Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Things I've Learned from My Plank A Day Challenge

Thanks to a bunch of folks on Twitter that I follow, I decided at the beginning of July that I was going to take part in a Plank A Day challenge for the month.  The goal was to do a plank a day and gradually increase my time until I could hold it for 5:00 minutes straight.  While I failed miserably at holding a solid plank for 5:00 minutes straight, I was able to do a plank circuit for that amount of time.  I worked my way up to 6:30.  Man was that hard.  On a good day I can now hold a plank for 2:30-2:45 and I started at being able to hold it for 2:00.  So that's a good improvement. 
Much to my chagrin, I didn't quite make the full month.  I missed *one* day.  One. Stinking.  Day.  And why?  Because I got sucked into the black hole of the Olympic Opening Ceremonies and completely forgot about my plank.  I woke up at 2:00 am that night and thought Crap, I can't believe I forgot to plank!  I was seriously tempted to get up and do it but I was having such a good sleep that I didn't want to disrupt it with a plank.  So I rolled over and went back to sleep.  Such is life.  I still made 30 out of 31 days and that's nothing to sneeze at.

I knew that by the end of 31 days, my core would be a lot stronger.  But there were some other surprising things I learned along the way. 

1.  I actually really enjoy planking.

2.  Planking is best done before you do any other workout, especially a swim workout or any sort of upper body workout.  Unless of course you're Wonder Woman.  Then you can do anything.

3.  My core is stronger than my upper body.  I found that my arms would give out sooner than my abdominal muscles.

4.  Child's pose feels like heaven after a good solid plank.

5.   I can pull of a 5:30 plank circuit after a burger, fries and a pint of beer.  I wouldn't recommend it unless you really enjoyed your dinner so much so that you want to taste it again.

6.  Side planks have worked wonders for my obliques. 

7.  I enjoy planking so much that I will probably continue to do it.  Maybe not every day but certainly on a regular basis and definitely not after a burger, fries and a pint of beer.

 Did you do YOUR plank today?

Did you follow along on twitter and if so, did your plank time improve over the last month?

(photo credit: Suanie  Image is subject to a creative commons attribution license)

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