Memorial day is early this year. With everything going on in the country it had almost slipped my mind. We have just 27 days before the annual Murph workout and challenge. If you don’t know what Murph is, it’s a CrossFit Hero workout named after Lt. Mike Murphy a Navy Seal who lost his life in Afghanistan on June 28th, 2005 during operation Red Wings. You may have seen the movie Lone Survivor, detailing the events of that day. Every year CrossFit affiliates across the United States host a workout in his honor simply titled: Murph.
Murph is simply put one of the most grueling workouts known to man. It consists of the following movements and exercises. In this order.
- 1-mile Run
- 100 Pullups
- 200 Pushups
- 300 Air Squats
- 1-mile Run
Traditionally this workout is done while also wearing a 20 pound weight vest or tactical plate carrier. Novices or beginners are encouraged to do the workout without additional weight though. It’s also traditional to do the movements as listed above but CrossFit has done the event twice at the Games now and the second time the Pullups, Pushups, and Squats were broken up into 20 rounds of 5 pullups, 10 pushups, and 15 Air Squats respectively. Either way is now acceptable and both hurt there’s just no sugar coating it.
If you’re planning on participating this year the time to start preparing for this beatdown of a WOD was a long time ago, but if you’re just starting today there’s plenty of time to build up to the workout by Memorial Day.
I would approach this training cycle as a 3 week buildup with the last week culminating with the actual WOD itself. Each week, increase the running distance and reps for the other body-weight movements up to but not exceeding 85% of the actual rep count. This is just a rough estimate but for example on the week of May 17th to 23rd, you want your last workout before the event to look something like this
- 3/4 to 7/8 mile run
- 75-85 Pullups
- 175-185 Pushups
- 275-285 Air squats
- 3/4 to 7/8 mile run
I would also try to make my last workout before Memorial Day no later than Thursday the 21st. That will give you a few days to rest and recover and be ready for an all out effort for Murph on Monday. Murph itself should be your peak for this training cycle. The other thing to consider is taking care of your hands in the weeks ahead of Murph. Don’t do a mini-Murph everyday. You’re going to destroy your palms with that volume of pullups. Go strict form if you can, kipping will almost definitely rip some calluses off.
Most people will struggle on one of two sections, the runs or the pullups. You need to get running now and just put some miles in. 3 times a week should be plenty, but more if your feet and legs can take the abuse. When it comes to pullups there is no easy fix, you either have the strength and form or you don’t. If you need to scale down to keep it challenging but approachable do it. Also many of us won’t have access to a pullup bar for this workout so do the best you can with what you have. I will probably be doing cable pull-downs myself and try to add extra weight. The point is not to do the workout RX or but to do it in a challenging level that will still test you and your endurance. Some people will have to do a 3/4 scale version or even 1/2 scale and that’s okay. The point is to do something tough this Memorial Day and test yourself. Many have died protecting your freedoms in this nation. We remember and acknowledge their sacrifice on Memorial Day.
Good luck hard chargers and GET SOME!