The 3 and 3 Worst CrossFit Workouts: Part 1 – The Murph
Murph is one of the most popular and well known WODs. It was created by Mark Rippetoe back in 1993 when he wrote his book Starting Strength .
Murph is a very challenging workout with many different movements performed at high intensity over several days. It requires a lot of coordination, strength, stamina, flexibility, mental toughness and much more than just pure fitness.
The Murph workout consists of three separate exercises performed in a row, each for two minutes. You have to complete all three exercises within those two minute time limit or you will fail the workout.
There are no rest periods between the movements. If you miss any movement, then you must start from scratch again.
You may think that it’s easy to do, but you’d be wrong. The Murph workout is not only difficult, but also dangerous.
It is not recommended for beginners and even experienced athletes need some extra training before attempting this workout.
Here are the three movements in Murph:
1) Barbell Squat (Barbell Squats) – Perform these squats using a barbell instead of dumbells or kettle bells.
2) Pull-Ups (Pull-Ups) – You have to complete your reps using kipping pull-ups.
3) Push-Ups (Push-Ups) – You have to complete your reps using regular push-ups.
Murph is designed to be done with a team, such as members of the US military or law enforcement.
In memory of Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy, a Navy SEAL officer who was killed in Afghanistan in 2005, there is the version called “Murph” which consists of:
1) Run 800 meters
2) 100 Pull-Ups
3) 200 Push-Ups
4) 300 Squats
5) Run 800 meters (Return to Start)
This workout is always done for time and not for reps. If you fail to complete the workout before the time runs out, then you fail it altogether.
The average person will take around 40 minutes to do this on their first attempt. Someone in good physical condition can probably complete the workout in 30 minutes.
However, if you are new to this style of exercise, then it could take you much longer.
This is just one of many different workouts for crossfit training.
The 3 and 3 Worst CrossFit Workouts: Part 2 – The Filthy 50
Another one of the worst crossfit workouts is the infamous “Filthy 50”. If you like to do things hard, then this brutal workout is for you.
It was developed by James Fitzgerald, the head trainer at Crossfit Santa Cruz.
The strength workout lasts for 50 minutes and consists of:
1) 50 Front Squats (50% of 1 rep max)
2) 50 Overhead Squats (50% of 1 rep max)
3) 50 Jerks (50% of 1 rep max)
4) 50 Pull-ups
5) 50 Push-ups
6) 50 sit-ups
If you are a beginner, then you should use half of your bodyweight for all of these exercises. If you are an advanced crossfitter, then use 70% of your 1 rep max.
If you are a professional athlete, then you will probably be using 100% of your 1 rep max.
The Filthy 50 is not the only workout that is popular in Crossfit workouts. There are many other brutal WODs such as “Eva” (an hour’s worth of repeating the sequence 5 pull-ups, 10 deadlifts, 15 push-ups and 20 squats), “Helen” (the well known 800m run followed by 20 squat thrust, then400m run followed by 30 sit-ups, etc), “Angie” (100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 sideway levers, 400 jumping jacks) and “Dani” (21-15-9 of pull-ups, handstand push-ups and snatches).
The 3 and 3 Best CrossFit Workouts: Part 3 – The Seven Workouts
There are seven main workouts that are used by the crossfit community. Each one targets a different area of fitness and you need to pick three of them to make up your own personalized workout routine.
These seven are known as “The Girls” (as in the seven exercises that make up the Girls). These are also known as the “Three Sets of Seven”.
1) The pull-ups, push-ups, and squats are the “Push” group of exercises.
2) The pull-ups, sit-ups, and handstand push-ups are the “Pull” group of exercises.
3) The deadlifts, push-ups, and hang power cleans are the “Legs” group of exercises.
4) The overhead squats, push-ups, and burpees are the “Total Body” group of exercises.
5) The clean and jerk, push-ups, and pull-ups are the “Strength” group of exercises.
6) The snatches, push-ups, and squats are the “Power” group of exercises.
7) The clean and jerk, sit-ups, and push-ups are the “Muscle” group of exercises.
In each case the first exercise is done for 1 rep, the second for 2 reps, the third for 3 reps, etc. so you end up doing 7 reps of each exercise in a row.
Then you take a one minute break before moving on to the next group of seven exercises. Once you have finished all seven groups you then take a three minutes break before beginning the next “Circuit”. You need to complete two of these “Circuits” in each workout.
The 1st Circuit – Push Group
1) Push-ups – 1st set is done from your knees, 2nd set is done from your toes.
If you are doing the 7 group challenge then you will do a 3rd set of push-ups from your toes with your legs held up in the air.
This is a very challenging and demanding routine so you cannot afford to miss a workout or skip a session. Make sure you give yourself enough time for each session so that you are at 100% for each session.
