The Ultimate Guide to Tackling the Murph Workout like a Pro.

In the world of fitness, there are countless workouts designed to push our limits and challenge our bodies. But few workouts carry the profound significance and patriotic spirit as Murph. This grueling workout has become a symbol of honor, sacrifice, and remembrance. In this blog post, we'll dive into the origins of Murph, understand why it's performed on Memorial Day, and provide you with essential strategies to conquer this ultimate test of physical and mental fortitude.

The Story Behind Murph:

Murph is named after Navy Lieutenant Michael P. Murphy, a courageous American hero who paid the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty. Lt. Murphy, also known as "Murph," was a Navy SEAL officer and posthumously received the Medal of Honor for his actions during Operation Red Wings in Afghanistan in 2005. This workout was created to honor his memory and the sacrifices of all fallen soldiers.

The Workout:

Murph is a CrossFit workout that consists of the following:

  1. One-mile Run: Start the workout with a one-mile run, symbolizing the grueling missions that Lt. Murphy and his comrades embarked upon.
  2. 100 Pull-ups: Following the run, move on to 100 pull-ups. These can be done using a variety of grips, such as kipping or strict pull-ups, or with the assistance of bands if needed.
  3. 200 Push-ups: After the pull-ups, complete 200 push-ups. Maintain a steady pace and consider breaking them into manageable sets to conserve energy.
  4. 300 Air Squats: Next up, perform 300 air squats. Focus on proper form and engage your core and leg muscles throughout the movement.
  5. One-mile Run: Finish the workout with another one-mile run, representing the journey home for our brave soldiers who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

Tips to Tackle Murph:

  1. Train for Endurance: Murph demands both physical and mental endurance. Prioritize endurance training with long-distance running, swimming, or cycling sessions. Incorporate high-intensity interval training (HIIT) to simulate the intensity of the workout.
  2. Build Upper Body and Core Strength: Pull-ups and push-ups form a significant portion of Murph. Incorporate these exercises into your training routine, gradually increasing your reps and building strength in your upper body and core.
  3. Pace Yourself: Murph is a marathon, not a sprint. Start with a conservative pace to avoid burning out early. Break down the exercises into manageable sets, taking short rests between them.
  4. Hydration and Nutrition: Proper hydration and nutrition are crucial to sustain your energy levels throughout the workout. Stay well-hydrated in the days leading up to Murph, and consume a balanced meal with complex carbohydrates, lean protein, and healthy fats before tackling the workout.
  5. Embrace the Spirit: Remember the purpose of Murph as you push through the physical challenges. Focus on the resilience and bravery displayed by Lt. Murphy and the countless soldiers who have made the ultimate sacrifice. Allow their spirit to guide you and push you beyond your limits.


While Murph is an intense and challenging workout, it can be scaled and partitioned to accommodate different fitness levels and abilities. Scaling allows individuals to tailor the workout to their current capabilities, ensuring a challenging yet manageable experience. In this section, we'll explore various scaling and partitioning options for Murph, so you can participate regardless of your fitness level.

  1. Half Murph:
  2. If you're new to Murph or are still building your fitness foundation, consider starting with a half Murph. This involves completing half the repetitions of each exercise, making it a 0.5-mile run, 50 pull-ups, 100 push-ups, and 150 air squats, followed by another 0.5-mile run. Half Murph provides a great entry point for beginners to test their limits while gradually building up their strength and endurance.
  3. Assisted Movements:
  4. If you're not yet able to perform strict pull-ups or push-ups, you can modify these movements to suit your current abilities. Use resistance bands for assistance with pull-ups or perform jumping pull-ups instead. For push-ups, perform them on an elevated surface, such as a box or bench, to reduce the load on your upper body. As you progress, gradually decrease the assistance or increase the difficulty of these movements.
  5. Partition the Repetitions:
  6. Partitioning the repetitions is an effective strategy to break up the workload and manage fatigue. Instead of completing all the pull-ups, push-ups, and squats consecutively, divide them into smaller sets. For example, break it down into 20 rounds of 5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, and 15 air squats. Take short breaks between sets to recover and maintain a steady pace throughout the workout.
  7. Time Cap:
  8. Setting a time cap can be helpful if you want to challenge yourself but need to prioritize efficiency. Determine the maximum time you want to spend on the workout and adjust the intensity and repetitions accordingly. For instance, if you choose a 30-minute time cap, perform as many rounds as possible within that timeframe. Remember, the goal is to push yourself while maintaining good form and avoiding burnout.
  9. Team Murph:
  10. Murph can also be done as a team workout, fostering a sense of camaraderie and support. Divide the repetitions among team members, allowing each person to contribute to the overall completion of Murph. This approach is particularly beneficial for beginners or those recovering from injuries, as it distributes the workload and provides an opportunity for shared motivation.

Remember, scaling and partitioning Murph doesn't diminish its significance, or the effort required. The most important thing is to challenge yourself within your capabilities while maintaining proper form and technique. As you progress and build your strength and endurance, gradually increase the difficulty until you can complete the full Murph workout.

Murph is more than just a workout; it's a tribute to the courage, selflessness, and sacrifice of our fallen soldiers. By participating in Murph on Memorial Day, we honor their memory and recommit ourselves to the values they fought for. When you take on Murph, embrace the challenge, but also remember the deeper meaning behind it. Train hard, attack the workout with determination, and carry the memory of those who gave their all as you strive for victory in every aspect of your life.