“MEMORIAL DAY MURPH”: COMMENTS AND OBSERVATIONS
For the first time in many years we didn’t actually do MURPH on Memorial Day, but did it over the Memorial Day Weekend. This worked out very well for everybody, to the best of our knowledge. Having 2 days off in a row was awesome. I actually slept a total of 14 hours in a 2 day period–unheard of in my ordinary, everyday life! I went for a 4 mile run in Hecksher Park with my son, Georgie, on Memorial Day. It was, well…a run in the park!
Enough about me. Let’s talk about you.
I have a great deal of respect for anyone who does MURPH in any way, shape or form. It’s a tough workout, not for the feint of heart. The athletes who are in top physical shape and healthy are fun to watch and coach, but it’s the injured and the ordinary who commit to this workout that I find truly inspirational.
Lisa, while training for a bodybuilding competition a mere 2 weeks away, did MURPH with a 15lb. vest. Besides her normal injuries, Lisa was in caloric deficit and not eating to promote “CrossFit-performance”, but to cut body-fat, yet she did MURPH in 42:05! John H. has been in therapy for a shoulder issue but he still did MURPH with Ring Rows so he could get through without causing further damage. Kelly also was nursing a shoulder and lower back injury so she did MURPH with modifications: She reduced the pull-ups and push-ups to 3 and 5 per round, but increased the air squats from 15 to 22 per round so she would wind up with 600 repetitions of total exercise when all was said and done. So instead of 300 squats, Kelly did 440! Then there’s Millie. John F. Kennedy was President when Millie was born. More importantly, Millie suffered a stroke a mere 8 months ago. Sure, Millie had to make some modifications to the exercises, but she completed the entire workout with the mile runs at each end. The fact that Millie even wanted to do MURPH is inspiring! These people had legitimate reasons not to do MURPH at all and nobody would blame them. In fact, most would say they were wise for not doing the workout. But they did it anyway. This is not something you can “teach”. This is a quality that comes from deep within. We are fortunate that we have people of this quality in our arena.
There’s the athlete who have various long-term issues or injuries who just continue to make a solid effort and find a way around their issues, that did MURPH. Janie has been with us for over 6 years and has done MURPH several times continues to work through issues with her shoulder, Richie did not do MURPH last year and was contemplating not doing it again this year finished in just over an hour, with ring rows. Jen T. is unable to run, but did MURPH with a 1600 meter row at each end. Al is still recovering from knee surgery.
We’ll take a moment to recognize the women who do actual pull-ups. The majority of women who enter the gym cannot do an unassisted pull-up. It is a big deal when a woman gets a pull-up. (For more about this topic click HERE and read the articles linked) Doing actual pull-ups in a workout is quite the accomplishment. Some of the women listed below could not do an actual pull-up last year during this workout, so if that’s you, congratulations: Ali, Alisa, Tiffany Y., Tiffany S., Jenna R., Carly, Kelly, Denise, Amie, Jen T., Melissa D., Nicole, Katy, Kerri and Lisa. It should be noted that Lauren wanted to do MURPH, but we wouldn’t let her since it was too soon after delivering her third child. Lauren has done MURPH before and has excellent pull-ups!
Next up–the vest wearers. The instructions for the workout say to wear a weighted vest or body armor if you have it. Most of our athletes chose not to wear a weighted vest as this workout is difficult enough without it. Congratulations to those who wore a weighted vest for the entire workout:
RX’D WITH VEST
Lisa-42:05, Steve L.-54:34, Paul-42:13, Georgie-45:44, John M.-45:17
Honorable Mention To Joe M.-48:51, who wore a vest for the first mile run and through 6 rounds of pull-ups, push-ups and squats.
