“Murph” – Quarantine Style. Tips, Tricks, and How to Scale

Several months ago Port Orchard Police Chief Brown approached us with the idea of collaborating for our annual Memorial Day Murph workout. The original plan was for us to host the workout and festivities, while the police department would put on a pancake feed at the gym and sponsor The Murph Challenge – the Official annual fundraiser of the LT. Michael P. Murphy Memorial Scholarship Foundation. Like most of you, we’ve had to change our plans for this Memorial Day. Chief Brown has sponsored The Murph Challenge, and we will all be completing the workout in our online classes, or on our own at home. I thought I’d share some helpful tips on how to approach this workout, from home. First, here’s a little about the workout:


“Murph” was originally posted on CrossFit.com on August 18th, 2005 by Lauren Glassman. The description read:

In memory of Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy, 29, of Patchogue, N.Y., who was killed in Afghanistan June 28th, 2005.

This workout was one of Mike’s favorites and he’d named it “Body Armor”. From here on it will be referred to 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.

Partition the 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, and 300 squats as needed. Start and finish with a mile run. If you’ve got a twenty pound vest or body armor, wear it.

Performing the movements at home

With some slight modifications most of us will still be able to complete the annual workout from home. The first thing you need is to find out how and where you can perform pull-ups. If you don’t have access to a pull-up bar, read about how to perform pull-ups and modified pull-ups at home. Next you need to mark out our run. Try to find a safe space and mark a mile, or a smaller chunk to perform several laps. If you are limited in space, find a small space and jog the same time it takes to complete your run. You can also jump rope, row, bike, or perform jumping jacks to scale the run. Feel free to mix and match.


Hydrate, eat food after the workout, and throughout the weekend! You probably won’t have the typical Memorial Day weekend filled with plans of fun, beer, and BBQ’s, but still, please don’t attempt the workout hungover, or dehydrated. Not only will you have a terrible time, but you’ll be putting yourself at risk for a condition called rhabdomyolysis. Luckily, nobody has ever gotten this performing Murph at CrossFit NXNW! If you have never heard of rhabdomyolysis or would like to learn more, I encourage you to read this article: http://library.crossfit.com/free/pdf/CFJ_Ray_rhabdo1.pdf

Scale accordingly

The RX version of the workout can be a little intense for a lot of people, so if needed, be sure to scale. Here are some ways to scale the workout:

Volume – Complete the workout with a friend or family member with your ability level and split the reps in half. Don’t have a partner? Reduce the reps to a challenging yet safe number for your ability level.

Movements – Scale the pull-ups with rows, and the push-ups with elevated push-ups. Unable to run two miles? Break up the run. You can also jump rope, row, bike, or perform jumping jacks to scale the run.

Partition reps – Unable to complete this “chipper” style (all reps performed consecutively)? This workout allows you to break up the movements. Here are a couple popular ways of partitioning:

Cindy style: This mirrors the rep scheme of the CrossFit benchmark workout Cindy:
20 rounds of:
5 pullups
10 pushups
15 squats

5-5-15: If pushups are a particular challenge for you consider the following scheme
20 rounds of:
5 pushups
5 pullups
5 pushups
15 squats

5-5-5-10-5: Similar to the 5-5-5-15. 20 rounds of:
5 pullups
5 squats
5 pushups
10 squats
5 pushups

Reach out to us to help you tailor the workout which best suits your abilities.

Complete full reps

If you are completing the RX version of this workout, please hold yourself accountable to completing proper reps. Make sure that chin clears the bar and your arms are straight at the bottom of the pull-ups. Make sure that chest touches the ground on the push-ups. If you are too fatigued to complete a proper rep, slow down or scale!

Post your score

If you would like to log your Murph time to compare to your friends, please post your score and modifications in the comments section of our WOD page. The Murph workout post will go live on Memorial Day.

Complete the Workout With an Online Class

Your coaches and friends miss you! It would be great to see all of you even if you just show up to say hi. Many of our online class participants have expressed how helpful its been to see the familiar faces each day during this stressful time. Plus, we all need an extra push sometimes. Sign-up for our online classes

LT. Michael P. Murphy Memorial Scholarship Foundation

If you choose, you can donate to the Murph Challenge