Click below to see the 6-minute success!

6 minutes Plank dec 2018 IMG_0280-1o3jmg0


November 5, 2018, our 6th grade Language Arts class began the plank challenge. We thought it was a good idea to begin planking for one minute and then add fifteen seconds on each school day. In retrospect, we probably should have started at 30 seconds and added 10 seconds each day as the path we chose got exponentially difficulty before we realized the consequences of our ambition decision.

During the first week, everyone gave it a go and we did not think about any rules or guidelines. After we surpassed two minutes, we realized we need to have options and we needed to define what a plank actually is or is not. There are many variations to choose from as seen here 20 ways to plank. The basic forearm plank was the most valued and highly respected. Straight-arm plank was next. That is what I usually moved to after around two minutes. Personally, I have an injury so I did that mostly to protect myself but also because forearm plank is extremely difficult.

After the first week or so, I asked the two classes to guess how long they think I could last. Times were recorded on Post-it notes and displayed as a constant reminder that I had a long way to go. The morning class bet five minutes, forty-five seconds and the afternoon class bet five minutes 30 seconds. Honestly, I had no idea how long I could last. I think three minutes was the longest I have counted in my Orange Theory class, unofficially that is.

The first weekend was a welcome respite. What I knew in my head but did not realize is how important daily, consistent action really is to maintain strength. Monday the 12th with a 2-minute plank was a rude awakening. It felt like I was starting all over again. At this point, most of the class was still going for it and others took the option to read, do a wall sit, or some variation of something as long as they did it each day with us.

The third week was Thanksgiving. We had two days of planking and then we were on our own to keep going independently or not. Once again, I left for the holiday thinking I would at least attempt to plank a minute each day but realistically I planked twice on five days off.

We talked about how this was more about mental strength than anything. After the first minute, sometimes the first thirty seconds, my mind was telling me to quit. I wanted to be done. Why was I even doing this? What got me through was the collective goal, the challenge, and the belief that I could do anything I put my mind to. Questions arose, such as, “How long is it humanly possible to plank?” Looking at the world record, we were not quite so ambitious after all Guinness World Record Plank.

Week four was just painful. It felt like I was so close but yet so far away. Muscles, straining, temperature rising, all I wanted was to be done, to fall to the ground, to have it over with. Monday the 3rd of December, was the beginning of the end. Determined to crush my goal of 6 minutes, I knew I could get there with the collective energy of our class. Each day, the additional 15 seconds felt like minutes, perhaps hours. I tried everything I could to distract myself from breathing in slowly, counting by 10s, to counting specks for light blue on the carpet.

It took 5 weeks, until December 7th, to reach 6 minutes. I was proud of myself and also relieved that it was over. Could I do more? Perhaps. I did have underlying guilt of what felt like giving up. Some students went on to do 15 minutes and in the afternoon class, several got 30 minutes plus! Almost everyone was eager to take on another physical challenge after winter break. Action, compounded daily, brings exponential goodness.

What will you challenge yourself to do daily? Let us know!



24 thoughts on “Planksgiving

  1. It’s pretty cool that they can get to 6 minutes. I can only get to 5:30. I like the idea of increasing the time as you go. How many people got to 6 minutes, everyone or just a few people.

  2. I can’t believe you got 6 minutes on their plank! I could never do that. What other fitness things do you do?

  3. Wow! Congrats on completing the challenge! We couldn’t do it this year; guess we had to have a little more teamwork! My favorite part, I have to say, was the picture of everyone’s feet! Something about it made it seem really cool.

  4. It’s so impressive that they got six minutes! I like the concept of building up to an end product. How many people got 6 minutes?

  5. Wow you made 6 minutes i can barely do 3. The world Record is so High I cannot believe someone could hold it for 8 hours 8 hours that’s like more than all the day at school. Have you ever gotten better than 6 minutes?

  6. The class bet that my limit would be 5:45 so I went to 6 minutes and stopped. We will do the plank challenge this year. Do you think you will get beyond 3 minutes?

  7. Great question, Chris. I think it was less than 10 people but some people got half an hour! We will do the challenge this year. How long do you think you will plank?

  8. I like taking pictures from different perspectives. I hope you try that with your blog post images too. It’s so easy to take pictures with our iPads. I’m excited about the plank challenge we will start soon.

  9. I love fitness challenges. I like to take on things I’m not very good at and keep working on them bit by bit. I used to run outside more but now I do a high intensity interval training kind of workout. I’m hoping I can work on pull ups this year. How many pull ups can you do?

  10. I think around 10 people got to 6 minutes. I can’t wait to do it this year. Do you think you can get beyond 5:30?

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