Murph Workout Tips

by Brad McLeod on May 26, 2013

Murph Workout Tips

What is the Murph workout you ask? Check out the tips and strategy to help you excel at this CrossFit hero workout called Murph.

CrossFit workout “Murph”
For time:
1 mile Run
100 Pull-ups
200 Push-ups
300 Squats
1 mile Run

In memory of Navy Lieutenant Michael P. Murphy, age 29, of Patchogue, N.Y., who was killed in Afghanistan June 28th, 2005.

This workout was one of Mike’s favorites and he’d named it “Body Armor”. From here on it will be referred to as “Murph” in honor of the focused warrior and great American who wanted nothing more in life than to serve this great country and the beautiful people who make it what it is.

Partition the pull-ups, push-ups, and squats as needed. Start and finish with a mile run. If you’ve got a twenty pound vest or body armor, wear it.

Post time to comments.

Video – Murph Workout tips

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Do you have to wear a vest for the pull-ups in the Murph workout? You don’t have to do anything.. but that is the way the workout is designed to be done if you go RX (prescribed).

How to better your Murph workout time

Murph Workout Tips #1
start out with no vest and do all reps as partioned (5 pull ups, 10 Pushups, 15 at squats). If you can’t do pull ups do Australian pull ups.

Video – Murph Workout

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Murph Workout Tips #2
Stretch (mobility workout) really well before event especially your wrist, chest muscles, shoulders and hip/legs.Check out this article on Stretching for CrossFit and Special Forces Athletes

Video – Murph Workout

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Murph Workout Tips #3
Pull ups give most athletes a problem in Murph.
A good tip is to try 25 pull ups for time, then 50 pull ups, then 100. If you can’t do regular pull ups do Australian pull ups.

Video – Murph Workout tips

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Murph Workout Tips #4
Fully hydrate before, during and after workout. Due to the eccentric motions in pull ups with weights and high rep count – this workout can cause rhabdo which can be very painful. Be physically conditioned before you try this workout and drink lots of water.

Video – Murph Workout tips

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Murph Workout Tips #5
Work your way up from partioned sets with no weight vest to doing Murph with no partition with a 20 # weight vest for time under an hour. Your eventual goal is to do Murph with a 20 lb ruck (backpack).

Video – Murph Workout tips

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Murph Workout tips #6
Try Tabata drills for pull ups, Pushups and air squats to shock the body and improve muscle recruitment. Tabata drills consist of 20 sends of exercise and 10 seconds of work for 8 rounds. Conversely, do big sets of these exercises to build muscle endurance and to condition yourself for the long haul.

Murph Workout Tips #7
Since this workout is long and hard it can be a real mental challenge. Run this workout with a buddy and try to focus to stay in the game. Check out this mental edge article:Mental Conditioning in CrossFit

Murph Workout Tips #8
Take Care of your body after the workout. This workout can be very hard on your body so maintain your body. Hydrate, stretch and use a foam roller. If you have time get in a session of yoga. Try a recovery protein drink and use fish oil.

High Altitude Murph workout

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Murph Workout Tips #9
Extend your arms all the way at the bottom of the pull up. If you don’t you are holding your muscles under tension which can increase muscle tear and with potential dehydration (you will be sweating like crazy in this workout) you could develop Rhadbo (excessive muscle tearing) which can debilitate you.

Murph Workout Tip #10
Work on your mile run. Check out these tips to decrease your mile run time here:
Tips to improve your mile run time

Murph Workout Times for athletes:
Strive to get under 1 hour with partioned sets and weight vest.
Athlete Times
Lauri Lovvorn 52:51 with 5 lb vest
J. Cirralla – 44:01 min no partition and 50/50 deadhang/kipping pull up
Brad McLeod – 48:30 min (slick with no partition)
1:10 min with vest no partition
Gianni finished in 36:23 no vest
Luke finished 36:57 no vest
Macauley finished in 37:00 no vest
I finished in 47:27 w/ a 20# vest a PR by almost 4:00
New goal: 45:00

