Who’s Murph?

Every year around Memorial Day, CrossFit affiliates around the world start talking about “Murph.”  What’s the deal? Who is Murph?  Why do this specific workout on Memorial Day?  These and other questions are addressed below.

Who is Murph?

Lt Michael MurphyThe “Murph” we refer to is Lt. Michael P. Murphy.  He was a Navy SEAL who was killed at the age of 29 in Afghanistan. He died during an operation where he and his team were severely outnumbered.  Muprh put himself directly in harms way in order to give the rest of his team an advantage.  From the Navy SEAL website,

For about 45 minutes, the men fought on, as ammunition ran low. Three SEALs were wounded by gunfire or rocket- propelled grenades. One screamed, “I’m hit!” Murphy yelled back, “We’re all hit! Keep moving!”

LT Murphy climbed to higher ground and into the open to make an electronic call for help. Despite his severe wounds, he completed the call and continued fighting, exhorting his men to escape while he held off their attackers.

The four-man SEAL squad courageously fought on alone. Michael Murphy, Matthew Axelson and Danny Dietz were killed in the fierce firefight as they provided protective fire that allowed a fourth squad member (Petty Officer Marcus Luttrell) to escape. Wounded in both legs, Luttrell walked several miles and was hidden and protected by an Afghani shepherd until U.S. commandos rescued him July 3, 2005.

The movie “Lone Survivor” is based on his team’s operation.

What is Murph?

Now that you know the man, here is the workout.


For time:
1 mile Run
100 Pull-ups
200 Push-ups
300 Squats
1 mile Run

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

Why Murph?

We perform these workouts to honor those who have made sacrifices while protecting our way of life.  The workouts are named after fallen heroes so that they are remembered.  They deserve not to be forgotten and this is one way to hold their memories close.

Summing it up

Hero WODs represent more than just the programmed movements. These workouts are a way to remember those who have sacrificed to preserve our way of life.  We always want to do well but what matters most is the effort.  Show up, put in the work, honor the heros.  That’s what it’s all about.


Speak Your Mind