An illustration explaining the modern workout regime known as 'Murph' in Crossfit. This scene should depict both a male and female athlete of diverse ethnic backgrounds (one Caucasian and one Black) e

Understanding the 'Murph' Workout in CrossFit

What is the 'Murph' Workout?

The 'Murph' workout is one of the most iconic and challenging CrossFit workouts, known for its intensity and the honor it pays to its namesake, Lieutenant Michael P. Murphy, a United States Navy SEAL killed in action in 2005. This hero workout, also known as a Hero WOD (Workout of the Day), is traditionally performed on Memorial Day in the United States to commemorate and pay tribute to fallen military personnel.

The Structure of the 'Murph'

The Murph consists of a one-mile run, followed by 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, and 300 air squats, and finishes with another one-mile run. In its most challenging form, participants are encouraged to wear a 20-pound weight vest or body armor as they complete the workout. The daunting bodyweight movements can be partitioned in different ways, but they must be completed in sequence before the final mile. For instance, athletes may do the workout Cindy style (named after another CrossFit workout), breaking it into 20 rounds of 5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, and 15 squats.

Guidelines for Participants

Preparation and Scaling

The Murph is designed for advanced athletes due to its high volume and intensity. However, it can be scaled to suit a range of fitness levels. Beginners might reduce the repetitions, avoid the weight vest, or partition the exercises into smaller sets. It's important to approach the Murph with a strategy that aligns with your fitness level to maintain safety and avoid injury. Proper warm-up and hydration are particularly crucial given the duration and intensity of the workout.

Safety Considerations

Safety should always be the primary concern, especially when attempting high-intensity workouts like the Murph. Participants should focus on proper form and technique over speed or reps, as fatigue can lead to compromised positions and potential injuries. Adequate rest and recovery post-Murph are just as important as the workout itself and ensure the body can repair and strengthen.

Benefits of the 'Murph'

Despite its difficulty, the Murph is celebrated for a reason. It encompasses full-body conditioning that targets endurance, strength, and mental toughness. Completing the workout provides a sense of achievement and camaraderie as participants push through a shared challenging experience while honoring those who have served.

Community and Legacy

The Murph workout has transcended CrossFit boxes and has been adopted by multiple fitness communities around the world. It is an opportunity for athletes of all backgrounds to push their physical limits while remembering the sacrifice of service members. The workout fosters a sense of unity and respect, promoting the ethos of remembrance through physical exertion and dedication—a cornerstone of the CrossFit community.


The Murph workout is much more than just a test of physical fitness; it's a tradition that honors heroism and sacrifice. It represents the ethos of CrossFit, challenging individuals to push past their perceived limits and fostering a communal spirit of respect and remembrance. Whether you're a seasoned athlete or a newcomer to fitness, understanding and participating in the Murph workout can be an incredibly meaningful experience.