There’s a shift happening in the fitness world – it’s a good one – and thanks to social media, it’s spreading like wild-fire. There’s a sense of goal-setting that’s moved beyond the superficial (tight butt), and raised the bar for being healthy. People have begun to train with purpose – committing to reach a specialized skill after training for a period of time, which carries more implications than “just’ developing washboard abs.
I’ve trained, along with colleagues, students and friends for various “feats”: 5Ks, marathons, Tough Mudders. On social media, we are see handstands, backbends and dance performances. We’re observing the the process of willPower: setting a goal, working towards it with dedication, then reaching achievement. willPower leads to productivity, and as my friend Jay Blahnik has taught me: “Productivity is the root of self-esteem.”
The willPower Method® is an exercise program offered in gyms, studios and schools – around the world, for students of all levels. The workouts are the perfect additive to any well-balanced workout routine, as students are coached in alignment, precision, and positive mental focus. Our instructors are charged with the task of helping students build their own personal willPower – and one element in this process is training for a Seasonal Challenge.
Our challenge from July-December is a simple one: A timed Plank. For a full six months, we coach our students through establishing proper technique, then recording a baseline Plank. We then help our students to establish a realistic goal time to achieve by mid-December: one last major accolade before the year ends. The 2015 Plank Challenge finale falls between December 6-20.
I chose Plank for this challenge because its an exercise that every body type, age, size and ability can learn to master. It’s an exercise that will build endurance in virtually all regions of the body, and it conditions the neuromuscular system to brace through the core. Beyond “just” physical training, however, holding Plank for extended periods of time requires willPower; tenacity – commitment, patience. Literally – practicing the Plank will make a person strong from the inside. This exercise is like taking a vitamin; you might not see the effects immediately – but whoa! the little bits sure do add up.
Earlier this year, a former U.S. Marine Officer set a new world record for the longest Plank. George Hood, 57, held for five hours, 15 minutes and 15 seconds. Hood spent nine months training for his record attempt which included four to six hours of training per day and 30 hours of Plank time each week. In all, he logged nearly 1,000 of Plank time leading up to the record-breaking event. In the process, Hood used his personal challenge as a platform to raise money and awareness for for wounded warriors.
The willPower World Plank Challenge has yielded exceptional 7 minute Planks, 12 minute winners – and even a 32-minute hold!
The word “challenge” will be interpreted by each person who participates, however, the primary purpose is that each person finds the challenge within themselves – to set their OWN goal and achieve it. Of course –then we open the friendly competition to everyone who joins us.
So, dear reader, now I cordially invite you (or challenge you… which word sparks your interest?) to join the willPower World Plank Challenge. Over the next few weeks and months, I’ll post instruction and inspiration. My global team of instructors will be guiding literally hundreds of students through the challenge, in willPower classes all around the world. Will you join us from home?
Start NOW! Your first step: LEARN TO PLANK. This is the simple part. Use this PDF attached here: willPower HOW TO PLANK. Download it and use it. Practice in the mirror to find proper alignment.
Then… we’ll start training together!
Are you in?
All you have to lose are limitations, my dear.
Make your commitment public so that you become even more accountable! Post on your social media channels – maybe your friends will join you!: I’m committing to participate in a Plank Challenge! #worldPlank #PlankChallenge #gotwillPower
willPower instructors: Check out the willPower Instructor Network (wIN) for weekly Plank Challenge guidance for your classes.
Fitness Enthusiasts: Train to become a willPower instructor! Click to lean more about our education pathway.