This blog is the second in our 2-part series covering the workout, “Murph.” Murph is performed on Memorial Day in memory of Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy, the man who created the workout but lost his life while serving in Afghanistan in 2005. It consists of a 1-mile run, 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 air squats, and another 1-mile run. It is completed for time and while wearing body armor or a weighted vest if able. In Part 1, we dive into the details of this workout and how it can be modified so individuals of every skill level can honor Murphy’s legacy. For Part 2, we’re focusing on how to prepare both your body and mind to tackle this iconic workout.
Training for Murph
Although Murph won’t be done at LPF until Memorial Day, it’s a great idea to start training for it now! If running a mile sounds daunting, start small and build up over the next several months. Do 3-4 sets of smaller intervals, such as 200-400 meters, at a moderate pace after class. Rest 1-3 minutes between sets. As this gets easier, increase the distance and reduce the sets. If push-ups, pull-ups, or air squats are not your strong suit, try doing the movement for 30 seconds followed by 30 seconds of rest for 4-5 rounds. Alternatively, do 5-10 minute EMOMs. Aim to complete a challenging but repeatable number of reps of the movement at the start of each minute. Lastly, program occasional “Mini-Murphs” for yourself. For example, do a 400-meter run followed by 5 rounds of 5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, and 15 air squats. Then, finish with another 400-meter run. Add reps, rounds, and/or meters as needed.
Fueling for Murph
It is incredibly important to eat and hydrate appropriately prior to doing a workout of this length and intensity. Be sure to fuel your body especially well in the days leading up to Murph. Eat lots of complex carbohydrates, vegetables, and lean proteins. The day of Murph, time your food so that you’re consuming meals at least 3-4 hours before the workout and snacks within 1-2 hours. Fruit, oatmeal, and toast are easily digestible and therefore great pre-WOD choices. Drink 20 ounces of water 2-3 hours before your workout and an additional 8 ounces 20-30 minutes before starting. For further guidance on how to eat to help achieve your health and fitness goals, check out our Nutrition Program!
Be sure to take care of your hands as you prepare for Murph, as well. High volume pull-ups are a very common cause of ripping, which can be a major setback both mid and post-workout. Check out our blog on Callus and Rip Management to learn how to prevent and manage injuries like these.
Watch or Read “Lone Survivor”
Aside from physically training for this workout, you can also mentally prepare by watching the movie “Lone Survivor.” It tells the story of Lieutenant Murphy and his team and is based off a book of the same name that was written by Petty Officer Marcus Luttrell. He was the only member of Murphy’s team to survive their mission. Learning more about these heroes might help you keep pushing as you work through the toughest moments of this WOD.
Final Thoughts About Murph
Murph is meant to push you harder than your typical WOD. This means you need to be even more intentional with your preparation to ensure you approach it smartly and safely. Start preparing now to set yourself up for success. Review the variations and scaling options discussed in Part 1 to establish a plan that’s appropriate for you. In the moments where you feel like giving up, during both your training and the actual workout, remember why you are doing this and who you are honoring. You will get through it, one rep at a time. See you on the other side!