You are currently viewing How To Do Murph Workout for Beginners

How To Do Murph Workout for Beginners

Have you heard about something called “The Murph” that lots of people do every May? Maybe you’ve seen pictures of friends or famous people pushing themselves through a tough workout. Well, I’m here to tell you what it’s all about.

The Murph Challenge isn’t just any workout – it’s a way to remember a true American hero. I’ll explain who Lieutenant Michael Murphy was and how the workout got started. Then I will give you a 4-week training plan so you can  to take on The Murph, whether you’re just starting out or already in great shape.

Who Was Lt. Michael P. Murphy?

He was a real-life Navy SEAL who did something incredibly brave in Afghanistan. Some of you may have seen the movie “Lone Survivor” about his story. In 2005, he put his own life in danger to save others. For his heroism, he received the Medal of Honor in 2007. To honor soldiers like him, there’s now a tough workout called The Murph Challenge that’s part of many training programs.

What is The Murph Challenge?

Well, it’s a tough workout that includes running one mile, doing 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 squats, and then running another mile. Some people even choose to make it even harder by wearing a weighted vest, but that’s optional. Interestingly, this workout was Murphy’s favorite and was originally known as “Body Armor.” It’s a way to remember his courage and sacrifice.

How You Can Train for The Murph Challenge

Don’t worry if you’re not up to doing 100 pull-ups or running miles just yet!  The most important is to do it safely and not go upper your limits.   Very important is to know your workout level, and go slowly to grow your training condition. There’s a way to break it down so beginners can build up their strength and stamina:

Training Options 1: Do It All As-Is

  • You start with a one-mile run, tackle the 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, and 300 squats in order, and finish with another one-mile run. Adding a weighted vest makes it even tougher.

Option 2: Partition the Workout

  • You run a mile, then do 20 sets of 5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, and 15 squats, and finish with a mile run. If that sounds like a lot, you can adjust the push-ups to 5 in a set, breaking them up to manage better.

4-Week Training Plan Overview

Week 1
  • Days 1 & 2: Start with a 5-minute run, then do 5 sets of 5 pull-ups, 5 push-ups, 15 squats, and another 5 push-ups.
  • Day 3: Increase to an 8-minute run and do 8 sets.
Week 2
  • Days 1 & 2: Run for 5 minutes, complete 8 sets of the exercises, and run another 5 minutes.
  • Day 3: Up the ante with a 10-set workout sandwiched by 8-minute runs.
Week 3
  • Increase the number of sets and extend the running sessions to prepare for longer endurance.
Week 4
  • Mimic the actual challenge more closely with longer runs and more sets. Use this week to adjust your pacing and prepare mentally for the full workout
  • Tips for Success: Start training early, especially if you’re new to running or need to work on your strength for pull-ups or push-ups. Incorporate exercises to build grip strength if you’re struggling with pull-ups. Always focus on your form and workout plan to avoid injuries. Remember, it’s okay to start without a weighted vest and work up to wearing one.


Can a beginner do the Murph Challenge workout?
If you have never done 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, and 300 squats in a workout, don’t try it out of the blue, and certainly do not add weight to the repetitions. The Murph without a weight vest requires an advanced level of fitness. The added 20-pound weight vest just makes it even harder.
What is a 'Good' MURPH Time?
What’s considered a good time is relative to the exerciser. If you’re a beginner, less than 60 minutes is considered a good finish time. For exercisers who are advanced, you’ll want to complete it in less than 45 minutes, and for elite athletes, less than 35 minutes.
Is it a strict pull-up?
Any pull-up variation is acceptable; providing you begin (or pass through) under the bar with straight arms and finish the rep with your chin above the bar. This can be achieved with strict pull-ups, kipping pull-ups, or butterfly pull-ups.
How difficult is the Murph Challenge?
The CrossFit Murph Challenge is an incredibly difficult workout. It requires a high level of physical fitness, endurance, and mental toughness. The workout can take anywhere from 30 minutes to over an hour to complete, and it’s a true test of an athlete’s physical and mental limits.
How many calories does Murph Challenge burn?
Tallying everything up brings the total workout to approximately 80 minutes and a conservative estimate of 600 calories. This estimate does not factor in things such as the weighted vest or the additional calories burned from moving around (if you can) during the rest periods.
Is it possible to do this every day?
Every single day for 362 days straight (as of publication), Jim Lubonski has put on a 20-pound weighted vest. Then he runs one mile, does 100 pullups, 200 pushups, 300 squats, and follows that with another one-mile run. If he’s still feeling good, he finishes up by doing his workout as well.


The Murph Challenge is more than a workout. It is a way to remember Lieutenant Michael Murphy and test your strengths. Whether you are just starting or can do a lot, this challenge gives you a chance to see how far you can push yourself. I would start with a 4-week training plan that gets a little harder each week. That way you do not need to do too much too fast.

Listen to your body and change things if you need to. Make sure not to push too hard too soon. Every time you try The Murph and every time you finish, it is something to be proud of. It shows your toughness but also respect for real heroes.

As you get better, maybe next year you can challenge yourself more. You could try to do it faster or add weight. The Murph is not just about being tough physically. It is also about bringing people together to honor bravery and a good legacy.

Cain Black

For the past 10 years, I’ve dedicated my free time to crossfit workouts. I thrive on new challenges, planning my meals, and targeting specific muscle groups during my workouts. My commitment to fitness fuels my enthusiasm both in and out of the classroom.