Plank Challenge Recap: Half Complete

30 Day Plank Challenge Recap


We’re now half of the way through the November 30 Day Plank Challenge, process is going quite well. All daily planks were completed, but I had to re-arrange the rest days a few times. One rest day was exchanged with a plank day, due to back pain. The second rest day was exchanged when an extra-long work day came in the way of challenge.

I’m happy with these results, that all assigned planks were completed and also that I was able to be flexible enough to make a needed adjustment when I needed to.


Lessons Learned:

One thing I can say is car accidents, or any injury of that matter, are no fun! Getting back into shape isn’t easy for anyone, but working around an injury adds an additional challenge. Most of us will get injured to some degree, at one time or another. It’s so important to listen to your body and safely (often slowly) get back to your desired level of fitness.

We will all have situations that come up and interrupt our training. It may be an injury, work or family responsibilities. When these things happen it is important to adjust our schedule, as needed, and return to our training schedule as soon as we can. We can’t look back, feel bad for any missed training, or even beat ourselves up. We can’t change the past. We can only live in the present and plan for the future.

I hope everyone is having a good challenge and is looking forward to the second half of the November 30 Day Plank Challenge!


Plank Challenge: November 2013 Challenge

 30 Day Plank Challenge


I have selected a Plank Challenge to push myself a bit this month November. The graphic above is the schedule I plan to follow. I hope many will join me and invite others to join also. There’s no reason to only make fitness resolutions in January. Why not set a challenge for yourself each month of the year?



Standard Plank Pose


The standard plank pose is a push up position, but resting your elbows on the floor (like above). This is the version that I plan to do, but I also want to offer 2 variations.


Easier Modification:

If you’re not quite up to the standard plank at this time, it’s better to modify your pose and prevent injury. You will still benefit from these modified planks and increase your strength to move up to the standard pose at a later time.


Advanced Modification:

If you want to challenge yourself more than the standard plank pose, consider this advanced modification. Perform your plank pose in a full push up position, hands on the floor and elbows straight.


photo credit: suanie via


The 100 Pushup Challenge – Weeks 1 – 3

I’ve now finished the first three weeks of the 100 Pushup Challenge, and believe this half way point deserves an update.

The first week of the six week program began well. I had completed 25 pushups in the initial test so I could skip to week 3. Knowing that it had been so many years (about 30) since I’d done sets of pushups, I decided to begin with week 1, and chose level 3. It started out with some tightness in my core after the first workout on Monday, which really sold me on the program. Monday was 10, 12, 7, 7 then maxing out at 14, with 60 seconds rest between sets. Wednesday called for 10, 12, 8, 8 then maxing out at 18, with 90 seconds rests. Friday was 11, 15, 9, 9 and then maxing out at 20 with 120 rests. By this time I’m feeling confident and like I was back in high school.

Week two progressed well also. Monday included sets of 14, 14, 10, 10 and maxing out at 15, with 60 second rests. This is the first day I was able to only complete the minimum on the max out set. This is getting a bit harder. Wednesday was 14, 16, 12, 12 and maxing out at 20, with 90 seconds rest. Friday called for 16, 17, 14, 14 and maxing out at 23, with 120 seconds rest. The last two workouts were a bit easier than Monday. I felt like the longer rest periods helped quite a bit. Saturday called for a progress test, where I completed 30. After two weeks of these workouts I was able to complete 5 more pushups than the initial test. I kind of expected more, but am happy to see improvement. This will allow me to move on to week three, and I will be continuing at level 3.

The third week wasn’t quite as kind to me. Monday was quite challenging with sets of 14, 18, 14, 14 and maxing out at 20, with 60 second rest periods. This was the first day I wasn’t able to complete more than the “at least” number on the max out set. Wednesday included sets of 20, 25, 15, 15 and maxing out at 25, with 90 second rest periods. Again I did the “at least” amount on the max out day but was even more discouraged at needing more than the allotted rest time. Friday consisted of sets of 22, 30, 20, 20 and maxing out at28, with 120 second rest periods. This was quite a disappointing week as far as this program goes. It’s ended up being more challenging and I’m not progressing as easily as I expected to. On the other hand, I’m doing more than when I started, and there are some muscles in my back I didn’t recognize before. There is definitely some improvement. I briefly read through the program again and noticed it saying you could rest longer if required. I’ll just keep plugging away and see how things go, while I try not to beat myself up over the extra rest periods.

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Taking the 100 Pushup Challenge

One Hundred PushupsAs a high school swimmer, I used to easily pump out the sets of 20-25 pushups. Needless to say, that was quite a while ago. I’ve always liked lifting weights and strength training, but since I started racewalking that has been my focus.

I read about the hundred pushups program and decided to join the challenge.  The program consists of an initial test, which I did today and completed 25. Over the next six weeks, I’ll be doing five sets of pushups, three times per week. There are a few testing points built into the program, where if you don’t complete a given level you should repeat the week’s training. This builds up to the final test, with a goal of completing 100 consecutive pushups. It seems like a well thought out program that almost anyone could follow and accomplish. I’ve asked some friends to join me in the challenge. I expect this will both make the challenge more fun, and create accountability which will help us all. Stay tuned for updates as the program progresses.

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