Every year on Memorial Day, fitness enthusiasts around the world attempt to complete an extremely difficult workout circuit known as the Murph Workout. Named after Navy SEAL Lieutenant Michael P. Murphy, the Murph Workout has become a ritual to honor his sacrifices for his country and unwavering dedication to physical fitness.

In this article, we’ll go over the Murph Workout story, the classic Murph circuit, and an alternative for beginners. 


The History of The Murph Workout

Michael P. Murphy was a Navy SEAL who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his bravery during Operation Red Wings in Afghanistan back in 2005. Lt. Murphy tragically lost his life on June 28th, 2005, while in combat in Afghanistan. 

Murphy was known for his unwavering determination and dedication to physical fitness. As part of his training routine, he often performed an extremely grueling workout. In honor of Murphy’s legacy and sacrifice, a group of his friends established the Murph Workout in 2005 as part of a Crossfit series so that people around the world could test themselves and their physical prowess. 

The Murph Workout is historically performed on Memorial Day, the last Monday in May, to pay homage to Murphy and all of the men and women who have lost their lives in service to their country. 

the murph workout michael murphy

The Murph Workout

If you’re interested in getting a great workout in while also honoring service members, you’ll want to give the Murph Workout a try. The classic Murph Workout that Lt. Murphy would perform consists of:

  • A 1 Mile Run 
  • 100 Pull-Ups
  • 200 Push-Ups 
  • 300 Air Squats
  • Another 1 Mile Run

To add to the difficulty, many fitness enthusiasts put on a 20-pound weight vest to simulate the gear that combat troops have to wear when they’re deployed. The entire workout is usually timed, allowing participants to measure their progress and push themselves to pay tribute to Murphy’s sacrifice. 

man running on a treadmill at Physiq Fitness

The Murph Workout for Beginners

For folks who are just starting their fitness journey but still want to participate in the Memorial Day tradition, starting with an alternative version of the workout is best. As you train to complete the standard Murph workout, give the below Murph Workout for beginners a try:

  • A .5 Mile Run 
  • 50 Assisted Pull-Ups or Inverted Rows
  • 100 Knee Push-Ups 
  • 150 Bodyweight Squats
  • Another .5 Mile Run

You should feel free to modify this beginner’s Murph Workout to meet your current fitness level as long as you complete the entire circuit. The main goal of the Murph Workout is to honor his dedication and the dedication of all who have passed away in the line of duty, and completing the circuit is an important part of the ritual.

woman doing a pullup at Physiq Fitness

Come Try The Murph Workout at Physiq Fitness

If you live in Salem, Albany, or Keizer, Oregon, and want to complete the Murph Workout by yourself or as a group, head over to Physiq Fitness. Our gyms are filled with everything you need to complete this challenging circuit this Memorial Day and honor those who have given everything for their country. 

If you’re interested in different types of classes, QFIT Team Training is our cutting-edge small-group fitness program that offers five different styles of HIIT classes. We also offer many larger group fitness classes to ensure all of our members’ fitness needs are met.

Learn more about our membership options today. With five convenient locations in the Salem areawe’d love to help you on your way to a happier, healthier lifestyle. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out and ask!