“Kalsu”

CrossFit Football Benchmark WOD

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  • For Time
  • 100 Thrusters (135/95 lb)
  • 5 Burpees to start and at the top of every minute

Start with 5 burpees. Then complete as many thrusters as possible until the minute is up. Repeat until 100 total thrusters are completed. If athlete does not finish score is number of rounds and reps completed.

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namesake photo
Background: The "Kalsu" Hero WOD honors 1st Lt. James Robert Kalsu, 11th Artillery Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, U.S. Army, who was killed in action on July 21, 1970 in the A Shau Valley, Vietnam. On lists of the hardest CrossFit workouts, "Kalsu," is a frequent contender.

The workout was designed by John Welbourn @johnwelbourn of CrossFit Football (now @johnniewod) and former Navy Seal Andy Stumpf.

The CrossFit Football website is no longer live but according to a post on John Welbourn's blog, it appears "Kalsu" was first shared on June 23, 2009. The first mention in the CrossFit forum was in October that year.

In the same post, John reveals how "Kalsu" was created as a collaboration between himself and Andy (giving Andy the lion's share of credit).

John also notes that 1st Lt. Kalsu was an All-American Offensive Tackle who played a single season with the Buffalo Bills (US National Football League) before leaving professional football to serve in Vietnam. 1st Lt. Kalsu was offered a deferment as a professional football player, but opted to honor his commitment to serve in the military.

See also (similar format): "Hotel Hell" Benchmark WOD, "Stephen Russell" Hero WOD
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