Today I am going to tackle most famous of all Crossfit WODS. The Murph Crossfit workout. This workout is part of a group of workouts called Hero WODS. These are workouts named after fallen soldiers or first responders. Now, I’m not on at all to give hero status to those who just do their job, instead I believe heroes are men or women who have fallen in the line of duty while doing something extraordinary.
The WOD I want to talk about today is named after Lieutenant Michael Murphy. Here is a bit about this amazing man who became a hero for what the did one day not for what the does.
The WOD is best illustrated by this picture.
About The Man and His Hero Status
LT. Michael P. Murphy
United States Navy (SEAL)
May 7, 1976 – June 28, 2005
LT. Michael P. Murphy (SEAL) was the officer-in-charge of a four-man SEAL element in support of Operation Red Wings, tasked with finding a key anti-coalition militia commander near Asadabad, Afghanistan. Shortly after inserting into the objective area, the SEALs were spotted by three goat herders who were initially detained and then released. It is believed the goat herders immediately reported the SEALs’ presence to Taliban fighters.
A fierce gun battle ensued on the steep face of the mountain between the SEALs and a much larger enemy force. Despite the intensity of the firefight and suffering grave gunshot wounds himself, Murphy is credited with risking his own life to save the lives of his teammates. Murphy, intent on making contact with headquarters, but realizing this would be impossible in the extreme terrain where they were fighting, unhesitatingly and with complete disregard for his own life moved into the open, where the could gain a better position to transmit a call to get help for his men.
Moving away from the protective mountain rocks, the knowingly exposed himself to increased enemy gunfire. This deliberate and heroic act deprived him of cover and made him a target for the enemy. While continuing to be fired upon, Murphy made contact with the SOF Quick Reaction Force at Bagram Air Base and requested assistance. He calmly provided his unit’s location and the size of the enemy force while requesting immediate support for his team. At one point, the was shot in the back causing him to drop the transmitter. Murphy picked it back up, completed the call and continued firing at the enemy who was closing in. Severely wounded, LT. Murphy returned to his cover position with his men and continued the battle.
LT. Murphy fought on, allowing one member of his team (Marcus Luttrell) to escape, before the was killed. For his selfless actions, LT. Michael Murphy was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor on October 27, 2007.
This WOD is brutal. You don’t just do it to complete it in a day. It’s all about time so you push yourself to your limit and beyond for yourself and for the man who came up with it. He did it regularly while on deployment and called it ‘Body Armor’ and encouraged everyone to wear a 20 lb weigh vest.
Murph is a hand destroyer. We do 100 pullups, yes 100. I don’t know anyone who can do that many pullups and not rip their hands or come very close without hand protection. Hand protection that won’t over heat your hands so that probably leaves out the gloves option. A simple Crossfit hand grip would be the only option for me and is usually the norm.
The other issue is knees. You run 2 miles with a bunch of stuff in between included 300 air squats. Now that in itself may not require you to wear the Rehband 7051 knee sleeves which are geared to heave lifting, but a lighter simpler knee sleeve that will keep your knees warm without over heating, but very flexible for the running portion. If you have strong knees with no knee problems then you may not need them at all. For myself, I have a thinner pair around my ankles during the run and then pull them up for the air squats (equating with no weight) because for that many my knees tend to get a bit sore. With the sleeves I wear, no soreness.
When I first did Murph, I strategies and strategies having no idea how to tackle this beast. In the end, I just started and what happened happened. At that time I had know idea how difficult this was. I completed the first mile fairly comfortably and went on to the pullups. That went well for the first 60 when my hands begun to sting. It was very hot outside and hot in the box so the pullup bar was wet and my hands constantly sweaty. I chalked up frequently, but in the end at around the 70 mark I ripped left-hand first and then a few more pullups and my right hand followed. I had no grips at that time so it was my own fault. By the time I made it to the 200 pushups I was doing each one of them with my hands in partial fists to keep my palms from the floor.
That day I learned my lesson. My knees felt great, but my hands were a mess. My time was as good as I hoped it would be but one look at my hands and I knew I wouldn’t be back to the box for at least two days.
I guess I took the long way around talking about what you need to complete a workout successfully without ripped hands that will surely slow you down and make the next few days of your life that much more difficult.
Me, I’ve been an active fittness buff for as long as I can remember and 5 years ago I put all of my efforts into the great sport of CrossFit. This sport has elevated my fitness to new levels through a lot of hard work and dedication and I want to share this with you. Fitness keeps us healthy so get out there.