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The "Murph" Challenge

Do the following workout:

1 mile Run
100 Pull-ups
200 Push-ups
300 Squats
1 mile Run

“Murph” is a CrossFit Hero WOD (Workout Of the Day) named after Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy, who was killed in Afghanistan June 28, 2005. He was 29, of Patchogue, N.Y. Lt Murphy was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor after his death.

The workout was one of Mike’s favorites and he’d named it ‘Body Armor.’ It first appeared on the CrossFit site in August 2005.

Engaged in a frenzied firefight and outnumbered by the Taliban, Navy Lt. Michael Murphy made a desperate decision as he and three fellow SEALs fought for their lives on a rocky mountainside in Afghanistan’s Kunar Province in 2005.

In a last-ditch effort to save his team, Murphy pulled out his satellite phone, walked into a clearing to get reception and called for reinforcements as a fusillade of bullets ricocheted around him. One of the bullets hit him, but he finished the call and even signed off, “Thank you.” Then he continued the battle.

The Murph workout consists of a mile run, followed by 300 air squats, 200 push-ups, 100 pull-ups, and ends with another mile run. These exercises can be performed in any order without any rules on repetitions. The recommended routine to use is 30 air squats, 20 push-ups, and 10 pull-ups between the runs. In competitions, this workout is done wearing a 20lb vest for men, and a 14lb vest for women, however this is not required. 

The best part about the Murph workout is that you do not need to be a professional to complete it. Each step of the exercise can be split into smaller sections to make the Murph more suitable, just make sure to keep a record of how many sets of each exercise you've done. Another way to reduce the Murph workout is to cut it in half. This is a great option for people who have never done the workout before or for those who haven't mastered the movements just yet.

Not only is the Murph workout a great way to increase muscle mass and set a solid foundation for other CrossFit movements, but is also a fantastic way to burn fat. The workout accomplishes fat loss with each set, leading to an even better overall time since it is a bodyweight workout.

If you feel like getting competitive or need additional motivation to keep going, check out these average scores for the various levels of participants.

  • Beginner: 63 - 71 minutes
  • Intermediate: 47 - 58 minutes
  • Advanced: 36 - 41 minutes
  • Elite: < 35 minutes

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