On Memorial Day, Affiliates across the nation will be preforming a workout known as “Murph.”
The hero WOD is in memory of Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy who was killed in Afghanistan in June 2005. Sherman Merricks, the owner of Dynasty CrossFit in Gainesville, Florida, said they’ve been doing the Murph workout on Memorial Day weekend for years.
CrossFit HQ made it popular back in the day, and it has become a sort of tradition for many gyms. Plus, it appeared in the 2016 Reebok CrossFit Games.
The WOD is straightforward:
One mile run
300 air squats
One mile run
And really, you should be wearing a 20-pound vest or body armor if you have it.
Whether it’s on the Saturday before Memorial Day with a barbeque after, or on Monday like it will be this year, Merricks said it’s just about getting the community all in one place. “We get together and do a great workout that we don’t get to do a ton,” he said.
In order to have the WOD run smoothly, Merricks will send out an email the day before, reminding athletes to show up early to warm-up and get briefed. Also, he reminds them to hydrate; Murph is no joke in Florida. “Everyone having a great time is the No. 1 key but also is their safety,” said Merricks.
On that note, he said Affiliates and Coaches need to not be afraid to scale athletes. You know your members, and you know where they struggle. The Murph WOD should take athletes an hour tops; Merricks shared if you scale it wrong, it’s a bad time.
At Dynasty, they like to give athletes parameters – like you shouldn’t be working out more than an hour – and will time cap if necessary. “Let’s scale this so it’s a great workout, you have fun, you’re going to be sore, but it doesn’t hurt you the entire week,” he said.
And before the workout starts, they take time to remember why they are doing it. Merricks said they tell the story and honor Lt. Michael Murphy. “Our members love to get together and do that workout to honor Michael Murphy,” said Merricks.
You can use Murph to raise money for various causes, and The Murph Challenge is one of those. It raises funds for the Lt. Michael P. Murphy Memorial Scholarship Foundation. Comment below on how your gym is honoring the fallen this Memorial Day.