Friday, 23 August 2013

Planks. Invented by the Devil.

... because clearly, Satan has a great core. 

This week I tried planks for the first time as part of a challenge.  The challenge required that we do 3 planks of 30 seconds each.  "How hard can that be?" I thought.  That was clearly the voice of someone who had never performed a plank in her life.  Only a complete plank-virgin would think those things would be easy. 

Photo courtesy Suanie, CC-BY-NC-SA
The Nerd came rushing downstairs in alarm as I was halfway through my second plank - - apparently I had developed this strange porpoising type of breathing with dramatic exhalations at intervals that sounded very unsettling.  Kind of like Cheyne-Stokes breathing, actually.  The type of breathing people do right before they expire, in other words.  I wasn't even aware that I was doing it. 

After successfully completing the set of 3 planks (only one of which may have had proper form), I felt it all through my core.  I even felt slightly nauseous, actually, and I think it was due to the fact that my core muscles were not used to being the focus of my attention like that.  I guess my core is an introvert.

It was grueling.  It was awful.  And I immediately decided to add planks to my workout routine.  Now on my weights days I will add 5 x 30 second planks to the list, because anything this difficult to do must be good for me.  Yes, yes, it's the Rollins philosophy, I know, but it's true.  If you don't push yourself, how do you know how far you can go?  In my case, for now, it's 30 seconds.  Who knows where I will be a month from now.

I am assured that with practice, over time I will be able to hold a plank for more than the 30 seconds.  The helpful fellow with the YouTube video who demonstrated the exercise for me informed me - - in a perfectly conversational tone, while planking (!) - - that I could even hold a plank for 3 or 4 minutes at a time, if I wanted to.  I frankly cannot imagine such a day ever dawning, but why not?  I never thought I would be able to survive on the elliptical for more than 15 minutes either, and now I can do almost 2 hours, with the right book to take my mind off the passage of time. 

Wikipedia tells me that the world record for holding a plank is 3 hours, 7 minutes and 15 seconds.  Let's just say that this record is in no danger of being broken by me anytime soon.  Or ever. 

Next week I am going to change up my free weight routine, but the planks are staying. 

No comments:

Post a Comment