Plank Challenge for Beginners

The plank has become the number one reason for mediocrity when it comes to functional ab strength. – Jeff Cavaliere, Pro Athlete Trainer & Physical Therapist

Last semester was a whirlwind of Knocking Out Prerequisites for PT School, doing observation hours, and visiting with family & friends before making the move to North Dakota – which was all a success.

However,  I let my fitness slip, and now I’m way more out of shape than I’m used to, and I literally feel like Snorlax… So, back in December I decided to create a Plank Challenge to get back in the game.

[THROWBACK] Even though I’ve been a die hard Wake Planker it’s just not enough for fitness – Not even close!

I started reading all about core strength and learned a ton. I now look at planks a little differently than I used to, which is why I am expanding to not only a challenge, but a plank challenge SERIES.

Turns out we can’t just be okay with straight up planking all the time.

I want to challenge myself to THINK BIGGER this year and this project is one way to do it! The series will consist of a beginner, an intermediate, and an advanced challenge. I believe that if I keep up with the series, then I’ll get stronger and be less prone to injury.

If you can hold this position for a minute, you don’t need to be doing static planks anymore. – Jeff Cavaliere, Pro Athlete Trainer & Physical Therapist

Jeff Cavaliere is a Pro Athlete Trainer & Physical Therapist. If you like working out you will love his YouTube channel: AthleanX. I am OBSESSED. He changed the way I think of core strength – there is so much more that I need to add to my routine (like rotations, anti-rotations(yes, that’s a thing – I just found out!)).

[PRE-PT STUDENTS] You will probably like him too because he has a bunch of videos where he uses markers to draw on his own body to explain which muscles are engaged based on the movement/grip/body position!

Let’s get into the Beginner challenge details:

Who? This is for anyone who needs to work their way up to a 1 minute plank. Feel free to modify as needed.

Why? Once it is easy to do a 1 minute plank, I will level up to the Intermediate Plank Challenge.

When? This is a fun & quick little challenge lasting 20 days.

Here are links to some videos I found on YouTube that teach you how to do the exercises for the challenge:

1.     Static Plank — Video Instructions

2.     Shoulder Taps — Video Instructions

3.     Plank Jacks — Video Instructions

4.     Static Side PlankVideo Instructions

[DO IT RIGHT, KEEEP IT TIGHT] Gotta remember to keep my abs TIGHT during these movements.

Since I’m starting the challenge tomorrow, I should be done with it on Feb 1. I’ll be sure to let you guys know how it goes & if you do it with me, I hope you update me too! I am totally open to you guys keeping me accountable :))

If you want the Word document or Google Docs version of the plank challenge, then just lmk & I’ll email you a copy!

I’m going to challenge myself to do these 3 times a day.

Example: Day 1, I will do 3 sets of a 30 second plank, and 3 sets of a 30 second side plank on both sides. I’ll do one set before breakfast, one set before lunch, and one set before dinner. 3 sets total for the day.

Day 1: Plank 30s, Side Plank 30s (both sides)

Day 2: Plank 30s, Shoulder Taps 10 (each time you tap a shoulder = 1)

Day 3: Plank 30s, Side Plank 30s

Day 4: Side Plank 30s, Plank Jacks 6

Day 5: Plank 30s, Shoulder Taps 6

Day 6: Plank 40s, Shoulder Taps 6

Day 7: Plank 45s

Day 8: Side Plank 40s, Plank Jacks 8

Day 9: Plank 20s, Shoulder Taps 20

Day 10: Plank 20s, Plank Jacks 10

Day 11: Side Plank 45s

Day 12: Plank 1min

Day 13: Side Plank 40s, Plank Jacks 10

Day 14: Plank 45s, Shoulder Taps 6

Day 15: Plank 1min, Side Plank 40s

Day 16: Plank 30s, Shoulder Taps 10, Plank Jacks 10

Day 17: Side Plank 30s, Shoulder Taps 20

Day 18: Plank 45s, Side Plank 45s

Day19: Plank 30s, Shoulder Taps 12, Plank Jacks 12

Day 20: Plank 1min, Side Plank 1min

I’m off to make a cup of magnesium tea (Natural Calm is the best thing ever) & then jump in a bucket of coconut oil. It is -34 degrees here and I have been applying oils nonstop to keep moisturized. I also have to get ready for tomorrow. It’s a work day and I am having fun coming up with professional work outfits. I have never had a job where I needed professional looking clothes, so it has been a nice change. I’ll probably go shopping for more options soon :))

Are you going to do the Beginner Plank Challenge with me?

What do you think of the Beginner challenge so far? Too easy? Too hard?

