Murph Primer by Mike “Rothy” Roth

As many of you likely know, I have done Murph for the last 9 Mondays as part of a
fundraiser (Murph for Meals) for Meals on Wheels Chapel Hill and CORA Food Pantry.
Thanks to all of you who have donated! If you would like to help feed folks in the area,
please check us out at Go Fund Me – Murph for Meals.

I have learned a ton about doing Murph during this endeavor, and thought I would share
those lessons, as you prepare for Memorial Day!

Murph is hard on the body and the mind. Show up ready. Doing Murph tired and/or hung
over sucks. Treat yourself right on Sunday, do a little extra stretching/mobility and get a
good night’s sleep.

On Monday morning, make sure you leave yourself plenty of time to get a nice warm-up –
stretch, jog a bit, pick the music you’ll be listening to (using headphones on the mile run is
advisable), decide where you are going to do your pull-ups, push-ups and squats. Don’t
come back from the run and try to figure this out – you want to be able to get right into your
first round of work. Have a way to count your rounds – I promise you will not remember
where you are in the workout once you get moving. I use chalk and make a line on the
ground for each round I finish. Chalk lines on the rig that you can erase as you go is easy,
and you will know how much work you have left.

If you are doing partner-Murph, know who your partner is and make sure you are on the
same page with your plan of attack. Communication is paramount. You make your “money”
with quick transitions, so always be talking, and ready to start the next movement
immediately after your partner finishes.

The first step in planning is to understand what you are trying to accomplish. Are you
trying to hit a specific time? Trying to beat last year’s PR? Or are you just trying to finish?
If you are chasing a time, lay out some “mile markers” – how fast do you want to run the
first mile, when should you get to halfway, when do you want to leave for the final run.
Make sure you have a clock you can see, or someone to update you on your time. Don’t
forget the second half of the workout will likely take you longer than the first, so take that
into account when you make your plan.

If you are not chasing a specific time, don’t bother looking at the clock until you finish. The
clock is going to keep ticking, and will get into your head. Just go out and do the work, and
you’ll know your time at the end of the workout.

I reward myself with “scheduled breaks” and allow myself to grab a quick drink and chalk
up after specific rounds. This avoids constantly stopping during the wod.

How you break Murph down depends on your personal strengths. If you are a good runner,
take advantage of that and know that you might be slower during the “calisthenics” but will
make your time up during the miles. If you are a slower runner, accept that and try to be
faster in the middle part of the workout. You are not going to magically become a 6-minute
miler, or string together butterfly pull-ups, for the first time on Memorial Day.

The key is finding a pace you can stick with. You want to spend as little time as possible
resting, so go into the workout with a plan that works for you. KEEP MOVING, even if that
means breaking the work into bite size pieces.

Push-Ups are the limiting factor in Murph. Divide up the work based on how many
unbroken push-ups you can do consistently. If you are wearing a weight vest, this might be
less than usual. Once the push-ups go away, the suffering really begins. Here are some
ways to break the work up, which give you push-up options.

A) 20 rounds of Cindy – 5 Pull-Ups, 10 Push-Ups, 15 Squats (I do this, but in most
rounds I do 10 squats, take 2 steps back to the pull-up bar, then do the last 5).
B) 20 rounds of 5 Push-Ups, 5 Pull-Ups, 5 Push-Ups, 15 Squats (more transitions, but
breaking the push-ups into 5’s keeps you moving)
C) 10 rounds of 10 Pull-Ups, 20 Push-Ups, 30 Squats (not for beginners!! Less
transitions, but way more pain)
D) 50 rounds of 2 Pull-Ups, 4 Push-Ups, 6 Squats (I think there are too many
transitions, but some folks believe the advantage is you will never have to stop)
E) Unpartitioned – 100 Pull-Ups, 200 Push-Ups, 300 Squats (not for the faint of heart,
or anyone wanting to do anything else for a week!)

The final mile is going to hurt. Period. Keep putting one foot in front of the other and
remind yourself it’s almost over! Your body is capable of more than your mind, so don’t
listen to the voices telling you to slow down, or walk. Try to sprint up that hill to the finish
line, it’s worth it.

The first thing you should do when you finish Murph (and can breathe again) is
“carbohydrate replacement therapy.” That’s right drink a beer. You just finished Murph –
you deserve one. Great job!

