Area Athletes Embracing the Challenge of the Memorial Day W/E Murph Workout


Memorial Day, a holiday designated to remember those who died in active military service can be honored in many ways.

At Mitten Fitness in Dexter and other functional fitness gyms worldwide, members have been training for the much-anticipated Murph WOD (Workout Of the Day).

In the world of functional fitness, few workouts command the same level of respect as the Murph WOD. Named in honor of Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy, a U.S. Navy SEAL killed in action in 2005, the Murph WOD has become a symbol of endurance, perseverance, and strength in the fitness community.

The Murph WOD, or Workout of the Day, is a cornerstone of the CrossFit community, traditionally performed over Memorial Day weekend as a tribute to fallen military service members. Despite its challenging nature, or perhaps because of it, the Murph WOD has gained an almost cult-like following among fitness enthusiasts. But the workout produces more than sweat. For many, it commands profound respect and appreciation for the rigors of military service.

The workout consists of a one-mile run, followed by 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 squats, and another one-mile run. All of this is typically performed while wearing a 20-pound weight vest, simulating the body armor worn by military personnel.

"This workout is not just about physical strength but mental grit as well," explains Mitten Fitness Owner and Coach Colby Buswell. "It's about honoring those who have given everything for our country and pushing ourselves to our limits in their memory as they did so often for us, their country."

The intensity of the Murph WOD has led to it becoming a benchmark for fitness progression among CrossFit and other high-intensity training practitioners. The ability to complete the Murph WOD, particularly at a competitive speed, is considered a significant achievement.

Despite the intense physical demands, the Murph WOD has a universal appeal that transcends traditional fitness boundaries. People of all fitness levels participate, modifying the workout as needed to meet their individual abilities. This inclusivity is a significant part of its appeal.

Most participants at Mitten Fitness do assisted pull-ups or a movement that uses the same muscle group without actually doing a pull-up. Many reduce 100 to a smaller number, whatever that may be that pushes them a bit wherever they’re at. The same applies to the other movements. After all, it is not the stats you put up. It is the remembrance, the fleeting camaraderie felt with those who pushed themselves for us.

While the Murph WOD is undoubtedly challenging, it serves as a reminder of the sacrifices made by our military personnel. Its popularity stands as a testament to the enduring appeal of workouts that not only challenge the body but also engage the mind and spirit.

Whether you're a seasoned athlete or a fitness newbie, the Murph WOD offers a unique opportunity to test your limits while honoring those who have given their all. It's more than a workout. It's a tribute, a challenge, and a community all rolled into one.

Photo: (L-R) Brad Judge, Nick Raterman, Mary Spaller, Lisa Murphy, and Marjorie Knepp after a workout at Mitten Fitness in Dexter. Raterman is wearing the 20 lb vest he used during his morning Murph training, which a number of the gym’s athletes will be wearing next weekend. Photo by Coach Jane Donovan.

I'm interested
I disagree with this
This is unverified