Lt. Michael P. Murphy Citation
FOR SERVICE AS SET FORTH IN THE FOLLOWING
CITATION: FOR CONSPICUOUS GALLANTRY AND INTREPIDITY AT THE RISK OF HIS LIFE ABOVE AND BEYOND THE CALL OF DUTY AS THE LEADER OF A SPECIAL RECONNAISSANCE ELEMENT WITH NAVAL SPECIAL WARFARE TASK UNIT AFGHANISTAN ON 27 AND 28 JUNE 2005. WHILE LEADING A MISSION TO LOCATE A HIGH-LEVEL ANTI-COALITION MILITIA LEADER, LIEUTENANT MURPHY DEMONSTRATED EXTRAORDINARY HEROISM IN THE FACE OF GRAVE DANGER IN THE VICINITY OF ASADABAD, KONAR PROVINCE, AFGHANISTAN. ON 28 JUNE 2005, OPERATING IN AN EXTREMELY RUGGED ENEMY-CONTROLLED AREA, LIEUTENANT MURPHY’S TEAM WAS DISCOVERED BY ANTI-COALITION MILITIA SYMPATHIZERS, WHO REVEALED THEIR POSITION TO TALIBAN FIGHTERS. AS A RESULT, BETWEEN 30 AND 40 ENEMY FIGHTERS BESIEGED HIS FOUR-MEMBER TEAM. DEMONSTRATING EXCEPTIONAL RESOLVE, LIEUTENANT MURPHY VALIANTLY LED HIS MEN IN ENGAGING THE LARGE ENEMY FORCE. THE ENSUING FIERCE FIREFIGHT RESULTED IN NUMEROUS ENEMY CASUALTIES, AS WELL AS THE WOUNDING OF ALL FOUR MEMBERS OF THE TEAM. IGNORING HIS OWN WOUNDS AND DEMONSTRATING EXCEPTIONAL COMPOSURE, LIEUTENANT MURPHY CONTINUED TO LEAD AND ENCOURAGE HIS MEN. WHEN THE PRIMARY COMMUNICATOR FELL MORTALLY WOUNDED, LIEUTENANT MURPHY REPEATEDLY ATTEMPTED TO CALL FOR ASSISTANCE FOR HIS BELEAGUERED TEAMMATES. REALIZING THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF COMMUNICATING IN THE EXTREME TERRAIN, AND IN THE FACE OF ALMOST CERTAIN DEATH, HE FOUGHT HIS WAY INTO OPEN TERRAIN TO GAIN A BETTER POSITION TO TRANSMIT A CALL. THIS DELIBERATE, HEROIC ACT DEPRIVED HIM OF COVER, EXPOSING HIM TO DIRECT ENEMY FIRE. FINALLY ACHIEVING CONTACT WITH HIS HEADQUARTERS, LIEUTENANT MURPHY MAINTAINED HIS EXPOSED POSITION WHILE HE PROVIDED HIS LOCATION AND REQUESTED IMMEDIATE SUPPORT FOR HIS TEAM. IN HIS FINAL ACT OF BRAVERY, HE CONTINUED TO ENGAGE THE ENEMY UNTIL HE WAS MORTALLY WOUNDED, GALLANTLY GIVING HIS LIFE FOR HIS COUNTRY AND FOR THE CAUSE OF FREEDOM. BY HIS SELFLESS LEADERSHIP, COURAGEOUS ACTIONS, AND EXTRAORDINARY DEVOTION TO DUTY, LIEUTENANT MURPHY REFLECTED GREAT CREDIT UPON HIMSELF AND UPHELD THE HIGHEST TRADITIONS OF THE UNITED STATES NAVAL SERVICE.

SIGNED GEORGE W. BUSH

More Murph Workout Tips

Average times for Murph can range from 47 minutes to 57 minutes.
Overall you should try to break 1 hour if you can. This can depend on if your run has a hill or two.
The fastest Murph times are from 45 minutes to 40 minutes.

Questions from athletes in our local CrossFit gym:

Question: What is the benefit of the Murph wod? It is a whole body long endurance workout.

Question: How long does it take athletes to do Murph in CrossFit? Typically an hour on average depending on how they do it.

Question: “What if I can’t do pull ups for Murph?”. Do Australian pull ups or ring rows.

Related Articles:
Check out this article on Helen workout tips
Check out this article on Fran workout tips
Angie CrossFit Workout Tips
Top 10 tips to help improve your Pull Ups
Top 10 CrossFit Bodyweight workouts
Rogue Warrior CrossFit Package Review

Murph Workout Tips

{ 63 comments… read them below or add one }

Dan McInerney January 13, 2014 at 10:42 am

54:56 Slick and partitioned (20 rounds- 5,10,15) Age 47

Reply

Jody Ingham January 13, 2014 at 2:43 pm

Male, age 42. Muprh with 20# vest, 33:57. Broken up in 10.20.30 x10. Going back at 4:00 to see how my time improves w/o the vest.

Reply

Jack Krall January 13, 2014 at 5:01 pm

Murph 40min and some change. The run definitely is a killer. Planning to get a new PR with your new tips!

Reply

JJ Wellemeyer January 13, 2014 at 6:26 pm

29 y/o
61:30 Murph with 20lb ruck sack

Reply

Brian January 15, 2014 at 11:14 pm

2009/35yrs old 1st Time doing “Murph”=58:45
2013/40yrs old Partitioned and Slick 36:30

In health, Brian

Reply

Danny January 16, 2014 at 8:06 pm

49:40 with 20lb body armor
41 years old

Reply

Judy January 18, 2014 at 12:40 pm

Half Murph
Partitioned 5 10 15
TRX Ring Rows instead of pull-ups
No vest
37:22

Reply

Molly January 25, 2014 at 5:00 pm

1st time, female 30y/o, no weight added, 48:22.

Reply

John March 23, 2014 at 2:44 pm

Coach,
When training for The Murph, how many times per week should I complete the workout ? Thanks for your help and all the great training info.
John

Reply

Brad McLeod March 23, 2014 at 7:03 pm

I would recommend once a month to every 3 weeks if training for Special Forces.

You can do variations on this without a vest or making the run longer.

I know if one athlete who did Murph every week to get ready for Kokoro.

Always hydrate and foam roll afterwards.

Reply

John March 23, 2014 at 7:40 pm

Awesome. Thanks.

Reply

John April 11, 2014 at 8:26 pm

Hey Coach,
Due to travel I don’t always have a way to run. Has anyone ever determined how many air squats are the equivalent to running 1 mile? Thanks.
John

Reply

Brad McLeod April 11, 2014 at 9:50 pm

200 air squats equals approximately 1 mile run.
100 lunges equals approximately 1 mile run.

Reply

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