Strategies to tackle Murph

Strategies to tackle Murph
/ May 07, 2024
Guido Trinidad

Strategies to tackle the Murph Challenge

Are you ready to tackle one of the most grueling CrossFit workouts this Memorial Day weekend? Peak 360 Coach Guido Trinidad gives tips on how to tackle The Murph Challenge, including how to break up the workout if you're a beginner, where to step on the gas if you're more advanced, and the appropriate mindset to take when approaching a hero wod.

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What is the Murph Workout?

The Murph Challenge is a hero workout and hero wod's are typically named after men and women who have laid down their lives for us so that we can enjoy the freedom. It's named after Michael Murphy who was a navy seal received the Medal of Honor given for his actions during the war in Afghanistan.

The workout consists of the following:

  • 1-mile Run
  • 100 Pull-ups
  • 200 Push-ups
  • 300 Air squats
  • 1-mile Run

Beginner Strategy

If you're a beginner and you've never done a Murph workout before, break up the pull-ups, push-ups, and air squats into 20 rounds of 5 pull ups, 10 push ups, 15 air squats.

If you’ve already completed the Murph Challenge with that rep scheme, decrease to 10 rounds of 10 pull ups, 20 push ups, 30 air squats. It’s still the same amount of volume, just broken up differently.

The less you break it up, the more taxing it is on you muscular system, therefore making it more challenging, from a muscle fatigue and stamina standpoint.

Intermediate Strategy

Michael Murphy used a 20lb vest every single time he performed this workout. Athletes who have completed Murph several times may wish to add a weight vest or complete the workout unpartitioned, meaning you perform 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, and 300 air squats sequentially.

If you choose to perform the workout unpartitioned, it’s important to decide in advance how you will break up the repetitions with short rest periods to avoid hitting complete muscle fatigue at the end of each chunk. I recommend staying within a range of 85 to 92 percent of your threshold. Meaning, if you can perform 11 push ups unbroken, aim for chunks of 10 push-ups broken by a short rest. That is probably about 91% of what you're capable of in that moment.

Advanced Strategy

Lastly, if you've done the Murph unpartitioned or with a vest, the next challenge is to do it with a vest and unpartitioned. My tip here are pretty straightforward. Break it up often, but get right back to work quickly, especially on the pull ups and the push ups.

Think of it in chunks in sets, right? If you want to start with bigger sets in the beginning, then work your way down, but lastly is on those air squats. The workout is won or lost on the air squats and on the final run. Don't just try to knock out 300 air squats, I would go and set to 50 or 60.

On that last run, your legs are going to feel nice and jacked up, so use that first 400 meters to flush out the lactic acid and then give it all you got on the last 1200.


Your mind should not be set on you and your performance and how much you're suffering, but rather on how grateful you are for these men and women who have, who are, and who laid down their lives so that we can enjoy the freedom that we have. A little pain and suffering in a workout is really a fraction of the suffering that they experienced in their families. So this is our way of honoring by saying thank you. That's the mindset that we need to embrace.

Let's do this all together and make it our best Murph yet.

Love you. God bless you.