YouTuber and personal trainer Jeff of the Sorta Healthy channel found that he was finding it harder to stay in shape after turning 30. Inspired by Matt Zhang’s recent YouTube challenge, he set himself the task of getting fit be doing a month’s worth of Crossfit’s notoriously grueling Murph workout, and challenged his fiancé and business partner Alexis to join him. That’s a 1-mile run, 100 pullups, 200 pushups, 300 air squats, and another 1-mile run, every single day, for 30 days.
The Murph was named after the late U.S. Navy SEAL Michael P. Murphy, who favored the workout in his own training, and it is often performed by CrossFitters and other fitness enthusiasts on Memorial Day to honor the servicepeople who lost their lives in the line of duty. In order to classify as an official Murph, all of the exercises should technically be performed in a 20-pound weighted vest, but Jeff opted to wear his a minimum of two times a week.
Jeff admits that they both initially had their doubts that they would be able to sustain a month of Murphs, but that the unexpected quarantine meant their routines suddenly changed, and allowed for more time to dedicate to the task. “In our normal day-to-day lives, it would have been borderline impossible to complete this challenge,” he says. “But in our new day-to-day, it wasn’t too bad at all… Except then it was.”
By the end of the first week, they were both incredibly sore, and Jeff began to compromise on the workout. “What I’ve realized is there’s no way I can do 100 strict pullups for 30 days in a row,” he says. “Some days I’ll do strict pullups, some days I’ll do chinups with an underhand grip, and some days I’ll do them with a neutral grip. I will also use a band assist, but only when I need it.”