I’m not massively into fitness, but I have recently been looking for a new workout which:

  • Doesn’t take too long
  • Doesn’t use anything outside of a barbell, dumbell or kettlebell
  • Isn’t just repetitive motion (I know that seems like a far-fetched idea, but there are a few workouts which can be, dare I say it, fun…)

After searching online for serious workouts like “Batman training”, “Become the bat”, “Bane”, “How to work out like Arrow”, I remembered one I used to do ages ago.

I recalled my halcyon days of running through this workout like a breeze. Retrospect, it seems, was out to destroy me.

The workout I’m talking about goes by many names; “The Flower Challenge”, “Bring Sally Up”, “Moby Press-up Challenge”, “Reason I Cry When Moby Comes On Shuffle” (only one of those is untrue).

The principle behind it is disarmingly simple. Do press ups, or any exercise you choose really, in time to a song. It’s about 3:30minutes and roughly 30 reps. It sounds like a dream.

It isn’t. It really is not. I can’t stress enough how this is not a dream.

Here’s a link to the song, go ahead and enjoy it. It’s a great song, classic Moby. Gospel Blues vocals over a piano melody and thumping drums. It gets you pumped up, you feel like you’re ready to do this.

I was not ready to do this.

It lulls you into an entirely false sense of security. I am a fairly strong person. I have worked out for a large proportion of my adult life, I spent 3 months in Africa doing press-ups like someone was casting for a version of Bronson where he has a tan, thick lustrous hair and the slightest hint of a moustache. I made it 1:30 minutes into that song before I physically gave up. Which is 1 minute longer than it took me to mentally break.

The first few reps are fine, you establish a rhythm and it feels ok. “Bring Sally up” and up we go. “Bring Sally down” hello floor, my old friend.

*Something to remember, when you’ve brought Sally down, whatever the hell that means, you don’t lay face down on the floor. You go into a really low plank. This is probably what broke me*

About 5 reps in, you feel the burn. “Bringing Sally Up” takes a fraction of a second longer. In turn, you get a much shorter break at the top before Sally needs bringing down again.

Then comes the kicker. After the 8th rep, in case you’re starting this for the first time and haven’t heard the song before, there is a pause while the singer waffles on about being “dead and gone” – I have no idea what she was saying, it was difficult to hear over the sound of sobbing and swearing. The pause is at the bottom, you know where I said before about a really low plank? Yeah, that point. In your mind, it’s a brief moment of respite. It’s a break while you wonder why you chose to do this. Doesn’t sound too bad, does it?

Right now, get down into a really low plank. Hold it there for about 8 seconds, then push yourself up. It’s not so fun now is it? You sarcastic, hypothetical person! It’s agony! And now, guess what?! Do 7 more slow press ups, safe in the knowledge that this scenario is going to repeat itself for 3:30 minutes.

I have yet to finish the workout, as the areas of my body which currently hurt are:

  • Chest
  • Triceps
  • Abs
  • Pride

If I ever find out Sally is, I will give her a piece of my mind!

I’m going to go sulk now

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