Thursday, December 11, 2014

Thoughts on the 30 Day Plank Challenge

I FINISHED THE 30 DAY PLANK CHALLENGE!! I saw so many improvements in myself that I wasn't expecting, and I learned a few things about myself too.

First of all, if you're going to embark on a 30 day fitness challenge, you have to be IN IT. And you're going to WANT to be in it, because your body will transform in ways that will surprise you! For me, I was expecting to be able to get better at holding the plank. And maybe a little bit stronger of a core, whatever that meant. OH MAN, was I surprised when I noticed that my upper back, mid back, lower back, shoulders, deltoids, thighs, obliques, front of my ankles, calves, and triceps (and probably more) were sore, and then STRONG!!

I also learned, yet again, that my mind is a powerful tool for influencing my decisions and actions!! I had to believe that I could do it, every single day. I had to believe that I could get stronger and hold the plank for longer amounts of time. I had to keep saying good things about myself and not tear myself down!! Remember the stupid phrase, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me!"? Well that's a bunch of crap!!

How many of us complain about something on our bodies, something we don't like about our personality? Our minds REMEMBER SO MUCH!! Especially the negative things! But it CAN be changed!! Start giving yourself one compliment a day, reading personal development books, and just believing in yourself!! You are amazing, you are beautiful, YOU CAN DO INCREDIBLE THINGS!!

I saw this amazing quote that I think everyone could benefit from seeing, and it goes along with thinking positively about yourself. A lot of us think that we need to shed a few pounds, or maybe more than a few, but we take it too far and start letting our weight hold us back and affect our moods.. but remember this quote next time you're feeling that way!! Instead of saying you're fat and need to lose weight, say that you are beautiful and you're setting a goal to eat healthier 2 times a day, or exercise one more time a week!

Have I emphasized how important positive thinking is?! Okay, good. I'll move on.

When I decided to start doing the 30 day plank challenge, I found this picture on Pinterest and thought it looked like a good schedule to follow.
I followed it for the first two weeks. but then it got very difficult to keep up with the huge time jumps. I ended up learning that my body reacts a lot better when I increase the time by the smallest amounts, not 30 seconds a day. It was also a mental challenge, because I'd start getting tired less than halfway through the scheduled time and knowing how much time I still had to go made me mentally check out and feel like I was incapable of finishing. If I knew that before starting, my schedule would probably look like this (click to enlarge):

I also learned that my body needed a small break. I was getting to the point where I could barely hold a plank for 30 seconds without feeling like I was breaking in half. So for a couple of days, I did smaller time increments, then took a rest day, and the next day I held the plank for 1 minute and 25 seconds!!

Overall, it was TOTALLY worth it! I would recommend this to EVERYONE I know, you will not regret it!!

I had a couple people ask if I had seen any difference in my stomach, and I have to start by saying that I haven't been the best with my foods this past month, and I know very well that "abs are made in the kitchen". So I've stayed the same weight and didn't think I'd see much of a difference in my body, but then I took an "after" picture of my stomach and compared it to the picture I took a month before, and here's what I saw!

Not the biggest visual change, but there is some serious muscle underneath the flab that's still on my stomach! Anyways, thanks for reading my thoughts, and I hope this inspires you to do the plank challenge for yourself!!


  1. Hi. Love this. I was wondering if you did the basic plank or if you varied the types you did? Thanks.

    1. I just did an elbow plank the whole time! You could definitely switch it up though if you want!

  2. Hi! How long was your rest time?

    1. When I was following the first schedule, I would do the time limit suggested without any rest, just doing one plank time a day. But if you follow the schedule I came up with, the rest times are written between plank times