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“The Seven”


CrossFit Hero WOD; aka: "The CIA Seven"

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  • 7 Rounds For Time
  • 7 Handstand Push-Ups
  • 7 Thrusters (135/95 lb)
  • 7 Knees-to-Elbows
  • 7 Deadlifts (245/165 lb)
  • 7 Burpees
  • 7 Kettlebell Swings (2/1.5 pood)
  • 7 Pull-Ups

Complete 7 rounds of the movements in the order written. Each round is made up of 49 repetitions: 7 Handstand Push-Ups, 7 Thrusters, 7 Knees-to-Elbows, 7 Deadlifts, 7 burpees, 7 Kettlebell Swings, and 7 Pull-Ups.

Score is the time it takes to complete all 7 rounds.

Good Times for “The Seven” (estimated)
– Beginner: 40-49 minutes
– Intermediate: 33-39 minutes
– Advanced: 25-32 minutes
– Elite: <24 minutes

Tips and Strategy

This WOD, like many Hero WODs, is a grind. And whenever you’re faced with a grinding sort of workout, it’s best to start slowly. A fast pace out of the gate will likely result in burnout.

For pacing: As soon as you’re done with round 1, look at the clock. If it took you 5 minutes, then work hard to complete each of the remaining 6 rounds in 5 minutes, +/- 30 seconds.

Intended Stimulus

“The Seven” is meant to be a long, brutal workout that challenges your mental toughness alongside your physical fitness. The load should feel moderate, but not so heavy that you can’t go unbroken on the barbell movements. Scale the gymnastics movements so you can do unbroken sets of 7 reps. Get this thing done in an hour or less. “The Seven” should be a workout that you never forget.

Scaling Options 

This workout is meant to be relatively long—30+ minutes for most athletes. The load should feel moderate—not maximal. Scale the volume, the load, and/or the skill level (see: Handstand Push-Up Scaling | Pull-Up Scaling | Knees-to-Elbows Scaling) so you can complete this workout in under an hour.

The rest in this WOD is during the transitions—when you move, for instance, from the thrusters to the knees-to-elbows. If you have to break up the sets of 7 reps into smaller bits, then either the load is too heavy and/or the skill level is too high.

5 Rounds 
7 Push-Ups
7 Thrusters (95/65lb)
7 Knees-to-Elbows
7 Deadlifts (155/105 lb)
7 Burpees
7 Kettlebell Swings (53/35lb)
7 Pull-Ups

5 Rounds 
7 Box/Bench Push-Ups
7 Thrusters (45/35lb) 
7 Hanging Knee Raises
7 Deadlifts (95/65lb) 
7 Burpees
7 Kettlebell Swings (35/26lb) 
7 Ring Rows

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namesake photo

Background: “The Seven” is in memory of seven US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officers and one Jordanian officer who were killed by a suicide bomber at a remote base in southeastern Afghanistan on December 30, 2009. The bomber was posing as a potential informant reporting on Al Qaeda. Seven new stars were etched onto the memorial wall at the CIA.

Killed in the attack were CIA officers Jennifer Lynne Matthews, 45; Scott Michael Roberson, 39; Harold E. Brown Jr., 37; Darren LaBonte, 35; Elizabeth Hanson, 30; and security contractors Jeremy Jason Wise, 35, and Dane Clark Paresi, 46.

This workout was first posted on the CrossFit Main Site as the workout of the day for Sunday, May 30, 2010 (“100530”). It has since become one of CrossFit’s most recognizable Hero WODs.

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