Memorial Day Murph

Many CrossFitters will be taking on the infamous "Murph" workout on Memorial Day- just around the corner. The workout was one of Navy Seal Michael Murphy's favorite workouts, which he called "Body Armor". Michael Murphy was killed in action in 2005 in Afghanistan, the workout was renamed by CrossFit as "Murph", in honor of Michael Murphy's ultimate sacrifice for his country.


1 mile run

100 pull ups

200 push ups

300 squats

1 mile run

for time

In Murph's most strict form, it is performed while wearing a 20# vest, with all of the movements performed exactly as written- 100 pull ups, then 200 push ups, then 300 squats. For many people, that would be way to much volume, and take way longer than the intended stimulus.

Tips for day before Murph:

  • Hydrate yourself properly! Aim to get your bodyweight divided by 2 in ounces.

  • Fuel yourself properly! Make sure you eat properly the day before & eat in the morning before Murph! This is NOT a workout to do on an empty stomach.

Tips during Murph:

  • Don't sprint the first mile. That's like sprinting the first mile of a 5 or 6 mile race!

  • Don't sprint the first few rounds of pull ups, push ups & squats. Instead, aim to keep a nice steady pace and maintain it for the entire workout.

  • Break up the pull ups, push ups & squats. Doing 20 rounds of "Cindy" is an easy way for some people to remember it. If push ups are going to get you (which will likely be most people), consider the following rep scheme: 5 pull ups, 5 push ups, 15 squats, 5 push ups.

  • Stay hydrated! Keep a water bottle near by and drink as needed during the middle portion.

Ask your coach for scaling recommendations for Murph. At Light the Fire CrossFit, we commonly scale many people to a half Murph or some other variation. Ideally you should be completing Murph in under an hour, somewhere around the 45 minute mark. I scaled Murph last year due to injury and will again this year due to my pregnancy.

Murph is a great opportunity to remember the sacrifice our country's soldiers make and the ultimate sacrifice that some have paid. However, it doesn't mean that you need to hurt yourself. Be smart with what you do and how you attack Murph. You should get in a good workout, but be able to move the next day.

Tips for the rest of Memorial Day:

  • Enjoy time with friends & family, and eat good food!

  • Make sure you continue to hydrate yourself.

  • Stretch and foam roll later in the day to help with DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness).

Alternatives for injuries:

  • Running- Bike or row instead.

  • Pull ups- Ring rows, jumping pull ups

  • Push ups- Push ups on knees, incline push ups, wall push ups, dumbbell bench press

  • Squats- Squats to box, sit to stand

Happy Memorial Day & Happy Murph Day!