It’s about that time. Every Memorial Day, we mourn members of the US military who died serving their country. You might already know that in functional fitness, we have hero WODs that honor fallen soldiers. One such hero WOD is Murph, famously held in gyms across the world every Memorial Day. The workout remembers Navy Lt. Michael Murphy, a Navy SEAL who died in Afghanistan in 2005.

For time, complete:

  • 1-mile run
  • 100 pull-ups
  • 2oo push-ups
  • 300 air squats
  • 1-mile run

If you want to do it Rx’d, wear a weighted vest (20/14lbs).

Murph is famously brutal, but we do it year after year anyway. Josh Bridges once did it on the Great Wall of China, and Lee Davis did it 16 times in one day.

It’s not as simple as it looks, so, let’s talk strategy. Remember these Murph tips this Memorial Day to post your fastest time yet.

athlete on pull-up bar wearing hand grips

3 Murph Tips to Make the Hero WOD a Little Less Painful

Whether you plan to do the workout Rx’d or not, these tips will help!

1. Pace Yourself — Break Up the Reps From the Beginning

You’re going to feel really good that first mile. Similarly, the first several pull-ups, push-ups, and squats might not feel that hard. Regardless, hold back, and importantly, never sprint.

You might find it helpful to go into the WOD with a plan for breaking up your reps. For example, 100 pull-ups might be more manageable if you instead perform them as 10 sets of 10. 300 air squats might not seem as scary if you do 10 sets of 30.

Breaking the reps up early is not just more manageable. It’s going to help you move more efficiently too, which means you’ll finish faster.

2. Gear Up

Any way you cut it, this is a ton of reps. Those pull-ups are no joke, and if you don’t protect your grip, you’re going to be in trouble. Hand grips are an absolute must.

Chalk can also be helpful, since you’re probably going to get seriously sweaty. Some athletes prefer tape, but we still recommend you have a pair of hand grips nearby. You might find that with this number of reps, nothing can really hold a candle to a pair of sturdy grips. You’ll even want the extra cushioning for the push-ups, since your hands will be fried by then.

3. Only Do the Work You Need To

A squat doesn’t need to be ass-to-grass to count. So, do yourself a favor and save your quads. Only squat as low as you need to in order to complete the rep (which would be below parallel). Still pay attention to your technique, but just don’t unnecessarily burn yourself out.

This will save valuable energy.

Murph is that workout we love to hate and hate to love. No matter how tired or sore we are, every Memorial Day, we simply can’t resist. Nothing will stop us from coming together as a community to honor a real hero.

Are you doing Murph this year? If so, be sure to post an update on social media and tag us so that we can cheer you on. Thank you to everyone who has served. We appreciate you.