Allow me to dampen the mood for a moment. There’s a group I’d like to recognize for a bad reason. I apologize, but it must be said. We’ve made the observation, some time ago, that some of the most difficult movements to master are the body weight exercises: pull-ups, push-ups, squats, dips, handstands, “L”-sits, pistols and muscle-ups. MURPH contains pull-ups, push-ups and squats. The movement standards for these exercises are constantly reviewed yet so many find it “impossible” to do all three correctly, consistently. I’m not talking about those who do not have the proper motor recruitment, strength or coordination. I’m talking about people who are physically more than capable of executing these movements perfectly every time, but don’t.
Push-ups: Body in plank position, no sagging. Chest to the ground then arms move to full extension.
Pull-ups: Chin over the bar at the top, arms at full extension at the bottom.
Squats: Creases of the hips lower than the knees, hips and knees fully extended at the top
If you train consistently and have decent movement and strength there are only 3 reasons why you cannot consistently do these exercises perfectly every time: (1) You believe you are doing them correctly, but are not, (2) You don’t really care what your technique looks like as long as you’re huffing and puffing and making it look like there’s some effort involved or (3) you’re a Clock Whore.
Look around the gym…if you haven’t identified the Clock Whore it might be you!
If you believe you are doing an exercise correctly, but are not, it’s entirely my fault and I apologize. If you are doing an exercise incorrectly, receive instruction (one, two, three, fifteen, twenty-seven times) and do nothing to change then it’s on you. If you are “dropping reps” that’s on you. If the most important thing to you is your time on the White Board compared to everyone else’s then you’re missing the point.
Unfortunately, MURPH, which was named to honor a man who gave up his life to save his friends, shines a spotlight on the Clock Whores in the room. It saddens me to watch the capable turn quality movement into crappy form so they can say they beat someone else in our little gym. It saddens me that on a weekend we are supposed to remember those who were selfless and made the ultimate sacrifice we have some who would cheapen themselves for bragging rights.
Next year I will list all participants in one of the following categories, on the White Board:
Rx’d with Vest, Rx’d without vest, Modified due to Injury/Condition, Scaled and finally: Said-It-Was-Done-Rx’d-But-Wasn’t-Due-To-Dropped Reps or Scaled Range of Motion.
This year’s MURPH participants:
RX’D NO VEST
(1) Angelo-30:53 (5:56 mile), (2) Matt-34:56, (3) Pat W.-35:11, (4) Andy-36:11, (5) Ben-36:17, (6) Melissa D.-36:20, (7) Jon B.-37:03, (8) Tiffany Y.-41:29, (9) Jay-41:59, (10) Mike C.-43:33, (11) Anthony-43:34, (12) Katy-44:00, (13) Nicole-44:00, (14) Leonardo-44:54, (15) George-45:12, (16) Luis-46:06, (17) Al-47:56, (18) Jenna R.-48:03, (19) Tiffany S.-48:11, (20) Ali-59:28, (21) Amie-60:27, (22) Carly-1:03:41, (23) Denise-1:05:05, (24) Kerri-1:07:39, (25) Mike K.-1:10:08, (26) Alisa-1:17:00
Jen T.-45:09, Janie-1:05:46, John H.-43:34, Carol-1:18:00, Bevin-27:06 (Half w/ rows), Jen D.-26:45 (Half w/rows), Cindy-1:02:00, Danielle-55:45, Sabrina-51:45 (had emergency, 1 mile run, 75 pull-ups, 150 push-ups, 225 squats), Millie-1:13:14, Kelly-56:00 (60 pull-ups, 100 push-ups, 440 squats), Marino-26:19 (Half w/rows), Cristina-30:01 (Half w/ring rows), Justin-31:28 (half w/ring rows), Richie-1:03:27, Tara M.-49:58, Madel-32:34 (Half), Eddie-44:59, Ashley-56:16, Frankie-26:58 (Half), Mike W.-43:18, Courtney-52:35, Tom-52:13, Michelle-50:30, Abby A.-58:05, Abbie R.-46:18
Workout of the Day
Clean & Jerk
5X2 @ 70% 1-Rep Max
5 rounds for time of:
5 hang power cleans 135/95#
7 ring dips
200 meter run
Post your scores to.