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Murph: Should I scale?

Murph is the most iconic Hero WOD performed all over the world on Memorial Day in memory and honor of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. As we perform this workout we keep that in the back of our minds and push ourselves physically and mentally. 


Because it is a higher volume workout there is a higher risk of injury.

So how can we push ourselves while still be smart?

Step 1: Scale the workout appropriately. 

Let me just through this out there. Scaling is not a dirty or shameful word. If you are feeling that type of energy from that word, I’d ask yourself why. 

There are so many ways to scale this workout, so lets chat about a few. 

Starting  with the end goal in mind.

What is a good Murph time:

  • Beginner: 25-30 minutes
  • Intermediate: 32-40 minutes
  • Rx’d: 36-46 minutes*
  • Elite: Rx’d version in less than 35 minutes

* If you expect the Rx’d version of this workout to take you more than 46 minutes, consider using the intermediate or beginner scaling options.

My own two cents: If you have not done Murph without a vest and not partitioned in under an hour, you should NOT be doing Murph with a vest.

Scaling Option 1: 

No vest, RX movements and/or reps. 

This version should be reserved for those who have been consistently (3x a week on average for the past 6+ months) attending class. Because the amount of volume done at one time, this option will result in the most muscle breakdown. And if you have not been coming in consistently you increase your chances of injury greatly. 

Scaling Option 2:

Bring the volume down – Intermediate Athletes

For time:

1-mile run

50 pull-ups

100 push-ups

150 air squats

1-mile run

Option 2 is great because you still have the challenge of doing all the movement reps one at a time, but the risk of injury goes down with the volume decreasing. 

Scaling Option 3:

Least amount of volume – Beginner Athletes

For time:

800-meter run

50 ring rows or jumping pull-ups

100 push-ups from the knees or with hands elevated to a box

150 air squats

800-meter run

Beginners can still join in all the fun!

Scaling Movements:

You are also more than welcomed to scale all movements.

Most common movement scales:

Run: Bike or row

Pull ups: Ring rows, banded pull ups, jumping pull ups

Push ups: Elevated or knee push ups

Airsquats: Squat to a box or lunges

If you have an injury that prevents you from doing any of the movements please let your coach know, and they will be more than happy to help you find a scaling option. 

Scaling Option: Partitioned

Partitioned means breaking up all the movements into bite size reps. There are truly SOOOO many different options.

Here are the most popular:

Option 1:

1 mile run

20 rounds

5 pull ups

10 push ups

15 air squats

1 mile run

Option 2:

1 mile run

10 rounds

10 pull ups

20 push ups

30 air squats

1 mile run

Option 3: Push up break up

1 mile run

20 rounds

5 push ups

5 pull ups

5 push ups

15 air squats

1 mile run

The above are just ideas! Once again if you have any questions, chat with your coach. We are here to help!

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