Fight Gone Bad

On September 17, more than 970 CrossFit affiliates and 10,000 individual athletes will participate in Fight Gone Bad 6 to raise funds for Special Operations Warrior Foundation, CrossFit Kids, and Camp Patriot. Visit the Fight Gone Bad 6 site to learn more and sponsor an athlete.

This morning, around 2:00 a.m. on my way to the bathroom, I checked my iPhone to see this morning’s WOD. I almost jolted fully awake: Fight Gone Bad.

That is not a workout to be taken lightly. That is a workout that might, if you’re me, inspire you to dream about it for the remainder of the night. And to have a few nervous butterflies in your tummy when you drive to the gym. If you’re anything like me.

WOD: Fight Gone Bad
3 rounds, 1:00 per station:
push press, 55#
wall ball, 14#
sumo deadlift high pull, 55#
box jumps, 20″

Dave and I teamed up as counters for each other, and decided he would go first. Today was his first time EVER doing FGB, and he did it RX’d – 75# on the barbell and 20# medicine ball. My husband is a badass.

As I stood at my push press station, waiting for the 3-2-1-GO! countdown, my palms got a little sweaty. What is it about these workouts that makes them more than just exercise?! I was actually nervous about picking up the barbell. Which is just silly because I’ve done 55# push presses thousands of times… while talking and singing along to the music and daydreaming about other stuff. But in the context of Fight Gone Bad, it’s suddenly Serious. A Big Deal.

The three rounds were a blur of pain and sweat and panting. Fourteen-pound wall ball sucks so much. Had it been a competition, I would have heard Dave say, “No rep.” many times. Happily, the only thing on the line was my ego, so I kept squatting and throwing that damn ball, watching it hover in the air without even bouncing off the wall (annoying!) or hitting just shy of the 10-foot mark (REALLY annoying).

As always, box jumps were rewarding and felt like Success; sumo deadlift high pull made me want to cry in an unspecific but overall demoralizing way; and push press and rowing were like the friends I’m always happy to have around – challenging in a familiar, solid way.

And then it was over. My score: 211. Not my best, not my worst.

I wilted right where I was, next to the giant tire we used for box jumps, and I just laid there, letting my chest heave. Sweating on the floor.

That, friends, is the best of love-hate.

My FGB History

I have a lot of affection for this vicious, heartless workout that seems to bring out the best in everyone. Here are four posts that explore my complicated relationship with FGB, in all its sweaty intricacies.

Fight Gone Bad @ CrossFit Austin – January 2011

My first Fight Gone Bad Fundraiser – September 2008
Back in the day when I was still a CrossFit baby. I won first place in the Intermediate Division! That was the first day I really felt like an athlete. So great!

Sweaty video – September 2009
Here’s me, with the post-workout stupids, talking about why I was doing Fight Gone Bad. Note how my friends to nothing to help me with the camera.

My second Fight Gone Bad Fundraiser, September 2009
My first time doing the full workout as RX’d. Another huge, confidence-building milestone.

And check out these profiles of my workout pals who did FGB in 2009:

Amber Daniels: belly dancing, barbell lifting badass
Aaron Arehart: lifetime athlete with a kickass handstand
Georgia Nixon: CrossFitter and gymnast


Have you done Fight Gone Bad? Will you be at it on 9/16?


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  • Jen says:

    I’ll be there! Loved your recap of today. I was totally with you at each station.

  • Janice says:

    I’ll be there on 9/16. I promised a friend I’d go with her before I tried the WOD. OMG! My ignorance was shattered this morning! It reminded me a lot of sparring; same fight to channel anger and to maintain some form of body control after the body turns to jelly. During the last round, I got myself through the box jumps by glaring at the Go and Get It Flag and burning the words into my legs. I think I will always associate that visual and feeling with this WOD.

  • I’ll be there! Mel, I have to say, your superwoman strength amazes me. You do not stop and you do not cheat EVER. Watching you rock this workout today was inspiring. I have to do the easiest mod at FGB (bc I can’t do 20 inch box jumps and there is no scale to a shorter box), but I’m going to channel my inner Mel and Just Keep Going. I’m going to break 200 that Saturday. Book it. Done.

