30 Day Plank and/or Push-up Challenge

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In July, I created a 30-Day Plank and Push-up Challenge for a running group, First Strides, that I participate in.  Essentially I just made things up on a daily basis hoping it would work.  Mostly it did and it got many of us doing a variety of planks and push-ups over 30 days.   I decided to do this for two reasons:

In First Strides, we do targeted talks each week (it is a 12-week program) on various aspects of fitness, nutrition, sports attire, etc.  One of those sessions focused on core strength, so naturally, the plank was highlighted in that talk.  We go over proper technique and why it’s important and demonstrate a variety of core exercises that can be done.  During the plank demonstration, I overheard one of the participants say she will be great at doing these planks for about a week and then she will lose interest.  This got me to thinking, which can sometimes be a scary endeavor.  The First Strides program is structured to gradually build up one’s workout regimen and try to make it a habitual part of her life.  So why not do this for doing planks.  So I noted that idea and then promptly forgot about it for a few months.

Which brings me to my second reason.  For the most part I do a pretty good job of keeping in shape.  I run and walk regularly and I’ve always maintained decent core strength.  I keep my brain in very good shape, too, with reading, crossword puzzles, and other stimulating mental exercises.  But my one very neglected area has always been my arms.  Granted, I would try now and then, but like that First Strides participant I was great for a week, but then kind of (purposely) petered.  So I needed to make it a habit as well.

So, that’s how we got to this planks and push-ups challenge.  It is an effort to make these exercise a habit.  Now it’s a myth that it takes 21 days to create a habit.  Same with 28 days.  The good news is that some research indicates that 66 days may do the trick.  Below is a link to a Google Spreadsheet that outlines the full 30 day challenge.  You can print it out, save it to your own Google Docs, or down load it as a PDF or document. If you didn’t do the challenge in July you can just do the challenge as it is outline in the file (there are two separate tabs in the spreadsheet…one for planks and one for push-ups).  If you did the 30 Day Plank and Push-up Challenge with me in July, you can just do it again, as is.  Or you can also kick it up a notch.  If you did the challenge in the modified position, do it the second time around in the standard position.  If you did it in the standard position, do it again doubling what you are to do.  You can also modify the challenge by saving the file to your own Google drive as your own document and changing things as you wish!

Link to 30 Day Plank and/or Push-up Challenge: http://bit.ly/30DayPandP

Make it a habit.  Don’t stop after 30 days or 60 days.  Just keep planking and doing push-ups (and running!).  And if you ever want to mix it up more, just drop me a line and we’ll come up with another fun challenge!Screen Shot 2013-07-31 at 10.39.29 PM

Plank Image courtesy of http://www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/superset-4b-plank
Push-up Image courtesy of http://www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/how-to-pushup