CrossFit’s Grace Workout visits Rich Man’s Gym

Amazing Grace:  Crossfit’s Grace Workout visits Rich Man’s Gym (and will probably stay a while)

What is CrossFit’s Grace Workout?  Grace is a very simple yet not easy protocol.  30 clean and jerks for time.  Meaning, as fast as you can muster.

Over the last few months, my Thursday nights are shoulder nights.  And after a warm up of 100 Jumping Jacks and some stretching I’ve been starting with the Barbell Clean and Press.  9 sets of 4 reps on the minute.  It’s a great start to shoulder day.  It can also be done with dumbbells or kettlebells, whatever your fancy.  I’ve been enjoying doing barbell work lately yet have also been missing my beloved kettlebells so I compromised a bit and here’s what Thursday nights at Rich Man’s Gym look like currently.


  • 100 Jumping Jacks
  • Active Stretching (3-5 minutes)
  • 3 rounds of 5 KB Goblet Squats @ 16kg / 5+5 Halos @ 16kg KB / 5 Pump Stretches


  • BB Clean & Jerk @ 135 x 30 reps for time

WORK 2: Triple Set for Time

  • 5 Double KB Clean & Press @ 24kg
  • 10 Double KB High Pulls @ 20kg
  • 15 High Ring Rows


  • 10 minutes of 8-Count Body Builders (as many as possible)
  • 2 minutes of Butterfly Sit Ups (as many as possible)

Now, about this Grace Business…

I was searching the internet for ways to spice up the Clean & Press starter when I ran into Grace and I knew I had to give it a go.

Remember, the premise and fundamental tenet of Rich Man’s Gym is strength and conditioning for body, mind and spirit, so what I’m loving about CrossFit’s Grace Workout is that it applies healthy stress to all three layers; the body, the mind and the spirit.  It is by all means a “full body workout”.

First time out it took me 9 minutes and 4 seconds to finish.

That means I have a bench mark and some work to do.  Progress is the name of the game here.  I’d never tried 135 before but considering I’b been clean and pressing 125 for 9 rounds of 4 on the minute, 135 didn’t seem like a “dangerous” jump.  Started with sets of 5 and gave myself ample rest with a side of urgency.  Meaning I didn’t let my heart rate drop too low just enough deep breaths to get back in the fight.

What is a “good time” for CrossFit’s Workout Grace?

I did some Googling and the general consensus is…

  • Beginner: 6 – 7 minutes
  • Intermediate: 4 – 5 minutes
  • Advanced: 3 – 4 minutes
  • Elite: less than 2 minutes

So, clearly I have my work cut out for me!  LOL!  And here’s what’s exciting about this…  I get to practice efficiency of strength.  How long will it take to get to a sub 5 minute time?  Aaaaand what will the residual (or as Pavel Tsatoline calls it, the WTH effect) meaning how will this impact other areas of performance?

As for the rest of the workout, it supplements the conditioning aspects especially the 8-Count Body Builders at the end.  I’m already smoked so why not do some crazy momentumless burpee at the end.  Ironically, the novelty of the 8-count body builder reduces the suck factor significantly especially when I think of the story from Can’t Hurt Me where one of Goggins’ buddies who was left to do 8-count body builders for hours.  I can probably muster 10 minutes of suck.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound…

And that’s the thing, everything new sucks.  Everything we’re new at, we suck at.  It’s always been that way.  When we were babies and kids, we sucked at walking, riding a bike, talking, reading, writing, all of it.

Are you willing to suck at things?  Are you willing to do things that suck, that are hard?  If you’re just chasing comfort you’re actually setting yourself up for a life of pain and suffering.  Additionally, if you’re not getting better, you’re getting worse.  We get stronger when we’re stressed.  Period.  If you’re running from stress, you’re just making yourself weak and incapable.

One of the ways I’m going to stress myself out is doing Grace once a week.  30 Barbell Clean and Jerks for time with 135 pounds on the bar.  Every week I’ll get a little better, a little faster and at some point soon, I’ll hit a sub 5 minute time.

I’ll close with the words of Frank Sullivan & Jim Peterik then a challenge to you…

In the warrior’s codeThere’s no surrenderThough his body says stopHis spirit cries, neverDeep in our soulA quiet emberKnows it’s you against youIt’s the paradoxThat drives us onIt’s a battle of willsIn the heat of attackIt’s the passion that killsThe victory is yours alone.”

What will be your Grace?  Maybe it will be Grace?  How will you stress yourself out?  What are you doing consistently to improve your body, mind and spirit?  Let me know in comments and I’ll keep you looped in on my progress…


2/16/23:  Got after it tonight at got the 30 reps in 7m24s.  That was a minute 40 shaved.  So last time, while it was work, clearly I wasn’t going full out.  This time the perceived effort was much higher.  Will report back next week with the new time.  Looking forward to making 135 feel LIGHT!

2/23/23:  Grace happened in 7m10s.  That means we shaved off 14 more seconds.  First set was for 8 reps.  MIGHT have had 9 but decided to stop at 8 because the last thing you want to do in this is gas out in the beginning.  A coupe sets later I wasn’t able to complete the third and was completely out of so I did about 10 seconds of sharp exhalations to clear out the co2 and then got back at it.  Looking forward to next week to see if get in the 6 minute range.