Wow, three weeks in a row of talking about some inspirational people on here. I’m getting it done. Today I want to talk about why we get to do the hero workout “MURPH” every Memorial Day weekend. People all over do it, and that’s pretty awesome.
“MURPH.” You’ve probably heard of it. Every Memorial Day weekend, CrossFitters from all over – literally everywhere – perform the hero workout “Murph.”
“Murph” is for time:
Run 1 mile.
300 air squats
Run 1 mile.
Wear a 20 lb vest or body armor if you have it.
Both miles are usually completed unpartitioned, however, the pullups, pushups, and squats can be split up any way you want.
It’s definitely not for the faint of heart. However there is something for all fitness levels. All of these movements (including the run) can be scaled to wherever you’re currently at in your fitness. You can even do ring rows or jumping pullups for your pullups, hand release pushups, or pushups on your knees, Whether you do CrossFit or not, MURPH is a lot of fun, and you should totally do it. There’s something for everyone. It can be modified for any fitness level, but it’s not easy – for anyone. That would defeat the purpose. Anyone see them do it at the CrossFit Games the past two years???? Definitely not easy. But doable.
“MURPH” is named after Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy, who was killed in combat back in 2005 at the age of 29, in Afghanistan fighting for freedom for you and me. They made a movie about it, called “Lone Survivor” where the story and actions of Murphy and his fellow SEALS is portrayed. Just google it, or watch the movie and you can learn more.
Performing the workout MURPH on Memorial Day weekend is not only about honoring Murphy. It’s done to bring honor and recognition to all of the men and women who have lost their lives in order to defend our freedom that we can easily take for granted – which is why we celebrate Memorial Day in the first place.
In CrossFit, there are probably close to one hundred hero WODS out there somewhere – named in honor of someone who gave their life in the line of duty. There’s a story behind each one – of sacrifice, courage, and honor. So, when we get to do a hero workout, like MURPH, we may want to quit at some point. But when that thought comes into our mind, we can remember their sacrifice, and that helps us to keep going.
I remember doing MURPH for the first time 4 years ago. I had been doing CrossFit for a couple of months. I broke up my pullups, pushups, and air squats into 20 rounds of 5 pullups, 10 pushups, and 15 squats. All of my pullups were on a thick, blue band, and most of my pushups were on my knees. I went hard on that run though. That first year was tough, but I did it.
But it never gets easier – in the best kind of way – because you push yourself harder, and you’re able to do more, so you keep bumping up the intensity, or you do your pullups, pushups, and squats in bigger sets. The goal in CrossFit is to get fitter, so I would assume that last year was my fittest year doing Murph, yet it was the hardest year yet. I didn’t break up the reps, and I wore a 20 lb vest, because I didn’t know that it was cool for girls to wear a 14 lb vest, not 20 lb. vest. I think it took me almost an hour. Barf. Shoutout to Mike Garren for running that last mile in with me when I wanted to slow down, he made me sprint it out.
Here are some things to think about if you’re new to this whole MURPH thing:
Stay hydrated – FOR REAL. Like, make sure you drink a good bit of water Friday evening and Saturday morning. Eat a good breakfast too, while we’re at it.
Split the reps up. Don’t feel like you have to be a CrossFit games athlete and go 100 pullups + 200 pushups + 300 squats without breaking them up. In fact, I’m pretty sure they broke them up in the games last year to 5 rounds (which is probably what I’ll try this year).
Remember why. I think I said this earlier, but when things get tough, you’re going to want to give up. So, remember why you’re doing MURPH in the first place, or any hero WOD for that matter, and it will help you to keep going.
Have fun. Doing this with your friends, or with a big group of people helps.
Pace yourself. Don’t die.
Train for it. – I guess this is late notice since it is this weekend, but for the average, everyday person that comes in the gym, this can be brutal. Actually it’s brutal for anyone. So, training for it isn’t a bad idea. We just wrapped up a 2,000 pushup challenge where people at CFEC had 6 weeks (I think) to get 2,000 pushups. We’ve been running a good bit more on Saturdays as well.
Leave no one behind. Nobody gets left behind. As in, no one finishes by themselves. If someone is going out for their last mile run, usually people who are already done will jump in there with them and finish it out with them.
If you’re in the Anderson area, you should come do Murph at CrossFit Electric City this Saturday, May 27th at 9:30 am (but try to get there a little early) FOR FREE. It gets bigger and bigger every year, so we will definitely have heats going every 5-8 minutes or so, so we’re not ALL on the pullup rig at one time. After the pullups though, it’s pretty much every (wo)man for themselves with pushups and squats. Just find a space inside or outside and go for it. And we hang out for awhile afterwards, play some spikeball, throw the football, drink a beer, and mostly just be friends. If you can’t make it Saturday, you can always come out Monday, Memorial Day at 9:30 because we’ll be doing it again then. It is also FREE, and guaranteed fun for everyone. If you have any questions, hit me up.
So, there ya have it. 2 chances to come hang with some friends, get some fitness in, and support and honor those who have sacrificed their lives for our FREEDOM.