Posts Tagged ‘Michael Murphy’

The fifth week of “Smashby’s Weekly Throwdown” is ready to go! The goal today is to work on increasing the length of run as we decrease the amount of reps each round. Instead of crashing and burning on the final run, be prepared to bring it home fast!

Throwdown #5

Run 100m

10 Pull-Ups

20 Push-Ups

30 Air Squats

Run 200m

8 Pull-Ups

16 Push-Ups

24 Air Squats

Run 300m

6 Pull-Ups

12 Push-Ups

18 Air Squats

Run 400m

Focus/Modifications/Progressions:

Overall Strategy- Today’s strategy for “Murph” will be geared towards helping athletes keep some speed in the tank for their final run. The first 100m run is followed by the largest block of reps for Pull-Ups, Push-Ups, and Air Squats. As the runs get a bit longer, the reps go down each round.

Runs– The goal today is to hold the same pace for all four runs. Think about what time would make you happy to run that final mile of the workout, and work backwards to find the pace you should hold. Knowing that, if you plan to run an eight minute mile to finish the workout, that puts your final 400m at 2:00. Using that equation, your 100m should take 30 seconds, 200m should take one minute, and your 300m should take ninety seconds. After your final air squat, get right out the door and hold that pace for your final run!

Pull-UpsPush-Ups, and Air Squats– For each of these movements, break down reps each set similar to how you’d plan to break them down on Murph day. The primary focus of the workout today is run pacing, so the reps should be completed in smaller, manageable sets. Just keep moving, and hitting full range of motion for everything.

Just like last week, if you plan on wearing a weight vest while completing Murph, this is a another great workout to start getting more comfortable wearing it before Memorial Day!

Five weeks of Murph prep in the books. Have you done any of these workouts? All of them? Let me know what you think!

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The fourth week of “Smashby’s Weekly Throwdown” is ready to go! Hoping that these continue to help prepare athletes for the big day. Keep letting me know how you do, and if you get the courage, post your times and notes in the comments. There’s a few of you out there, I promise!

Throwdown #4

6 Rounds

Run 100m

3 Pull-Ups

6 Push-Ups

9 Air Squats

3 Pull-Ups

6 Push-Ups

9 Air Squats

Rest 60-90 seconds between rounds

Goal is to keep all 6 round times nearly identical!

Focus/Modifications/Progressions:

Overall Strategy- Today’s strategy for “Murph” will be geared towards helping athletes pace the workout more effectively. After running a short 100m distance, complete two rounds of 3 Pull-Ups, 6 Push-Ups, and 9 Air Squats. After one round is complete, rest between 60-90 seconds, and repeat. Complete for a total of six rounds of work. The goal is to complete all round with steady effort and nearly identical times.

Runs– You’ll only be running 100m each round, that’s pretty short! Keep the runs steady, and as soon as you get back in the gym start on your pull-ups right away.

Pull-Ups– Only three reps at a time. That means many of us will be going unbroken the entire time here. As long is it’s not going to destroy your grip or tear your hands, hang on and keep moving.

Push-Ups– It might be tempting to try and complete the six reps unbroken, but as I’ve said every week of the throwdown, few people will be able to maintain that throughout the full Murph. Break it down four and two, or three and three with really short rest, and keep that pacing going throughout all six rounds.

Air Squats– Remember, there are 300 air squats in Murph. Just because there’s “only” 18 reps per round, doesn’t mean you should sprint them. Find a comfortable pace and stick with it through short rests and steady breathing.

Also, if you plan on wearing a weight vest while completing Murph, this is a great workout to break it out and start getting more comfortable wearing it before Memorial Day!

Four weeks of Murph prep in the books. Are you feeling more confident? I sure hope so! Give this one a shot, and let me know how it goes!!

The third week of “Smashby’s Weekly Throwdown” is ready to go! It’s been so fun receiving messages from people who are participating in these weekly challenges. Keep letting me know how you do, and if you get the courage, post your times and notes in the comments. There’s a few of you out there, I promise!

