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Memorial Day weekend is a time to honor all military personnel who died in service to our country, particular those who died in battle. It is also an opportunity to have one of the most meaningful and challenging workouts of the year. This Memorial Day weekend, we invite all members of Bayshore Fit strength and conditioning gym to join us on our outdoor turf for the annual Memorial Day Murph Challenge, a fitness and endurance challenge dedicated to honoring our fallen heroes. There is no set time for this event at Bayshore Fit, so pick a time that works for you, call a few friends, and make it happen!

The Story Behind the Murph Challenge

The Murph Challenge honors the life of Navy SEAL Lieutenant Michael P. Murphy of Patchogue, N.Y., who died in Afghanistan in 2005 at the age of 29. It is not just a physical test, but also a mental and emotional challenge. Participants are pushed to their limits, and encouraged to push through their pain, just as Lt. Murphy did in his final moments.

Outnumbered by the Taliban in an intense gunfight in the mountains of Afghanistan yet determined to try and save the lives of the 3 other SEALs on his team, Lt. Murphy stepped out into the open to try and call in their position and request backup. Shot 14 times, he continued to send communications until his death. His final words were, “Roger that. Thank you.” Posthumously, Lt. Murphy was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his bravery.

Only one of the 4 Navy SEALs on Lt. Murphy’s team survived, but the location he communicated allowed the bodies of the 3 who died to be recovered and returned to their families.

What Does the Murph Memorial Day Workout Challenge Involve?

The Murph Memorial Day Challenge is based on an exercise regimen Lt. Murphy used to do every Monday. He named it the “Body Armor,” because he would do the full workout wearing more than 16 pounds of body armor.

For “The Memorial Day Murph Challenge” participants must wear a 20-pound weighted vest and complete the following exercises for time:

  • One mile run
  • 100 pull-ups
  • 200 push-ups
  • 300 squats
  • A second one-mile run

The pull-ups, push-ups and squats can be done in any order. The one firm rule is that all the exercises are sandwiched in between 2 one mile runs.

Obviously, this is a challenge for those who are in good physical condition and should not be attempted for those who do not work out regularly. Many prepare for weeks before taking on the challenge. A good time for the fit athlete is any time under 60 minutes. Top athletes shoot for times in the area of 30 – 35 minutes.

Can You Modify the Murph Challenge?

If you want to submit your score to compare your results with the thousands and thousands of participants around the world, it’s important to complete all the exercises of The Murph as specified. But if you are not up to that level of fitness and still want to participate to honor fallen heroes, you can always modify The Murph to suit your level of ability.

Here are a few examples of how some participants modify The Murph:

  • Reduce Reps – you can reduce the total number of reps or split the reps up.
  • Reduce Volume – you can halve the number of reps or space them out to keep moving. For example, you can do a half-mile run, 50 pull ups and 100 push-ups.
  • Partition into Rounds – you can break the workout into rounds to give your muscles time to recover. For instance, you can do 4 rounds of half mile runs, 25 pull-ups and 50 push-ups.
  • Add breaks between all the exercises.
  • Modify individual exercises – you can use resistance bands or an assisted pull up machine, do push-ups with your knees on the ground, reduce the number of squats or do the workout without the 20 pound weighted vest.

The Lt. Michael P. Murphy Memorial Scholarship Fund

Proceeds from those who officially sign up for The Murph Memorial Day Challenge go towards the Lt. Michael P. Murphy Memorial Scholarship fund. Since 2014 more than $1.8 million has been raised through The Murph Challenge. In 2021 alone, 34 scholarships were given out as a result of the funds raised.

For those who take the challenge, you can see how you compare with others around the world you can check the Official Worldwide Leaderboard. The 5 men and women who compete the challenge the fastest will be recognized for their times.

Join Us for the Most Meaningful Workout of the Year

If you’re looking to be inspired, challenged and pushed to your limits for an amazing cause, join us at Bayshore Fit this Memorial Day weekend. It just may be your most important and meaningful workout all year.