Out of all the CrossFit Hero WODs, 'Murph' stands alone.
It is brutal in its simplicity, utterly daunting and yet remarkably approachable, a drill sergeant’s fever dream. All you need is a pullup bar, a pair of sneakers, and one helluva cardiovascular system.
The workout: A 1-mile run, followed by 100 pullups, 200 pushups, and 300 unweighted squats, followed by another 1-mile run. In its most elite form, athletes complete it while wearing a 20-pound weight vest, and they must do each set of calisthenics consecutively—all 100 pullups first, then the pushups, and so on.
In a nod to the workout’s military roots—it’s named for Lt. Michael P. Murphy, a Navy SEAL killed in action in 2005—CrossFit boxes around the U.S. host a Murph every Memorial Day.
But before you go crashing headlong into this buzzsaw of an endurance WOD, know this: Murph demands a smart strategy and a level-headed approach. To get the best mental and physical tactics for this particular WOD, we polled a panel of experts from both in and outside of the CrossFit world:
- Dan Wells, C.P.T. (NCSA), CrossFit Level 2 trainer, veteran of the 2015 CrossFit Games, owner/coach at CrossFit Horsepower in L.A.
- Ethan Baum, C.P.T. (NASM) and Level 1 CrossFit coach, who introduced Murph to the New York Sports Club in Astoria, Queens
- Dr. Michael Joyner, M.D., specialist in endurance exercise at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota
Here are their pro tips for surviving Murph—and maybe even running, pulling, pushing, and squatting your way to your best time yet.