Throwdown #3

Run 800m

20 Pull-Ups

30 Push-Ups

40 Air Squats

Run 800m

Focus/Modifications/Progressions:

Overall Strategy- Today’s pacing strategy for “Murph” will be geared towards helping those who are considering completing the workout straight through. That means they’ll run a mile, complete 100 pull-ups, then 200 push-ups, then 300 air squats, then another mile run. In that order. It’s a completely different beast to do it this way, so I encourage anyone completing my challenge this week to imagine needing to complete all reps, not just to blast through it unbroken. 

Runs– The workout has athletes running one mile total, half of the distance to be run during the full workout. I’m challenging each of you to try and run your 800’s in the exact same time! That means pacing the first run more than you need to, then pushing to match your time on the second one to complete the workout.

Pull-Ups– While there are a lot of people who can do 20 pull-ups in a row, fewer people would hit sets of 20 out of the gate on their way to 100. Pace it as if you had that much volume to complete. Smaller sets, short rest, continue.

Push-Ups– Most athletes complete sets of 3-5 reps at a time for push-ups during Murph. If you had to do 200 in a row before moving on, most people would most certainly stick with a similar rep range. Chest, hips, and quads, hit the ground at the same time. Be sure to lock out every rep before dropping to rest!

Air Squats– Imagine having to do 300 of these! I think quick sets of 10 reps or so, with a short rest before repeating, should keep you moving enough and ready to take off on that second run.

This will be the third week of getting ready for one of the most commonly performed workouts in all of CrossFit. I hope some of you are already feeling a bit more confident with different strategies for pacing and your chosen rep scheme.

Let me know how it goes!!

The first few weeks of my Weekly Throwdown is in the books, so it’s time for challenge number two! We’re still working to practice different pacing strategies for “Murph” at the end of next month, so keep that in mind.

Last week we worked on the 3/6/9 pacing breakdown. This week, we’re going to do what I view as the most common way of breaking down reps; 5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, 15 air squats.

Throwdown #2

4 Rounds

200m Run

5 Pull-Ups

10 Push-Ups

15 Air Squats

Focus/Modifications/Progressions:

Overall Strategy- In Murph, there is only a mile run at the beginning of the workout, and another one at the end. For today’s workout, your goal is to try and get a little bit faster for each one of your four rounds. Too often during Murph, athletes run a blazing fast first mile and then a significantly slower second one. By pacing today’s short workout, the goal is to focus on being able to control your speed and effort in hopes to still have some gas left in the tank for the end!

Runs– The distance is short, so there will be some effective pacing required to not go too hard on round one! Try to get faster each round!It doesn’t end with run, so feel free to really push that final 200m run!

Pull-Ups– Kipping and butterfly pull-ups may be performed today, but remember, we want to get faster each round.

Push-Ups– No hand-release push-ups required this week, but make sure your chest, hips, and quads STILL touch the ground, AND that you lock out all the way. Since most people can’t do sets of 10 throughout the entire Murph workout, my advice is to break up these reps how you’d plan to do it on game day. Most people try 4/3/3 or 3/3/2/2, with really short rests between each small set.

Air Squats– Chest up, crease of your hip below the top of your knee! We all know how to squat, just because we’re not holding a weight in our hand today doesn’t mean we don’t need to start practicing actual full range of motion.

I will be very impressed if athletes can actually get faster each round. My main advice for getting after it is to intentionally hold back on both the run AND reps for the first round. On the last round, get after it and push both. Last round should feel like a sprint from start to finish.

Let me know how it goes!!

NEW SEGMENT ALERT!

To strengthen our community of readers, I’m going to try and post a challenge or workout that we can do together most weeks. They’ll be fairly fast and shouldn’t negatively impact any specific program you’re following!

Each week will have a different focus and “WHY are we doing this” aspect, and can be done any time from Monday through Sunday of that week. All I ask, is that you share your results here and comment on how it went!

The first few weeks of my Weekly Throwdown will be in preparation for a workout thousands of CrossFit athletes do around the world each year on Memorial Day: “Murph

Too often at the end of May people realize they haven’t devoted enough time to improving their running or their strength for the pull-ups, push-ups, and air squats that make up the workout.

Since you’re allowed to partition your reps any way you’d like in that workout, today’s variation is going to include the 3/6/9 break down, and will focus on strict and slower movements.

