Hello, MBS’ers! Murph is coming up on Monday and we couldn’t be more excited for you to do it with us. If you answer “No” to any of the following questions, you should be prepared to scale the WOD, and we’ve got lots of options!
- Have you ever done Murph before?
- Do you have 5 unbroken strict pull ups?
- Do you have 10 unbroken kipping pull ups?
- Can you do 20 unbroken push ups?
- Can you perform 50 unbroken air squats?
- Can you run a mile without pain?
For first timers, this WOD comes with a lot of questions. Even for those of us that have completed in many times, there are always doubts about the “right way” or “most efficient” techniques to be better. Let’s address what Murph is, ways to perform it, defining your goal, and ways to scale so that you go into the weekend with clear expectations and a solid plan for your Monday Fitness!
First the WOD itself – this image is taken from the original August 2005 CrossFit.com post:
There are a number of things to note here:
First, it’s a Hero workout, dedicated in memory of Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy. I highly recommend you read the story of his life and death. We will talk more about him on Monday in class.
Second, it very clearly says to “partition the pull-ups, push-ups, and squats as needed.” I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve heard someone complain that breaking it up is wrong, or not Rx. Breaking up the movements in the middle is highly encouraged!!
Third, take a hard look at this line: “If you’ve got a 20# vest or body armor, wear it.” Odds are there are very few of us that own a weight vest or body armor. If you are a firefighter, police officer, or military member, and you actually own a vest or body armor, then I would say you need to wear it to call it Rx. I’m not saying you *should* wear it, but we will cover that later.
Murph has MANY variations, weighted straight through as written, weighted partitioned, non-weighted straight through, non-weighted partitioned, etc. Each variation has a place and purpose, depending on your goal. Whether it’s “suffering” to feel a connection to the pain and loss of the honoree of the Hero WOD, fitness to get the most training value possible, or doing it for the community aspect of coming together for something special. These are all excellent goals to have! In reality, scaling is the smart choice for most of us.
Scaling options come in many varieties. If you are performing it on your own, consider doing a 1/2 or 1/4 version. For example, a 1/2 Murph would be an 800m run, 50 pull-ups, 100 push-ups, 150 air squats, and another 800m run. This is a great way to get the feel of the workout without the massive volume. Partnering up with others and splitting the work yields great results and keeps long term soreness to a minimum. A pair of athletes could alternate every 400m on the run and then chose to partition into 20 alternating rounds of 5 pull ups, 10 push ups, and 15 air squats. Rowing and assault bike are great options for those unable to run.
There are many varieties to choose from when you partition this WOD. Most people tend to attack it as 20 rounds of “Cindy”, 5 pull ups, 10 push ups, and 15 air squats. You can scale those sets up or down depending on your strength and endurance levels. Like all workouts, there are general tips to get a good score. Minimize your rest as much as possible. Break into small sets early so you don’t devolve into singles on the push ups or squats later. On the last mile, run like you mean it and not like someone about to be handed a participation medal!
I hope this has been useful to you and that you can easily decide the best way to enjoy our festivities on Monday. I look forward to coaching you all, celebrating the life of Lt. Murphy, and sharing good food and cold drinks afterward!