Ellllooooooo! Hope you are having a fine Thursday.. staying moving and groving…staying hydrated..

Ok, who all has ever heard of “MURPH?” Even if you don’t do CrossFit, you’ve probably heard of this hero workout. You DEFINITELY have if you know a CrossFitter, and it’s alround the time of Memorial Day.

Every Memorial Day weekend, CrossFitters from all over – literally everywhere – perform this hero workout. “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. There is a book and a movie out there, called “Lone Survivor,” where the story and actions of Murphy and his fellow SEALS is portrayed. Just google it, or read the book, or watch the movie and you can learn more. 

“Murph” is for time:

Run 1 mile.

100 pullups

200 pushups

300 air squats

Run 1 mile. 

Wear a 20 lb vest or body armor if you have it. (14 lb for girls πŸ™‚

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 – even if CrossFit isn’t your thing. All of these movements (including the run) can be scaled to wherever you’re currently at in your fitness journey. 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. Like I said, it can be modified for any fitness level. BUT, let me be clear. It’s not easy – for anyone. That would defeat the purpose. Anyone see them do it at the CrossFit Games a couple of years ago??? Definitely not easy. But it is doable for anyone and everyone!

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 – all 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 those thoughts comes into our mind, we can remember their sacrifice, and that helps us to keep going. 

I remember doing MURPH for the first time 5 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 somewhat 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. 

My fitness has improved every year, but this workout never gets easier  – in the best kind of way – Just like all other aspects of CrossFit, it never gets easier because as you get better and more efficient in your movement, you push yourself harder, and you’re able to do more. So you keep bumping up the intensity. You do your pullups, pushups, and squats in bigger sets, or even unbroken. You can also wear a weight vest to get more of a feel as to how Murphy and his fellow seals felt fighting, while carrying their gear. 2 years ago for Murph, I felt pretty fit. 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. I felt even fitter last year, but those pushups still got the best of me (despite our pushup challenge we did before Murph). Last year was special to me because my friend, Marlie, was in town. She lived in Anderson for almost a year before that, but had just moved back to Tennessee because her husband, Harry, had just returned from deployment in Iraq. Harry had been back in the states for less than a month, and it was cool to get to do Murph with both of them. 

I can’t wait for this year! I dunno how I’ll do it this year. I like the challenge of not breaking up the reps. I may start with the 300 air squats, and end with the 100 pullups this year. Who knows?!? No matter what, it’s a good time. It’s awesome to push yourself, but still take time to cheer for other people (or ya know, even the occasional conversation).

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 ALL DAY Friday and Saturday morning. Taking electrolyte supplements isn’t a bad idea (also, I’ve been putting this electrolyte powder mix in my water lately before and while I workout, and it’s been a game changer in how I feel). 

  • Eat!! Make sure you eat a good breakfast. No doughnuts, unfortunately. Fuel up. 

  • 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 a couple of years ago.

  • 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. You can even partner up with someone and split the reps. 

  • 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’ve been training hard for it in the gym at CFEC. Allllll the pushups (weakness of mine), so I feel pretty good. We’ve been running a lot more (y’all will thank us for all that running after this weekend πŸ™‚ And people have taken the initiative to run on their own before and after class – solo and as a group….AND with weight vests for a lot of people. Tis the season. Weight vest everything. 

  • 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 26th 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 this Memorial Day Weekend!