The CrossFit community is known for two things. Of course one is the challenge that comes with the training. The other is their recognition of charity and causes. One example of this is when they gather at their local boxes to raise money for breast cancer awareness by doing the workout “Grace.”
Another one comes around every Memorial Day, and it might be the most recognized event in the CrossFit community. On the last Monday in May, these men and women push themselves to complete a workout that recognizes the efforts of the men and women of the U.S. military. The event is called “Murph” and for those of you who aren’t aware of it, this is what the workout looks like.
1 mile run
1 mile run
Beginners can do this alone, but more advanced athletes will do the recommended (Rx) version, which includes wearing a weighted vest that is either 20 or 14 pounds.
The workout is named after Lt. Michael P. Murphy who was a Navy SEAL killed in Afghanistan while serving in 2005. The tradition has become known as “Memorial Day Murph,” but this workout has also been a part of the CrossFit Games.
How to Prepare for Murph
If you’re someone who will be doing this workout for the first time, then it would be good for you to prepare accordingly and having some help from an experienced coach would serve you well. Elvis Kranski is a coach and athlete. He’s currently preparing for the 2019 Granite Games. His best time at Murph with the vest is 43 minutes. Below, he shares five tips that will help you be at your best should you decide to join in on this annual community event.
Use Your Time Wisely
Going all-out is great but two miles and 600 total reps is going to take a while, so Kranski wants you to think about the overall workout instead of focusing on speed at the start. “Remember that this a longer workout. Don’t come out hot especially on the first mile portion. Try to stick to the game plan.”
Having workouts to prepare you for an event like Murph would help you develop a strategy and Kranski has one that he thinks would be a great choice. “Try to fit the workout ‘Cindy’ in sometime before Murph. This will help you create your game plan in Murph. This will help you determine whether you are doing 10 sets of 10x20x30 or 20 sets of 5x10x15.”
Complete as many rounds in 20 minutes as you can of:
Work on Weaknesses
You are only going to be as strong as your weakest link, so Kranski says to find what you need to improve on and focus on getting better. “Try to add in some volume of weakness training prior to Murph. An example for myself is adding in running intervals of 400 meters with a vest because the run is the hardest part of that workout specifically for me. I train running a couple weeks prior so that mentally I’m prepared and so that the lungs are ready.”
Control Your Breathing
As with any challenging athletic endeavor, you need to have a plan for taking in oxygen and sticking with it. This seems simple, but remember it when you’re in the middle of Murph. “Remember to control your breathing. In a high rep workout it’s very important to control your breathing, which will help you control your heart rate and then you don’t have to take those long breaks where you’re gasping for air. Sticking to smart rep schemes go hand in hand with you allowing to keep your heart rate down.”
Nutrition and hydration are a must and that goes for before the workout too, so Kranski offers this one as his final reminder before you step to the starting line. “Drink plenty of water and make sure you eat properly beforehand. It’s hard to perform at a high level unless you have the proper fuel in your body.”
Roger Lockridge is from Lewisburg, West Virginia. His work has been featured on numerous platforms and magazines in the fitness industry over the last 10 years. You can find him on Twitter and Instagram @rocklockridge.