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Pacing Murph

That time Scott and Nathan did DOUBLE MURPH...! Photo: Oscar Bravo

Hey team,

Wednesday - Thursday brings the opportunity to get some initial ideas around pacing for the pullups, pushups, and squats of the Murph WOD. If you're planning on doing it partitioned (i.e. doing rounds of smaller chunks of reps), take this wod to see where you're at and if you need to plan differently. Of course, the idea is that over the coming weeks, you will improve in your ability to do these movements, but it's always good to have a baseline.

The most common way to break up the reps is to do 20 rounds of "Cindy" - i.e. 20 sets of 5 pullups, 10 pushups, 15 squats. This isn't the ONLY way, but it's generally accepted as the "best" way to get the workout done, as it doesn't overly tax you by doing too many reps of one (or more movements). Having done Murph 4 times, I have only once done something different, and it didn't really seem easier!

Other people (Chris Van Steelandt for example) have done some different things with reps - either going with bigger sets (10-20-30) or smaller sets (3-6-9). The challenge with these is that you need a LOT more muscular endurance for the first option to do those big chunks of reps, and then you need to be super fast on your transitions on the second one as you end up swithcing exercises way more than the Cindy method.

Any way you cook it, for most people, the pullups and/or the pushups are the crux of the wod, so focus on honing your strategy for those two movements. If your pullups are super strong, then try to "recover" a bit on them by doing them unbroken and as smooth as possible. If you're not strong on pullups, plan to break them up early into manageable chunks so you don't burn out.

The pushups are a beast in Murph. Most of you will do well to split them up into smaller chunks right from round 1 of Cindy. I know this seems a bit much, but especially if you're using a weight vest, the pushups can

die off really quickly if you go too hard on them.

For my best Murph, I split the pushups into 6/4 for most rounds then 5-3-2 for some others, and that was almost ideal.

For training tomorrow and Thursday, see where you're at, and modify the wod to what you think your capacity can maintain right now. That might mean dropping reps of one or all of the exercises, going on a longer timer (1:45 or 2 minutes), or even speeding up the timer if you're a beast. Here are some timelines to consider for the Murph workout that can help you try to figure out your pacing:

Fastest runners (with vest) will do both runs between 7 and 8 minutes (so 16 min total time)

Slower runners will do both runs between 10 and 12 minutes (so 20-24 min total time)

Fastest Cindy people will get the 20 done in 25-30 minutes (1:15 to 1:30 per round)

Slower Cindy people will get the 20 rounds done in 40-50 minutes (2:00 to 2:30 per round)

So if you're a faster runner (bookend 8 minute miles) and are fast on Cindy (23 minutes) then you can go sub 40 for Murph! If you're running is a bit slower (bookend 11 min miles) and your Cindy is a bit slower (50 min) then you're looking at a time right around 71 minutes. Times around and over the hour mark are not unusual in this workout, and if that is going to be you, more power to you... just pace it out and get it done!!




WARM UP: 3 rounds

Pause goblet squats ( 2-3 sec) x 4

Russian KB swings x 12

Front rack Stretch x 30 sec

STRENGTH: 2 Front Squats, 80% 1RM Every 1:30 for 15 mins.

Percent is based off your best weight for last week's 4 rep max. Take 70-80% of that and use it for your sets of 2. This is about getting better tech so it shouldn't be a super grind kind of set!


1 Round Of Cindy Every 1:30 for 15 mins.

1 round is: 5 pullups, 10 pushups, 15 air squats

FG3: trim reps to 3-6-9

FG2: scale pullups and pushups

FG1: scale reps and movements as needed

CP1: Add weight vest 20/14

CP2: Do 20 rounds with vest (30 min)


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