Conquer the Hero WOD Murph: Your Ultimate Training Plan

Pull ups, Murph Challenge, workout rig
/ Apr 09, 2024

If you're a CrossFit enthusiast or simply someone who loves a good fitness challenge, you've likely heard of the CrossFit Hero WOD Murph, often referred to as the Murph Challenge. Named in honor of Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy, a fallen soldier who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor, Murph is a grueling test of strength, muscular endurance, and mental fortitude.

This workout is traditionally performed on Memorial Day to remember and honor Michael Murphy and other fallen soldiers. The CrossFit favorite workout requires little more than a pull-up bar and weighted vest but still poses an intense challenge for enthusiasts and elite athletes alike.

But how do you prepare for such an intense challenge? In this blog post, we'll provide you with the ultimate training guide to conquer the Hero WOD Murph.

The Murph: Breaking Down the Workout

Before we dive into the training plan, let's first understand the structure of the Murph workout. It consists of the following:

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

All of this is done while wearing a 20-pound weight vest (for men) or a 14-pound weight vest (for women). The goal is to complete the workout as fast as possible, with the only rule being that the runs must be completed at the beginning and end of the workout. The pull-ups, push-ups, and air squats can be partitioned as needed.

Your 8-Week Murph Training Plan

To successfully tackle Murph and make it your new favorite workout, we've designed an 8-week training plan to help you build the necessary strength, endurance, and mental toughness required to succeed on the big workout day.

Weeks 1-2: Building the Foundation

Run 3 times a week, gradually increasing your distance to reach a comfortable 2-mile run. Incorporate 2-3 bodyweight strength training sessions per week, focusing on pull-ups, push-ups, bodyweight squats, or box squats. Practice pacing and partitioning your reps for the Murph (e.g., 20 rounds of 5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, and 15 air squats).

Weeks 3-4: Upping the Intensity

Add interval runs (sprints) to one of your weekly runs to build speed and cardiovascular endurance. Introduce a weighted vest or conditioning sandbag in one of your strength training sessions to simulate Murph's weight requirement. Increase the volume of your strength training sessions to mimic Murph's rep scheme (e.g., 10 rounds of 10 pull-ups, 20 push-ups, and 30 air or bodyweight squats).

Weeks 5-6: Endurance and Efficiency

Maintain your running regimen while focusing on improving your mile time. Continue to use the weighted vest or sandbag in your strength training sessions, but aim to increase the overall number of reps. Work on refining your technique for pull-ups, push-ups, and air or box squats to maximize efficiency and minimize fatigue.

Weeks 7-8: The Final Stretch

Combine your strength training and running in a single workout at least once a week to simulate the Murph's structure. Gradually increase the weight in your vest to reach the Murph's requirement (20 pounds for men, 14 pounds for women). Perform a "mini Murph" (half the reps) to gauge your readiness and identify areas needing improvement.

Rest and Recovery

Don't forget the importance of rest and recovery during your training. Schedule at least one rest day per week and listen to your body. Proper nutrition, hydration, and sleep are crucial to ensure your body can handle the demands of the Murph training plan. Incorporate stretching and mobility exercises to keep your muscles and joints in peak condition.

Murph Day: Tips for Success

After following this 8-week training plan, you should be ready to tackle the Hero WOD Murph like an elite athlete. Here are some tips to help you succeed on the big day:

  1. Warm-up: Don't underestimate the importance of a proper warm-up. Spend at least 10-15 minutes getting your body ready for the intense workout ahead. Include dynamic stretches using a resistance band or similar, mobility exercises, and light cardio.

  2. Pace Yourself: It's crucial to find a pace that allows you to maintain your energy throughout the workout. Start the first mile at a comfortable pace, as you'll need to conserve energy for the pull-ups, push-ups, and air squats.

  3. Partition Wisely: Break up the pull-ups, push-ups, and air squats into manageable sets. Many athletes find success with the popular "Cindy" rep scheme (20 rounds of 5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, and 15 air squats). Choose a strategy that works best for your fitness level and abilities.

  4. Stay Hydrated: Keep a water bottle nearby and take small sips throughout the workout. Staying hydrated will help you avoid cramps and maintain performance.

  5. Mental Fortitude: Remember the reason behind the Murph – honoring fallen soldiers. When the workout gets tough, remind yourself of the sacrifices made by these brave men and women. Use their memory as motivation to push through and complete the challenge.

With this comprehensive training guide, you'll be well-prepared to conquer the Hero WOD Murph. Remember to listen to your body, train smart, and most importantly, enjoy the journey. Completing the Murph is a powerful way to test your limits, honor the fallen, and join a community of athletes who share your passion for fitness. Good luck!