BFH Workout #54: George Coleman Poage

BFH Workout #54: George Coleman Poage


George Coleman Poage was an accomplished athlete and the first African American athlete to win a medal in the Olympic Games. Born on November 6, 1880, in Hannibal, Missouri, Poage faced racial discrimination growing up but excelled in athletics. He attended the University of Wisconsin, where he became a star track and field athlete, specializing in hurdles and sprints.

 In 1904, Poage made history by competing in the St. Louis Olympics, becoming the first African American to represent the United States in the Olympics. Despite facing numerous obstacles, including segregated facilities, Poage won bronze medals in both the 200-meter and 400-meter hurdles, making him the first African American athlete to win an Olympic medal.

 After his Olympic success, Poage continued his education, earning a law degree from the University of Wisconsin in 1904. He later pursued a career in law and education, working as a teacher and principal in Chicago. Poage's achievements on the track and his pioneering role in breaking down racial barriers in sports continue to inspire athletes and advocates for equality. He passed away on April 11, 1962, leaving behind a legacy of perseverance and excellence.

The First Olympian Workout

20 Minute AMRAP

20 Box Jumps

20 Flying Step Ups

20 Lateral Flying Step Ups

10 Bounds

50 Jumping Jacks


Exercise List

Box Jumps

Locate a sturdy box or platform of appropriate height. Beginners might start with a lower box, around knee height, while more advanced individuals can use higher boxes. Ensure the box is stable and won't slide or tip over. Stand in front of the box with your feet shoulder-width apart. Keep your arms by your sides or bent at the elbows, ready to generate momentum. Bend your knees and swing your arms back slightly to create momentum. Explosively extend your hips, knees, and ankles as you jump upward. As you reach the peak of your jump, aim to bring your knees up towards your chest to maximize height. Land softly on the box, ensuring your entire foot makes contact and your knees are slightly bent to absorb the impact. Step down from the box one foot at a time, ensuring you maintain control and stability. Avoid simply jumping off the box, as this can increase the risk of injury.


Flying Step Ups

Start with one foot on a bench.

Explode up into air, switch legs and land on the opposite side. Repeat.

Lateral Flying Step Ups

Start with one foot on the a bench with your bodying facing parallel to the bench.

Jump up and over the bench and land on the opposite with the opposite foot on the bench.

Repeat on the opposite side.



Begin by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes pointing forward. Bend your knees slightly, keeping your back straight and your chest up. Swing your arms backward to create momentum. Swing your arms forward forcefully while simultaneously pushing off with your legs, jumping as far forward as possible. In mid-air, keep your legs extended to maximize distance. Try to keep your body parallel to the ground for optimal flight. As you descend, prepare to land softly to absorb the impact. Aim to land on the balls of your feet, rolling onto your heels, and then bending your knees to absorb the force. Once you land, regain your balance and reset for the next jump.

Jumping Jacks

Start by standing with your feet together.

In one motion, jump your feet out to the side and raise your arms above your head.

Immediately reverse the motion by jumping back to the starting position.

Increase speed as you feel comfortable.