On June 28, 2005, Lieutenant Michael P. Murphy was killed in action as part of Operation Red Wings in Afghanistan. While on a counter-insurgency mission in the mountains of the Kunar province, his SEAL team came under heavy fire from all sides. Unwilling to risk the lives of his men, Lieutenant Murphy ran into an open clearing, bravely exposed himself to a hail of bullets in order to get a clear radio signal and request additional support. Despite being shot more than 14 times, Lieutenant Murphy completed the call, and he and his fellow SEALs valiantly continued fighting to defend the position down to the very last man. Lieutenant Michael P. Murphy was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his courage in the face of danger.

Lieutenant Murphy’s story quickly became legend in the SEAL community and beyond. It came to represent what it truly means to serve, and embodied the very concept of sacrifice.

Lieutenant Michael P. Murphy or “Murph” as he was known to his friends, was an avid CrossFit athlete who completed rigorous daily training to stay in shape for the challenging and dangerous missions he and his fellow SEALs were sent in to accomplish.

His favorite workout, which he called “Body Armor” involved completing the following exercises for time, all while wearing a 20-lbs weight vest or body armor.


1-mile run
100 pull-ups
200 push-ups
300 air squats
1-mile run


Looking for a way to honor the fallen, completing the “Murph” challenge became an act of remembrance for CrossFit athletes and Navy SEALS alike on Memorial Day. Each year countless Murph Challenges are held on military bases and aircraft carriers, as well as backyards and gyms all across the country.

The challenge takes a little under an hour to complete, and it’s one of the most well-known CrossFit workouts of all time.

In 2014, The Murph Challenge became the official fundraiser of Lt. Michael P. Murphy Memorial Scholarship Foundation. Since its founding, the organization has raised more than $1 million dollars.

Every Memorial Day weekend, the Ten Thousand team joins together to complete a Murph challenge as a small gesture of gratitude for the men and women who laid down their lives in service of this country.

“The Murph serves as a reminder of the pain and sacrifice required to serve our country. It’s a simple way to honor the fallen — a small gesture of gratitude.”

— Rick Briere

This year, we partnered with Deep End Fitness to host a special Murph challenge for more than 40 athletes who came together in San Diego and pay tribute to those who paid the ultimate price. Deep End Fitness is a program designed by U.S. Special Forces Operators that combines pool workouts and training to boost mental resilience, reduce stress under pressure, and increase confidence both in the water and out.

Together, we hosted a Murph Challenge in support of both the Semper Fi Fund and Heroic Hearts project — two organizations helping to heal the minds and bodies of veterans returning home.

Master Instructor and former Marine Corps Raider Rick Briere came well-prepared to lead the charge this year. “I always wear my Durable Shirt when I tackle a Murph. It’s a real lifesaver when you’re doing high-intensity workouts where you need to reduce the friction of your weight vest or plate carrier against your chest. The Tactical Shorts are my go-to for the Murph challenge. Since they were designed in collaboration with U.S. Special Forces, you know they will hold up to the most brutal sessions. I like how the waistband stays in place and the stretch in the shell fabric for my air squats.”

Meanwhile, about a thousand miles northeast, five of our Captains in Denver, Colorado held a Murph Challenge right in their own backyard. This grassroots event captures the spirit of what the Murph is all about — bringing friends together to honor the day and push themselves to be a little bit better than before.

As our Denver Captain, Eric Hinman puts it “The suffering that we encounter during a Murph is nothing compared to the suffering soldiers endure on the battlefield. I'm a big believer that the strongest bonds we can make are formed through discomfort. The Murph really brings our whole community together."

The Captains tackled the Murph one at a time so they could support each other throughout the challenge. Every single one of them came out of the gate hard — keeping about a 5:40 pace across the board for the first mile.

"The pull-ups aren't terrible if you're able to butterfly them," Eric tells us, "but the pushups definitely take the longest. I like to break those up into sets of ten or fifteen since they fatigue you so quickly.”

— Eric Hinman

Eric describes the Murph as, "Definitely some serious 'Type 2' fun. There's a whole lot of pain but once you push through it, you have this incredible high from tackling and overcoming such a huge obstacle."