Guys, the 30 day plank challenge has turned out to be hard as hell. That’s especially true when your current core is a big pile of jello. If this applies to you then read on. However, if you’re already a fitness beast then maybe the original 30 day plank challenge will fit your needs.
Related : The original 30 day plank challenge
I’m nearing the end of that challenge right now and it’s been a real struggle. The first few days were easy but I quickly realized that it picks up far too quickly. 20 seconds were no problem and the next few days were fine too. However, it all started to fall apart for me once I hit the 60 second mark. Suddenly, my whole body was shaking and my core was aching.
It only got worse from there.
My fiancee seemed to be doing decent even as we reached the 150 second mark. However, my core would no longer stand for it and I found myself collapsing well before the timer ran out. I had to start splitting those days out into multiple planks to reach my daily goal. Now that we’re nearing the 210 second mark, I have to do three sets during the day to reach that total.
That means one of two things. The plank challenge is too hard for my fitness level OR I am a weakling failure human. Since I don’t like the sound of #2, it’s definitely #1.
In all seriousness, it IS definitely #1. Doing poorly in an exercise program doesn’t mean you suck or anything like that. It just means you have to lower the intensity to a level that suits you and work your way up to a harder program.
Any exercise program has to be designed in relation to the fitness level of the person doing it. One does not simply walk into Mordor 24/7 Fitness(those orcs gotta lift) expecting to bench 300 lbs on their first day. You start with just the bar then work your way up to higher weights.
The same thing applies here. If you’re already sporting a decent core then the original plank challenge is a great fit for you. If you’re not then it’s probably too much. That’s where the beginner challenge comes into play.
My fiancee seems to be doing fine with the original while I’m struggling. I tell her it’s because she’s shorter and has an advantage over my tall lanky ass but the truth is that she probably just has a stronger core than I do.
I’m going to stick with it but I think I would have been better off starting a less intensive program.
That’s why I’m back here with an update to the original challenge for those of us who are starting at the bottom. Changing a weak core is possible but it’s better to start somewhere that fits your fitness level. That’s why I wanted to revisit this and introduce the beginner 30 day plank challenge.
The Beginner 30 Day Plank Challenge
The beginner 30 day plank challenge is a much more forgiving 30 day program. It starts off just as low as the original challenge but ramps up in intensity at a much lower rate.
There are days in the original challenge that jump up 30 seconds and that was just too rough for me and probably for many others too. This challenge allows your body to get used to the plank in much shorter intervals. It also introduces double plank days to shock your core more and help it strengthen.
I already find myself splitting the longer time periods into multiple planks on the original challenge and find that it helps make the next day’s longer times a bit easier.
That doesn’t mean this challenge isn’t difficult but it is much easier than the original challenge.
That one ends with a 300 second day while this one ends with a 60 second plank twice that day. The reality is that most of us who are looking for a simple exercise program aren’t already fitness studs. A 300 second plank is just simply too much for people like myself and many others too.
This beginner 30 day plank challenge is a much better introduction to the plank. It allows you to work within your own fitness level, get used to proper form and can offer a good starting point for those who want to progress to the original plank challenge.
If you want to give it a try, print out the picture above and get started. It helps to have a timer right below you as you do it to know when to stop. As a reminder, here’s a video that shows the proper plank form.
As always don’t push yourself too much. It might seem easy at first but it picks up in difficulty quickly.
I also find that a nice exercise mat(affiliate link that supports the blog at no cost to you) can help with sore elbows.
Exercise isn’t about doing as much as possible every day. That’s how you get injuries and set yourself up for failure when your body gives out.
Don’t skip rest days and listen to your body. See your doctor if you have any medical conditions before starting. However, most of all, stick to this daily and keep doing it after your 30 days are up.
Exercise needs to be part of your lifestyle and not something that you do for 30 days and stop. Health is important and keeping active is one of the best ways to stay healthy.
Once you finish this challenge and feel good about a 60 second plank then do longer ones the next day. Maybe add 5 seconds to your planks every 3 days and keep going until you reach 300 seconds.
If you feel really good about this challenge then you can try the more difficult original plank challenge as outlined below. It might make sense to start around day 9 after you finish the beginner challenge.
Be warned that this one ramps up a lot quicker but if you’ve done the beginner challenge then you’re already building a good base to succeed.
I certainly wish I had started with the beginner one before jumping head first into the tough challenge.
It suits my fitness level more and would allow me to transition into longer times at my own pace. Hopefully it’ll help those of us who are just getting back into shape get there at a nicer clip.
If you want to join me then just hit the floor and get going. It’s easy to do, low impact and will hopefully improve your health if you just stick with it.