Reviewing our Independence

It is July 4th. And to say that this July 4th is anything close to normal, well that’s just not the case. To keep things weird, I decided to grab the Q and take those who showed up in the gloom (ok, it’ not too gloomy at 7am on a Saturday in the summer here) on a little bit of a history lesson as well as lead a workout.

A quick summary is this:

  • 56 men signed the Declaration of Independence
  • These men were from 13 colonies
  • We “visited” each one of the 13 colonies on our workout tour
  • We discussed the men who signed the Declaration when we visited their colony
  • We also learned an interesting fact surrounding the Declaration at each colony
  • Finally, we found out what the favorite exercise was from each colony


244 years ago, a group of traitorous British subjects gathered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and declared their independence from England. 56 men risked their lives, their livelihoods, and their fortunes as they signed that document. Let’s take a closer look.

  • Weedpickers
  • Little Baby Arm Circles
  • Low tiger back rotations
  • Tempo squats
  • Side Straddle Hop 

Delaware – 1 | 7:10

“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.” – The preamble to the Declaration of Independence

George Read – Attorney – State Senator – Chief Justice Delaware, Signed Declaration and the Constitution

Caesar Rodney – 1728 – 1784 – Militia General, Politician

Thomas McKean – 1734 – 1817 – Lawyer, Politician, Chief Justice Pennsylvania

Signers favorite EXERCISE – Sit-thru Burpee

Pennsylvania – 2 | 7:13

The first public reading of the Declaration of Independence was on July 8, 1776, in Philadelphia’s Independence square.

George Clymer – 1739-1813 – Merchant – signed Declaration and Constitution

Benjamin Franklin – 1706-1790, Signed Deceleration and the Constitution

Robert Morris – 1734-1806, Merchant, financier. Almost singlehandedly found a way to finance the Revolutionary War, Signed Deceleration and the Constitution

John Morton – 1724 – 1777, Judge – first one of the signers of the Declaration to die, as he passed away in April of 1777.

Benjamin Rush – 1746-1813, Physician, Politician, educator. Founded Dickenson College in Carlisle, PA. Strong abolitionist

George Ross – 1730 – 1779, Lawyer, Judge James Smith – 17191806, Lawyer

James Wilson – 1742-1798, Lawyer, Judge, Associate Justice to the US Supreme Court, Signed Deceleration and the Constitution

George Taylor – 1716-1781, Iron-master, born in Northern Ireland

Signers favorite EXERCISE Flight Training: Pickle Pounders, Pickle Pointers, Monkey Humpers

Massachusetts 3 | 7:16

The Continental Congress made 86 changes to the draft. It was not a finished product in the first draft. Remember, writing is rewriting!

John Adams – 1735-1826, Lawyer, 1st VP, 2nd President died on 4th July 1826 50 years after the Declaration)

Samuel Adams – 1722-1803, Politician – Father was a good brewer, he by all accounts, was not

John Hancock – 1737-1793, Merchant, signed large enough that King George would see it without his glasses – 1st to sign the document

Robert Treat Paine – 1731-1814, Lawyer, Judge

Elbridge Gerry – 1744-1814, Merchant, Governor of Mass, VP of US under Madison. Gerrymandering came from him while he was serving as Governor

Signers favorite EXERCISE Bear Crawl Burpee – start in upright position arms raised -Grizzly bear rarwr) drop into a burpee, at the top of the push up start bear crawling. Every time you hear Grizzly, you hop back up, drop back down, push up and crawl again.


New Hampshire 4 | 7:19

The Declaration of Independence is 1,320 words long. 1,337 if you include the Full Title and 1,458 should you wish to count the 56 signatures. – Yes, that is 121 additional words. not 112 (56*2) Some signers went by 3 names.

Josiah Bartlett – 1729-1795, Physician, Governor of NH

William Whipple – 1730-1785, Seaman, Merchant, Soldier, Judge. General of the NH Militia

Matthew Thornton – 1714-1803, Physician, born in Ireland

Signers favorite EXERCISE Alternating Shoulder Taps – IC


Rhode Island 5 | 7:22

Nine of the men who signed the Declaration of Independence died before the American Revolution ended in 1783.

Stephen Hopkins – 1707-1785, Lawyer, Educator

William Ellery – 1727-1820, Lawyer, Judge – strong abolitionist

Signers favorite EXERCISE Rhode Island Red (aka Burp & Merk. Burpees with merkins increasing up to 5 and then from 5 back down to 1


New York 6 | 7:25

None of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were born in the United States – because it didn’t exist until 7/4/1776

Lewis Morris – 1726-1798, Farmer – lost most of his fortune fighting the War. Brother was Gouverneur Morris, penman and signatory to the US Constitution.

Phillip Livingston – 1716-1778, Merchant

Francis Lewis – 1713-1802, Merchant. Born in Whales, taken prisoner in NY and sent to France – returned to NY – made a fortune, got involved in politics, and lost his fortune during the War.

William Floyd – 1734-1821, Farmer, reluctant politician. His property destroyed during the War.

Signers favorite EXERCISE Tempo Squat, 3 down, 1 up


Georgia 7 | 7:28

Independence Day should have been July 2 because that is the date that the Continental Congress actually voted for independence. However, the Document is dated 7/4/1776

Button Gwinnett – 1735-1777, Merchant – Died as a result of wounds from a duel with Lachlan McIntosh. Counties are named for both men.

Lyman Hall – 1724-1790, Physician, Governor of Georgia, Hall county named in his honor

George Walton – 1741-1804, Lawyer, Judge – Governor of Georgia, political ally with Lachlan McIntosh and opponent of Button Gwinnett, indicted for criminal activity (politically motivated) was involved in the duel between Gwinnett and McIntosh, US Senator. Was the founder of Richmond Academy and Franklin College which later became the University of Georgia. Walton County is named for him.

