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What Is the Murph CrossFit Workout?

The Insanely Challenging CrossFit Workout Boxes Across the Country Do on Memorial Day

This Memorial Day marks an important day in the CrossFit community, where CrossFit boxes across the country do a Hero WOD called Murph, remembering Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy, 29, of Patchogue, NY, who was killed in Afghanistan on June 28, 2005. Leading a team of three fellow Navy SEALS on a mission to find a key Taliban leader, some goat herders discovered their hiding spot, and instead of killing them, Murphy decided to let them go. An hour after the herders were set free, more than 100 Taliban fighters opened fire. To try and save his team, Murphy walked into a clearing to make a satellite call for help and was shot, but not before signing off with, "Thank you."

Lt. Murphy was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor after his death. The below workout was his favorite; originally named Body Armor, it is now referred to as Murph in his honor. If you do this workout on Memorial Day at a CrossFit gym, you may find many of the athletes who serve our country performing this workout in full uniform. It's pretty emotional.

Murph

For time:
Optional: wear a 20-pound vest or body armor

  • 1-mile run
  • 100 pull-ups
  • 200 push-ups
  • 300 squats
  • 1-mile run

We realize that for most people, this workout is incredibly challenging — impossible, even. So here's a different version you can do that breaks up the pull-ups, push-ups, and air squats.

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4 rounds of:

  • 800-meter run (1/4 mile)

5 rounds of:

  • 5 pull-ups (can do banded or do ring rows)
  • 10 push-ups
  • 15 air squats

Or:

1-mile run
20 rounds of:

  • 5 pull-ups
  • 10 push-ups
  • 15 squats

1-mile run

These two Murph variations still involve running two miles and doing a total of 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, and 300 air squats, but it gives your muscles a break, so it may seem easier. The first variation still took me 42 minutes, and after three days, my arms and legs were still sore. I'm looking forward to performing it the way Lt. Murphy preferred it, in his honor, and to honor all the men and women who have served our country.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Kathryna Hancock
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