Murph: My Memorial Day Workout
Health and Wellness

Murph: My Memorial Day Workout

“Murph” is a workout named after Lieutenant Michael P. Murphy, a US Navy Seal who was killed in combat in 2005.


On Monday May 28th, 2018, the United States celebrated Memorial Day to honor those who have served and are currently serving in the military. I will be honest, because I spent the majority of my childhood in countries outside of America, I didn’t fully understand the importance of the day until relatively recently.

There are many traditions associated with Memorial Day from memorial services to the annual Memorial Day Concert to something as simple as a backyard barbeque with family and friends. This year, I wanted to get involved in something that combines my love of health and fitness with the special reason for the celebration. At CrossFit gyms around the U.S, Memorial Day means programming one of the toughest “hero” workouts: Murph.

A “hero” workout is a workout named after a member of the armed forces who died serving in the military. CrossFit has many hero workouts that are completed by gym members on a regular basis but every year on Memorial Day all CrossFit gyms do the same one. “Murph” is a workout named after Lieutenant Michael P. Murphy, a US Navy Seal who was killed in combat in 2005. Murphy nicknamed his favorite workout “Body Armor” but since his death it has adopted his nickname.

The workout consists of a 1 mile run followed by 100 pull ups, 200 push ups, and 300 air squats, and is finished with another 1 mile run. It is challenging and long. However, almost anyone can do it because it is scalable. People do ring rows instead of pull ups, push ups on their knees, and if running is not an option, the bike or rower can be substituted.

This year I decided I wanted to give Murph a try. I had seen people post about it on Instagram and Facebook in past years and every time I was more curious. It seemed difficult, almost impossible, but because I wanted to see if I could complete it. My main goal was to finish it in under 1 hour. I knew realistically that I couldn’t finish 100 pull ups without assistance so I decided to use a resistance band, and I also knew I would need help on the push ups so I decided to do all 200 on my knees. It was challenging regardless.

I arrived at CrossFit Odyssey in Dallas to do Murph and the gym was packed. There was probably 40 people there all ready to complete this tough workout. Everyone had their own unique approach to the workout for their current fitness and skill level. John and Ellie, the head coaches and owners of CrossFit Odyssey, walked us through a warm up and the different strategies they recommended to complete the workout. Then we started.

It was easy to start out way too quickly on the first mile but I did my best to pace myself. We probably looked ridiculous as a herd of people running down the busy street but it was fun to run alongside people I had never met before. We all had a mutual understanding of how much it was going to hurt and everyone was so encouraging.

After finishing the first mile in a little over 9 minutes, I started 20 rounds of 5 pull ups, 10 push ups, and 15 air squats. The first 10 rounds were relatively easy but by round 14 I was starting to feel fatigued in my arms and shoulders. But I powered through at a slightly slower pace and headed out on the second mile run. The first quarter mile was painful. My upper body was still blown up from all the push ups and pull ups so I spent a few minutes trying to make that pain go away while attempting to run at the same time. Once I found a rhythm, all I had to do was convince myself not to walk. The sun was strong at the this point in the day and the humidity was especially bad which made it harder to breathe. I ran back into the gym at 54 minutes 1 second. I completed it in under an hour.

It was such a great feeling to complete a workout, a few years ago I never would have been able to even attempt. But it felt even better knowing there was a reason behind the workout and that there was a specific person it honors. Although I am a US citizen, I always felt a strange disconnect to the United States while I was living abroad. For some reason being a dual citizen, while an amazing privilege, I feel pulled in two directions at times. However, spending Memorial Day completing Murph reminded me of my american nationality and of all the sacrifices the men and women of the military have made. If you are looking for something to do next Memorial Day, I highly recommend Murph. It is both humbling and empowering.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

15 Black-Owned Haircare Brands That Cater As Much To Inclusivity As They Do To Your Locks

Championing Black entrepreneurs who make some of our hair favorites.

The haircare industry is vast. With the rise of social media came hundreds of thousands of empowered, niche brands. Single entrepreneurs came out of the woodwork with hair brands that now, years later, have dedicated cult followings.

