CrossFit Hero WOD “Murph”
1 mile Run
1 mile Run
70 min 07 sec – Fitness Level 0 – Beginner athlete
63 min 45 sec – Fitness Level 25 – Beginner athlete
57 min 17 sec – Fitness Level 50 – Average athlete
47 min 01 sec – Fitness Level 75 – Average athlete
40 min 37 sec – Fitness Level 90 – Advanced athlete
36 min 45 sec – Fitness Level 95 – Advanced athlete
32 min 34 sec – Fitness Level 98 – Elite athlete
28 min 35 sec – Fitness Level 100 – Regional athlete
What is Murph?
Hero WOD Murph is one of the best-known hero workouts in the CrossFit community. This WOD is usually done during the Memorial day as the honor of Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy. The popularity of the Murph raised when it appeared on the 2015 and 2016 CrossFit Games.
Unpartitioned vs. Partitioned Murph
There are several ways how you can do the Murph workout.
You can either do the Murph unpartitioned as chipper, just do all the work for a time, or you can do the Murph partitioned where you do full runs but split middle part of 100 Pull Ups (PLL) – 200 Push Ups (PSH) – 300 Air Squats (ASQ) to multiple sets of lower reps.
Good time to beat for the unpartitioned Murph is about 40 minutes for advanced athletes and under 30 minutes for elite athletes. If you are a beginner, then a good milestone is 60 minutes.
The partitioned Murph is a lot of quicker as you can keep moving all the time without resting and your total time is determined by how fast you are running or moving through bodyweight movements.
Good time to beat for the partitioned is about 35 minutes for advanced athletes, and top athletes may finish it even under 25 minutes if they push hard on the run. A good milestone for beginners is about 50 minutes.
Don’t worry if you can’t finish the Murph under 60 minutes, it is very long and difficult WOD. There are people who have done the Murph in 120 minutes and it was definitely worth their time!
If you are interested in good times to beat for different WODs make sure to check out the WOD Time Calculator app.
Weight Vest vs. Bodyweight
The Murph is one of a few WODs that is usually done with the 20/14 lbs weight vest.
If you are new to the Murph, it is a better idea to do your first Murph without a weight vest, once partitioned and then unpartitioned and after that try it with a weight vest.
Add about 10 to 20 minutes to good times to beat if you are using a weight vest. Extra 10 minutes is for elite athletes while extra 20 minutes is for beginner athletes.
How to Partition Murph?
Partitioning depends on your goal, but there is a simple rule.
More sets = better time, less sets = slower time.
There are some exceptions like doing too many sets (100 rounds of 1 PLL – 2 PSH – 3 ASQ) where a total transition time will be too significant to make your workout time faster.
One of the most common ways to partition the Murph is to do 20 rounds of 5 PLL – 10 PSH – 15 ASQ. It is one of the faster ways how to get through the Murph quickly, but I’ve found that one of the quickest ways is to partition it a little more to 20 rounds of 5 PLL – 5 PSH – 7 ASQ – 5 PSH – 8 ASQ.
Doing it this way, you will have more transitions between movements, but you can move much faster on each movement as reps in sets are low enough to blaze through them.
There are also extreme variants like 100 rounds of 1 PLL – 2 PSH – 3 ASQ or 50 rounds of 2 PLL – 4 PSH – 6 ASQ. These are usually not faster. You can benefit from it only if you are new to pull-ups or if you are using a weight vest and one of the movements is a huge problem for you.
On the other side, there are variations of Murph that are partitioned to only a few rounds like 5 rounds of 20 PLL – 40 PSH – 60 ASQ, 4 rounds of 25 PLL, 50 PSH, 75 ASQ or 2 rounds of 50 PLL, 100 PSH, 150 ASQ. These will be still faster than unpartitioned Murph but your time will be much slower compared to the 20 rounds Murph.
In my opinion, you don’t need to scale Murph unless you are new to a world of fitness. It is also a bad idea to do the Murph if you can only do a few kipping pull-ups or a few push-ups. In this case, do just half Murph and scale the pull-ups for ring rows or push-ups for push-ups on knees.
But if you have done CrossFit for a few months, you can already hit at least 5 kipping pull-ups, and you can do 10 straight push-ups then it is time to do the Murph for the first time RX! It will hurt, but you can finish it if you partition it enough (even 100 rounds of 1-2-3 may be a good idea for you).
If you are still too scared, just set a time cap for 60 minutes and keep moving till the clock stops.
I know, that some of you may not agree with me that beginner should be doing RX Murph but we all remember the first time that we did that super hard WOD, and I think that the Murph is an excellent introduction to these crazy WODs.
Progressing through the Murph
As I mentioned earlier, there are multiple ways how to do the Murph. In the table below you will find out different versions of the Murph sorted by the difficulty. The table doesn’t contain all possible version of the Murph, but it can give you a great idea how could you progress through the Murph.
|From the easiest to the hardest|
|Scaled partitioned Murph (half Murph, scale movements)|
|Scaled unpartitioned Murph (half Murph, scale movements)|
|Partitioned 20 rounds Murph (run + 20×5-10-15 + run)|
|Partitioned 5 rounds Murph (run + 5×20-40-60 + run)|
|Unpartitioned 1 round Murph (run + 100-200-300 + run)|
|Partitioned 20 rounds Murph, strict pull-ups (run + 20×5-10-15 + run)|
|Partitioned 5 rounds Murph, strict pull-ups (run + 5×20-40-60 + run)|
|Unpartitioned 1 round Murph, strict pull-ups (run + 100-200-300 + run)|
|Partitioned 20 rounds Murph, weight vest (run + 20×5-10-15 + run)|
|Partitioned 5 rounds Murph, weight vest (run + 5×20-40-60 + run)|
|Unpartitioned 1 round Murph, weight west (run + 100-200-300 + run)|
|Partitioned 20 rounds Murph, weight vest, strict pull ups (run + 20×5-10-15 + run)|
|Partitioned 5 rounds Murph, weight vest, strict pull ups (run + 5×20-40-60 + run)|
|Unpartitioned 1 round Murph, weight west, strict pull ups (run + 100-200-300 + run)|
This type of Murph deserves a special paragraph. Your goal in this version of the Murph is to run a 1-mile then get through 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, and 300 air squats anyway you like and then finish it with a 1-mile run.
When you are doing the chaos Murph you want to do a large set of one movement, and when you get tired, you switch to the next movement, no matter how many reps you have finished.
For example, you will do 20 pull-ups unbroken then 20 push-ups and 35 air squats, then 8 pull-ups, 15 push-ups, 20 air squats, etc. There is no rule for the reps. Your goal is to finish 100-200-300 before starting the last run. You may even find out yourself completing last 100 squats with having pull-ups and push-ups done.
In theory, this is one of the fastest ways how to finish the Murph as you always do just as many reps you can without resting.