minutes signifies Elijah’s age when he passed away.

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