PowerAthleteHQ.com will be under some much needed maintenance over the next few days. We apologize in advance if you experience some down time during your browsing.
Thanks, The PowerAthleteHQ.com Team

6 Murph Day Tips to Empower Your Performance

Murph-Day-Power-AthleteAll across the United States gym goers will spend their Memorial Day completing a workout many would call insane. The CrossFit “Hero WOD” known as “Murph” serves to memorialize Navy SEAL Lt. Michael P. Murphy, killed in Afghanistan June 28th, 2005. The workout, originally named “Body Armor” by Lt. Murphy was among the SEAL’s favorite workouts and involves 100 pull-ups, 200 push ups, and 300 air squats sandwiched between two 1 mile runs. To complete the workout as Murph would have done, you are asked to wear body armor or a weight vest.

The workout not only pays tribute to a fallen hero, but requires that participants battle fear and fatigue to sacrifice body, mind, and soul for the legacy of a man who sacrificed it all. Completing “Murph” is a commitment that should be taken seriously. The demands of enduring this workout will surely be devastating on Murph Day. But this is just one day.

Packing this much volume into a single day can set your training back significantly! How you approach your training following the event is just as important as how you prepare for it.

Murph-Day-2015-Reebok-CrossFit-Games-Murph-511Tactical-8At Power Athlete we want to help you bounce back from this workout in the fastest way possible. Before Monday, take the time to read the following tips to help you empower your performance and honor the man for whom the workout is named.

Here are 6 no BS tips to help you bounce back from the abuse:

1) Hydrate Early

There is a direct correlation between hydration and performance. The ability to perform at a high intensity is decreased as significantly as 45% with as little as a 2.5% body weight loss in water. The morning of Murph is not the time to begin armoring yourself against dehydration. We always recommend you consume a minimum of half your bodyweight in ounces of water daily. This recommended minimum begins to grow as we add in factors such as heat and increased work time. Considering the fact even the greatest of athletes struggle to finish in under 45 minutes and much of this workout is completed outside, you can guarantee you need more than the bare minimum hydration.

Beginning now, you need to start increasing your water consumption beyond the minimum recommendation. Take care not to take this advice to extremes as too much water can also cause serious health issues. On Sunday, get your water intake up and make sure you aren’t swallowing the bulk of your H2O too close to bedtime. You’re going to need your rest.

2) Sleep

Sleep is KING when it comes to preparedness. Make an effort to average 8 hours per day for the 3 days leading up to, and 3 days following Murph Day. If that's rough to hit at night, it's time to find some naps throughout the day; especially if you're a shift worker or own and operate your own gym and cover morning and evening classes.

The concept is simple, but execution is the challenge.


3) EAt With abandon

The proper diet for this workout will be one that is well balanced and high in quality nutrients. You’re going to want to take an iso-caloric approach to your meals in the days before Murph. Simply put, your meals should have equal caloric amounts of protein, fat and carbohydrates. This nutrition method is worth it’s weight in gold and is an integral part of all Power Athlete nutrition protocols. When choosing the foods for these meals make sure they are nutrient dense and high quality such as those found on our eat with abandon list. Time is running out but if you sprint you can still take advantage of our nutrition protocols that will tell you the exact amount of macronutrients you need for your pre-murph meals.

Photo May 01, 7 08 10 PM

4) Murph Day Warm Up

Don’t be the dunce who uses the “have you ever seen a Cheetah warm up” nonsense to excuse their lack of exercise knowledge. The proper warm up arouses the CNS, elevates the HR and increases intramuscular blood flow. The right warm up for the job is specific to the workout and and includes positions and movements that strengthen and reinforce posture, increase mobility, and challenges stability. It should prime the lactate and nervous systems to prepare you for the demands of what's ahead. So on Murph Day, do your self a favor, and knock out this warm up:


The “Pre-Warm Up-Warm Up” of all pre-warm up warm ups!  Get moving and get loose, calm the nerves, and get your mind right doing anything to increase your heart rate, break a sweat, and get some blood flow going.  Take 10-15 minutes of jumping rope, C2 rowing, stride runs and shuffles, Assault bike, etc.

