Memorial Day will be here tomorrow, and with it, the chance to honor one of our country’s fallen heroes, Lt. Michael Murphy. Lt. Murphy was a Navy SEAL officer who was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2005. You can read more about him HERE.
The hero workout Murph is done every year, typically on Memorial Day, in remembrance of his sacrifice for our country. If you’re like me, you are getting ready to do it, and possibly for the very first time. It's a daunting task, no doubt. Below is the workout in its entirety. If it looks intimidating, don’t worry. While it's a grueling workout, I’ve got some tips to help get you through it. This workout is an enormous physical and mental challenge, but more importantly it's also a way to honor Lt. Murphy. Let’s take a look at it and discuss some tips to help you complete it.
1 mile run
100 pull ups
200 push ups
1 mile run
Tip #1: This is probably the most important one. SCALE APPROPRIATELY. 2 miles of running and 600 reps is a lot of work. This isn't a time to let your ego shine. There are plenty of ways to modify this workout based on your ability level, and we highly recommend you do so. The most popular method is to break up the 600 reps into 20 rounds of 5 pull ups, 10 push ups, and 15 squats. This is a great option if you are new to CrossFit or just aren't sure your body can handle completing the reps in large chunks as it's written. The point of the workout is to work to the best of your abilities to complete the work that you are capable of, and to do it in honor of a fallen hero. If for you, that's scaling back a little bit then great. There’s absolutely no shame in that. Work hard and do quality reps that you are proud of. Which leads to our second tip.
Tip #2: Don’t worry about the clock. If you’re looking for a short to moderate length workout, this isn't the one for you. This is meant to be a long workout. A long grind, and an uncomfortable one. Instead, focus on QUALITY REPS. This means pull-ups where your chin clears the bar, push-ups where your chest touches the ground, and squats where your butt goes below parallel. This will mean doing smaller sets than you want to and that's ok. Soldiers don't give their lives for this country so you can half-ass your push ups and brag about your time on the gram. Your goal should be to perform quality reps until the end of the workout.
Tip #3 is along the same lines. Remember why you are doing this. I love this workout. I love everything about it. The physical challenge, the mental challenge, the sense of camaraderie I experience suffering alongside my friends. But what I love the most about it is what it stands for. I love that it's a way to remember and honor a man who made the ultimate sacrifice so that you and I can enjoy life in the greatest country on Earth. Keep that in mind this Memorial Day as you are slogging through those push-ups. Be thankful that we get to do workouts like this to honor Lt. Murphy and all the men and women like him who gave their lives for our country. I promise it’ll help you keep going. Now grab some friends and get after it!