Murph. If you know the workout and the annual Memorial Day tradition, you may approach the date with a sense of intimidation, dread, excitement…or maybe all of the above. Certainly, the workout itself — a one mile run followed by 100 pull ups, 200 push ups, and 300 air squats, followed by another mile run — is more work than most of us do day-to-day in the gym. Murph is a classic strength-endurance workout — bodyweight movements, cardio, high volume. The value of this test is not in the workout itself, but in the preparation.
The goal of a benchmark workout is to tell you something about your fitness. In other words, did you study for the test? For a strength-endurance workout like Murph, what’s on the test is not speed or maximal strength, but resiliency. It’s about work capacity — light load, long duration. And to train work capacity, adding the occasional longer training session to your workout plan can be very beneficial. That’s why Old Glory Gym offers a 2 hour strength-endurance grinder once a week — gotta pump up the volume!
This Sunday, April 1, the theme for the Sunday Grinder will be “Murph prep” run as an 8-week program. Whether you’ve done Murph a dozen times, or you’ve never attempted Murph, this prep program is for you! The program will scale to whatever your level of fitness is, and so will Murph. When Memorial Day weekend rolls around, there will be a Murph variant to provide the appropriate level of challenge. And with Old Glory Gym hosting the workout, you know it’ll be a good time.
The 8-week prep program is effectively three 3-week cycles (the 9th week being Murph itself, Memorial Day weekend).
- Cycle 1 (3 weeks): the focus here is to get some high-rep strength work where most people struggle — pull ups and push ups. If you’re planning to do Murph RX and can use a heavier-than-RX weight with your vest, this will be the time to do it.
- Cycle 2 (3 weeks): here the focus is on speed — lots of rounds of pull ups / push ups / squats with short runs in between.
- Cycle 3 (2 weeks): finally, we will focus on specificity — these two weeks will look a lot like Murph with a bit of a taper in week 8 so you’re nice and fresh for the main event.
To cap it off, across all 8 weeks the two hour class will finish with aerobic base building. Light to moderate intensity cardio (run, row, ski, bike, etc) builds aerobic efficiency and capacity, which aids in recovery and makes everything else easier. If you have a heart rate monitor, bring it and we’ll talk about how to use it here.
I hope this gives you a taste of what’s to come for the Sunday Grinder over the next several weeks. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out — [email protected] — and I’ll see you in class!