Throwdown #1

400m Run

5 Rounds of 3 Strict Pull-Ups, 6 Hand-Release Push-Ups, 9 Goblet Squats

400m Run

Focus/Modifications/Progressions:

Runs– Push the runs. Today’s workout includes slower movements by design. Since you’ll be standing around a little more than on a typical Murph, you’ll have plenty of time to recover before the next run. Run your first 400m at about 85/90% effort (faster than Murph pace), then try to match or beat it the second time!

Strict Pull-Ups– Make these the most challenging version of “chin-over” pull-ups you can do. Unassisted reps? Great! Pause and the bottom and don’t swing. Need a little kip to get that chin over? Use it! Can’t quite get your chin over yet? Although it’s not my favorite substitution, you can also use a band. But only if it only gives you that “little extra” push to get your chin over. If you’re needing to attach multiple or really strong bands, I always prefer a good strict ring row to build strength. These reps do not need to be unbroken, so feel free to break them up!

Hand-Release Push-Ups– My favorite version of push-up to ensure that an athlete’s chest actually touches the ground! If you’re doing push-ups from your toes, tell yourself not to let your knees touch the ground at all during the rep. At the end of each rep, come to a complete pause before beginning the next rep.

Goblet Squats– Holding a kettlebell, perform a set of 9 unbroken goblet squats. The goal with these is to ensure the chest is kept high at the bottom of each rep, and that the athlete stands all the way up at the top of every rep. It’s really easy to “shorten” range of motion in a workout like Murph, try to avoid that today!

This workout isn’t designed to be incredibly challenging. View it as a cardio component, focused skill and strength work, then a cardio piece to finish up. If you decide to tackle it, leave your time and some notes in the comments section.

This week brought a very notable event in the sector of “Global Security” that was carried out by the United States Military. From the moment of the public announcement, as is usually the case, an array of emotions has been shared across the country and around the globe. Some celebrated. Others shared how they felt the loss of a life, any life, should never be cheered. Some took credit for their role in the act. Others did not, have not and never will talk about their role in the events. At the end of the day, one FACT remains:

The mission was carried out by Navy SEALs.

Wikipedia defines them as “The United States Navy SEa, Air and Land (SEAL) Teams, commonly known as Navy SEALs, are the U.S. Navy’s principal special operations force and a part of the Naval Special Warfare Command (NSWC)… The unit’s acronym (“SEAL”) is derived from their capacity to operate at sea, in the air, and on land – but it is their ability to work underwater that separates SEALs from most other military units in the world. Navy SEALs are trained and have been deployed in a wide variety of missions, including direct action and special reconnaissance operations, unconventional warfare, foreign internal defense, hostage rescue, counter-terrorism and other missions.” I understand that as meaning that these men are some of the best of the best.

Men who are asked to do things that most humans could never imagine. They are silent heroes that protect our freedoms, as Americans, every single day. Their job is to remain unseen, (they.do.not.exist.) and they will rarely ever be thanked for their risks and sacrifices.

CrossFit names workouts after people like that. They’re known as HERO Workouts, and they’re named in memory of a soldier, a police officer, a fire fighter, or someone who gave their lives to protect us. They’re not just running and pull-ups and push-ups and air squats. Before we do these in our voluntary fitness class, remember that each one of these HERO WODs has a story. As time has passed in my 2.5+ years in CrossFit, I feel these workouts should be viewed as something a little bit more. They should be taken more seriously. We complain about how much we hate running… these individuals no longer have that luxury.

Tom Nugent (friend and owner of SnoRidge CrossFit) posted a link today that I wanted to share with you all. Glenn Beck tells the story of one SEAL, Lt. Michael Murphy, and how he gave his life to protect each of ours. (CrossFit named the workout “Murph” after him.)

This story has nothing to do with my thoughts on Glenn Beck, but rather the men he is talking about. While I will rarely get this “political” on my blog, stories like this make me feel proud and thankful to live the life I am lucky enough to have here. God Bless America, and thank you to all of the men and women out there ensuring that we continue to have this privilege.

R.I.P. Lieutenant Michael Murphy

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