I survived the 30 day plank challenge

Josh Sherman
5 min read
Health / Fitness

November’s a pretty hard month for me emotionally, so I figured, may as well put my body through a little hell too!

On November 1st, 2016 my daughter and I set out on a 30 day planking challenge.

The challenge starts at 20 seconds on day 1 and you work your way up to a 5 minute plank on day 30. Going in, 5 minutes seemed unfathomable to me. It wasn’t until about two thirds of the way through that it started to feel semi-feasible. Going into the last week, I knew we were going to pull it off.

This started out like most things in my life, with a Google search. I searched for one of those challenge image / infographic deals (like this one) that are always floating around. Wanting a bit more satisfaction by way of checking off boxes on my phone, I hit the Google Play store and came across the 30 Day Plank Challenge Free app.

I didn’t end up paying for the premium version of the app even though we used it for the entire month. The app’s audio ended up being quite spotty and it never once sounded an alarm when we finished our time. They even had the audacity to show a banner ad immediately after I shared via the app (which contained a link back for them). Oh yeah, and the stock tweet text had a fucking typo.

So the challenge did have rest days so it wasn’t 30 days straight through. It was usually on the 6th or 7th day and you usually repeated days once or twice a week. The last week was pretty aggressive taking you from 4 minutes up to 5 minutes over the final 3 days.

Something I loved about using the app was the ability to Tweet every day I finished the challenge. Even though I didn’t have a ton of feedback on it, the few hearts I got made me feel like a champ.

What was also great was when I got called out by this savage asking for pics. He was joking, but I did send him a minute long video of my daughter and I battling it out against gravity.

Speaking of savages, my daughter was a fucking rock from day 1 to day 30. At one point, I think it was around 2 and half minutes when I just couldn’t hold on. She had some encouraging words and gave me some tips on how to power through it. Third time around ended up being a charm that day and her tip helped.

Protip from the munch: Slowly count up from 1 to 10, counting in tens each time. So 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 20, etc.

That day was the only day that took more than one try. But that’s not to say my planks were perfect. No sir! I can do a few minutes without budging, but after that I end up moving around a bit. Pushing my ass in the air or alternating arms made things more bareable.

The wife started the challenge with us but petered out around the 90 second mark. I had encouraged her to just keep doing the 90 seconds on our challenge days but she eventually fell off completely.

My boy also hopped in somewhere mid-month. Got all cocky telling me about how he was able to do a 90 second plank. Calling him out right now, he didn’t keep going from there so even though he could do a better plank than me on day 1, the kiddo and I conquered the mountain by going all the way.

Day 30 was like Wrestlemania at Casa Sherman.

Fun fact, Eye of the Tiger is just over 4 minutes long. Slap a minute of the Final Countdown on there and you have…

The Ultimate 30 Day Plank Challenge Soundtrack!

And you know we took a victory lap around the kitchen afterwards.

High fives all around, we did it, but not without some pros and cons. Since I hate writing conclusions to posts, let’s start with the cons so I can end on a high note.

The most notable issue for me was that my right shoulder started popping a bit. On rest days, it would be fine and on work days I would be fine until I did the plank. I wasn’t really in pain but it was noticeable and a bit of an annoyance. And hopefully not a major issue.

The other issue was that my elbows got super dry and scabby. This other savage said that I should try using a mat. The last week we ended up using some yoga mats we had laying around. The damage was already done so it’s hard to say if they improved conditions.

That said, still unsure who practices yoga in my house ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

On to the positives. Doing something as simple as a plank with my daughter was a great way to bond. She helped keep me on course and we got to try to figure out the best thing to do while planking. We tried reading, audio books, music, counting even just conversing. That soundtrack though.

The physical changes over 30 days didn’t start showing up until about half way through. My arms and legs started to tone up and my waist and abs started to show some definition. No Ryan Gosling or anything, but I felt good about myself.

Also noticed that even though I was feeling skinnier, I was carrying a little more weight than usual. Muscle? Ego? Who knows. I do wish I had taken a before picture, not a life changing transformation but enough to warrant a before and after.

So that’s that. My daughter and I survived the 30 day plank challenge. This month we’re going to keep at the 5 minute planks and starting on January 1st we’re going to start working towards a 10 minute plank as her 2017 goal.

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About Josh

Husband. Father. Pug dad. Musician. Founder of Holiday API, Head of Engineering and Emoji Specialist at Mailshake, and author of the best damn Lorem Ipsum Library for PHP.

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