Today, I want to chat with you about one of the toughest workouts you can tackle – Chad. Chad is a CrossFit® hero workout that's gaining popularity for all the right reasons. This workout is not just about pushing your physical limits but also challenging yourself mentally.
Before we dive into strategies and tips to help you excel in step-ups, let's talk about who this workout is for and why it's so important.
Why’s CrossFit® Hero Workout, Chad, So Important?
Chad is dedicated to Navy SEAL Chad Wilkinson, who tragically took his own life on October 29, 2018, due to the toll of multiple deployments, TBIs, and PTSD.
The aim of this workout is to honor Chad's life and legacy and raise awareness for suicide prevention. As someone who has lost family members to suicide and nearly lost others, this workout carries immense personal significance for me, and I'm sure it resonates with many of you.
What is the Chad CrossFit® workout?
Chad consists of 1,000 step-ups, and in the RX (Elite) division, you do it individually while wearing a 45 lb Ruck – essentially a 45 lb weighted backpack.
For most people, completing this workout takes over an hour and is undoubtedly one of the most challenging tasks they'll ever undertake.
But it's essential to understand the purpose behind this workout.
What’s the Best Way to Scale the Chad CrossFit® Workout?
Chad is typically performed on Veterans Day, a day when we honor all who have served. However, Chad's story reminds us that even a warrior like him, an elite Navy SEAL, had to modify and build up to the RX version.
So, there's no shame in starting with a lighter load, scaling the number of reps, or sharing the workload with a friend. The key is doing it for the right reasons – to honor our veterans and raise awareness for suicide prevention.
There are different options for Chad, including team, partner, and individual versions.
Three divisions are available:
- Beginner (no weight, any step-up height)
- Intermediate (30 lb for men, 20 lb for women, any step-up height)
- Expert (45 lb Ruck, 20-inch box).
The choice is yours, but the important thing is to pay tribute to those who have served and to support the cause of suicide prevention.
Now, Let's Discuss Some Practical Tips for Tackling Chad
Regardless of the division you choose, the most crucial aspect is the efficiency of your step-ups.
One specific tip can significantly improve your performance – the alternating touch-and-go rhythm. Most people step up onto the box and step down without any clear pattern.
This can lead to favoring one leg, taking extra steps, and wasting energy.
Instead, establish a rhythm: when you step up with your right foot, let your left leg trail. As soon as your left foot reaches the top, step down with your right foot, ensuring you maintain balance and avoid wasting time at the bottom.
This alternating touch-and-go approach makes the step-ups more efficient and helps you stay fresh throughout the workout.
Regardless of your division or the weight on your back, this method will enable you to tackle step-ups more effectively. It won't make a thousand step-ups easy, but it will help you maintain a steady pace and keep both legs working evenly.
Remember, Chad is not about earning a badge or competing against others. It's about pushing yourself mentally and honoring those who have served and those who have struggled with suicide.
Chad is a powerful tribute, and it's essential to understand its significance and purpose. While the physical challenge is real, the mental fortitude and awareness it raises are even more crucial.
Suicide is a significant issue, and if you or someone you know is dealing with these thoughts, don't keep it to yourself.
Reach out for help; there are resources and support available.
Chad is not just a workout; it's a meaningful way to pay homage to our veterans and advocate for suicide prevention. So, give it your all, but also remember the greater cause you're supporting. Share this message and encourage others to join in, and together, let's make a difference. Thanks for watching, and I'll catch you in the next article.