Fitness Challenges

For 2012 I aim to embark upon a series of challenges (alongside the running) to improve general well-being, health, and core fitness.

I kicked off the year with a decision to #plankaday every single day of the year. And got off to a fairly good start. Here are details of Januarys plankaday efforts:

1/1/12 – 1:01 – Standard Plank
2/1/12 – 0:59 – Standard Plank
3/1/12 – 1:01 – Standard Plank
4/1/12 – 1:00 – Standard Plank
5/1/12 – 1:02 – Standard Plank
6/1/12 – 1:06 – Standard Plank
7/1/12 – 1:27 – Standard Plank
8/1/12 – 1:00 – Side Plank (30secs ea)
9/1/12 – 1:06 – Standard Plank
10/1/12 – 1:26 – Standard Plank
11/1/12 – 1:35 – Standard Plank
12/1/12 – 1:30 – Standard Plank
13/1/12 – 1:24 – Standard Plank
14/1/12 – 1:40 – Standard Plank
15/1/12 – 1:20 – Side Plank (40secs ea)
16/1/12 – 1:41 – Standard Plank
17/1/12 – 1:27 – Standard Plank
18/1/12 – 1:40 – Standard Plank
19/1/12 – 1:06 – Standard Plank
20/1/12 – 1:16 (interupted) then 1:05 – Standard
21/1/12 – 1:44 – Standard Plank
22/1/12 – 1:48 – Standard Plank
23/1/12 – 1:50 – Standard Plank
24/1/12 – 1:01 – Standard Plank
25/1/12 – 1:23 – Standard Plank
26/1/12 – 0:50 – Standard Plank
27/1/12 – 1:06 – Standard Plank
28/1/12 – 1:19 – Standard Plank
29/1/12 – 1:09 – Standard Plank
30/1/12 – 1:26 – Standard Plank
31/1/12 – 2:02 – Standard Plank

At this point though, I felt tired and unenthused at the end of every day, and my times were clearly showing this with very little (if any) improvement. So the decision was taken to move on to a new challenge for February, and I instantly hit upon the video from Stuart Amory (In-Kilter Fitness) who provides videos each month with new challenges and is generally pretty amusing. He is also the inspiration behind the #fitteam12 twitter campaign which brings together other similar minds for a network of support

And there you have it, for the month of February, every Monday & Friday I’ll be doing the pressups challenge, and every Wednesday it’s an insane mixture Squats and Lunges!! All the while, drinking at least 2.5L of water.

I’ll update as I go!

1/2 – 10,10,8,8,6,6,4,4,2,2 (ea. Squats, Lunges)
3/2 – Level 3 pressups (just)
6/2 – Level 3 pressups (felt comfortable)
8/2 – 10,10,8,8,6,6,4,4,2,2 (ea. Squats, Lunges)
10/2 – Level 4 pressups (just)
13/2 – Level 4 pressups (just)
15/2 – 2,2,4,4,6,6,8,8,10,10 (ea. Squats, Lunges) – It is tougher going up the numbers!!
17/2 – Level 4 pressups (just – this is very difficult for me)
20/2 – Level 4 pressups (just)
22/2 – 10,10,8,8,6,6,4,4,2,2,4,4,6,6,8,8,10,10 (ea Squats, Lunges) – Wowzers, feel the burn!!!
24/2 – Level 4 pressups (just about)
27/2 – Level 4 pressups (felt so much stronger)
29/2 – 10,10,8,8,6,6,4,4,2,2 (ea Squats, Lunges)

From Ash Wednesday I have also joined #fitteam12 in the #do40forlent challenge – every day for 40 days is a new challenge as follows:

Day 01 – 40 secs plank
Day 02 – 40 secs hopping on left leg
Day 03 – 40 secs hopping on right leg
Day 04 – 40 alternating leg squat thrusts (counting each leg individually)
Day 05 – 40 secs side plank on LHS
Day 06 – 40 secs side plank on RHS
Day 07 – 40 tricep dips (ouch, this one ached all the way through day 8 too)
Day 08 – 40 secs skipping (this seemed harder than I remember it as a kid)
Day 09 – 40 pressups
Day 10 – 40 secs each of planking (front, left & right), hopping (left & right), and skipping, & 40 reps each of alternate leg squat thrusts, tricep dips, and pressups. This really hurt by the end of the day!!
Day 11 – 40 calf raises (I forgot, so they all got done in one go – ouch)
Day 12 – 40 hip raises
Day 13 – 40 squats
Day 14 – 40 heel grabs
Day 15 – 40 close grip pressups (75% of these done from my knees)
Day 16 – 40 lunge walks
Day 17 – 40 spotted dogs
Day 18 – 40 secs plank, 40 secs RHS plank, 40 secs LHS plank
Day 19 – 20 hand walk outs (pulled something in my shoulder – very painful – so I stopped)
Day 20 – supposed to be all of the above – just couldn’t face it at all with shoulder pain
Day 21 – woops
Day 22 – woops
Day 23 – 40 burpees, 40 alternate leg diagonal lunges, 40 squat jumps (catching up on the previous three days)
Day 24 – 40 dorsal raises
Day 25 – 40 secs wall squat
Day 26 – woops
Day 27 – 40 secs jumping jacks, 40 walking lunges – backwards
Day 28 – 40 spiderman climbs
Day 29 – 40 steps (pretty sure I must have done more than that over the course of the day)
Day 30 – supposed to be an ‘all of the above’ but cream crackered – just couldn’t do any
Day 31 – 40 secs reverse plank (easier than regular plank)
Day 32 – 12 plank to press (I’ve undertaken a 100pressup challenge again too and this is taking all my arm effort)
Day 33 – 40 sumo squats
Day 34 – 4.0 laps of a football pitch (I reckon parkrun more than accounted for this)
Day 35 – 40 split leg lunges (left side)
Day 36 – 40 split leg lunges (right side)
Day 37 – 40 v-sits
Day 38 – 40 alternate leg side lunges
Day 39 – 40 winks (I can do that easy)

Having been invited to take part in the StrongmanRun it has become ever more apparent that I need some more upper body strength so I have re-kindled my 100 pushups attempt

(edited 10/05/2012) which didn’t work out

Whilst it may well have been my fault, the schedule just seemed to jump up so quickly adding more than 10 pressups per session sometimes whilst also dropping recovery from 90 to 45 seconds. I just couldn’t keep up.

Coming back from the Strongman Run, almost overwhelmingly inspired I have decided to set off on a Core Conditioning circuit that my Dad sent me through to compliment my running. It’s a set that can be completed with nothing more than a set of reasonably heavy weights (5kg currently) and a swiss ball. I’ll post full details of the workout on here sometime soon. I did it for the first time on Tuesday night, and am starting to feel the burn from it now on Thursday lunchtime!! I’ll be aiming to complete the circuit twice a week at the minute, and the beauty of it is that whilst I could throw in an extra session most of the exercises can be made harder with no extra kit. In addition to this, whilst I train for the Longest Day Run a lot of my running will be low HR stuff whilst I try and stop my HR jumping to 175 or so on every run. This does mean it’ll be slow though – my first attempt last night had an average 138 – max 159 for 10min/mi over 3.5 miles.

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