Workout of the Day

Shackleton's Ad


The story goes that Sir Ernest Shackleton, early 20th century polar explorer and model of leadership and bravery in the face of disaster, took out an ad in a local paper in search of a crew for his Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition. The ad read: “Men wanted for hazardous journey to the South Pole. Small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger. Safe return doubtful. Honor and recognition in case of success,” and, story has it, the ad garnered an overwhelmingly large response, in the thousand, of men interested in joining the crew.

Without a doubt, the type of person interested in signing up for an Arctic expedition in the early 20th century is a uniquely courageous (if not foolish) individual. But, whether the tale of the ad is fact or embellished storytelling, there is something to the grand response garnered from such an extreme call to the public. We are wired, I believe, to be attracted to and fascinated by the difficult, the uncertain, and the dangerous. Even if we are not ourselves drawn to embark on a polar journey with no promise of return, we all respect and uphold the heroism of those who do. These are the characters entrenched not in glamour or wealth, but in hard work, unwavering motivation, and relentlessness in the face of challenge. It is why we take pride in our own efforts and sacrifice, whether they are to raise a family, run a business, write a book, or anything else. It is how we define heroes and leaders.

While I don’t believe all of us ought to take on transatlantic journeys (literal or metaphorical) to the most inhospitable places on the Earth, I do think we all owe it to ourselves to say “yes” to the call for challenge, effort, discomfort, and uncertainty. It’s not a quality reserved for the grandest characters of history or story books, it’s something innately human.

I like to think that training here is quite a bit more fun than a deadly trip to the arctic, but perhaps we should post our own ad outside our doors: “People wanted for challenging journey in personal development. Hours of effort, certain discomfort, moments of frustration, and constant feedback and room for improvement. Finish line non-existent. Rewards earned, not given.”

- PS


  • Spend 15 minutes on ring muscle-up skills and drills; record max unbroken muscle-ups


  • 4 rounds for time:

    • 4 ring muscle-ups

    • 8 burpee box overs (24”/20”)

    • 12 front squats (135/95)