Ah – Murph. Some of us love this workout and are energized by completing it, sometimes multiple times per year. Others are scared to death of Murph and fake a fever on Murph day. Murph is an incredibly insane workout and if you have not tried it, you really should. You will feel strong, and maybe even inspired to complete it again and again, beating your time and earning bragging rights along the way.

It is always a good thing for us to push ourselves a little and Murph will do the trick. Before we give you a strategy to crush Murph on Memorial Day weekend, you should know a little more about the workout itself. Murph is a Hero WOD named after Michael Murphy, a Navy Seal killed in combat overseas. When we do Murph, the workout, we remember Murph, the human being who sacrificed his life for his friends and our country.

The workout itself is ridiculously daunting, yet surprisingly approachable, and if you can complete it with a weighted vest, all the better. The moves are simple, the equipment needed is minimal, but the repetitions will get ya if you are not careful.

Murph steelrainfitness.com

Clearly, this is a grueling workout. Perhaps the most grueling you have ever attempted. And if you walk into it thinking it will be awful – it will be! Murph is not for the weak – physically or mentally – but it doesn’t have to suck completely. Here are our top five suggestions for conquering Murph.


You have to be ready for Murph. As silly as it sounds, you should train for this workout. Getting in some runs along with pull-up, push-up, and squat reps in the weeks leading up to Murph will only improve your experience. With that said, we encourage you to set yourself up for success, not failure. Don’t try to knock out all.the.reps. the week prior to your workout. You want your muscles prepared – not fatigued, so be sure to train smart.

Keep Moving

When you are completing the workout, do not stop. You will feel like you need to rest; to catch your breath; to stretch your muscles, but that is your mind playing tricks on you. Long breaks will kill your time, fatigue your muscles, and allow doubt and fear ample time to creep into your brain. Your body will adapt. Just keep moving. It is not supposed to be a comfortable workout, so get comfortable with being uncomfortable!

Break Up Reps

Run your miles straight through. Pace yourself here and then jump right into the pull-ups, push-ups, and squats. Grab some counting chips and break up those reps into 20 rounds of Cindy (5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, and 15 squats). Be mindful of your movements and make them count. No cheating – chin over bar, chest to ground, full squat every single time. Will it hurt? Yep! Embrace the suck and press on.

Watch the Time

Keep an eye on the clock (or your own fitness tracker) and make sure you hold yourself accountable to moving fast. Pay attention to the time it takes you to complete each round and make sure you are not slowing down. This will help keep your mind occupied as well! Set a goal for each round – and push yourself to meet or beat it over and over! If you see yourself slowing down, that is the time to dig deeper.

Scale When Appropriate

Don’t you dare scale the whole workout – but do scale where you need to. If you can’t do a pull-up, consider jumping pull-ups, band assisted pull-ups, or ring rows. Scale traditional push-ups with knees on the ground or with incline push-ups. If you can’t run a complete mile, take short walk breaks. You can make Murph appropriate for your fitness level.

Next weekend, hundreds of people will gather in gyms across America and pay tribute to the hero, Michael Murphy. We hope you are one of those people. Walk into it prepared. Know it will be tough. Show your strength. And crush your goals. We are proud of you – and Murph would be proud too.