Something I’ve always been amazed about is how someone can hold a plank position over 8 hours.. It’s insane considering I can only manage about 1 to 1.5 MINUTES max.
For the next 30 days, I’m going to be doing planks every day to see what happens. I’m hoping that a daily practice will improve my maximum time. I’ll have to look into some programming, but I’m planning on doing at least 3 intervals throughout the day of holding the plank position – morning as soon as I get up, around midday, and at night.
The planking movement activates the core muscles including:
– Transversus abdominis
– Rectus abdominis
– Internal oblique
– External oblique muscles
All these muscles are involved with strengthening the core, holding your posture, and controlling your body position.
My overall goal for this challenge is to reach 5min! I’m hoping that after the 30 days of doing a lot of core exercises and of course, lots of planking, I’ll be able to hit that goal, and hopefully even more.
Day 1 – 21 September 2021
For Day 1, I performed a test to see what my maximum plank time was before the challenge. I managed to reach 1min 30sec!
I made a video of that first attempt here:
Which was actually better than I was expecting. Over the years when I’ve tried this, I’ve usually hit the 1min mark, but never really improved.
For the rest of Day 1, at around noon and late at night I performed a few sets of planks to get into the groove.
I’m planning on doing some research into what methods other people have used to increase their time – and perhaps what the record holders have been doing for training (although I’ve heard it’s just hours and hours of planks every day :P)
Day 2 – 22 September 2021
Day 2 was filled with pretty much what I did in Day 1 – a few sets of planks 3 times a day.
Still feels like a struggle every time I do them, but I’m hoping that after a week or two, the smaller lengths of time begin to feel easier.
Day 3 – 23/9/21
Throughout the day for Day 3, I performed short sets of planking exercises like 3 x 10 seconds, and tried out a quick workout doing 5 second on and 5 seconds off for 20 rounds – crazy workout that only lasted for a total of 3:15 😛
I did a bit of research into the current world record holder (Daniel Scali) and the previous record holder (George Hood). Both have insane training schedules. Among doing hours and hours of planks every day, it was interesting to see that George Hood also used to complete 2000 sit ups, hundreds of push ups, squats, and other exercises every day.
I saw that Daniel had an awesome picture on his Instagram of the correct form for plank – noting that you should squeeze your glutes and thighs – I will need record myself to see if I can get my form better.
Day 8 – 28/9/21
I took a day off yesterday to recover in case my muscles were fatigued.
Then today, trying my first plank at noon I managed to get 1:40 seconds 👌 10 seconds longer than my first record. Very interesting.
Day 17 – 7/10/21
Today I managed to get 1:50 seconds! Another 10 seconds longer than my previous record.
I haven’t been trying to get further and further each day, but perhaps I need to focus on doing that at least once per day to push myself further each time.
I’ve also been performing some core strengthening exercises throughout the day to help with stability.
Day 18 – 8/10/21
Managed to plank for 2min – core and shoulders were on fire! Great to see an improvement. Today felt hard off the start, sometimes when I do planks it feels quite easy and effortless for the first 10-20 seconds but it felt hard right away. Still managed to push another 10 seconds.
Trying to keep focused on something else during it, like watching a video, seems to help the time pass rather than just focusing on the plank itself.
Day 20 – 10/10/21
Did a test to see my longest plank time, managed to get an awesome 2:20 seconds!! That’s 50 seconds longer than my day 1 plank of 1:30. It felt really hard about the 1min mark but managed to push through.
10 days left but really hoping to get past the 3min mark 👌
Day 23 – 13/10/21
Due to getting a vaccine tomorrow and knowing that my shoulder muscle will hurt, I’m taking a few days off or however long it takes to be pain free before doing planks again.
Day 24 – 18/10/21
After a few days off due to vaccination soreness in my shoulder, I went back at it and only managed to hold for 1:35, trying my hardest to hold for longer.
Day 25 – 19/10/21
Max hold of 2min today, really struggling to get a high time and reach my previous high of 2:20.
Day 26 – 20/10/21
Today I did a few sets of around 1:30 throughout the day. As well as doing some additional core work and push ups.
I’ve realised that 30 days is not that long when trying to improve something muscular related. I’ve seen videos of people training for months to reach 5min, and with there not being that much to learn, it’s really just about consistency and pushing yourself.
Still a few days left of this challenge and I’ll be working hard to maintain and if possible increase my plank time. These last few days, I probably won’t see a major increase due to the short time, but I’m hoping with a few more solid days of intensity, then a day of minimal work, day 30 will be my best time.
Day 28 – 22/10/21
Held for 1:50 and could have pushed a bit longer if I knew the time, but I put the timer out of view and just focused on holding position and keeping calm.
Day 30 – 24/10/21
So after 30 days of planking, I got ready to perform my final plank as part of this challenge and see how long I can hold it for.
RESULTS AFTER 30 DAYS
Day 1 max time was 1:30.
After 30 days of doing planks and various core exercises…
Day 30 max time was… 2:46!
A whole 1:16 seconds longer than my day 1 time! I’m super happy about these results, it’s not quite the 5mins I was hoping for before starting the challenge, but for me, this is an insanely good result!
It’s crazy how much longer I can hold just after 30 days of training. And there were some days that I didn’t really push that hard or only did a few core exercises, but those days probably provided a bit of rest and recovery from the harder days.
I’m really surprised how much I managed to improve over just 30 days of training.
Looking back I could probably have trained a bit harder and longer each day, as there was only 1 day where I felt real soreness after yesterday’s workout. However, I’m happy to see what I could achieve.
How long can you hold a plank for? Let me know in the comments below!