‘Murph’, a five-part WOD consisting of a one-mile run, 100 pull-ups, 200 press-ups, 300 bodyweight squats, and another one-mile run, is one of CrossFit’s most famous Benchmark Hero Workouts. Named after fallen Navy SEAL Lt. Michael Murphy, ‘Murph’ is usually tackled by CrossFit communities around the world on Memorial Day in the US and, usually performed with a 20lb (10kg) weighted vest, makes for a gruelling session.
In an effort to raise money for the Starship Children’s Hospital in Auckland, New Zealand, student Sam Gladding decided to take a new spin on the WOD by attempting as many Murphs as possible in 24 hours. Here’s what he had in store:
For Time, With a 20lb/10kg Weighted Vest
- 1 mile Run
- 100 Pull-Ups
- 200 Press-Ups
- 300 Air Squats
- 1 mile Run
“Health and fitness has always been a huge part of my life,” Gladding told BOXROX after finishing the challenge. “During the national lockdown in May/June 2020 I completed a 30 Murphs in 30 Days challenge, this sparked my interest in CrossFit and I began including it into my training regime.”
With his interest piqued, Gladding decided to raise money for the Starship Children’s Hospital — where his sister, Sienna, was admitted to for leukemia treatment — with a Murph challenge. “They are giving the best care, love and support, not only for Sienna but for the whole family, as well as providing medical treatment that is second to none,” said Gladding.
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Starting his challenge at 6AM, Gladding aimed to beat the current record held by French athlete Tanguy Cruz, who ticked off 18 Murphs in 24 hours. “The hardest part was definitely around 12 hours in,” Gladding explained to BOXROX. “I had done 11 Murphs with no rest as I was feeling strong, but then I took my first break. I hit a massive wall, threw up twice and just couldn’t get moving again. Every sip of water or bite of food just came straight back up so I couldn’t stay hydrated or refuel. I was running completely on empty from about Murph 12-15.”
Doubt started creeping into my mind but I had to push it out and go to a place in my mind that I hadn’t been before. The rest was just a blur but I somehow managed to complete the rest of the Murphs and get the World Record.”
After 22 hours, Gladding finished a total of 19 Murphs, beating Cruz’s record by one full workout, and finished at 04:27AM the following Saturday morning.
“I think that just proves to anyone wanting to push themselves that your body is capable of so much if you can get your mind in the right place. I put a lot of work into preparing for this challenge mentally, with meditation, cold exposures and visualisation, and I’m so glad that I did because that’s what it came down to in the end.” You can donate to Gladding’s JustGiving page here.
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