How you will conquer “Murph” from your home!

Monday May 25th, 2020, CrossFit Prototype and Upper Cape CrossFit will be bringing our communities together for Memorial Day Murph.

For those of you who are new to CrossFit, for the past 7 years on Memorial Day we have honored Michael “Murph” Murphy who gave the ultimate sacrifice to protect our freedom.

Michael Patrick “Murph” Murphy (May 7, 1976 – June 28, 2005) was a United States Navy SEAL officer who was awarded the U.S. military’s highest decoration, the Medal of Honor, for his actions during the War in Afghanistan. Murph was killed on 28 June 2005 after he left his cover position and went to a clearing away from the mountains, exposing himself to a hail of gunfire in order to get a clear signal to contact headquarters for relaying the dire situation and requesting immediate support for his team. To read more about Murph and his story, visit this link here.

Memorial Day “Murph” has become a tradition not only at CFP but in the CrossFit community in general. Thousands of people gather to pay tribute and honor Michael Murphy. It essentially has become a rite of passage in the CrossFit community.

“Murph” is both a physical and mental challenge. When we run this workout at CFP (we do it twice a year: once on Memorial Day and once on Thanksgiving) the energy in the gym is palpable. For the past few weeks, we have been ramping up our training to prepare you to take on this workout and to honor Murph.

Due to these unprecedented times, we, unfortunately, cannot host “Murph” at CFP in person. We will however make this our 7th year and our goal is to run the biggest virtual classes we have ever done. Our goal is for 150 of our amazing members and UCCF members to join us over the course of two classes on Monday.

We will be running a 7am and a 9:30am class on Memorial Day via zoom.

The Workout

As I mentioned, “Murph” is a test of both your physical and mental endurance. We refer to the runs as the ‘bread” and the Pull ups/Push Up/Air Squats as the “meat” in this workout.

Lt. Murphy was an avid adherent of CrossFit, and after his death one of his favorite workouts was named after him. The workout, which he referred to as ‘Body Armor,’ is now called ‘Murph.’ While wearing a 20 lbs weighted vest (substitute for body armor), you would complete:

1 mile run followed by 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, and 300 squats, followed by another mile; done for time and partitioned as you may need to.

There are a few effective strategies to do this workout which I outline below if you are going to do the workout as prescribed. If you aren’t (which is ok!) we also have alternative movement options as well as volume recommendations.

The intent with this workout is that you should be working for anywhere between 30-60+ minutes. Based on the volume and movement modifications, we can still accomplish this!


Strategy 1:

1 mile run

20 rounds of:

5 Pull ups/10 Push Ups/15 Air Squats

1 mile run

*Pro’s: Consistent plan that you can manage pace and keep track of easily.

*Con’s: Might induce more upper body fatigue.

Strategy 2:

1 mile run

20 rounds of:

5 push ups

5 pull ups

5 push ups

15 air squats

1 mile run

*Pro’s: less local fatigue on the shoulders with the push up’s which can allow you to continue to move.

*Con’s: More transition time back and forth and getting off the floor.

 Strategy 3:

1 mile run

10 rounds of:

10 Pull ups

20 Push ups

30 Air Squats

1 mile run

*Pro’s: If you have the muscular endurance to go unbroken on these, you will be able to manage the pace faster. This is good for the bodyweight ninjas out there!

*Con’s: A lot of repetitive volume which will cause local fatigue and slow you down. I wouldn’t recommend this to someone who struggles with push ups/pull ups.

Strategy 4: (really not a strategy)

1 mile run

100 Pull ups

200 Push ups

300 Air Squats

1 mile run


*Pro’s: If you have done “Murph” numerous times as Rx and have been able to do it in the sub 40 minute range, completing it unpartitioned makes it a completely different workout. Something for you to try but not to look for a PR.

*Con’s: Do not do this if you do not have the work capacity to do it.

Alternative Options:

We will always have alternative options for people to be able to complete any workout. The goal of this workout is to push yourself and to honor those who have given the ultimate sacrifice. However, if you are in pain, have limitations or lack of resources/equipment, we still want you to participate. We have outlined options for you to be able to accomplish this below.

Pull up Modification: (you can’t do them OR you don’t have a pull up bar)

-Jumping Pull ups (100)

-Inverted rows (100)

-Renegade rows (100 arm; use a moderate weight)

-Barbell or dumbbell bent-over rows (100 total; use a moderate weight)-Sit-ups (100)

Push-up Modification:

-Incline push-ups (200)

-Push-ups from knees (200)

-Mountain Climbers (100 each side)

-Shoulder taps (100 each shoulder)

Air Squat Modification:

-Squat to box (modify based on movement capacity; 300 reps)

Running: (can’t run or pain when running)

-Rowing (200m row is what we modify it to)

-Biking (Assault bike, we typically give a time domain and intensity level; most people don’t choose this option : ) )

Alternate options (volume-based):

-Full bread; half meat

1 mile run/ 50 pull ups/100 push ups/150 air squats/ 1 mile run

-Half bread; full meat

800m run/ 100 pull ups/200 push ups/300 air squats/800m run

-Half and half (Half Murph)

-800m run/50 pull ups/100 push ups/150 air squats/800m run

Shoulder Pressing/overhead issues (can’t do pull-ups or push-ups):

1-mile run (or half or alternative running movement)

100 Renegade rows (no DB’s? 100/100 shoulder taps)

200 sit-ups

300 Air Squats

1-mile run (or half or alternative running movement)

Pull-Up-Less Murph: (bodyweight only option that would be a much higher metabolic demand)

1-mile run

100 burpees

200 push-ups

300 Air Squats

1-mile run

We hope this helps and provides insight into the meaning of “Murph” and how you can complete this workout with alternative options!

We will see you soon!