Workout of the Day

Washing Machines Work Hard, Clark


One of my favorite movie quotes comes from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.

Audrey: He worked really hard, grandma.

Grandpa Art: So do washing machines.

The scene is intended to (humorously) demonstrate the scathing attitudes of the grumpy and critical in-laws of Clark Griswold, and scornful Grandpa Art is certainly the antagonist of the scene; but like any good quote, it contains some truth.

Hard work is great. It’s part of the equation in your fitness endeavors, business, family, the works. But hard work isn’t the only thing. Perhaps it’s a bit sardonic to say, but washing machines do work hard. And yet, I’d hardly celebrate them as a model of growth-directed behavior.

The difference is between working hard and doing the hard thing. As our Training 101 program trained to prepare for a 50 mile trail race, an endeavor that was well outside of our comfort zones (read: hard), we adopted the unofficial motto: “do hard shit for real.” It was our reminder that we chose this, and that we were doing the hard thing because that’s where growth happens. Not only was the effort hard, the thing itself demanded that effort.

The idea is not to grind away at any old effort. You can “work hard” hour after hour on purposeless endeavors -- digging and filling a ditch or lengthy long division -- with minimal intention and little personal investment, and you will certainly be working hard, but only to tread water.

Or, you can do the hard thing, apply intentional effort, and develop yourself.

- PS


  • Pistol skill work

  • Max reps in 90s


  • 4 rounds

  • With a continuously running clock, 1 minute at each station for max reps of:

    • Pistols

    • Knees-to-elbows

    • Parallette push-ups

    • Air squats

  • Rest 1 min