Ben M works through the warm up of man makers. Ben had the highest score on today's WOD.

My first martial arts teacher was an ex-Marine. He had joined the USMC during the Vietnam War, before the restructuring of the eighties and nineties. During my teacher’s basic training, the drill sergeant would line up all the recruits at bedtime¬†in their white underwear and shirts and proceed down the line punching each guy in the stomach. The DI called it a “gutcheck”.

While punching people in the stomach is generally frowned upon in CrossFit boxes, anyway that’s how Houdini died, gutchecks occur in CF gyms everyday. A gutcheck is anytime you have to do something that is a lot harder than you want to do. Certain WODs are gutchecks. Kirsten M said once that the 100 thruster WOD took her to a “long dark tunnel”. That’s a gutcheck.

Gutchecks don’t always have to be big ones on a killer WOD. You can give yourself a little gutcheck all the time. Not taking a sip of water during a WOD is a little gutcheck. So is adding an extra plate to the bar for the last round, or going chest-to-bar for the final set of pullups. Pushing yourself that little extra bit is a gutcheck.

Certain workouts will always be a gutcheck and they are designed that way, but it’s the little self-administered punches to the stomach that add up to big mental, spiritual, and physical gains. And a final note of irony: my teacher?, after his combat tour of Vietnam, he became a drill instructor himself.

What gutchecks do you do? Please post to Comments.

Your daily moment of strong, with strongman Derek Poundstone.


Clean and Jerk

Work up to 3×1 @ 85% and 3×1 @ 80%1RM


2 Minutes for Max Calories on the Airdyne


Deadlift 315/200#

Thruster 155/100#

2 Minutes for Max Calories on the Airdyne