Every Memorial Day weekend, the world of CrossFit remembers those fallen heroes who gave their lives to keep us safe by performing one of the most rigorous of the CrossFit Hero Wods…the Murph Wod. This is one of the most grueling of the CrossFit Hero Wods and was named after fallen Navy SEAL LT. Michael P. Murphy.

The Story Behind the Murph Wod

LT. Murphy led a team of 4 Navy SEALs on a mission to capture or kill a key Taliban leader and found themselves seriously outnumbered in a firefight with hundreds of enemy troops in mountainous terrain. Pinned down and under intense enemy fire, with their communications operator severely wounded, they were in desperate need of help. Due to the terrain, their communications could not be received.

Understanding the situation, LT.  Murphy moved to open ground, to use his satellite phone, exposing himself to enemy fire. LT. Murphy was mortally wounded making that call. They continued fighting until LT. Murphy and two of his three teammates were slain. His fourth team member, severely injured himself, managed to escape and was rescued 4 days later. He went on to tell the story in the book and movie titled “The Lone Survivor”.

For his selfless leadership, courageous actions and extraordinary devotion to duty, LT. Michael P. Murphy was posthumously rewarded the Medal of Honor, the first service member to receive the medal for service in Afghanistan, and the first Navy recipient of the medal since Vietnam.

This workout was one of Mike’s favorites and he’d named it ‘Body Armor’, but is now known 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.

What is the Murph Wod

In the Murph Wod, you complete for time:

If you think that isn’t enough, the true Murph WOD calls for donning a 20 pound vest and doing the whole working wearing that vest.

Warm up Stretches for the CrossFit Murph Wod

The Movements for the CrossFit Murph Wod



Recovery Stretching for the CrossFit Murph Wod

Tips and Tricks for the CrossFit Murph Wod

  • While the CrossFit Murph Hero RX workout calls for the pull ups, push ups and air squats to be done in order. An RX variant is to break up the movements into rounds. You must run the the entire mile before and after, however.
  • Before you try the RX with weight vest, progress this way:
    • Complete the workout by breaking it into sets
    • Complete the workout by breaking into sets under an hour
    • Complete the workout as prescribed (in order) under an hour
    • Complete the workout with the vest breaking it up into sets
    • Complete the workout with vest as prescribed
  • Pace yourself on the push ups and pull ups. If you bite off more than you can chew you can burn out fast. Some people break them into 15’s or 20’s and then find half way in they are struggling to do 2-3 at a time.
  • Drink regularly throughout the workout.
  • Do it in a group: It’s much more motivating when everyone else around you is struggling with you.
  • If you cannot do a full Murph wod, start out with a “Half Murph”, where you cut everything in half.
  • Scale if your need to. Click the links above for scales for all of the movements.

Suggested Rep Schemes For The CrossFit Murph Wod


The 5-10-15 pattern is probably the most common pattern CrossFitters follow. This mirrors the rep pattern of the CrossFit benchmark workout, Cindy:
20 rounds of

  • 5 Pull Ups
  • 10 Push Ups
  • 15 Air Squats


If push ups are a particular challenge for you consider the following:
20 rounds of

  • 5 Push Ups
  • 5 Pull Ups
  • 5 Push Ups
  • 15 Air Squats


Similar to the 5-5-5-15 on above:
20 rounds of

  • 5 Pull Ups
  • 5 Air Squats
  • 5 Push Ups
  • 10 Air Squats
  • 5 Push Ups

CrossFit Murph Wod Goal Times

  • 75+ Minutes – Beginner
  • 60 to 75 Minutes –Level 1
  • 50 to 60 Minutes – Level 2
  • 45 to 50 Minutes – Level 3
  • 40 to 45 Minutes – Elite
  • Under 40 Minutes – Super Elite

Now that you know how to optimize and maximize your performance for the Murph Wod go out and get after it.