The Plank Challenge for Beginners
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It’s time for the beginner 30 day plank challenge!
This pandemic combined with record heat has meant I’ve been doing nothing in terms of working out. It’s a real mess and I need to step it up and do something again. Anything would be better than what I’m doing now.
A while back, I made a post about the 30 day plank challenge but that 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
That challenge ended up being a real struggle. The first few days were easy. However, 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. When I hit the latter days, I had to do three sets during the day to reach that total.
That meant 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.
An 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 although they can’t right now cause everything is closed) 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. The original plank challenge might be a good fit for you if you already have a good core. If you’re not then it’s probably too much. That’s where the beginner challenge comes into play. Now that I’m starting from scratch again and my fitness levels have fallen due to inactivity, this beginner challenge is the perfect start to get me going.
Some people might do fine with the original but I know I’d be struggling.
This challenge is not meant to be a replacement for a fitness routine. It is not something that you can do and be fit after 30 days.
It is however meant to start you moving in the right direction. After all, doing something for 30 days straight can mean you’ve started a routine that is easier to continue once you get going.
Sometimes it’s better to start with a less intensive program and work your way up. The beginner 30 day plank challenge is perfect for that.
That’s why I’m back here with an update to the original plank challenge for those of us who are starting at the bottom. Changing a weak core is possible. However, it’s better to start somewhere that fits your fitness level. I wanted to revisit this for that reason. Now, I 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. During those days, take a minute or two break(or however long you need) between planks then jump right back in and plank again!
I already found 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 or to something else entirely.
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 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. The key part of that, however, is just starting and this can be the perfect thing to get you going.
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.
The Original(Hard) Plank Challenge
I certainly wish I had started with the beginner one before jumping head first into the tough challenge.
It suits my fitness level more. Plus, it 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.