We hear this phrase thrown around the gym on occasion: just another workout. Many times, it is used as a way to ease the mind. It may accompany an extra challenging workout or a named workout who's reputation precedes itself. In these instances, the phrase is being used in an attempt to diffuse stress or anxiety about the task at hand.
One of the more daunting workouts we do in CrossFit is the hero workout "Murph". For those who are unfamiliar, Murph looks like this:
*Wear a 20#/14# weighted vest
This long grueling workout is done by many around the world on Memorial Day as a way to pay their respects to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. For that reason, it comes with a lot of emotion.
At CrossFit Enapay, this will be our 8th consecutive year doing Murph on Memorial Day. Through that experience, we have noticed a few common themes in regards to the mindset revolving around this specific workout. Before you tackle Murph on Memorial Day, I think it is important to have some perspective.
How Murph IS NOT Just Another Workout
Murph is a long workout. Most of our class workouts that we consider long will last somewhere in the 20-30 minute range. Murph is about an hour long workout!
You are doing it to honor veterans. Any hero workout we do brings a different vibe with it. People tend to push a little harder and go to the places they don't normally go on any given day. This workout really feels like it means something.
You are out of your element. Most people will do Murph in a slightly different setting than their normal day to day workouts. Gyms usually will have special holiday hours that allow larger groups of people to come together to celebrate and throw down. For Enapay, this is especially true since we take our workout to an entirely different location and complete it outside. These subtle changes (workout time, who you are working out with, etc) are great ways to get more intensity out of your workouts and therefore push you a little harder than normal.
How Murph IS Just Another Workout
You should scale according to your ability level. For some reason, people get caught up in feeling like they have to do Murph as prescribed or else they should not do it at all. No other workout throughout the year is this the case; nor should it be for Murph. If you do not have pull-ups, use a good modification. If 300 squats will leave you wrecked for a week, scale the number back. Listen to your coach and know what the intended stimulus is for the workout, then scale your workout accordingly. You will still be exhausted by the end and really feel accomplished. Plus, you will be able to show up the next day! Murph could be programmed on any given day throughout the year. If you showed up to the gym on a random Wednesday in September and Murph was on the screen, what would your workout look like?
Anyone can do it. Murph, just like any CrossFit workout, is infinitely scalable. The other end of the spectrum from the first point is the people who think they cannot do Murph. The large numbers scare them and they get intimidated. As mentioned above, scale the reps and modify the movements accordingly to allow yourself to finish around the target time provided by your coach or gym. If you have been doing CrossFit consistently, you are more than capable of doing this workout!