5 Famous People Who Tackled “Murph” on Memorial Day

Memorial Day might be the most solemn of American holidays, being less about celebration and more about remembering the sacrifices the military has made for the country.

The military and law enforcement officers (LEOs) have a special role in the world of CrossFit® and functional fitness, which is exemplified by the Hero WODs, workouts that are dedicated to fallen soldiers. Used to commemorate the lives and achievements of those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country, they’re intended to be gruelling, exceptionally difficult challenges, and “Murph” is perhaps the most famous of them all: a 1-mile run, 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 air squats, and another 1-mile run. Often, it’s performed with a 20-pound weighted vest.

The WOD is named after Lieutenant Michael Patrick “Murph” Murphy, a United States Navy SEAL officer who earned the Medal of Honor in Afghanistan and was killed in action by Taliban forces in 2005. Performing “Murph” on Memorial Day has become something of a tradition, and over the past few years the clothing company Forged (which is not affiliated with CrossFit®) has raised $800,000 for the Lt. Michael P. Murphy Memorial Scholarship Foundation through The Murph Challenge. Participants can pay to sign up and post their times on the site, and in return they receive some merchandise and the knowledge that a portion of their payment goes toward the foundation.

This year, the workout got some serious name recognition when two high profile actors took part.

Chris Pratt and John Krasinski

Starlord and the man who was once very, very nearly Captain America both finished the Murph Challenge together this Monday. Pratt has always been outspoken in his support for the armed forces (and this wasn’t his first Murph) and called Lt. Murphy “one of the many, many brave men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country that we think about and honor today, Memorial Day.”

We haven’t seen numbers but we’re willing to bet that these two asking their followers to grab a shirt from Forged, which donates a portion of their profits to military-affiliated non-profit organizations, made for a seriously effective fundraiser.

Donald Trump, Jr.

The oldest child of the President of the United States wrote on this Instagram post, “Oh boy after being really inconsistent in my workouts coming back to @Crossfit #murph is a recipe for disaster. Did ok but 5 minutes off my PR of 31:56.”

Austin Nichols

The actor, best known for his roles on The Walking Dead, The Day After Tomorrow, and One Tree Hill, specifically pointed out that he was inspired by Pratt and Krasinski in two Instagram posts. When he was finished, he could only gasp, “Thanks John and Chris, and especially Mike Murphy, for the inspiration. That was really hard. Happy Memorial Day.”

Shawn Booth

The celebrity with perhaps the most well-filmed “Murph” on Instagram is Shawn Booth, a personal trainer who is best known for winning The Bachelorette two years ago and, unlike most winning couples on the show, actually staying together with his fiancée Kaitlyn Bristowe.

These were some pretty solid “Murph”s, but our all-time favorite has got to be either Allison Brager’s skydiving “Murph” or the one that Colonel Mike Hopkins completed in space.

Featured image via @johnkrasinski on Instagram.

Nick English

Nick English

Nick is a content producer and journalist with over seven years’ experience reporting on four continents. His first articles about health were on a cholera outbreak in rural Kenya while he was reporting for a French humanitarian organization. His next writing job was covering the nightlife scene in Shanghai. He’s written on a lot of things.

After Shanghai, he went on to produce a radio documentary about bodybuilding in Australia before finishing his Master’s degrees in Journalism and International Relations and heading to New York City. Here, he’s been writing on health full time for more than five years for outlets like BarBend, Men's Health, VICE, and Popular Science.

No fan of writing in the third person, Nick’s passion for health stems from an interest in self improvement: How do we reach our potential?

Questions like these took him through a lot of different areas of health and fitness like gymnastics, vegetarianism, kettlebell training, fasting, CrossFit, Paleo, and so on, until he realized (or decided) that strength training fit best with the ideas of continuous, measurable self improvement.

At BarBend his writing focuses a little more on nutrition and long-form content with a heaping dose of strength training. His underlying belief is in the middle path: you don’t have to count every calorie and complete every workout in order to benefit from a healthy lifestyle and a stronger body. Plus, big traps are cool.

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