Murph

When I started this blog one of the goals I set was to complete the Crossfit workout Murph as prescribed.  At that time I had never done the workout but felt it was a good measuring stick for conditioning.  I hoped at that time to be able to complete it in under 45 minutes.

This workout is named after Navy Seal Lieutenant Michael Murphy who died in Afghanistan on June 28, 2005.  He was killed while heroically moving into an exposed area so that he could transmit a call into headquarters to get support for his team.  The workout was one of his favorites and he used to call it Body Armor.

The workout is as follows:

  • 1 mile run
  • 100 pull-ups
  • 200 push-ups
  • 300 squats
  • 1 mile run
  • The pull-ups, push-ups and squats can be partitioned any way you want.
  • The entire workout is done while wearing a 20 lb weighted vest or body armor.

I have not run further than a tenth of a mile in longer than I can remember due to my knee issues.  I use a Schwinn Airdyne in place of running in most of my workouts now. But I woke up yesterday morning determined to do the workout as prescribed and that included the running.  I knew I had to take a slightly slower pace on the run and be very careful with each stride.

Here is a breakdown of how the workout went:

  • My strategy was to do each mile run in around 10 minutes and complete the calisthenics in around 20 minutes.  This would leave me 5 minutes of cushion if I needed it in order to finish in under 45 minutes.
  • 1 mile run – completed in 10 minutes. My knee started bothering me at around half of a mile in and bothered me throughout the workout.
  • I broke down the calisthenics to 20 rounds of 5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups and 15 squats.
    • It took me 21 minutes to complete the 20 rounds.
    • The pull-ups were very inconsistent.  I knew they would be as I have never been much better than OK at these.  I have improved lately but the 20 lb vest definitely adds a good bit of difficulty to these and even though I have been training with the vest I wasn’t prepared for the volume.  I did some of the reps strict, some of them kipping and a lot of them with reduced range of motion.
    • The push-ups were my best movement.  Once again, I knew this would be the case.  I have always been pretty good at these and like the pull-ups have been training with the vest.
    • Due to my knee bothering me I struggled with the squats.  This was unexpected as I am pretty strong at body-weight or air squats.  I was able to complete them but wasn’t happy with the depth I was getting.
  • 1 mile run- completed in 11 minutes.  I wasn’t upset with this time as once again, I knew I would be slow in the runs and also anticipated the second run being slower than the first.
  • 42 minutes total.

Overall I was pleased with my performance.  I did not anticipate my knee bothering me like it did.   I had been experimenting with my stride for a while to be able to run without aggravating the knee.  Unfortunately I don’t think I was consistent with my stride and this was probably the culprit.  It needed to be perfect and wasn’t.  For me this workout was about testing my conditioning more than anything else and in that respect I was very pleased.

Takeaways:

  • I need to work harder on my pull-ups.
  • I need to have a more consistent stride while running.
  • I will have to wear a knee brace while doing this next time to give my knee some support.
  • I am pleased with the time and will attempt to have better quality reps when I perform this again over Memorial Day weekend.

 

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