CrossFit Athlete Brent Fikowski’s Best Tip For Tackling “Murph”

On Memorial Day, athletes around the country will perform "Murph".

Happy Memorial Day, it’s time to get after “Murph”. The Hero WOD “Murph” is one of functional fitness’ most famous and difficult workouts.

“Murph” has been done in CrossFit gyms all over the country for years and is labeled a “Hero WOD” after Lieutenant Michael Patrick “Murph” Murphy, a United States Navy SEAL officer who was killed in action by Taliban forces in 2005. Now, in honor of Lieutenant Murphy, every Memorial Day elite and everyday gym-goers tackle the Hero WOD in his honor. For those unaware, “Murph” includes:

  • One-mile run
  • 100 pull-ups
  • 200 push-ups
  • 300 air squats
  • One-mile run

Brent Fikowski, three-time CrossFit Games competitor and second place finisher at the 2017 Games told BarBend his biggest tip to getting through “Murph” is,

Break it up early!

Fikowski may have an easier time than the average Joe doing “Murph”, but his advice holds true, and several other trainers have given similar tips. Last year, Ben Sweeney, a CrossFit coach at Brick NYC told BarBend similar advice to Fikowski,

“If it’s your first year doing it, whether you’re doing it scaled or Rx’d your only goal should be to finish. Because the best part of “Murph” is that you get to do it every year, and set a new goal each time. In order to get through this workout, I suggest knowing how many pull-ups and push-ups you can do in a set without tiring out or hitting failure.

Because once you go to failure with pull ups and push ups you’ll need to rest A LOT before you can start back up. Remember: it’s okay to break it up right from the beginning.”

Every year, there seems to be someone who defies the “Murph” odds, for instance in 2017, a guy named Shaun Gardner did Murph 10-times in a row. Gardner, who at the time was a member of CrossFit Raeford in North Carolina, decided to do the Murph challenge 10 times in one day.

Another awesome “Murph” story comes from 59 year-old Dave Barry who did Murph for 24-hours straight. Barry decided to give his all for 24-hours in honor of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and how it affects so many soldiers. Barry was also a soldier himself so felt particularly motivated to not only bring attention to this, but honor Lieutenant Murphy and all the soldiers who have risked their lives for this country.

So, whether you have the experience like Fikowski, or are just doing “Murph” for the first time, the major piece of advice here is  — break it up!

Feature image from @fikowski Instagram page.

Celia Balf

Celia Balf

Celia is a Staff News Writer at BarBend. At the BarBend office, you can find Celia writing news stories covering the largest strength sport competitions in the world, in-depth features with world record-holders, big lifts, and everything in-between. Celia also orchestrates and helps create content for the BarBend social media pages. She is a former Division 1 soccer player turned content producer and sports journalist.

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