Here is the one fitness challenge everyone should be doing, the Murph.
When you start racking up significant training hours in the gym, workout routines can seem to become repetitive and boring. It sounds like it’s time to flip the switch and shock the CNS.
Switching up a routine on occasion can teach your body how to adapt to new demands it’s not familiar with. The Murph fitness challenge can do just that, if you find yourself needing some inspiration.
It stands alone among other calisthenic routines that promise results because of its immense volume. To successfully complete this challenge, you have to overcome 5 hurdles each increasing in difficulty.
The Murph. What is it about?
- 1 mile run to start
- 100 pull-ups
- 200 push-ups
- 300 squats
- 1-mile run finisher
All the while wearing a (20lb weight vest), there’s no question if this is a hard feat. It kills you with simplicity and puts an immense demand on your mental toughness.
My Personal Experience
I completed my first ever Murph on this last memorial day. Although it would have made for an awesome Instagram picture, I did not complete the challenge with a 20lb weight-vest. To be honest, this is something I have never trained for.
My strategy going in was very simple. It was all about setting a steady pace, in the beginning, to then ramp up towards the end, fixed on finishing within 1 hour.
The first 8 minutes for the first mile felt like a warm-up. Set me up nicely for the shenanigans that waited for me on the gym floor.
For the pull-squat-push segment of the challenge, I broke it down into 20 sets allowing me to keep a fast pace bouncing from each exercise. In the halfway, there was a wave of fatigue that hit me, and my limbs started to feel heavy. The endless amount of body-weight ass-to-grass squats, shot my heart rate up approaching 18 sets. On the 15th set, I had to let the triceps carry me the rest of the way through, doing some 70% or so for the work on push-ups.
Don’t even get me started on pull-ups. For my last 3 sets, while struggling to hit 5 pull-ups, I had to break them into 2s from a dead hang. My grip was shot and lats fried.
Completing this segment in 41 minutes was not easy, but I was surprised I managed to get that part done fast. That only left me with 11 minutes for my last mile to make this challenge mine.
The hardest thing about the last mile was trying to find the right pace. A pace that wasn’t too fast as to not blowout my quads, but not too slow so I could still finish within the 1-hour mark. This was by far the most mind-boggling moment of the entire challenge. The last mile really makes you question how bad you really want to finish, because a quarter-mile in my quads were shot, and I had to rely on my playlist to carry through to the end.
90’s hip-hop and calisthenics mesh so well together, for some reason. Highly recommended when doing the Murph.
The last mile took 10 minutes, allowing me to finish at just about the 1-hour mark.
So, what is my point of view about the Murph?
Overall, the Murph is a kickass challenge that everyone should do. So now, knowing how physically demanding it is, I would recommend taking 3 weeks to train for it. It will help you to gracefully finish within the hour.
At CLIENTEL3 we’re always trying new challenges, attempting to accomplish things that are out of the ordinary and making us stand out from other boutique studios.