2-3 Rounds

  1. Dead Bug Home Position - :60
  2. Inch Worm Hands Only - 5 reps
  3. Scapula Depression w/ 2 count at the top- 10 reps
  4. Child's Pose Progression 1 - 2 RT/ 2 LT
  5. Vertical Column Side Stretch RT/LT for 60 seconds
  6. Pillar to Plank Press Up - 10 reps

Movement Patterns and Energy Systems

4 Rounds

  • Empty Bar Floor Press/Bench press – :15 seconds
  • Contralateral Inch Worms - 5 reps
  • Air Squats – :15 seconds
  • Strict Pull Ups - at least 1, but no more than 3 reps
  • Rest - :30


5) Murph Day Cool Down

Those who are plugged into Power Athlete HQ know how seriously we take the cool down. If not, here's what you need to know: It's the first, and most significant step to calming the CNS and driving accelerated adaptation. Much like the red headed step child, it's often overlooked and ignored because it's boring and lacks sexyness.

The beauty of the cool down is in it's simplicity. For it to work, all you have to do is DO IT. So there's no secret cool down for this one, here's your Murph Day cooldown series. Just take your time with it, try to hit each pose for one minute as soon as possible after you finish.

6) Bouncing Back

You've absolutely CRUSHED some movement patterns here. Your CNS and slow/mid power motor units are totally fried thanks to all the submaximal repeated efforts to failure. So you need to skip those suckers in the training following Murph Day and move something "heavy" as FAST AS POSSIBLE! You need to understand that physical and mental fatigue, as well as soreness will dictate what "heavy" actually is on these days, so don't expect to PR here.

As much as your body may be telling you "NO", we are telling you "YES!" The 72 hour training window after Murph Day will set the trajectory of how quickly you will bounce back. We need to tackle some FULL training days, with focused warm ups, Compensatory Acceleration Training (CAT) work, and cool downs. No need for volume/met con here people! We just need to move some weight quickly!

Day 1

Warm Up
2 Rounds:
Dead Bug Home Position  - :30
Spiderman Crawls w/ Elbow to Drop - 10 yds
Knee Hug to Horizontal Lunge Twist - 10 yds
Backwards Bear Crawl - 10 yds

CAT Squat 3RM
Work up with sets of 3 to a "heavy" and FAST set of 3. You should be moving the bar as fast as possible on each set. Focus on bar speed, not weight on the bar!

Plyo Conditioning
3 Rounds
5 Way Med-Ball Circuit w/ 5-10 lb ball
Rest as 2-3 minutes

Cool Down
Same as Murph Day cool down

Day 2

Warm up
Lateral Step Catch - 10yds R/L
Static Side Pillar Hold (:30R/:30L)
Jimmy Buffets x 4
Leg Cradle Lunge with Lateral Flexion and Extension x 4

CAT Work
CAT Bench 3RM
Work up with sets of 3 to a "heavy" and FAST set of 3. You should be moving the bar as fast as possible on each set. Focus on bar speed, not weight on the bar!

Cool Down
Same as Murph Day cool down

Day 3


Completing Murph requires both respect and dedication. The workout while tough, requires only a small shred of the sacrifice in comparison to that which Lt. Murphy showed through his legendary life and death. We ask that you approach this workout prepared so that you can best honor the man for whom it is named. At Power Athlete we respect those who train with purpose and for a greater purpose and are grateful for the sacrifice made by the heroic Lt. Michael P. Murphy.

In the words of The Rock: "GET IT!"

Luke Summers
Follow me...

Luke Summers

Luke has been training athletes in CrossFit, Weightlifting, and Olympic Lifting since 2007. He spent 6 years pushing pencils in “Corporate America,” spending 3 of those years moonlighting as a Strength & Conditioning Coach before and after work. Luke was an athlete his whole life and played multiple sports, but his primary focus was football.He played up through college until a neck injury forced him to hang it up. He travels with the CrossFit Football staff and has coaches a variety of athletes from amateur to professional levels in football, baseball, and track.
Luke Summers
Follow me...

Posted in Blog, Featured | Tagged , , | 9 Comments

9 Responses to 6 Murph Day Tips to Empower Your Performance

  1. Excellent work gentlemen

  2. Awesome work PA Crew. I was going to skip Murph to keep on regular training but this made me commit to honoring Lt. Murphy.

    One question: what are your thoughts on activity in the days prior? Full rest the day before? Light movement?

  3. Love this. Traditionally I did Murph on and around St Patrick’s day as prepunishment for upcoming debauchery.

  4. I was going to skip it this year, still not sure, because my strength training has been so great thanks to your program. Game day decision, but I’ll be ready to go either way. Thank You again.

  5. Pingback: Open Gym & Team WOD « Crossfit Rebels

  6. Stepping outside the Jacked Street Monday and going to do this with the group class.

  7. @luke the only thing you forgot is to set a limit for Moscow mules on Sunday.

  8. Pingback: July 4th Weekend

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *