MURPH Preparation

Tomorrow is Memorial Day and that means one thing:


for time:
1-mile run
100 pullups
200 pushups
300 air squats
1-mile run

Partition the pullups, pushups, and squats however needed. If you have a 14/20lbs weight vest or backpack, wear it!

From on 8/18/2005:
“In memory of Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy, 29, of Patchogue, N.Y., who was killed in Afghanistan June 28th, 2005. This workout was one of Mike’s favorites and he’d named it “Body Armor”. From here on it will be referred to as “Murph” in honor of the focused warrior and great American who wanted nothing more in life than to serve this great country and the beautiful people who make it what it is.”

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We will run our holiday schedule with three class times– 8am, 9:30am, and 11am– with two class types:
1. Single-Occupant Lanes (Limit of 6 per class time) and
2. Open Lanes (Limit of 12 per class time)


To scale down try doing the full run to start and end the workout, but cut the reps in half: 50 pullups, 100 pushups, 150 air squats.

To scale up try doing this UNPARTITIONED. That means completing the workout as written above. Do all 100 pullups before moving onto the 200 pushups before completing the 300 squats.


Instead of running 1-mile you can row a 2k, bike a 3k, or do 200 jumping jacks

If pullups cannot be done unassisted let’s do ring rows or toe-assisted pullups on short bars.

If pushups are tough or you risk complete failure, try pushups with hands on an elevation (box, bench, ramp) to decrease leverage.

If full range of motion squats are too difficult (or you have a muscular issue below the belt) then try squatting to a target like Dynamax medicine ball or even the bench.


Unless you opt for the unpartitioned version it’s all about what level of stamina you’ve got when it comes to the pullups, pushups, and squats. The goal is continual movement and not hitting failure.

Option 1
Becoming a more popular option is 2 pullups, 4 pushups, 6 squats x 50 rounds. You’ll most likely never hit failure in this version but you need to stay on top of transition times. And counting.

Option 2
Another popular method gaining traction is 3 pullups, 6 pushups, 9 squats x 33 rounds. You’ll buy in with a 1 pullup, 2 pushups, 3 squats round, but this reduces the amount of transitions from the previous option down.

Option 3
The classic “CINDY” benchmark volume of 5 pullups, 10 pushups, 15 squats x 20 rounds is popular because it’s the most practiced option. That said there’s a chance that 10 pushups is too much, so I’d suggest the pushup-break variation of 5 pullups, 5 pushups, 15 squats, 5 pushups for 20 rounds.

Option 4
10 pullups, 20 pushups, 30 squats x 10 rounds is nice when you’re a bodyweight movement specialist. Again you can pushup-break variation with 10 pullups, 10 pushups, 30 squats, 10 pushups to keep the chest and triceps from hitting the wall.


Make sure your hands are okay and the calluses aren’t close to ripping.

Sticking with grip (GET IT?!), you should be mindful of chalking your hands and ensuring a good grip on the bar or rings. Gymnastics grips are a great idea- and we sell a limited quantity at the gym if you need any. Use tape for a more budget-conscious option.

There is a high cardio element to this workout so it’s important to get the heart rate up, your breathing worked up, and a light sweat started prior to starting to avoid potential issues later.

I’d recommend your most stable-for-squats running shoes for the workout to take care of the impact of the runs and the drops from the pullup bar.

If you plan to wear a vest or ruck then a breathable tee underneath would be good. You think ab-mat situp butt rash is gnarly? All those contact points of the vest, especially ill-fitting ones, spell trouble for your shoulders, obliques, and legs.

If you’re reading this well ahead of the actual workout then you need to be HYDRATED as you are going to sweat. A ton.

Also get some glycogen from carbs in the muscles the day before because this will be a very long workout (45-70 minutes) for most people. We don’t want anyone bonking out.

Remember that benchmark workouts like these (HERO WODS) are designed to be brutal to honor the sacrifices many of these military, firefighter, and LEO have made. We don’t program them often so that when they show up you can feel free to go full send.

Otherwise sleep well and we’ll see you for MURPH!