Tag Archives: push through

Squat This! Doing the “Bring Sally Up” Squat Challenge

What a great WOD today (For those who don’t CrossFit, that’s our little acronym for “Workout Of the Day”)! We did the “Bring Sally Up Challenge” – and it’s incredibly fun, incredibly easy (in concept), and incredibly challenging workout! It was created by Rich Froning ( A CrossFit Games Athlete), when he tweeted:

“CHALLENGE: to the song “Bring Sally Up” by Moby w/ a 135# barbell on back. Squat on “Bring Sally Down” Stand on “Bring Sally Up””

And that’s it! And actually the song by Moby is called “Flower” – but that’s besides the point. The Prescribed weight is 135# for men and 95# for women, but you can use a comfortable weight for you , or no weight at all if you are new to exercising. When I first heard about it, I tried it at home with air squats (no weight), which was challenging. It seems easy, and the song is less than 4 minutes long, but when you are holding the bottom of the squat, your legs get tired, and it gets hard to stand back up! After trying it with no weight, I rested a minute or two, and then tried it again holding 15# dumbbells in rack position….THAT was tough. Today, I used a 45# barbell. Here’s a video from YouTube of some guys doing the challenge so you can get an idea of how to do it…don’t let the muscles intimidate you from doing the challenge to your own abilities!

You can also do it using a number of variations. Tonight we did the workout a second time, and I did it using a 33# barbell to push-press. THAT was harder for me than the squats. When doing push presses for the challenge, or really any variation, you want to do the holds (The movement you do on “Bring Sally Down”) in the active position. This means that the bar is down in rack position during the “Bring Sally Up” line, and pressed up for “Bring Sally Down”. Let me tell you, that gets tiring VERY quick. With the squats I made it through the whole song without rest, with the push presses there were a few times I had to stop and shake out my arms because they just wouldn’t hold. Other things you can do instead include push ups (Holding 2″ above the floor), pull ups or chin ups (Holding in the UP position), hand stand push ups, dips, etc. Here is a vision showing some variations:

The most important thing is to have fun, and practice good form. You want to make sure with the squats that you are keeping good back position, keeping vertical/not hunching or leaning forward, and pushing your knees out. Form is ultimately the most important thing when doing any sort of physical activity, since it will keep you from getting hurt. A lot of us tend to lose our form when we get tired…stay focused.

Oh! Before I forget! If you haven’t noticed already, I now have a Facebook page and a twitter for the blog. You can connect via the left side bar! I’ll post links, pictures of dinners throughout the week, and easy recipes that may or may not end up on here. So be in the known and connect with me!

Memorial Day Murph

Yesterday I did Murph. Murph is a hero WOD. For those who don’t do crossfit, or are not familiar with the workout, It’s a mile run, followed by 100 pull-ups, 200 push ups, 300 squats, and then another mile run to end it. Luckily you can partition the pull ups, push ups, and squats how you want, so I did it with 20 rounds of 5,10,15.

Today, my whole body hurt. I finally had a chance to reflect on the workout.

I did it, I did it. The whole thing. I went in with a goal of finishing under 90 minutes. And I did it in 87:14

The last time Murph came up, was Dec 31st, and I scaled the whole thing in half. It took all the life out of me then, but I vowed to go all the way for Memorial Day. I had a few months to get better. This was before the whole life challenge, this was before being able to do regular push-ups, this was before hand stands and kipping pull ups. Back then I did all the push-ups on my knees, and I used the green pull up band, adding on the thin blue band midway through. This was when I only did half.

Saturday I bought gloves to save my callused hands, which were beginning to hurt. I would have just shaved them, but they are usually really tender the next day. I wanted to be prepared. I was up until 4am prepping for company coming Sunday afternoon. I set an alarm for 9:30 so I would have some time in the morning to eat breakfast and wake up.

Sunday I woke up at 10:45 – I was signed up for the 11:00 heat – I panicked, I shoved trail mix down my throat and grabbed a coconut water. I was half asleep still – I got there at 11:05. On the way there, I was A little anxious, and down on myself for being late. I thought they probably started already and I would have to start by myself. I got there right when they were setting the clock, no time to settle, no time to warm up mentally, but I made it. 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1-GO!

I ran much of the first mile keeping pace with Taylor, but when we got to Bennett’s Rd I started getting a cramp in my side. I slowed down a little, but didn’t stop running. I just started this, I needed to keep pushing. So the first mile I got through, without stopping, without walking, I just kept going. During the run, I realize I left my gloves at home – I was gonna have to just grin and bear it. I got back to the box and partitioned the middle as 20 rounds of 5-10-15, and I just went for it. I used the blue band for the pull ups. Push ups I did in normal plank position. I thought maybe at some point I’d have to switch to my knees – since I don’t think I’ve done more than 50-75 or so regular push ups in one work out, but I decided I was going to push as far as I could. I reached the midway point at around 40 minutes, and was feeling good. The pull-ups were going smoothly. Getting 5 with the blue band was working. The push-ups were still going strong. At first I was getting 6 or 7 before having to stop to shake out, but by this point I was stopping for a moment after 5. I decided as long as I could get through 5, there was no way I was going to let myself do them on my knees. I kept pushing. By round 13 or 14 my arms were getting shaky, and I was starting to hit a mental wall. I pushed….It was a little emotional…but I felt strong and weak at the same time, my body was tired. Sometimes I got 5 in, sometimes I got 3 or 4, I was ok with this, I kept pushing the pull ups in regular plank. By round 15 – with only 5 to go, I made a decision to refuse to drop to my knees. Plank position Push ups all the way, no matter how long it took. With all the encouragement from those there watching, supporting, and with my own raging determination to finish at this point, I kept going. 20 rounds done – 1 mile to go. I started feeling surprisingly strong. By halfway, I had a pretty painful cramp. I slowed to a walk briefly to let it subside, but not for long. As soon as it subsided a little, I started running again. I slowed to a walk briefly twice during the last run, but at a certain point I just kept telling myself that I was almost done, and I just had to push through the pain. As I neared the end, and was in sight, I heard people cheering my name to finish. It was a fire to keep moving. As I came back through the door and got my time, 87:14 – It dawned on me that I did it. I not only finished, but I succeeded in finishing in under 90 minutes. I sat on the floor, caught my breath, and was filled with exhaustion, accomplishment, pride, and strength.

I think those are the emotions that come out of a really good hero work out. I felt honor, I felt closer to a fallen hero. I felt strong. One day – I will do it with the weighted vest…..We’ll see where I am this time next year.


Run 1 mile
100 pull ups
200 Push ups
300 squats
Run 1 mile

Here is a link to the fundraising page.

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