The Murph Workout Is One of the Annual Endurance, Willpower & Commitment Test

Fitness competitions come and go. Powerlifting & Olympic meets also happen regularly every month. In addition, local and even national-level CrossFit competitions go according to the schedule. Similarly, many events are witnessed in the fitness community every year; one unique one is the Murph Workout challenge.

the murph workout

However, if you aren’t aware and have questions like what is the Murph workout and whether you can do it regularly as a workout routine. No worries, we’re going to cover in detail about the same.

Murph Workout – What Is It?

The Murph Workout is one of the hardcore CrossFit workouts of the day challenge that’s created in honor of Lieutenant Michael P. Murphy, a United States Navy SEAL who died while serving in Afghanistan in 2005. Similarly, this workout challenge has gained immense popularity and is still popular among military personnel and fitness enthusiasts globally.

This Murph workout consists of

This Murph workout is done in the above order and must be completed as fast as possible. Similarly, wearing a weighted vest makes it more challenging in the end.

The Murph Workout is popular for its intensity and ability to push people to their limits. It’s a physical and mental workout challenge that requires strong perseverance, discipline, and a warrior mindset. The Murph workout has become famous because of its usage in military and special forces training. Further, even fitness enthusiasts and athletes have also adopted it to test their overall fitness level.

Murph Workout – A Brief History

The Murph workout is named after Lieutenant Michael P. Murphy, Navy SEAL of the USA, who was killed during Operation Red Wings in Afghanistan on June 28, 2005. Lieutenant Murphy was leading a four-person reconnaissance team in the Kunar province of Afghanistan when Taliban fighters ambushed them.

Despite being heavily outnumbered, Lieutenant Murphy and his team fought fiercely to call backup and continued engagement with the enemy even after being wounded. Further, Lieutenant Murphy decided to expose himself to enemy fire to make a radio call for backup, ultimately leading to one team member’s rescue.

Later, Lieutenant Murphy was awarded the Medal of Honor for his bravery and selflessness; his memory has been honored in many ways. Similarly, one of them is through the Murph workout challenge.

The Murph Workout Challenge – Its Origins

The Murph workout was initially created by Lieutenant Murphy himself to challenge himself mentally & physically. In his journal, he has written about a workout named “Body Armor, ” similar to this Murph workout challenge but with some different variations. For instance, the Body Armor workout mentioned in Lieutenant Murphy’s journal included:

  • 1 Mile Run
  • 100 Pull – Ups
  • 200 Push – Ups
  • 300 Squats
  • 1 – Mile Run (Without wearing a vest)

Later on, the CrossFit community modified it by adding a weighted vest and making it a fitness program combining cardiovascular exercises, gymnastics, and weightlifting. Hence, it also became the benchmark workout among CrossFit gyms globally.

The Murph Workout – A Gruelling Challenge That’s Not for Everyone

The Murph workout is a gruelling challenge requiring immense physical and mental toughness. The workout is designed to test your strength, stamina, and endurance level, requiring high time and dedication to complete it.

The workout starts with a 1-mile run, which is a warm-up to prepare yourself for other exercises. And after you complete running, you move on to do pull-ups that you can do in 10, 20, or 30, depending upon your fitness level. Similarly, after pull-ups, you start push–ups in sets of 20, 40, or 60 and then squats in sets of 30, 60, or 90.

These mentioned exercises need to be completed as early as possible to take a maximum time of 1 hour. Lastly, to make it more challenging and take it to the next level, one more 1-mile run has to be done wearing a weighted vest.

Let’s Know What the Murph Workout Benefit Is

  • The Murph workout is not limited to a physical challenge but is also a great way to improve overall fitness levels. The Murph workout is designed in such a way that it helps improve your endurance, strength, and stamina. In addition, it also helps achieve a leaner and more toned physique.
  • The Murph workout offers mental benefits, such as a tough mental attitude and stronger discipline that you can use in any area of your life.
  • Completing the workout will also improve confidence and self-esteem as you push yourself beyond your limits.

Here’s How to Complete the Murph Workout

You’ve come till here. It’s safe to assume you know what is a Murph workout. Now, if you’re wondering how to complete this Murph workout, keep reading. Here we’ve breakdown this Murph workout challenge into 5 steps by which athletes or fitness enthusiasts can complete it.

