A Deep Dive into One of CrossFit's Most Iconic Challenges

There are dozens of CrossFit workouts, but few are as essential to the sport as the Murph. Don’t let the simplicity of this bodyweight workout fool you; it’s no joke and it’s considered one of the best fitness tests around.

Let’s break down the Murph WOD, including how to perform the exercises, how many repetitions you’ll have to complete, and the best completion times according to experience level.


The following CrossFit exercises make up the Murph workout:

Run: With a tight core, straight back, neutral gaze, and slight forward lean, you want to focus on maintaining a steady and consistent running pace. As you’ll see below, the running distance is only a mile, but you don’t want to burn yourself out before the heavy lifting portion of the workout.

Pull-Ups: Place your hands just outside of shoulder-width on a pull-up bar or stable overhead surface like a tree branch. Tighten your core as you pull yourself up towards the bar by using your back muscles. Squeeze the lats and let your back raise you. Your arms are just there as anchors. Pause once your chest nears or touches the bar, then slowly lower yourself back down. Do not fully extend the arms. Maintain a slight bend in the elbow then immediately go into the next repetition.

If you have wrist issues, you may want to consider using wrist wraps as they offer a great level of support and protection.

Push-Ups: Place your hands on the ground underneath your shoulders. Kick your feet straight back behind you. Tighten the core and keep the hips up. Lower your upper body towards the ground. Pause once your chest is near the ground and squeeze the chest muscles. Push yourself back to the starting position. Do not allow your hips to drop below parallel. If they do, the exercise is over.

Air Squats: Stand tall with a tight core and straight back. Swing your hands up to shoulder level as you bend your knees and drive your hips back. Lower your butt towards the ground and stop when your thighs are parallel or just below parallel. Squeeze the quadriceps (tops of thighs) and return to the starting position.

Need to give your knees some support for this exercise? We recommend using knee sleeves as the compression has been shown to support performance and protect you from strains.


Warm up and stretch before your CrossFit workout. This should include five to ten minutes of light cardiovascular work such as power walking, jogging, or jumping rope. Follow this up with a few minutes of dynamic stretching, which is when you perform light and easy movements that mimic the exercises you’re about to perform.

The Murph workout is based on your best time. Once you begin, start your watch or cellphone and only stop the timer once you’ve completed all of the repetitions. Take as many sets as needed to reach the prescribed repetitions. For example, if you can only complete 10 pull-ups per set, then you’ll need 10 sets to complete the entire batch.

Wearing a weight vest (20 pounds for men or 14 pounds for women), you will complete the following:

  • One-mile Run
  • 100 Pull-Ups
  • 200 Push-Ups
  • 300 Air Squats
  • One-mile Run

Once you finish, write down your completion time.


As mentioned above, the idea behind the Murph CrossFit workout is to complete all of the prescribed repetitions as quickly and safely as possible. In other words, you want to strive for your best completion time. According to WODCalculator, the following are the ideal completion times based on experience:

  • Beginner: Between 63 and 71 minutes
  • Intermediate: Between 47 and 58 minutes
  • Advanced: Between 36 and 41 minutes
  • Elite: Between 28 and 33 minutes


Have a video of yourself crushing your best time during the Murph workout? Tag us on Instagram so we can share!