Grace: The Workout That's More Than A Workout

The 2020 Open is in full swing, and that has the attention of CrossFit fans around the world — for good reason. It’s the kickoff of another season that is sure to be exciting, to say the least. However, there is another event that will be taking place in various boxes and gyms that will have a significance all its own.

“Grace”

If you’re not familiar, Grace is a workout of the day (WOD) that’s well-known in the CrossFit community. It’s recognized as one of the original “Girls” along with others like “Fran,” “Cindy,” and “Linda.” These were a series of workouts that had female names. The workout is the following.

  • 30 clean and jerks for time
  • 5-minute cap
  • 135 pounds for men
  • 95 pounds for women

While there has been no official connection established, Grace has the same name as a short documentary about a woman who survived breast cancer and made a decision to reclaim her body by covering the scars from a mastectomy with a tattoo. That connection is what led to a tradition in the CrossFit community that is still observed now.

Grace in October

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and CrossFit started doing events where lifters would perform the Grace workout and raise money with the proceeds going to breast cancer awareness. The most popular organization for this cause is the Susan G. Komen Foundation, but there are others that receive support locally and across the world.

The overall premise is the same regardless of where the money goes. Athletes use their muscular power and the power of community to help empower others that are dealing with a life-changing circumstance.

What it Means to Athletes

For those victims and families dealing with the effects of breast cancer, the support means a lot. This also is something that is special to those taking part in the workouts. Cole Sager speaks highly of what it means to him personally.

“The workout, Grace, has a very special place in my heart,” Sager said. “It was actually my first-ever CrossFit workout. When I first started CrossFit, it was simply a benchmark workout in my mind. But now it holds symbolic weight for Breast Cancer Awareness and has become more than a benchmark workout to me and many others.”

While he has that personal connection to Grace, he is aware that it’s meaningful in a way that is much larger than himself.

“It has become a chance to make a positive impact in the world,” he said. “I am extremely grateful to have the physical abilities and talents to participate in workouts like that, and every time I perform Grace in the future I hope it can inspire compassion for those who have had to fight the fight of breast cancer.”

Will It Be in the Open?

While there will be many events taking place centered around this workout, there is another theory to consider. With the Open taking place in part during the month of October, perhaps Grace could become a part of the weekly series. Maybe there would be a twist to it that provides a new challenge. How will the athletes do, and will the connection to the cause help push them to achieve more?

If you’re going to be a part of a Grace workout this month, you might want to prepare for it accordingly. Kari Pearce has shared tips on how to get ready and be at your best come the day of the event in your area. You can see those tips here.


Roger Lockridge is from Lewisburg, WV. His work has been featured on numerous platforms and magazines in the fitness industry over the last 10 years. You can find him on Twitter and Instagram @rocklockridge.

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