The Murph Challenge 2016

Over the weekend, our CrossFit gym hosted the Hero WOD “Murph” a week earlier than most other gyms.  The workout starts off with a 1 mile run, then leads into 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 air squats and finishes with another 1 mile run.  If you’re truly badass, you complete the workout wearing a 20-lb weight vest.


This grueling workout is normally done on Memorial Day, in honor of Lt. Michael P. Murphy, a Navy SEAL who was killed in Afghanistan on June 28, 2005.  This workout was Murph’s favorite and has now become a tradition that pays tribute to the hero who gave all for his teammates and his country.  During Operation Red Wings, “Murph” heroically put himself in the line of fire in order to make contact with an air base and request support for his team.  For more on Murph’s story, you can watch Murph: The Protector or Lone Survivor and check out  So much more than just a workout, the Murph Challenge is also the Official annual fundraiser for the Lt. Michael P. Murphy Memorial Scholarship Foundation.  

Last year, Boyfriend and I completed Murph as a partner workout, but this year I accepted the challenge on my own.  I modified the pull-ups to ring rows and scaled the push-ups to hand-release and eventually on my knees when I needed to.  

Murph 2016 KH

There are many strategies for how to break up the movements in this workout and I went with the most popular one: 20 rounds of Cindy, which is 5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups and 15 air squats.  As expected, the push-ups were the hardest part for me.  My chest and triceps are still tight and sore!  The run portions ended up being a tad longer than a mile (maybe about 1.2ish?) and the final run certainly wasn’t pretty after 300 squats, but I gave it all I had and finished in 49:33.  Despite not being able to complete the workout Rx, I am extremely proud of myself and my time! 

Murph 2016

I don’t have any photos from during the workout (which is probably a good thing), but some of us girls got together for a group pic when we were all done and sweaty.  After the WOD, everyone hung out to eat and watch some of the CrossFit Regionals live.  I brought my Avocado BLT Bites and a Strawberry Mango Salsa…SO good!  

Murph is definitely a tough workout, but serves as a reminder of the incredible sacrifice our military men and women are making every single day.  Memorial Day shouldn’t be the only day we take time out to remember those who have lost their lives while serving our country.  You can join the rest of the CrossFit world in completing Murph next Monday, May 30th (register here!) or consider donating directly to the Lt. Michael P. Murphy Memorial Scholarship Foundation.  

Have you ever completed the Murph Challenge? Are you doing it this year?  Tell me about it!


6 comments on “The Murph Challenge 2016

    • Thanks, Annie! You’ll do great. If you just keep in mind WHY you’re doing the workout, you’ll get through it. Can’t wait to hear how it goes!

  1. That’s a brag-worthy time! I honestly don’t think ring rows are that much easier than pull-ups in terms of demand on your muscles; the only difference is that ring rows save your hands from tears. I did Murph for the first time last year and will be doing it again next Monday. I live in central FL, so humidity and a warehouse-style box usually make for some truly gnarly hands afterwards!

    • Thanks, Paula! Good luck on Monday. I just worked out at a gym in Orlando last week and was soaked in sweat by the end. Not sure how you do it!! 🙂

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