Memorial Day is upon us. Every year, thousands of people take on this challenging workout. Typically, my oldest son and I do this at our house; it has became a tradition of doing the Morrissey Memorial Day Murph!
Man I will never forget my first Murph. I couldn't even finish. I had just got into Crossfit and decided to try it. I think I finished like 8 rounds or something. I almost puked. It is just a different workout than I had ever done before.
CrossFit, the high-intensity fitness regimen that has taken the world by storm, is known for its challenging workouts that push participants to their limits. Among the countless grueling routines, one workout stands out for its historic significance and its ability to capture the spirit of determination and heroism—Murph. In this blog post, I delve into the origins of the Murph workout, its significance within the CrossFit community, and the inspiring story behind its namesake.
I have been a member of the Garage Gym Athlete community for many years now (not a sponsor!). They are THE best group of humans that you can find on the interwebs. Check out their website at www.garagegymathlete.com. Jerred Moon is the CEO and one hell of a guy.
This community has probably done the most Murphs than any other group of athletes. A good number of us participated in the Murph 52 Challenge, where you do the workout Murph once a week for an entire year. I was doing really well with it until I went on vacation and got injured, so I had to stop for like 3 months. Now, when people think about this workout, they are envisioning people going out and red lining it each time they do it. For most of us mere mortals, we just go out and do the work; not really caring about the time, mainly focusing on technique and putting the work in.
Origins of the Murph Workout: Murph is a workout named after United States Navy SEAL Lieutenant Michael P. Murphy, who tragically lost his life while serving in Afghanistan on June 28, 2005. This was actually one of his favorite workouts, that he called "Body Armor". The workout was initially popularized by Murphy's fellow SEALs and later adopted by the CrossFit community to honor his sacrifice and pay tribute to all fallen military heroes.
The Workout: The Murph workout is a grueling combination of running, bodyweight exercises, and sheer mental and physical endurance. The workout consists of the following:
One-mile run: The workout begins with a one-mile run, typically performed outdoors, to simulate the endurance required in outdoor military operations.
100 pull-ups: Participants then move on to completing 100 pull-ups, a demanding upper-body exercise that tests grip strength and muscular endurance.
200 push-ups: Following the pull-ups, participants perform 200 push-ups, challenging the chest, shoulders, and triceps while testing the limits of their stamina.
300 air squats: The next segment of the workout involves completing 300 air squats, targeting the lower body muscles and adding an element of endurance.
One-mile run: Finally, the workout concludes with another one-mile run, bringing the total running distance to two miles.
The workout can be performed either with or without a weighted vest, with the vest option adding an additional level of difficulty, simulating the weight carried by soldiers during combat operations. There are many ways to break this work out up. You can perform 20 rounds of 5 pull ups, 10 push ups, and 15 air squats. My favorite way to do it is actually 25 rounds of 4 pull ups, 8 push ups, and 12 air squats. The workout is a tough one, no matter how you slice it.
Significance within the CrossFit Community: Murph has gained immense popularity within the CrossFit community due to its challenging nature and the tribute it pays to fallen heroes. Many CrossFit affiliates worldwide schedule an annual "Murph Day" on Memorial Day, the last Monday in May, to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
The workout serves as a symbol of solidarity, reminding participants of the physical and mental challenges faced by servicemen and women in their line of duty. It allows individuals to push themselves beyond their perceived limits and experience a fraction of the resilience and sacrifice demonstrated by our military personnel.
Inspiring Story of Michael P. Murphy: The Murph workout takes its name from Lieutenant Michael P. Murphy, a man whose bravery and selflessness exemplified the true spirit of a hero. During Operation Red Wings in Afghanistan, Murphy and his team found themselves vastly outnumbered by Taliban fighters. Despite the dire situation, Murphy risked his life to make an open radio call for assistance, knowingly exposing his position to enemy fire.
Tragically, Murphy and two of his teammates were killed in the firefight that ensued, but his actions allowed one of his team members, Marcus Luttrell, to survive and eventually be rescued.
Murphy was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor, the highest military honor in the United States, for his extraordinary valor and selfless leadership.
If I had to pick one workout to do for the rest of my life, I would definitely pick this one. It hits basically everything you need to train: endurance, strength, and most importantly, mental toughness! If you have never done it, go out and give it a try. Just every time you do it, think about what those men endured when they were fighting for our freedom!