As exhausted as you will be, stick around to stretch a little and cool down correctly. Murph
is gonna beat you up, and you need to start the recovery process immediately. An Epsom
Salt bath is a really good idea as well; it really helps the muscles start to loosen up. Taking
Tuesday off is probably a good idea too.

Take pride in the fact that you have participated in one of the oldest CrossFit traditions, and
congratulate yourself for a job well done 🙂

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After being fed up with a lack of results from her elliptical training sessions, Kelly came around to CrossFit. She started at home with Eva T’s bodyweight workouts. Due to a persistent, encouraging and very patient husband, she finally made her way into the box.

CrossFit has really changed her life, in only the most positive ways. Like many women, Kelly had always felt self-conscious of at least one part of her body. CrossFit has provided an environment where she not only embraced, but became proud of her body’s strength! This in turn has greatly influenced her self-esteem. CrossFit has changed her life is such radical ways that she wants to share this with others.

Kelly is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with undergraduate and graduate degrees in Nursing. When she is not in the box, she works as a relief nurse practitioner. She likes to read, watch theatre, cheer on the Tar Heels, play with her pups Kaiah and Comet, go fishing with her dad and spend time with her wonderful husband in her free time.


CrossFit Level 2 Certified, 2021

 CrossFit Level I Certified, 2011 & 2016

 Olympic Lifting Seminar with Tony Cowden, 2011

 BeastSkills Seminar with Jim Bathurst, 2011

 Olympic Lifting Seminar with Caleb Ward, 2011

 Head judge at the Tarheel Challenge for CrossFit UNC, 2011

 Judge at the Carolina Fitness Challenge, 2011

 USA Weightlifting Level I Certified, 2012

 CrossFit Goal Setting Course with Greg Amundson, 2012

 CrossFit Gymnastics Seminar, 2012


MS in Nursing, 2008



Chad embodies what it means to be physically active and mentally strong. His lifelong commitment to fitness began with his earliest experiences as a Boy Scout, which provided a solid foundation for his capacity to learn, teach, and lead. While in high school, despite playing both soccer and baseball as well as maintaining his status as an honor student, he attained the coveted Eagle Scout distinction.

At the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill he earned both Bachelor of Arts in Exercise and Sports Science and Bachelor of Arts in Psychology degrees. During his time at UNC, he realized his enthusiasm for coaching while working at the Student Recreation Center and Rams Head Recreation Center. He also served as the Intramural Sports Captain for the Carolina Baptist Student Union.

After graduation, Chad worked as a personal trainer at local gyms, continually refining and honing his skills. Some of his original clients have followed him to Local. With over a decade in the fitness industry, Chad has coached all levels of physical fitness, from the elderly to the high-caliber athlete.

Chad’s understanding of the human body, and its potential to rehabilitate itself and excel, allow him to coach his clients in the most efficient and effective way. The variety of functional movements performed at high-intensity, which is a hallmark of CrossFit, leads to real, tangible results. Chad has seen the changes in his own life, both in performance and overall well-being, from implementing the CrossFit modalities. He is always excited to share that wisdom and passion with his clients.

Fitness is not just a job for Chad, it is a way of life. He is committed to providing the community with a place where he can assist clients in realizing not only their personal fitness goals but goals that allow them to grow personally. He is happy to report that while in California, he visited the original CrossFit and trained with Eva T. He loves to hunt, fish and spend time outdoors. In his free time, Chad enjoys spending time with his wife Kelly, daughter Evelyn and their puppies Kaiah and Comet.


CrossFit Level 2 Certified, 2020

CrossFit Level I Certified, 2010 & 2015

CrossFit Movement and Mobility Seminar with Kelly Starrett, 2010

CrossFit Gymnastics Seminar with Jeff Tucker, 2010

CrossFit Endurance Certified, 2011

CrossFit Kids Certified, 2011

Voted one of best personal trainers in Triangle, 2011, 2012

USA Weightlifting Level I Certified, 2012

CrossFit Goal Setting Course with Greg Amundson, 2012

Tough Mudder, Warrior Dash and Adventure Race Competitor

4th place in 85kg weight class, Triad Barbell Meet, 2011

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BA Exercise and Sports Science, 2006


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