Signers favorite EXERCISE Okefenokee Burpee (aka Plank Jack Burpee – 8 count burpee)


Virginia 8 | 7:31

The vote for independence was not unanimous. Pennsylvania and South Carolina voted NO – Delaware was undecided and New York abstained.

Richard Henry Lee – 1732-1794, Farmer, US Senator

Francis Lightfoot Lee – 1734-1797, Farmer, brother of RH Lee,

Carter Braxton – 1736-1797, Farmer, lost all wealth in the war, forced to leave his home in 1786 due to $$

Benjamin Harrison – Farmer, Politician, – his Son, William Henry Harrison was our 9th President

Thomas Jefferson – 1743-1826 – died July 4, 1826, 50 years after the DofI – hours apart from John Adams. Lawyer, Statesman, write and 3rd President

George Wythe – 1726-1806, Lawyer, Educator – Professor of Law: taught Thomas Jefferson, Henry Clay, James Monroe and John Marshall – abolitionist, set his slaves free

Thomas Nelson Jr – 1738-1789, Farmer, General in the VA Militia – Served at Governor and Commander of Virginia simultaneously

Signers favorite EXERCISE Crunchy Frog – IC


North Carolina 9 | 7:34

Thomas Jefferson didn’t write the Declaration of Independence alone. A committee of five comprised of John Adams, Ben Franklin, Robert Livingston, Roger Sherman, and Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration.

William Hooper – 1742-1790, Lawyer, Politician

John Penn – 1741-1788, Lawyer

Joseph Hewes – 1730-1779, Merchant, Shipping, placed his ships in the service of the Continental Armed forces, Was Secretary of the Navy until his death

Signers favorite EXERCISE Skier Hop Burpee


South Carolina 10 | 7:37

The Declaration of Independence spent WWII in Fort Knox

Edward Rutledge – 1749-1800, Lawyer, Military Service, Governor of SC. Youngest signer of the Declaration – 27 years old at signing

Arthur Middleton – 1742-1787, was a POW for over a year, lost most of his fortune due to War

Thomas Lynch Jr – 1749-1779, Lawyer, died at age 30 due to a shipwreck – the shortest lifespan of any signer of the Declaration

Thomas Heyward Jr – 1746-1809, Lawyer, Judge, POW

Signers favorite EXERCISE Carolina Dry Dock – IC


New Jersey 11 | 7:38

There was a 44 year age difference between the youngest and oldest signers. Benjamin Franklin, 70 and Edward Rutledge – 27

Abraham Clark – 1725-1794, Surveyor, Lawyer, Sheriff

John Hart – 1711-1779, Farmer, lost his wife in 1776 during hostilities and he himself passed during the war shortly after the continental army camped in his fields.

Francis Hopkins – 1737-1791, Lawyer, Judge, Author,

Richard Stockton – 1730-1781, Lawyer, captured and tortured by the British, recanted his signature, was released and pledged an oath to New Jersey

John Witherspoon – 1723-1794, Clergy, Author, Educator – emigrated to the US to become President of Princeton (College of New Jersey) in 1768

Signers favorite EXERCISE Single Leg Burpee – switch the legs after 5


Connecticut 12 | 7:41

Eight of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence were born in the UK  (Button Gwinnett, Robert Morris, Frances Lewis, James Wilson, John Witherspoon, George Taylor, Matthew Thornton, and James Smith.

Samuel Huntington – 1731-1796, Lawyer, Governor of Connecticut

Roger Sherman – 1721-1793, Cobbler, Surveyor, Lawyer – US Senator – also signed the US Constitution

William Williams – 1731-1811, Merchant, Judge

Oliver Wolcott – 1726-1797, Soldier, Sherrif, Judge, Governor of Conn.

Signers favorite EXERCISE Imperial Squat Walker – This 4-count exercise starts with hands clasp on the head. Count 1 = a squat. Count 2 = stand up and bring one knee up to the opposite elbow. Count 3 = a squat. Count 4 = stand up, other knee to other elbows.


Maryland 13 | 7:44

More than one copy of the Declaration exists. There are rare documents known as the Dunlap broadsides predate the engrossed version signed by the delegates. 200 were printed – 26 of these copies exist to this day. These copies, printed at printer John Dunlaps shop, were distributed throughout the 13 colonies.

Charles Carroll – 1737-1832, Educator, Lawyer, US Senator – last surviving member of the signers of the Declaration – died at age 95

Samuel Chase – 1741-1811, Lawyer, Judge, US Supreme Court Justice

Thomas Stone – 1743-1787, Lawyer,

William Paca – 1740-1799, Lawyer, Judge, Governor Maryland

Signers favorite EXERCISE Maryland Crab Cake (aka – Peter Parker Burpee or Spiderman Burpee: MODIFY leg moves up in the down OR up position)



  • Flutter Kicks
  • War Hammer
  • Big Boy Sit Ups

Cool Down

The Declaration of Independence was officially adopted on 7/4/76 but was not signed until August 2 when 51 signees signed the document (other 5 signed later)

  • Huggers
  • Knee to Chest Pull
  • Bend over touch your toes – left leg, right leg
  • Tricep stretch


18 guys got after it today including 8 visitors (Charlotte, Atlanta, Tallahassee, St Augustine & Lake Norman)

Next: Three of my favorite bible verses were read.

Philippians 4:8 – Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Romans 12:2 – Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing, and perfect will.

2 Corinthians 5:17 – Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

We said the Pledge of Allegiance, bowed our heads and prayed for those who were there, those who were not, our country, and for safety for all on Independence Day.


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