Manion WOD —How To Survive

Back squats. Running. You and the clock. Welcome to the Manion WOD, a simple but soul-destroying CrossFit hero workout.

This WOD is all about survival. If you go out and be a hero in the early rounds or on the runs, you’ll pay for it later on.

Here’s a breakdown of the Manion WOD, strategies for getting a good score, how to warm-up for the WOD, and how to scale it if you can’t do the RX back squat weight.

What Is The Manion WOD?

7 Rounds For Time:

  • 400m Run
  • 29 Back Squats (135/95 lbs)
  • Take the back squats from a rack.

The Manion WOD Strategy

Back Squats

Manion is a simple, soul-crushing couplet. The run is a total of nearly two miles and will take between fifteen and twenty minutes.

A great time on this WOD is around 30 minutes.

Don’t go all out on the early runs. Keep your heart rate down and use the runs to recover, catch your breath, and get some feeling back in your legs.

Set a goal on back squats. Can you break them up into sets of five? Ten?

Don’t oversell the first few rounds by doing sets of fifteen and fourteen if the last few reps are grinders.

Four sets of eight, seven, seven, and seven will keep your legs fresh and allow you breaks throughout.


Warm Up WOD

Do two to three minutes of light biking or rowing to start. This is a marathon workout, so don’t overdo the cardio or tax your legs. You’ll need them.

Pay special attention to your glutes during the warm-up. Do glute activation drills with a band or kettlebell and some myofascial release to make sure they’re firing on all cylinders during Manion.

This will save your quads for the later part of the workout.

Warm up with a few back squats (no more than five) at the weight you’ll use in the WOD before starting.

The Manion Wod Scoring

The Manion WOD is a for-time workout. You’ll run 1.75 miles and do 223 back squats before the workout is complete.

This workout is not one you’ll do often, so give it all you got.

The Manion Wod Scaled

Back Squats

Scale Manion by reducing the weight on the back squats. There are 223 back squats in this workout. Stick with the RX weight if you are highly trained and have been doing CrossFit for a while.

If you can’t do at at least 15 or 20 back squats in one set fresh, you’ll want to go lighter for this WOD.

Men can scale to 95 lbs and women to 65 lbs. Remember this is a hero WOD, so don’t scale the weight if you can handle it.

Only scale if you’ll be risking injury or total form breakdown early in the WOD.

Who Was Travis Manion?

Travis Manion WOD

Taken from’s main page:

“First Lieutenant Travis Manion, 26, of Doylestown, Pennsylvania, assigned to 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, based in Camp Pendleton, California, was killed by sniper fire on April 29, 2007 while fighting against an enemy ambush in Anbar Province, Iraq. He is survived by his father, Colonel Tom Manion, mother Janet Manion, and sister Ryan Borek.”

Manion first appeared on on July 19, 2011.

Manion WOD—Wrap Up

The strategy for the Manion WOD is to go slow and embrace the suck. Your legs will be destroyed by the end of the workout.

Don’t go too hard on the back squats early. Instead, break them up and use the runs to recover, get your heart rate down, and shake some life back into your legs.

Basically, good luck. You’re going to need it.

Check out our collection of Hero WOD guides for more strategies and ideas for setting PRs on these long, grueling workouts.