Of those multitudes of brands, few cater to all hair types, most made without regard for curly or coily hair. These brands, however, are different.

Keep Reading... Show less

Minorities are consistently under-represented in our day-to-day lives, notably in the world of fashion. It's likely you're looking for a way to support black artists. Whether that's the case or you're just a fashion-lover in general, these brands aren't just some of the best black-owned fashion brands — they're some of the most innovative brands of our time, period.

From luxury staples to fun accessories and loungewear, these brands aren't just stunning names you should definitely be following on Instagram, each honors the founder's roots in unique ways with the power of storytelling through artistic expression that manifests in pieces we can't wait to wear.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

10 Home Items You Need For Stress Relief, On The Days You 'Literally Cannot'

Fill your home with peaceful, calming coping mechanisms.

I'd like to think that 2020 is teaching us a lot. Or will teach us a lot. Or will be a story we tell at parties one day. Ultimately, this year has been — and is probably going to continue to be — a bit of a mess.

At the beginning of the year, Australia was on fire and we mourned the death of Kobe Bryant. Then, coronavirus (COVID-19) took our spring and shut us in our homes, inciting panic over public health and sparking political upheaval at every decision made by local and federal officials alike. Now, a week after George Floyd's death at the hands of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, a nationwide conversation is reignited with protests regarding racial injustice in the United States. There is an enormous amount of tension, hurt, and change that is upon the American people.

Keep Reading... Show less

No matter who you are (an introvert, person of color, member of the LGBTQ+ community, Scorpio, TikToker, you name it), we want to hear what dating in America is like for you and the thoughts you have while working through the talking stage, first dates, navigating love, working through dating problems, etc.

Keep Reading... Show less

30 Black-Owned Skincare Brands Every Beauty-Lover Should Know About In 2020

They're not changing the game — they're making a new one.

Skin is something most beauty-lovers obsess over from our early teens, whether our aim is to be glowier, softer, dewier, or poreless, most of us are consistently tracking a new skincare goal. No matter how many products we try, we'll likely forage on with the goal of IRL Photoshopped skin, no matter how many dollars go to them.

The black-founded skincare brands below are the brainchildren of extreme dedication and resilience within the privileged world of beauty. Born out of resilient entrepreneurs overcoming circumstance in a world that does not favor business people of color, these brands have loyal cult followings, and with good reason.

Keep Reading... Show less

A huge part of being in a relationship is communication and, well, part of communication is listening. So, why not have a little fun with your partner and see just how well they know you?

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

7 Ways You Can Safely Attend A Protest In The Middle Of A Pandemic

Wear a mask, but speak up.

It seems like coronavirus (COVID-19) has been around forever now. Life before masks and with public sporting events is a distant memory, hoping to make a comeback sometime this year. We've all had to make some sort of life changes to abide by this pandemic's rules. But that doesn't mean everything has stopped. On May 25, George Floyd died at the hands of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, sparking a cry for justice and racial equality across the nation.

For the last week, protests have taken place in major cities like New York City, LA, DC, Chicago, Phoenix, Portland, Dallas, and Floyd's hometown of Minneapolis. Many of the cities experiencing protests have begun phased reopening, while others (specifically New York City and LA) have yet to begin phase one of post-coronavirus reopening.

As COVID-19 is hardly in our rearview mirror, there are extra precautions protestors can take as they advocate for justice.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

5 Helpful, Effective Mental Health Resources Specifically For The Black Community

These organizations are qualified, caring, and acknowledging the mental trauma individuals are experiencing.

On May 25, George Floyd died after being pinned to the ground by a Minneapolis police officer. In the last week, protests have sprung up across the nation, demanding justice for Floyd and accountability for police brutality. Social media has also seen widespread conversation regarding Floyd's death, Black Lives Matter, and racism in the United States. Today is #BlackoutTuesday, where many are sharing a single black square to represent unity and support for Black voices.

In light of the heavy climate that our country is facing, it is a safe assumption that many individuals' mental health may be suffering. We wanted to highlight mental health resources and organizations that are Black-owned and prepared to assist in whatever you're going through.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments