In the world of CrossFit, the Murph could be considered a kind of triathlon, although it has far more than three elements. Named after Lt. Michael Murphy who was killed in Afghanistan in 2005, it’s a grueling workout named for a hero. You start with a one-mile run, continue with 100 pullups, then 200 pushups, then 300 air squats, and finally finish with another one-mile run.
To make it a little easier, some people choose to split up the middle three elements by doing five pullups, 10 pushups and 15 air squats at a time. There’s no hard-and-fast rule that says this is disallowed, so it’s definitely a way to make the Murph a bit less arduous. In general, a finishing time of 30 minutes or less is fabulous, but just finishing at all is going to feel pretty darn good. By the end, your arms and legs feel a lot like fettuccini and your lungs might feel like you spent the entire afternoon smoking electronic cigarettes.
1. You Have the Correct Form for Pullups in the Bag
Obviously, you’re going to be doing 100 pullups, and you want to ensure you don’t destroy your body in the process. This means you must be able to use the right form for all your pullups; otherwise, you could definitely incur some injury. Ask a trusted trainer or longtime CrossFitter to give you feedback on your moves. Afterwards, make adjustments as needed.
2. You’re Bored by WODs and Want Something More
Do you find going to the box a little dull these days? It may be that your body is simply craving something bigger than WODs. If you feel strong enough to move on with bigger goals, why not start prepping for a Murph? It will give you something to look forward to beyond your daily exercises.
3. You’ve Tried Other Special WODs and Adored the Experience
Let’s put it this way – if you attempted a tough WOD like the Filthy 50 and you came out on the other side with a huge grin on your face, you’re probably primed for a Murph. Obviously, you have a desire to take it up a notch; a Murph is a good way to do that.
4. You’re in the Best Shape of Your Life
Without a doubt, you’re going to have to be in awesome condition to pull off a Murph in less than an hour, or 45 minutes or even a half hour if you’re really incredible and your mile runs are lightning-fast. Do an honest self-evaluation of your fitness. While you don’t have to be in perfect shape by any means, you do have to be in decent health. Make sure you’re focusing on your diet and nutrition, too; the more well-balanced your meal plans, the better your performance on normal WODs as well as specialty ones like Murph.
5. You Tried a Murph Before and Couldn’t Get Through It
If Murph kicked your butt in the past, you may be ready for revenge. The benefit is that you now know exactly what you’re up against, and that will help you tremendously as you prepare yourself to get through all the elements. Who says that holding a grudge can’t be beneficial?
More than anything else, know that Murph, like all the other named WODs, is a challenge that will never get easy. This means that you can do it again and again without ever feeling like it’s a breeze. Besides, it’ll give you bragging points at your box, and that can help motivate you during the hard days when your body doesn’t want to go with the program.