Try "The Murph" This Memorial Day Weekend

Are you looking to honor someone this Memorial Day weekend? There's an exercise that lets you do just that. The Murph is a workout honoring Navy Lieutenant (SEAL) Michael Murphy who was killed in action in Afghanistan on June 28th, 2005. The movie, Lone Survivor starring Mark Wahlburg, shows what happened to the 4 man operation.  Long story short, Lt. Murphy sacrificed his life for his men and unfortunately only one SEAL survived.  

LT. Murphy was very focused on keeping in shape for peak performance. In order to keep himself in such great shape, he loved doing CrossFit workouts. CrossFit is characterized as explosive, varied, and high-intensity workouts consisting of exercises from weightlifting, powerlifting, Olympic-style lifts, Strongman-type events, plyometrics, indoor rowing, sprinting, and body weight exercises.   

The workout

LT. Murphy’s favorite workout he nicknamed “body armour” was renamed after him and is simply called the “Murph”.  While working out, wear a 20lb weighted vest (similar to his body armour he wore), perform the following exercises in the sequence:

1. run one mile

2. 100 pull-ups

3. 200 push-ups

4. 300 body weight squats

5. run one mile    

*Note:  All of this is to done while keeping track of how long it takes you.   

How can you modify it?

I am firm believer in progress over perfection. If you cannot get your hands on a vest or simply aren’t in the shape needed to accomplish this task, no worries.  Simply skip the vest. Remember, any movement is better than no movement. If you cannot perform true pull-ups (let alone 100 of them), simply perform jumping pull-ups (using your legs to help you jump up to the pull-up) or TRX rows. Instead of the traditional push-ups, perform incline push-ups (push-up on a step or box will make the movement easier). Anyone should be able to do some sort of air squats. If you can’t perform full range of motion, comprise your depth. If you struggle for the distance of the run or quantity of the reps, cut the number in half. The one thing you should not change is keeping track of the time. Hold yourself accountable to the clock.    The next time you do the workout, try to beat it! In time, the workout will become easier. When that happens, you can add to the distance/reps to get yourself to perform the true Murph.

What can you do to honor a hero?   

Do LT. Murphy’s favorite workout!  LT. Murphy did the workout to put himself in shape enough to save his fellow soldiers.   Usually around National Holidays (Memorial Day, 4th of July, Veterans Day, etc.), I do the workout. I cannot help but think of the difference in perspective. I am doing the workout to honor him but also to get myself fit so I can play with my kids and live a long life. Because of his sacrifice, I am able to just that.

Steven Zahn

ACE Certified Personal Trainer

NASM Certified Personal Trainer

Pre and Post Partum Certified

Dragondoor Publications: HKC Russian Kettlebell Certified

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