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.

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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.

Question: Is one hour a good time for the murph workout? Yes; that is a good time. Shoot for less than one hour on the next one.

Question: Coach, what is a hard 50 min crossfit workout? I would shoot for Murph in 50 minutes as a hard crossfit workout.

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

Comments

  1. Jody Ingham says

    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.

  2. John says

    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

    • says

      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.

  3. John says

    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

  4. Heather says

    What do you do if you don’t have a pull-up bar? Great question as I have an answer from Coach Brad:

    Find a picnic table and do Australia pull-ups

  5. kellie anne says

    40.33 with 20lb vest.. ( 33 y.o) female its a pr with the vest first time . Last year I did no vest in 32 min ..

  6. Bryar says

    18 years old
    39:54
    Not partitioned
    No weight vest
    Started with strict pull-ups until 50 reps was hit, then switched to kipping for the 2nd 50

  7. says

    Wore a 25 pound ruck for the first Murph and did 10 rounds. Took me 1:04:28. I then did it slick with a partner and we finished in 29:28. It had been a while. Not my fastest time but a great day!

  8. says

    55:19 with 20lb weight vest. Not bad for a 53-yr old!

    Thought about Murph and his sacrifice as well as Dietz, Axe and all the 16 other SEALs and 160th SOAR personnel that perished in the helo crash, when the going got tough.

    With respect,

    Peter

  9. Mark McDonald says

    First time for me. Did the workout slick and did 20 rounds of 5/10/15 with an overall time of 49:39. May have to try this once a month or quarter.

  10. Dale Mason says

    47 years old
    25 lb vest
    Boots and pants
    Partitioned 30, 20, 10 (normally I do 75, 50, 25)
    Time was 60 minutes, but I did stop briefly on 2nd mile to hit on beautiful blonde.
    After Murph, did 1 mile swim w/ fins.

  11. mark says

    Today at 2:34 PM

    Hey coach, got another question for ya. So I attempted my first MURPH on Sunday, I had to modify it, but I set a goal for what I wanted to do and I wasn’t going to quit until I reached that goal. I succeeded and feel great because I didn’t quit when I started to really struggle……however…..I may have been a bit too stubborn because I can barely walk today, I mean I look like 90 year old man and if I were to race a turtle right now, I would lose. My question is if you have any advice for when people maybe push themselves a bit to hard and how to recover properly. I anticipate Im going to be pretty sore for the next few days, but I don’t want to just sit around during that time (unless Im supposed to). Are there any low impact routines you recommend to stay active while recovering from a brutal workout. Second question, do you have any advice on knowing when to ease up and not push to hard. The last 5 rounds of my MURPH were brutal, I could only muster one squat at a time by that point, but I still kept going even though it took forever to finish. There was definitely a voice in my head telling me I am going to pay for this and not be able to walk, and it was right. When do you listen to your voice to avoid injury and when do you ignore it and keep pushing? The last thing I want to do is injure myself and not be able to do anything, but at the same time I know a big problem of mine personally is quitting early or not giving 100% when I work out. Like I said, Im stoked I met my goal, but Im also feeling a bit silly because I knew I was pushing very hard and risking injury. Obviously Im not bed ridden, but I don’t think the body is supposed to be this sore. Just wondering if you had any thoughts on these matters.

  12. Jack krall says

    Decided to do the Murph workout before our memorial day 20 mi ruck march with a 50 lb ruck to prep for the Goruck heavy. Personally I completed the workout with our 50 lb ruck in 53 min my buddy 56 min. We are both 19 .

  13. Jack krall says

    Brad what times would you like to see a buds trainee put up for a slick murph? Also with a vest

  14. garrett says

    29:25. No weight added, dead hang pull ups all the way. 16 y/o guy. First mile was 6:15, second mile was 6:50.

  15. Erik says

    43:43. Age 29. #25 body armor, boots, ut’s. 50/50 deadhang and kip pull ups.
    Going for a triple murph on Friday for my 30th bday!

    • kellie anne says

      That’s. Awesome.I do murph. Every week for work and it still is rough the next day. Good luck on triple happy 30th what. A good way to celebrate it ! I did a 50k rucktrail for mine maybe next year ill attempt. Murph x3. Since I thought oh man I. Would do that !

  16. says

    Just did this today at SEALFIT HQ – 1:11:07 RX. Partitioned 20 x 5, 10, 15.

    This is my favorite WOD and this was my worst performance ever. But I’m two weeks in after a 6+ month absence due to shoulder injury so I’m not bitchin. Gotta love a good suckfest.

  17. Joshua says

    Age, 25
    Modified the pull ups after 17,
    Murph time on 6/24, 47: 18
    Murph time on 6/25, 44:07 (same as above for pull ups)

  18. Walker says

    did the Murph in 38:22. I used no weight vest. Both my miles were slightly sub 8 min. Did 5, 10 ,15 for reps. Had someone pushing me the whole time and never looked at the time. Never done a workout as hard as the Murph.

  19. Ethan says

    Hello Coach Brad, my name is Ethan. Thank you in advance for answering my question.

    I want to attend the sealfit immersion academy over the summer but I struggle with the basic requirement of completing the “Murph” in 65 minutes. What would recommend is the best way to train to improve my times so I can complete it in the time restraint and attend the course? 

  20. Drifter says

    Couldn’t even do the Murphy the first time I attempted it in Afghanistan in 2011. By the end of the deployment I could do it all body weight in under 55 min. Just did it today in 44:40 with a 20 lb weight vest (partitioned 5/10/15) and short rests between double sets just to catch my breath and record my sets. I have to or I mentally lose track…lmao. No vest for the runs…mine is too lose. My best slick time is 36:40 and I’m 47 years old….

  21. John S says

    John S. In Stuttgart,

    Celebrated turning 57 with 41:57 Murph (no vest) With gratitude for Seals and all who serve with them.

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