7 Tips for Conquering the Murph WOD

It’s brutal, not forgiving and challenging, and more importantly, doable with only a pull-up bar. The Murph workout consists of a 1-mile run, 100 pull-ups, 200 push-up, and 300 squats, ending with another 1-mile run. This is my go to full body work-out. This Memorial day countless people will perform this workout in memory of U.S. Navy Lt. Michael Murphy who died during combat operations in Afghanistan in June 2005.

Right now is the best time to start preparing for this workout so that you can also perform this workout along with many others on May 29th. This Cross-fit style workout of the day (WOD) can be formatted to your fitness level. Now, to do this WOD, as prescribed, you wear a 20-pound weight vest and you can perform the repetitions in order or they can be spaced out by completing 20 rounds of 5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, and 15 squats. Breaking it up allows for a faster pace which is why I do it that way, though I have done it several ways.

Ways To Perform Murph

  1. Divided into 20 rounds in between your mile runs. (How I perform the workout routinely)
  2. Wear a 20-pound weight vest
  3. Wear a 45-pound weight vest. (How I perform the workout on Memorial Day)
  4. If you can’t do pull ups. Use TRX straps for body weight rows, see (my TRX article)
  5. In order, 100 pull-ups, then 200 push-ups, etc.

How To Attack This WOD

  • Ensure prior hydration and energy levels are up
  • Research Lt. Micheal Murphy and the story of how he was killed in action. Try utilizing that information to remember that you can continue operating even at the most challenging times.
  • Breath, breath, breath!
  • Get a partner to perform it with you
  • Do not exhaust yourself running the fastest mile you can at first
  • Don’t let your ego get in the way. If you shouldn’t do it with the weight vest then don’t.

Still wondering if you are capable of completing this workout? I have put numerous people through this workout at various fitness levels and they have all completed it. Even if you are slower than a turtle, don’t worry about it. The end result is to complete it and not quit. This may seem weird but the workout partners that I have performed this with, in the past several years, can attest to this. Before I start this on Memorial Day, I will listen to the YouTube video of former president George Bush reading the Medal of Honor citation for Lt. Murphy. Now, why would anyone do that, isn’t it depressing? It explains what he did to earn the metal and gives me the motivation to give the workout everything I have, which is what Lt. Murphy did.  As you read previously in the article I perform this on Memorial Day with a 45-pound weight vest which is above the prescribed weight. I do this because it is above my comfort level.

This workout is one of my favorite workouts and it will give you a sense of pride after completing it. It will show you what a little pain feels like. I will be sure to share photos of me completing the workout this Memorial day on my Fitness and Fueling Facebook page. I encourage you if you are healthy enough to perform this workout, to share your experience in the comments. If you have already done it your comments on the experience are also welcome. Remember, it is not the speed in which you complete it; the goal is to complete it.


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