Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Schriever Sentinel

Airman breaks own record in ‘The Murph’

Senior Airman Sam Bessinger, 50th Space Communications Squadron, performs one of 100 pull-ups during The Murph competition at the main fitness center. The Murph is a workout that incorporates a 1-mile run, 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 body squats followed by another mile run. Bessinger broke his own record set last year, finishing in 28 minutes, 21 seconds. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Kevin Williams)

By Master Sgt. Kevin Williams

50th Space Wing Public Affairs

Pushing himself to his physical limits, he asked for his time. He used up 24 minutes so far. With that, he increased the tempo and pushed himself harder. He finished last year in 29 minutes and five seconds — a new Schriever record.

Senior Airman Sam Bessinger, 50th Space Communications Squadron, competed in “The Murph” for the first time last year and broke the previous record by 90 seconds. His goal this year? To break his own record, which he did by 44 seconds.

The Murph is an athletic competition named after U.S. Navy Lt. Michael Murphy, who created the workout, but was later killed in action while serving in Afghanistan.

The annual competition was open to all Schriever members and several people accepted the challenge.

Ever wanted to run one mile, then perform 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 body squats followed by running another mile? That’s exactly what The Murph entails and the feat competitors tackled Dec. 14 at the main fitness center.

“The best strategy is don’t kill yourself on the first mile run,” said Seth Cannello, Fitness Center director. “After the first mile, most people do 20 sets of five pull ups, 10 pushups and 30 body squats. You’d be amazed how shot your cardiovascular system is by the time you run that last mile.”

The Murph proved to be more strenuous than some of the competitors could have imagined.

“It was very difficult,” said 2nd Lt. Matt McGivney, 11th Space Warning Squadron. “I ran a marathon before and this is just as hard. You really have to pull for inspiration to finish. Guts got me through the last part.”

Like any competition, it always helps to train and prepare; especially for The Murph. The repetitions between the different exercises can easily take a toll on the body.

“I didn’t know if I would break my record,” said Bessinger. “My personal goal was to break it, but I only trained a couple of weeks. I didn’t have high expectations, but I’m pretty happy.”

“I trained during the past month,” said McGivney. “One of the NCOs in my shop told me about this and he’s also competing … it’s kind of an office thing. If I am still here next year, I will do this again, but I will train for two or three months. I’m going to try and beat (this year’s time) next year.”

While the actual competition filled McGivney and other competitors with a sense of pride, he looks forward to other competitions and showing off his accomplishment.

“I can’t wait to get my t-shirt,” said McGivney. “I’ll wear it like, ‘yeah, I did that.’ I hope to do this again.”

For final results, check out Schriever’s public Website at and the 50th Space Wing’s facebook page.

To Top