Benchmark Blog: Murph

When you mention the name Murph to a CrossFitter, most responses will be something like “ughh” “terrible” or “oh no!”
No wonder, because this is considered to be amongst the toughest hero workouts.
This is a task-priority workout:

AFAP (As Fast As Possible)
1600m run
100 pull-ups
200 push-ups
300 air squats
1600m run

*If you have a weight vest (10/6kg) wear it.

Murph has been in the spotlight for the last 2 years at the CrossFit Games (‘15/’16) with the infamous images of athletes suffering from a heatstroke during the 2015 Games.
It was previously called “Body Armour” but eventually named after Lieutenant Michael Murphy after he was killed in combat in 2005. It was his favourite workout. There is even a movie about him.

How to approach
You can partition the reps anyway you like, but you have to start and finish with the 1600m run.
There are many ways as to how you can partition it, but here are a few options:

  • Follow in order: 100 – 200 – 300
  • Split up into 10 rounds: 10-20-30
  • Split up into 20 rounds: 5-10-15 (basically Cindy 20 times)
  • First 15 rounds: 5-10-20, with last 5 rounds only pull-ups & push-ups in 5-10. This way your legs get a chance to recover before you start the 1600m run.

Again, there are many more options and ways to split things up, but try to not make things too complicated.
If you are relatively new to CrossFit (< 6 months) we highly recommend scaling down the repetitions, such as a 75% or 50% Murph. Ask your coach for options.

Time?
If you are new to CrossFit or haven’t done many high volume workouts yet, your aim should be to finish in no longer than 50 minutes.
Times of 40 minutes and lower are getting you in the higher rankings, Josh Bridges finished first in 2016 in 34:38 and Kari Pearce finished in 36:42. Keep in mind, both were wearing a weight vest.

One guy did something crazy: he did Murph every week, for a whole year! Read all about that here.
His fastest time without a vest: 24:30