In July 2005, the first “Hero Workout” was launched in America with “Murph”. These so-called Hero Workouts are special CrossFit WODs created to preserve the memories of fallen soldiers as well as immortalize their courage and bravery. Since then, especially in America, a Hero Workout has been dedicated to fallen members of the military as well as first responders who have died honorably in the line of duty.
While such a memento is commonplace in America, there was no such thing in Germany until a few years ago. It wasn’t until 2015 that paratrooper Manuel, in memory of his fallen comrades from the Good Friday Battle from the 3rd Company, came up with the idea of establishing a German Hero Workout. In the Good Friday Battle, three soldiers were killed and four others wounded in a battle between paratroopers from Seedorf and Islamist terrorists in the village of Isa Khel in northern Afghanistan on April 2, 2010. Sergeant Major Nils Bruns, Corporal Robert Hartert and Corporal Martin Augustyniak.
Together with his comrade Philipp, Manuel finally created the Good Friday Battle to commemorate their fallen comrades as well as to create a new commemorative culture in Germany. “I was inspired by the “MURPH Challenge” for the first German Hero Workout. I liked the idea that this workout in memory of the fallen soldier is now done every year almost all over the world.
Since we also have fallen comrades in Germany, unfortunately, they should also be remembered from now on,” says initiator Manuel. In 2016, on the sixth anniversary of the Good Friday Battle, they finally released the Good Friday Battle workout, which starts on the date of the battle and can be completed in both a bodyweight and RX workout type.
GOOD FRIDAY BATTLE
20 min AMRAP
2, 3, 4, 5, … Burpees (ascending ladder)
4 Hand Release Push Ups
10 Lunges (each leg)
20 min AMRAP
2 Rope Climbs (15ft/4,50m)
4 Strict Deficit Handstand Push Ups
(male 3,5in/9cm – female 2in/5 cm)
10 Pistols (each leg)
The original workout features 2 Rope Climbs, 4 Strict Deficit Handstand Push Ups and 10 Pistols per leg for April 2, 2010. “Rope Climbs, or the ability to pull yourself up on a line and overcome obstacles, to me is just part of being a soldier. With the Strict Deficit Handstand Push Ups, you’re head is even lower than usual and that represents that there are situations in life where you’re just in deep shit and you need an irrepressible will to fight your way out of it. The Pistols, by profession, explain themselves.”
On the tenth anniversary of the Good Friday Battle, Manuel made a request to the commander of Regiment 31 that he would like to perform the Good Friday Battle workout with this site. As a result, the bodyweight version of the workout was created, but it can be completed with a backpack on your back or a weight vest for an added challenge. “We wanted to use it once to commemorate the fallen and wounded of the Good Friday Battle, but also to commemorate everyone else in the Armed Forces. As a result, I developed this variation that you can do anywhere and with any fitness level without losing the idea of Good Friday Battle.”
Great response already in the first year
Already in the first year Manuel and Philipp met with a great and positive response with their project, so that they decided to let the Good Friday Battle grow further in the following year. So the two completed the workout in 2017 together with various CrossFit boxes such as CrossFit Sturmflut from Rostock or CrossFit St. Pauli from Hamburg. And also in the third year, 2018, not only active comrades, former soldiers as well as relatives met the workout challenge, but also athletes from all over Germany and beyond the borders to commemorate the fallen. Even Games athletes such as Lukas Esslinger, Kristin Holte and James Hobart did not miss the opportunity to support the project with their participation.
The Good Friday Battle workout has become a permanent event in CrossFit boxes in Germany and serves as both a physical endurance test and a memorial to fallen soldiers. Last year, Manuel and Philipp were not deterred by the Corona pandemic and completed the workout online together with 200 other athletes.
This year, you can sign up for the Good Friday Battle again (registration deadline March 15) and sweat for a good cause. At the beginning of the year on January 1, 2022, the workout has already been completed in Africa, recalling the Good Friday battle. Everyone else can do the workout for 31 days starting April 2, commemorating the fallen, as well as other deceased comrades or loved ones.
At the beginning of the year on January 1, 2022, soldiers in Africa already completed the workout to commemorate the Good Friday battle.
As a thank you for a donation, participants and attendees will receive either a patch, sticker, or t-shirt of military or civilian design. And also the Weightlifting Shop supports the project this year. There is a ten percent discount in the shop as part of this promotion and another ten percent will be donated to the Good Friday Battle. “I believe whoever uses this discount code is interested in learning more about Good Friday Battle and brings attention to our project.” All proceeds from the Good Friday Battle will go to the Veteranenkultur e. V. association, which has already erected a memorial plaza for Martin Augustyniak in Bielefeld in June 2019.
True to the platoon’s motto “Stamus una, Cadimus una” (We stand together, we fall together), the Good Friday Battle enters its next round on April 2.