Can you do Crossfit WOD Murph in a weighted ruckpack?

May means “Murph Day”, but can you do this classic Crossfit Hero WOD in a ruckpack (instead of a weighted vest)?


What is Murph WOD?

“Murph” is one of the best-known Crossfit Hero WODs. The Hero WODs are a collection of tough benchmark workouts named after members of the military (and first responders) who died in the line of duty.

Murph is named after Lieutenant Michael Murphy, who was killed in action in Afghanistan on June 28th, 2005. It’s usually done on Memorial Day in CrossFit boxes around the world. But you don’t have to be a Crossfit athlete or even care about Crossfit to do Murph. People from all sorts of sports and training backgrounds take on the workout every year.


What exactly is the Murph workout?

For time:

1 mile run

100 pull ups

200 press ups

300 air squats (bodyweight squats)

1 mile run

All done wearing a 20lb (9kg) weighted vest.

You can do Murph exactly as it’s written, or you can partition the pull ups, press ups, and air squats. Many people do this middle section as 10 sets of 10/20/30, or 20 sets of 5/10/15. Try doing it unpartitioned (exactly as written) for the ultimate challenge.


When is Murph Day 2024?

Memorial Day this year falls on Monday May 27th 2024 which means many Crossfit boxes will programme Murph on the weekend just before the day itself. But if you want to do Murph on the official “Murph Day”, then do it on Monday 27th May.


Who does Murph WOD is it just for Crossfit?

Murph originated as a Crossfit workout, but plenty of people take on the challenge even if they’ve never done a day of Crossfit in their life. All you need is a pull up bar and some weighted apparel. It’s a great test of mental and physical strength and stamina. 

Murph is a global community workout that welcomes participants from any training background and any training level. You can do it by yourself, drop into your local Crossfit box as a one-off, or join the online community on socials.

The whole point of Murph is to push your mind and body whilst honouring a fallen military serviceman. The simplicity of the movements means almost everyone can take on Murph (or an adapted version of it) and get through the challenge.


Can you use a weighted ruckpack for Murph? 

The full version of Murph should be done in a weighed vest, which got us thinking – can you do Murph in a weighted ruckpack? Rucking apparel is made for long endurance sessions, and that’s definitely Murph! 

You can definitely do Murph in a weighted ruckpack or rucking plate carrier. After all, Murph was designed to honour Lieutenant Michael Murphy, who was a US Navy SEAL officer. He would have worn a ruckpack in his selection, training, and operative duties. Doing the Murph workout wearing a military-inspired ruckpack seems like the ultimate way to honour him.


How to train for Murph with a ruckpack

Murph can take an hour or more to complete, so if you’re planning to do Murph 2024 in a weighted ruckpack, start training now. Here are four training sessions to build on.


Murph prep with a weighted ruckpack 


Run 200m

2 x (5 pull ups, 10 press ups, 15 air squats)

Repeat the run and 2 rounds every 6 minutes (for 5 rounds). If you have time remaining in the 6 minutes, use it to rest.



Run 200m

7 pull ups, 9 press ups, 18 air squats, 9 press ups, 7 pull ups.

Repeat 8 times.



Run 600m

6 rounds of: 5 pull ups, 10 press ups, 15 air squats

Run 800m

8 rounds of: 5 pull ups, 10 press ups, 15 air squats

Run 1000m



Run 400m

6 rounds of: 5 pull ups, 10 push ups, 15 air squats

Run 800m

5 rounds of: 10 pull ups, 20 push ups, 30 air squats

Run 1 mile


Variations of Murph

Many people are looking for a variation of the classic Murph WOD. Perhaps you don’t fancy taking on the full version, you don’t have access to a pull up bar, or you can’t do pull ups yet.


Half Murph 

Simply half the workout:

800m run

50 pull ups

100 press ups

150 air squats (bodyweight squats)

800m run


Burpee Murph

Replace the pull ups with burpees (partition the workout if you don’t want to do it straight through as written) 

1 mile run

100 burpees

200 press ups

300 air squats (bodyweight squats)

1 mile run


Scaled Murph

Scale any movement you can’t do yet – for most people this is the pull ups and/or push ups. You could do ring rows or banded pull ups, and kneeling push ups.


Best weighted vests and weighted ruckpacks for Murph WOD

Whether you choose to do Murph in a weighted vest, or try it in a military-inspired weighted ruckpack, Force Fitness has the kit you need. Head to our rucking page for durable, top quality rucking backpacks, rucking plate carriers, or weighted vests for Murph.

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