I got involved with this Planking challenge with a bunch of girlfriends this month….it’s on my list of goals. I have planked before doing exercise videos and definitely in my bootcamp class before, so I know the drill. They aren’t easy, but I’ve done them. It’s not like they are say, burpees, push ups, worm walks or these crazy things our instructor calls “handstands” but are really you burpeeing with your legs apart…or any of the other insane crazy new exercises I’ve been doing since I joined bootcamp.
The challenge started slow, with a 20 second plank. No problem. And yes, I did see that it was going to end up after 31 days somewhere around a 5 minute plank, which I figured me doing was the same as lightning striking the same place twice or me winning the lottery or something, but I figured I’d go as far as I could with it and just plod on.
We’re past the halfway point now, on day 20 of 31 days, so as you can imagine, we’re getting closer to the 5 minute mark than the 20 second mark. Actually, that’s not true. Today’s plank was supposed to be exactly 150 seconds, or two and a half minutes.
What I have been trying to do, though, with this challenge, is go a little higher than each day’s time. Because the schedule has you basically spend three days on one time and then jumps to the next (and we’re now jumping by 30 second increments), I try to more gradually work to the next level by going a little higher on each day’s time.
Planking has suddenly become serious business for me. I never, ever, imagined I could do a plank for more than say, 90 seconds. But I did. And then I slowly started being able to meet each day’s allotted time. I’m not entirely sure how, but I am. Maybe it is the gradual thing? Maybe I am stronger because of bootcamp (well, I know that’s definitely part of it). Maybe it’s because I’ve learned how to really pay attention to my body, the form, and most importantly, the breathing during these exercises.
So today, this is what I did:
I never could have imagined before starting this challenge that I could hold a plank for three minutes. It is insane. It’s hard! I sweat even if I start out cold. I can feel muscles in my arms, abs and back burning by the end. I’m huffing like someone who is hyperventilating by the time I’m done. But I’m doing it. I can’t even believe it.
I’m really glad I’m doing the challenge. I’m still not sure I’ll be able to make it to 5 minutes, but now? Now it seems maybe possible, where before I thought it was absolutely impossible. So that’s something.
It’s actually something kind of awesome.