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EOD 133, a Workout to Remember

Airmen participate in the Explosive Ordnance Disposal 133 Workout Nov. 19, 2018, at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M. The EOD 133 workout is meant to remind us of those in all branches of EOD service who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. -- Explosive Ordnance Disposal. EOD. This is a career many of us see as fun and exciting, yet dangerous and not worth the risk. It’s not for everyone that’s for sure. Luckily, a few have risen above and accepted the dangers that come with the title EOD technician.

These are the men and women who are trained to deal with the construction, deployment, disarmament, and disposal of highly explosive munitions that put us and others in harm's way overseas and here at home.

Often the deployed job for these men and women is nail-biting and adrenaline-pumped, but ends with them seeing another day. Unfortunately the day doesn’t always end with them wiping the sweat off of their brow, sometimes our fellow Airmen, Soldiers, Marines and Sailors make the ultimate sacrifice.

Since 9/11, 134 EOD technicians have died in the line of duty.

To represent those lives lost, the EOD Warrior Foundation started the EOD (133) Memorial Workout. The 133, and 134 next year to accommodate for the death of Army Specialist James A. Slape on Oct. 4th, 2018, are all the lives lost, and as the death toll rises, so does the number in the workout. This first began as a way to help raise money for the EOD Warrior Foundation that supports the families of fallen EOD technicians and members that suffered injuries and can no longer remain on active duty.

When I arrived to the pad where we’d be completing the workout I was given the option to wear a weighted vest for the duration of the workout. Me being me, I had to step up to the challenge. I got suited up and did a few warm-ups while I went over the list of exercises I’d be completing.

The workout, including four couplets to represent each branch of service, consists of exercises such as squats, pull-ups, laps around a track, box jumps, rows, kettlebell presses and more. To top it off, 16 partner over burpees were added as a throwback to the dreaded 16-point hit at EOD School. To pass you must score an 85 percent or higher, and a 16 point-hit is any error that results in an immediate failure. These hits are typically safety violations that would lead to serious real-world injury or death.

Now I will say it’s possible to finish, but it’ not an easy feat. It’ll take a lot of mind over matter and just a little bit of physical capability.

The workout starts out fast and heavy, leaving little time to wonder what you’ve gotten yourself into. Front squats, check. Kettlebell swings, check. Partner over burpees and 400m run that would accompany every couplet of the workout, check. Repeat this three more times with various exercises in place of the squats and swings and you’ve got yourself an EOD approved workout.

After the first couplet, if you’re not exhausted yet you haven’t been giving it your all. While you complete each and every set, every repetition, as you get closer to muscle fatigue, you have to recall why you’re there and who you’re doing the workout for. It’s for all of the EOD servicemen and women who have given the ultimate sacrifice. This is what you must remember as every repetition and set you do gets tougher and slower. Remembering them and listening to the motivation of my teammates is what got me through the workout.

If you’re interested in trying the workout, it’s as listed:

65 front squats @135lbs
65 kettlebell swings @72lbs
16 partner over burpees (POB)
400 meter run
65 hang power cleans @135lbs
65 single arm KB press @54lbs
16 POB
400 meter run
65 chest to bar pull-ups @135lbs
65 box jumps @30”
16 POB
400 meter run
65 push ups chest to ground
65 pendlay rows @135lbs
16 POB