How to Prepare for the CrossFit 'Murph' WOD

STACK Expert Brian Smith tells you how to prepare for the CrossFit 'Murph' Workout of the Day.

Every year on Memorial Day, Americans celebrate the lives and honor the memories of their fallen soldiers. On this day, Navy SEAL Lieutenant Michael Murphy is memorialized by thousands of people completing the CrossFit hero WOD (workout of the day), which is titled "Murph" in his honor.

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Murphy was deployed to Afghanistan in April 2005. During a mission (later depicted in the movie Lone Survivor), he died while climbing to higher ground to make a call for help. Despite suffering severe wounds, he was able make the call and continue fighting. During that mission, Michael Murphy, Matthew Axelson and Danny Dietz were killed. The fourth member of their SEAL team, Petty Officer Marcus Luttrell, was able to escape, partly because of the call made by Murphy.

RELATED: Learn the Murph CrossFit Workout

The CrossFit 'Murph'

The Murph CrossFit WOD consists of:

  • 1-mile run
  • 100 Pull-Ups
  • 200 Push-Ups
  • 300 Air Squats
  • 1-mile run

* if possible, wearing a weighed vest, 20 pounds or more

When training for a workout of this magnitude, it's important to break it down into segments and complete subsets of the total workout—e.g., a 90-yard Sprint, 5 Pull-Ups, 10 Push-Ups and 15 Air Squats. By gradually increasing the workload every workout, it's possible to prepare yourself to complete the entire WOD in only 10 workouts.

Complete three workouts in each of the first three weeks. Take two days off in the fourth week before attempting the complete WOD.

Week 1

  • Day 1 (1 round)—90-yard Sprint, 5 Pull-Ups, 10 Push-Ups, 15 Air Squats
  • Day 3 (2 rounds)—90-yard Sprint, 5 Pull-Ups, 10 Push-Ups, 15 Air Squats
  • Day 5 (4 rounds)—90 yard Sprint, , 5 Pull-Ups, 10 Push-Ups, 15 Air Squats

Week 2

  • Day 1 (6 rounds)—90-yard Sprint, 5 Pull-Ups, 10 Push-Ups, 15 Air Squats
  • Day 3 (8 rounds)—90-yard Sprint, 5 Pull-Ups, 10 Push-Ups, 15 Air Squats
  • Day 5 (10 rounds)—90-yard Sprint, 5 Pull-Ups, 10 Push-Ups, 15 Air Squats

Week 3

  • Day 1 (12 rounds)—90-yard Sprint, 5 Pull-Ups, 10 Push-Ups, 15 Air Squats
  • Day 3 (14 rounds)—90-yard Sprint, 5 Pull-Ups, 10 Push-Ups, 15 Air Squats
  • Day 5 (16 rounds)—90-yard Sprint, 5 Pull-Ups, 10 Push-Ups, 15 Air Squats

Week 4

  • Day 1 (18 rounds)—90-yard Sprint, 5 Pull-Ups, 10 Push-Ups, 15 Air Squats
  • Day 4, the Murph CrossFit WOD
  • Run 1 mile
  • Complete 20 rounds of 5 Pull-Ups, 10 Push-Ups and 15 Air Squats
  • Run 1 mile

Record your time and compete with yourself in future Murph WODs.


Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock

Topics: SQUAT | PULL-UP | PUSH-UP | CROSSFIT | RUNNING | SPRINT | CROSSFIT WORKOUTS