    • Mel says:

      You are so sweet, Jenny. Thank you! I was really wheezing and gasping through the whole thing — the only really good part was the box jumps. Holy cow, those wall balls are evil.

      You are going to be AWESOME on FGB day. Can’t wait to hear all about it.

  • Mellie says:

    Ahhhhhhhh I see you got to do it soon after my Fête Gone Bad comment the other day – good job!!! That 14# wall ball is a b*tch for sure Hahaha! 🙂

  • Scott Hinson says:

    I’m there.

    Been working on the SDHP and wall ball at the globo gym. I suck at those…box jumps, rowing, push press I got.

    Must. Crush. FGBIV. Score. (243, RX)

    Today was squats 225lb @ 3×3.

    Then box jumps, 30 seconds on, 30 seconds rest 20″, 8 rounds, no less than 28 box jumps. Then same thing with SDHP, no less than 18 in each round.

    Scott “Okra Guy” Hinson

    • Mel says:

      YAY for crushing!

      SDHP are in consideration for my nemesis list. I’m not sure when they became such a bother, but I was hatin’ on the them yesterday.

      That box jump workout sounds fun, in a vicious way. I kinda want to try that!

  • Laura says:

    We don’t have a “box” that we have joined…but we do this. The Solider is in S.Ops and even though we don’t have kiddos…the fact that a group of people, athletic people will fight for the greatness that is FGB is amazing and makes the day to day for what The Soldier does easier.
    So…I say, Thank you!

  • Tom R. says:

    I love the fact that you admit to losing sleep and perhaps dreaming about a WOD. I don’t workout at a gym anymore, but there’s a group of 4 of us that get together 4-5 times a week in my garage and go at it. We take turns programming. Nothing makes me lose sleep more than the classics – Fran, Helen, Grace. FGB on a Wednesday would terrify me. “If your workout doesn’t scare you, you need a different workout.”

    • Mel says:

      The first time I did the Spartan 300, I was crying — CRYING — in the registration line, I was so freaked out. And then it was totally fun (and hard, but fun).

  • Kat says:

    I’m new to CrossFit (5 weeks) and have yet to tackle FGB, but in a sick twisted way I’m really looking forward to my ‘first time’. Great post.

    • Mel says:

      Hi, Kat! Be sure to come back and post whenever you do your first FGB. Would love to hear about your exerience. Congrats on starting CrossFit!

  • Ashley says:

    I dread this workout too! My gym has coach’s choice workouts on Saturdays and this was the workout a few weeks ago…I wanted to go crawl back in bed.

  • Rich LeFurgy says:

    do you have a fgb6 fundraising page?

    • Mel says:

      I don’t… sadly, I’m not doing FGB on the 17th. I hate missing it again this year. Last year, I was in Prague on vacation, and this year, it’s right in the middle of my final push to finish the cookbook. Every free minute of the next few weekends is devoted to writing. Wish me luck!

  • acedanger says:

    How long the “rest” is at the end of each round? I’ve been doing Crossfit for a few months now but haven’t done FGB yet.

    • Mel says:

      There are three rounds of work with a 1-minute rest in between each round. So it’s essentially three rounds of

      – work for 5 minutes (1:00 at 5 stations)
      – rest for 1 minute

  • Steph H says:

    I’m doing FGB for the first time on Saturday. I’m excited and nervous!

    steph h

  • dana g says:

    ahh….HAhahahaha! You have entered into my head and writeen about my FGB feelings!!!! A friend at my CF told a new person not to mind me, “She is totally mental for some reason about this wod. She freaks out. Pay no attention.” !!! That said, I’m getting closer to my ultimate goal: 300. My trainer has told me that if I stop saying (between great gawps of air)during the minute’s rest “I can’t, I can’t…I’m going to stop. Don’t do this to me.” I’d have the strength for a few more reps! 🙂

    • Mel says:

      My goal is 300, too… but since I started doing it RX, my score has hovered in the 210-220 range, so I have a way to go.

      I don’t talk in between, but I do a lot of eye rolling. I wonder how much energy I could save if I banished the attitude 😉