Preparing for the “Murph” Challenge

Apr 28, 2017 | Workouts

Male trainer doing a plank with shoulder tap exercise

By Alley Miesch-Nie and Andy Morales, Elite Personal Trainers

In honor of the Navy SEALs and all of our military heroes, we’re dedicating this month’s workout to the brave men and women who have served and continue to serve our country. It’s meant to prepare your lungs and muscles for the Memorial Day weekend challenge of completing the “Murph” challenge.

Popularized by CrossFit, the “Murph” is a grueling test of cardio and muscular endurance invented by Lt. Michael Patrick Murphy, who lost his life in June 2005 during a critical mission in the hills of Afghanistan’s Kunar Province. He was posthumously honored with 14 service medals, including the Medal of Honor, Silver Star, and Purple Heart. The Navy SEALs continue to teach cadets his workout.

The “Murph” Challenge (for time)

  1. One-mile run
  2. 100 pull-ups
  3. 200 push-ups
  4. 300 squats
  5. One-mile run

The pull-ups, push-ups, and squats can be broken up into whatever set and repetition scheme makes sense for you. We understand that not everyone is Navy SEAL fit, so modifications and regressions are allowed. The main goal is to complete all of the reps. Try breaking down the challenge into 20 sets of five pull-ups, 10 push-ups, and 15 squats. If you’re like most, you should be able to get through the push-ups and squats and will have the most trouble with the pull-ups, by far the toughest part.

The Warmup

  1. Battle Rope Single Waves: 1 minute
  2. Push-Ups: 10 reps
  3. Battle Rope Double Waves: 1 minute
  4. Kettlebell Slingshot Around the World: 20 in each direction
  5. Sit Swing-Through: 30 seconds

The Workout

Block #1 – x 3 Rounds

  1. Battle Rope Single Waves: 1 minute
  2. Plank: 1 minute
  3. Skillmill™ Machine – Sled Push or Body Weight Squats: 1 minute
  4. Jumping Jacks: 1 minute
  5. Plank Shoulder Touches: 1 minute
  6. Rest: 1 minute

Block #2 – x 3 Rounds

  1. Static Hold (Pull-Up): 1 minute
  2. Farmer’s Carry: 1 minute
  3. Battle Rope Side-to-Side: 1 minute
  4. Bear Crawl (Forward & Back): 1 minute
  5. Single-Leg butt Lifts: 1 minute (30 seconds on each side)
  6. Rest: 1 minute

Block #3 – x 3 Rounds

  1.  Alternating Reverse Lunges: 1 minute
  2. Sprawls: 1 minute
  3. Burpee with Push-Up and Jack: 1 minute
  4. Supermans: 1 minute
  5. Jumping Jacks: 1 minute
  6. Rest: 1 minute

About the Trainers

Alley Miesch-Nie
Rev32 Co-Lead Coach/Elite Personal Trainer
91 Tango Animal Care Specialists
Army Vet Corp

Alley has over 20 years of experience in the health and fitness industry and has a Master’s in Health Science and Physical Education and a B.S. in Health Recreation and Physical Education. Alley is a Certified Personal Trainer and a Pre/Post Natal Specialist through NASM. She is a former Miss Natural World Bodybuilding Champion, top-level NPC Bodybuilding Champion, former MPVA and AVP Pro Beach and collegiate volleyball player, sponsored World Champion Stand-Up Paddle Boarder, and veteran of the US Army. Alley has a diverse fitness background that has enabled her to specialize in overall body sculpting and sport-specific strength training.

Andy Morales
Rev32 Co-Lead Coach/Elite Trainer
United States Navy Damage Control E-3, USS Saipan
2001-2005

Andy, a graduate of the National Holistic Institute, has over 10 years of coaching and training experience. Now a retired MMA fighter, his goals are to help others lead a healthier and balanced lifestyle. As a lifestyle coach, Andy helps clients understand the balance between training, clean eating, and proper rest.


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