If you have a competition or event coming up soon then it may be wise to increase the intensity of your training so that you peak at the right time.
2) Box Jumps – The height of the box should be chosen so that you can just barely touch it with your finger tips when you are standing upright.
3) Kettle bell Swings – Use a moderate weight here.
The 2nd Circuit – Pull Group
1) Pull-ups – Chin over the bar at the bottom is what counts.
You can take as much assistance as you need but your chin MUST go over the bar.
As with all training programs you should only undertake this if you are in good health and have got your doctors approval. This is especially important for the 1st circuit as it contains the most number of push-ups.
If you start to feel pain in your joints, suffer from asthma or your grip strength is not as strong as it should be then DO NOT continue with this program.
2) Deadlifts – Use a moderate weight here as well.
3) Dumbell Lunges – Use a light weight and take small steps.
Aim for 10-12 reps in this set.
The 3rd Circuit – Legs Group
1) Walking lunges – Use a heavy weight here and aim for 10-12 reps in this set.
2) Body Weight Rows – You can do these with your legs supported on a bench or with your feet in an Airex pad.
3) Dumbbell or Kettle bell Swings – Same weight as before.
The 3rd Circuit – Leg Group
1) Deadlifts – As with the kettle bell swings you should be using a moderate weight here, perhaps even less if you are a beginner.
2) Step ups – Use a heavy weight here as well.
3) Overhead squat – Use a light weight here but make sure you go all the way down so that your elbows pass behind your knees.
The 4th Circuit – Total Body Group
1) Power clean – Use a heavy weight here as well.
2) Push press – Again, use a heavy weight.
2) Box jumps – With your feet supported on a box with a 40-60cm height.
3) Pull-ups – As described above
The 4th Circuit – TOTAL BODY GROUP
1) Overhead Presses – This can be done with a barbell, dumbbells or kettle bells.
2) Dumbbell Rows – You can use one dumbbell or kettle bell for this exercise.
3) Front squats – Use a heavy weight here as well.
Concentrate on good form and going all the way down until your elbows pass behind your knees.
The 5th Circuit – Pull Group
1) Bent over row – Use a heavy weight here.
2) Deadlift from floor – Use the same weight as with deadlifts in the other circuits.
3) Kettle bell Swings – Use the same weight as before.
The 5th Circuit – Pull Group
1) Power Snatch – Use a heavy weight here.
2) Dumbbell Rows – As described above.
3) Box Jumps – As described above.
The 6th Circuit – Push Group
1) Barbell Press – With a heavy weight in either a standing or seated position.
2) Dumbbell Flies – Using the same weight as with the dumbbell rows.
3) Kettle bell Swings – As before, use a moderate weight.
The 7th Circuit – Legs Group
1) Box Jumps – Use the same method described above.
2) Running Step Ups – Use a heavy weight here.
3) Overhead squat – Use a light weight here.
The 8th and final Circuit – TOTALLY DONE!
1) Hanging Leg Raises – You’ll need a bar for this.
Don’t use your knees in the up position instead lift your whole legs to the point where your feet are above your hips.
2) Pull-ups – As described above.
3) Sit ups – Use a heavy weight here.
4) Crunches – Use a heavy weight here.
Obviously, you don’t have to follow this program exactly if you don’t want to. Choose the exercises that you like and if you think you can add another circuit in then feel free to do so.
There are many other exercises that could be added in but these are pretty much the best all-round exercises and the ones that I feel give the best results in the shortest space of time.
You can add whatever you like in as long as you keep to the plan of 8 circuits with no more than 10 reps per set. You may also find that if there is an exercise that you really like then you may want to add another circuit with just this exercise in it as long as you keep the rest periods between the circuits short enough so that you don’t start training for endurance as well as strength.
I hope this has been of help to some of you.
All the best!
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Sources & references used in this article:
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48-hour recovery of biochemical parameters and physical performance after two modalities of CrossFit workouts by R Timón, G Olcina, M Camacho-Cardeñosa… – Biology of …, 2019 – ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
Full-Squat as a Determinant of Performance in CrossFit by R Martínez Gómez, PL Valenzuela, DB Barranco… – 2019 – repositorio.comillas.edu
The perceived demands of CrossFit by BN Bellovary – 2014 – commons.nmu.edu
Is high-intensity functional training (HIFT)/CrossFit safe for military fitness training? by WSC Poston, CK Haddock, KM Heinrich… – Military …, 2016 – academic.oup.com
Physiological Predictors of Competition Performance in CrossFit Athletes by R Martínez-Gómez, PL Valenzuela, LB Alejo… – International Journal of …, 2020 – mdpi.com
The benefits of high-intensity functional training fitness programs for military personnel by B Bellovary, S Drum, R Jensen, M Moore – Medicine & Science in Sports & …, 2016 – LWW