Blog Post

Who is Murph? What is Murph? Why do we Murph?

Many of us have probably heard the name Murph or Murphy at some point if you’ve been doing CrossFit for a while (or maybe even only a few months). This post is going to give you everything you’ve ever wanted to know about the word Murph and all the who, what, and why about it. Hooyah!

The Who:

Lieutenant Michael P. Murphy, United States Navy SEAL, awarded the Medal of Honor after being killed in action during his efforts overseas in Afghanistan. You might know him from the N.Y Times Best selling novel, Lone Survivor written by Marcus Luttrell, which was later made into a movie. Before you continue reading this blog, I beg you to please take a few minutes, click this link and read about Michael Murphy and his team of SEAL’s that were ambushed in Afghanistan during operation red wing. This will help you understand who Michael Murphy is and how he truly is a hero.

Tell me that doesn’t give you the chills.

(Slideshow: Images of Lt. Michael P. Murphy)

The What:


For time:

1 mile run

100 pull-ups

200 push-ups

300 air squats

1 mile run

*While wearing a 20# vest*

Now, this looks intimidating, yes. However, everyone is very capable of completing this WOD without ending up in a bodybag. But we’ll get into that in just a minute.

The Why:

Similar to the benchmark “Girls” we use to track our progress over time, like “Cindy or “Grace”, hero workouts can do the same. But there is a much deeper meaning behind these hero workouts. We honor fallen military men and women who have given the ultimate sacrifice, life, from selflessly serving their country. There are hundreds of hero workouts dedicated to fallen heroes. There are also hero workouts named after fallen police officers and firefighters. Hero workouts are dedicated and named after those who lost their lives helping others. Murph just happens to be a popular one among CrossFitters due to the story behind what happened in Afghanistan.

The Workout:

Let’s talk about the workout. This workout was one of Murphy’s favorite; he referred to it as body armor. This WOD is no joke. In 2015, “Murph” made its CrossFit games debut in Carson, California. The athletes took on Murph unpartitioned. Meaning they performed 100 pull-ups before moving on to 200 push-ups, followed by 300 air squats. CrossFit athletes like Sam Briggs and Kara (Webb) Saunders suffered heat stress injuries from the intensity of doing this workout in the Cali sun. Let’s make sure this doesn’t happen to any of us here in SC, where, let’s be honest, it can be much hotter and more humid than California. Games veteran and former Navy Seal, Josh Bridges, is a notable athlete who dominates Murph.

There are many ways to perform Murph. The “real” way and also the most difficult is to perform unpartitioned. For most of us, doing the workout this way will have a massive impact on our bodies for the next three days or more. We will all be walking like new-born baby giraffes and will not be able to touch our own faces from the chest and bicep pump.

Coach Matt Irwin participating in Murph

Image: Coach Matt Irwin participating in Murph

A more common way is to break up the workout into 20 rounds of “Cindy” - 5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, 15 air squats. This is a much more manageable rep scheme and will not have as big of an impact on your body in the following days. My favorite way to perform this workout is 20 rounds: 5 pull-ups, 5 push-ups, 15 air squats, 5 push-ups. Since most of us will struggle with pull-ups portion the most, this method gives you a nice break instead of doing 10 push-ups in a row each round. This will allow you to keep moving the entire time and also allow you to finish the workout much faster. So...pick your poison, choose wisely, BUT be smart about it!

Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate. Not just the morning of Murph (every Memorial Day). More importantly, the day before. Drink plenty of fluids all day Sunday, eat healthy meals throughout the day, and eat a decent carb-loaded meal Sunday night. Again. Hydrate yourself!

With all that being said, if you can’t find time to squeeze in a workout to honor our fallen military and servicemen and women this Memorial Day, at the very least, take some time to be thankful for all the heroes who are no longer with us today. After all, Memorial Day isn’t just about BBQing and drinking with friends. It is so much more than that. #’mericaAF

Editors Note:

This Memorial Day (Monday, May 28th), Iron Bridge will be hosting Murph at 7:00 and 9:30 a.m. We invite ALL veterans, active duty military, and first responders to join us for free. Thank you for your service day in and day out for our community! Spread the word and we will see you Memorial Day!

#Murph #MichaelMurphy #NavySEAL #MemorialDay #Charleston #CrossFit

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