The Murph: An Extreme Crossfit Bodyweight Workout

I did a Crossfit workout this morning, dubbed the “Murph” named after Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy who was killed in Afghanistan in 2005. According to the post on the Crossfit website, this was one of Michaels favorite workouts and after doing it this morning I can see why.

This workout absolutely kicked my ass.

You can complete this workout in sets or partition it as you like, but you do need to start with the 1 mile run and then end with a 1 mile run. The squats are body weight only although it is suggested that you wear a weighted vest if you have one, which I don’t.

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

I did only traditional push-ups and traditional pull-ups with no variations for this one and partitioned this workout in a way that worked for me. I did all of my pull-ups first and did them in increments of 15 and then down to 10’s for the last 40.

Then I started the push-ups and squats as sets together. I did 20 push-ups, then 30-50 squats and rested for 30-60 seconds and repeated. After about 100 push-ups, I had to slow down to about 10 push-ups each set.

To be honest, I couldn’t even finish this workout. I did my first mile run, all of the push-ups, pull-ups and squats, but on the final run I got a terrible cramp in my side that just wouldn’t go away. I was about .3 miles into the final run. Maybe next time…

If you’ve done any of the P90X workouts, this session probably looks very familiar. The Chest and Back video is basically all pull-ups and push-ups, although the styles vary.

I completed (for the most part) the “Murph” in approximately 1 hour and 12 minutes.

5 Replies to “The Murph: An Extreme Crossfit Bodyweight Workout”

  1. I have a bad left shoulder from an injury and ever since the injury I haven’t been able to do a lot of pull-ups. Any suggestions on what I can do to supplement pull-ups so I can get just as good of a workout. I want to try the Murph workout soon.

    Thanks in advance for your help

  2. Hi Kevin, thanks for stopping by!

    I’m not a personal trainer or anything, but I can tell you what I would do. There are a couple of options:

    You can use resistance bands, P90X style

    You can use either tubing res. bands or rubber band style resistance bands to do assisted pull-ups

    You can use an assisted pull-up machine if you’re at the gym or you can do alternative exercises that work out the same muscle groups, for example the cable pulldown. has a great exercise search if you need some more ideas –

    I would also highly recommend eventually seeking rehabilitative help for your injury. A specialist can help you strengthen the muscles along the chain of muscles that help your injured muscle work.

    Good luck with The Murph!

  3. I did the Murph for the first time on May 23 2015 had to use the bands for my pull ups other than that I got through it 43mn. 19 sec. my birth date is 5/22/45 I’m proud to have done it and gotten through it

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