In autumn I organized a challenge with my triathletes friends under the title “das Brett”.
In the transition period between cycling (in summer) and swimming (in winter ) I got this crazy idea to do something not only for my body, but for everyone in my triathlon training group.
In triathlon, power comes from the center. If we lack body stability, our feet scratch the ground when swimming and our backs hurt on the bike. So it is important to train this stability.
So here is my idea: I invite all my sports friends to a plank challenge that runs throughout October – and we do it according to the following motto : “Start with what is necessary, then you do the possible and in the end you achieve the impossible.”
In my opinion, the “plank” is the best static stability exercise ever! It trains the entire body and literally makes the muscles hard as a board.
First and foremost, it strengthens the abdominal and back muscles. And it also involves many other muscles such as the triceps, shoulder, chest and leg muscles.
Here is the plan:
1. I will inform my sports friends about the challenge in mid / end of September.
2. If you are brave and get involved in the adventure, contact me.
3. The communication center is our common WhatsApp group: “Das Brett”. There I record every participant.
4. From 1.-31. October I send each participant a message every day at 6:30 a.m. with a training specification for three different plank variants – classic plank e, reverse plank and plank with straight arms – and how long each exercise should be held on that day / p>
The training program for the 31 days is not known to the participants in advance, so they can be surprised.
At first there were only a few registrations, but after a few days word got around about our little project and more and more people want to take part.
In the end we are almost 40 participants – including some “step plankers” who just feel like having a hard core.
Just in time for October 1st, it will be exciting: We’re going!
We’re really starting out very slowly. On the first day, the 3 exercises only have to be held for 30 seconds each.
By the way, if you think you are really fit and only grin tired during this time … just try it! Maybe you can manage more than 30 seconds, but guaranteed not more than 2.5 minutes.
And now it comes …
We increase the holding time of the three exercises slowly and steadily, but stick with it only three exercises a day.
The time required remains extremely manageable. We did the exercises everywhere: at work, while hiking in the Alps, in the living room, in front of the football stadium, on the beach on vacation, in front of the holiday cabin in South Africa, while mountain biking in Italy, and so on.
We really collected a lot of nice photos of evidence!
The biggest thing is that almost all of them stayed for over 31 days. And the “board diploma”, which we successfully passed on the 31st day, can be seen: The holding times were between a sensational 3:00 minutes and a phenomenal 8:30 minutes, plank-at-a-piece.
What a success for each and every one of us!
For me as a leader and pacemaker, it was a very interesting experience: The training should be structured in such a way that it does not over- or under-demand anyone; only via WhatsApp – and so it was my goal to get the best possible feeling for the group.
I was fascinated and enthusiastic about what a committed team we became in such a short time: Only through the morning training impulse and a “comment, talk and chatter day” once a week.
For For me, this plank challenge is THE sporting success of my past year. Because I was able to motivate the group and bring it to success.
And this goal has really motivated me: I wanted to live up to my role model function and trained all the more consequently. In the end, I even managed to hold the plank for 8:37 minutes.