Murph is a jerk but for some reason, everyone loves the sadistic bastard–me included.

I suppose it’s because Murph is named for Lt. Michael P. Murphy, who unfortunately was the first recipient of the Medal of Honour for actions in Afghanistan and the first member of the U.S. Navy to receive the award since the Vietnam War.  Lt. Murphy came up with this workout and originally called it “Body Armor” as it was intended to be done while wearing either a 20lb weight vest or your body armor if applicable.

On paper this is a fairly “simple” workout.  I say that because it is not even remotely complex; it’s 3 movements and some running.

Run 1 Mile
100 Pull-Ups
200 Push-Ups
300 Squats
Run 1 Mile

That’s “it”.

I can’t yet do a pull-up, let alone 100, nor did I have a pull-up bar available at my aunt’s cottage where I was staying this past weekend so I had to modify the WOD.

Originally I figured that I would substitute double-unders but when I was playing around with ideas I figured it’d be even simpler and arguably more fun if I turned this into a workout that required zero equipment at all.  Because of this reason alone I subbed in sit-ups for pull-ups.

With my 1/2 mile path laid out down a beachfront gravel road (1/2 mile out and then back) and a nice spot on the ground for sit-ups and pull-ups, I cranked up my iPod and hit the dirt.  My first mile felt great, even considering that it was 27°C out at the time, I completed the mile comfortably in 9:58.

I took a quick sip of water and hit my sit-ups knowing they’d be where I could make up time in the movements portion, and I did all 100 unbroken in just under 5 minutes.  Yup, my abs were on fire.

For the push-ups I made the decision to do the first 10 and last 10 from my toes with the remaining 180 from my knees — focusing on keeping my core tight.  I did my first 10 before moving to my knees and started knocking out sets of 20-25.  By #140 or so, my shoulders needed a break so I walked around doing some dynamic stretching before getting back into it.  The final 60 were all done in sets of 10 with an audible 5 second count between sets.  I did manage to complete the last 10 from my toes but it took all my shoulders and chest had left to do so.

Now, to squat.  Oh squats…why must you be so good for me and my development and yet so glaringly difficult?  I knew that in order to get through 300 squats that it would be best not to over-think cadence, rhythm, reps per minute, sets, etc.  It’s a problem I have, I do a LOT of math in my head…like OCD levels.  My mind is constantly calculating pace, reps per minute, blah blah, I can’t stop it.  For this though I knew it would be best to  ignore all the usual Josh analysis bullshit and just start putting ass to grass.   This worked for about 10 minutes.

I really didn’t look at the clock during this, my only real goal being to finish the whole WOD in under an hour and that time goal was really only due to the fact that I had a tee time to make!  Give or take, I’d need to finish the 100/200/300 workout in under 40 minutes.  I got into a slow rhythm by the midway point, able to string together a few sets of 25, then down to 20, then 10.  When I hit my 200th squat, I had to fight not to quit but I had come this far, why stop now?  It’s not self preservation, this won’t kill me…it would just be my body giving in to my mind far before it was actually ready to.  I managed to get into a good frame of mind at rep 260, thinking of Bree yelling in my ear the last time I did air squats for a high rep count “I don’t care if they’re slow, just keep moving!”.  I somehow managed to knock out the last 40 reps unbroken…how I accomplished that this far into the WOD is beyond my comprehension, but I did it and I was very happy to be done!

There was still one small detail left, another mile to run!

One thing left to do…

I put the earphones back into the iPod and got to trottin…the first half mile was slooooow.  I felt horribly slow, but that’s to be expected I suppose!  At the 1/2 mile marker I was on pace for a 14 minute mile, that can’t happen, tired or not.  I found another gear and basically sprinted as hard as I could for as long as I could.  With the second mile completed in 11:52, I clocked a total time of 62:08.

Mile 1 – 9:58

Movements – 40:18

Mile 2 – 11:52

Not too bad at all for my first effort and I figure that with a coach in my face I would have probably been well under an hour.  I’m pretty happy with my mile times, especially taking the heat into account, and most importantly I made my tee time!


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