Army recruits work in teams to complete sets of push-ups as part of the “Murph” workout Tuesday at Bloch Park. (Christopher Edmunds | Times-Journal)
Army recruits work in teams to complete sets of push-ups as part of the “Murph” workout Tuesday at Bloch Park. (Christopher Edmunds | Times-Journal)

Recruits put through ‘excruciating’ workout

Published 8:23pm Friday, May 30, 2014

By Christopher Edmunds

The Selma Times-Journal

One day after Memorial Day honored service men and women who died in combat, a group of young soldiers tested their strength with a workout at Bloch Park.

Staff Sergeant Joe Strobaugh led the group of 33 recruits through workout named after a Medal of Honor recipient.

Lt. Michael P. Murphy was a Navy SEAL was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions in the War in Afghanistan. He was an avid adherent of CrossFit, a popular fitness program, and his favorite workout routine was renamed in his honor.

The “Murph” workout required the recruits to break into teams of four or five and complete a mile run, 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 squats and finish with another mile run.

“It’s a real tough workout,” Strobaugh said. “It’s long, hard, and it’s a real gut check.”

The workout is usually performed at CrossFit centers around the country on Memorial Day as a charity fundraiser.

“This is all in preparation and getting them used to what’s going to happen when they get to basic training,” Strobaugh said.

Strobaugh said the recruits who participated in the workout come from various places and walks of life.

“We’ve got a really diverse group here,” he said. “Each team could have people from different cities or backgrounds, and they have to work together to complete the tasks.”

William Lancaster, an Army recruit from Greenville, said the workout was tough, but enjoyable.

“It was excruciating,” Lancaster said. “Excruciating but fun. The worst part was the second mile.”

Strobaugh said he hopes to continue the tradition of the “Murph” workout in the future.

“It’s something we typically do on Memorial Day,” Strobaugh said, “so we hope to get back out here next year.”

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