Where do you shop for professional work clothes?

I play all day on Snap & Twitter!
Come say hi :))

TWITTER: @ptcontender
SNAPCHAT: ptcontender

Plank challenge for beginners 20 day challenge

69 thoughts on “Plank Challenge for Beginners

  1. I’m doing push-ups every other day as part of my conditioning for the National Guard physical fitness test which uses push-ups as one of the tests. I’d like to implement some planks at some point. There’s lots of good info in this post; thanks!

    1. Thank you, EJ! You’re always pushing yourself & improving your fitness so I have a feeling you would like the different plank progressions. When is your fitness test? I bet you’ll do great on it! Good luck :))

  2. This is a great post!! It’s actually really motivating to read this. I have no doubt you’re going to SMASH this challenge and come out on top. I just need to slowly start working out let alone doing challenges like these haha. Good luck with the planking and well done on the post! xoxo


    1. Hey Jay! I’m so glad we connected on Twitter :)) If you’re just starting out, and the idea of a challenge sounds a little daunting, I like to just start with a couple 30 sec planks a day. It will soon be easy! Thank you for reading & for the encouragement :))

  3. Wake plank… reminds me of the Prone Plank. When going to bed, I roll onto my stomach; my arms go up under my head. I’ll hold this position for up to 10 minutes. Then I’ll move on to a side plank.

  4. Yes! I have been waiting for this to kick start me back into fitness! Since getting my braces I’ve lost a tonne of weight but as a result I haven’t worked out so I’m just not a fit as I used to be! I will definitely be doing this with you but only twice a day as I work and I’m not doing it in the lunch room! 😂 wow it sounds cold there! We are at about +6 at the minute and not even snow that will settle!

    1. Awww, yeah I remember your recovery right afterwards was not a fun time :(( I hope this will help you, like I think it will help me too! Also, I actually did 2 sets this morning, and I’ll do another set sometime today. I know I said I would disperse it throughout the day & then the first time I go to do it I decide to do whatever I felt like lol. Let me know what you think of the challenge & feel free to update me! You can always email me :))

      And yessss, I have never been anywhere so cold in my life! Do you have to deal with dry skin/hair where you live? What do you do about it? Help me I’m poor lol Thank you for reading.

      1. I will do thanks! 🙂 we just have dry lips here with the wind and I find vaseline useless so use blistex as my best friend in the winter, even now I get dry lips at night because of the braces I think and it really helps! Sorry I can’t be more help! 🙂

    1. Woah, just found this in my Spam Comments :(( That’s why I’ve got a late reply for ya! But yayyy I am so happy you’re in it with me :)) I know it will be a cinch for you Miss Spin Queen ;)) Would love to know what you think of it as a beginner level plank challenge though! p.s. I love your snapchats – they are very motivating! And one day I will take a spin class with you & I’ll sit right up front even though those always kill me lol

        1. omg 3.5min is long!! I’m shaking at 30 sec, but it’s getting better already :)) very cool that you have a strength coach btw! And yessss one of these days :)) & thank you so much I will def appreciate any feedback/criticism

  5. You lost me at “If you like working out” … LOL!! But I did learn what Planking was! I thought it had something to do with Olympic Diving at first =D

    1. Lol Kat! Well, at least I was helpful a tiny bit? Lol that is actually a good guess if you didn’t know anything about it beforehand :)) I love watching diving on the Olympics — especially the partner ones. Insane to think about how synchronized they are!

    1. Thank you! I used to run all the time so I definitely know the importance of strength training for runners. I am using it to get back into shape! Lmk your thoughts on the challenge if you end up doing it :)) thanks for reading 💕

          1. I do them together. Today I did this:
            Spin class 45m
            260 body weight only squats (sets of 20)
            Plank + Shoulder tap planks

            I would do:
            2x squats
            1x Squats
            2x squats
            And so on.

          2. Today, I decided to try your “wake plank” idea. I normally like to go to the gym and warm up and all that kind of stuff but I felt up to the challenge. Unfortunately , my wake planks turned to lay on the floor for 15 minutes and doze planks.

  6. […] Being the same age as Jess, I love that she is pursuing a career in her passion- she works so hard and helps the rest of us work fitness into our lives. I might be biased (my sister is an athletic therapist) but I am keeping all of my digits crossed for her PT school application. It is rare to see a genuine love like this in my generation (as a group, we flit a lot); she is putting her heart and soul into PT and I’m loving the journey! Also follow her on Twitter @pt_contender! Favourite Posts: December and a Quick Fit TipDecember and a Quick Fit Tip and Plank Challenge for Beginners! […]

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