Evaluate Your Strengths & Weaknesses

The Murph workout challenge is straightforward and entirely on the four movements. But you’ve to analyze from which of the four movements is your strongest because it’ll be your starting baseline.

Keeping little rest moments is essential in performing the Murph workout. Instead of relying on one particular exercise and going slower on the other intentionally, you need to operate at the same pace on all the exercises included in the Murph workout challenge. Once you know about your strong movement, then later on, you can rely on it and can squeeze out all your recovery without stopping.

In other words, you need to be honest with yourself and find your strongest and weakest movement.

Do the Math

Secondly, you’ll need to build your pace. It doesn’t mean to dominate any one movement but the pace you know you can sustain. For instance, looking at the bodyweight portion of the Murph workout challenge, you’ll need to accomplish the following:

  • 100 Pull-ups
  • 200 Push-ups
  • 300 Squats

Moving further, you can break down these mentioned reps as you want. But make sure it’s booked with the other two separate 1 mile runs to complete the workout challenge. Hence, if you go with 5 reps for base “weak” movement of pull-ups, then the breakdown will look like this:

100 total pull-ups divided with 5 reps. It means you’ll need to do 20 sets. And, then the overall average will be like below, assuming you would like to complete in 20 sets:

  • 5 pull-ups
  • 10 push-ups
  • 15 squats

Similarly, you can also complete in 25 sets with an average of 4 reps like:

  • 4 Pull-ups
  • 8 Push-ups
  • 12 Squats

To manage fatigue, you can even break it into two different sets like:

  • 10 Pull-ups
  • 20 Push-ups
  • 30 Squats

And, once you complete up to 5 sets, go with another rep scheme for 10 sets more:

  • 5 Pull-ups
  • 10 Push-ups
  • 15 Squats

And, if you’re a first-timer trying for the Murph Workout challenge, you can even start with 50 sets:

  • 2 Pull-ups
  • 4 Push-ups
  • 6 Squats

Keep Constant Pace

We have already discussed about it. However, in other words, it means establishing a continuous pace that you can maintain. So, for instance, if you know you can do 10 reps of squats at a time, don’t go for the 12 or 15 reps, at least when you’re fresh.

Put simply, the Murph workout is to honor a fallen Navy Seal hero in a weekend around your friends and family members. Hence, you don’t have to go hard, especially when you’re working around other people. First, familiarize yourself with how people are training around you and then move forward.

Further, many CrossFit gyms provide classes of “Murph Prep” classes that you can join a few months before Memorial Day. Some even organize “Half Murph,” where members can get used to with the Murph workout challenge. Nonetheless, adding a weighted vest for the last mile is entirely different, as you aren’t used to it regularly.


Though you first have to run 1 mile, we’ve intentionally kept it in the 4th step over here. Those who have read till here will know that we’ve discussed not starting intensely from the beginning and adjusting yourself to the movements. Similarly, you’ve to go with the 1-mile run. Go at your own pace, whether you’re an experienced athlete or a rookie, instead of trying to complete immediately. So you don’t burn out and have the energy to complete other workouts.

The Last 1 Mile

It’ll be surprising for you how far you’ve come, and this last 1 mile is remaining. After that, you’ll undoubtedly be all fatigued and won’t be left with much energy. But keeping this aside, start your first half mile of the second run slowly.

At the beginning of your 1st-mile run, try to make a mental note of your route because you’ll have a different feeling when you go for the last 1-mile run after completing the grueling 600 rep challenge.

Once you start your last mile run, don’t try to run faster. Instead, be slow. Use your first half mile of the second run to get yourself adjusted. And once you hit the half-mile, increase your speed gradually to finish the Murph workout challenge.

Closing Thoughts on the Murph Workout

The Murph workout is challenging and rewarding, requiring a higher level of physical fitness and mental toughness. However, completing this Murph workout is one of the best ways to improve your overall fitness level while honoring the memory of Lieutenant Michael P. Murphy and other service members who sacrificed their lives for their country.

Nonetheless, if you’re thinking of going for this Murph workout challenge, we recommend starting with the basics and gradually building up. Similarly, slowly start practicing running with a weighted vest and also keep yourself hydrated. Good luck!

Satinder Chowdhry Avatar

Satinder Chowdhry