Fraser, who took 2nd in Murph and 2nd place overall, said his tactic was to pace the first run and the push-ups, but go all out on the squats and final run.
"I did doubles [sets of just two reps] on push-ups, and then I just knew if I wanted a shot at the podium I'd have to cycle through my squats quickly," he says. "Then in the run I just tried to pick off a couple people in front of me and keep going."
Afterwards, each competitor was fried. "I think it put everyone at a deficit for the weekend," said Fraser.
Dave Castro, Games Director for CrossFit, says he was surprised the toll that Murph took on the competitors. And Daniel Petro, who has competed in the Reebok CrossFit Games, says that the impact Murph had on the athletes was apparent in their subsequent event numbers.
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"For example, most of them lifted around 30 to 40 pounds under their personal best in the Snatch Speed Ladder." That's an event where competitors take turns trying to snatch—an explosive Olympic lift—as much weight as possible.
If you want to try Murph for yourself, throw on a 20-pound weight vest and do:
- 1-Mile Run
- 100 Pull-ups
- 200 Push-ups
- 300 Air Squats
- 1-Mile Run
Follow the strategy of the winning CrossFit competitors: Pace yourself on the first run, and break the bodyweight exercises up into "mini sets," where you never reach muscular failure.
The workout requires a very high fitness level—don't be surprised if it takes you well over an hour.
If the workout is too hard—and it will be for most people—try it without the weight vest. Another option: Many CrossFit boxes do "Mini Murph," where they run half a mile, then do 25 pull-ups, 50 push-ups, 75 squats, and then run a final half mile.