Before I get to the meat of today’s post, dare I ask: did anyone out there besides me complete their 200 Burpees? Or try out the burpee pyramid challenge from last week?
Let me know how it went!
Now before I give you your challenge for this week, I want to tell you about a part of my day yesterday that was so awesome it’s hard to even describe here.
Will and I set out around 11 am to do a workout down along the Charles River because it was such a gorgeous day. For those of you not from Boston, there’s a little workout area at one point along the river path that has pull up bars, different height benches, push up bars, etc. It’s kind of like a little mini “muscle beach” without the actual weights. Any given nice day in Boston you’ll usually see a handful of people doing various workouts there, and yesterday was no different. When we got there, I payed particular attention to one gentleman who was doing all sorts of interesting movements, including a lot of work while hanging from his feet on the pull up bar. After watching him for a little while, I started in on my own workout, and at one point I was approached by him because he was curious about some of the more creative things that Will and I were doing. (He was particularly interested in the backpack with a 40 pound chain in it… But again…That’s a different post).
Once we started talking to him, we all began sharing workout tips, trading techniques, and even sharing some of the equipment that all of us had brought.
Did I mention that this man, Ralph, was 72?
Here he is, talking to Will, who is using Ralph’s leg straps which allow you to hang upside down for ab work, etc.
Note the backpack in the picture above. That’s the one that’s holding a 40 pound chain, and Ralph couldn’t wait to use it. After showing Will how to use his ankle straps, he put them back on himself, and after being hoisted up to the high pull up bar, proceeded to do upper body work as well as ab crunches while holding the bag.
Just look at the incredible shape he is in!!
After speaking with him about more exercises and he so graciously agreed to be featured on my blog, he also agreed to show us some of the more creative (and extremely difficult) things he had been doing when we first got there.
He honestly smiled the entire time. He was like a little kid up there!
(Ahem, 72?!?!?) This man, Ralph, was incredible. He was passionate, curious, joyful, exuberant, and hilarious all wrapped up into one tiny, super-fit package.
And the kicker? By the time we were taking these pictures, it was about 1:00 pm. He told us he had been out since 5 am, riding his bike around to different outdoor workout areas and stopping for exercise intervals as he saw fit. Since 5 am! I don’t know many people my age who would have the stamina and endurance to do that, let alone someone who could be my grandparent.
So why am I telling you all about the incredible Ralph? I think it’s quite obvious. He is pretty much the definition of health and motivation. At 72 years old (I don’t think I can say that enough times), he trains at least 4 days per week, is in incredible physical shape, and is on no medications.
So next time someone asks you why you work out so much, or next time you doubt that starting an exercise plan really will make a difference, think of Ralph. Next time you don’t want to get your butt to the gym or do one of my challenges, just think WWRD (What Would Ralph Do?) He was a great person to talk to, and I honestly can’t wait until I see him out there again. Maybe he’ll even agree to an interview one of these days?
Now that you’ve had that megadose of awesome, let’s hear today’s challenge. This week we’re going to take it back a notch from the madness that was Burpees, and we’re going to go a little bit more low-key. Your challenge this week is:
For some of you this will be easy, for some it will be a struggle. But remember, No Cheating! If you can only hold a plank for 5 seconds with good form, than you need to do about a bazillion (ok 96) sets of 5 second planks. If you can hold a plank for a minute, than really you just need a plank a day (plus a little extra somewhere in there).
**Good form for a plank means that you are basically forming a straight line from the tip of your head all the way down to your toes. NO “tent butt” or sagging midsection. Keep that core and glutes engaged the entire time in order to keep your form correct.
**Tip: Do these in front of a mirror so that you can see if your core is sagging or if your butt is creeping up. A crooked plank is no plank at all.
And with that, I’m off! I’ll be gone for the rest of this week for the National Athletic Trainer’s Association conference in St. Louis, and then for a little bonus time in Memphis. I’ll be putting up some great guest posts to finish out this week, and then I’ll be back next Monday. Enjoy your week, and don’t miss me too much!
Don’t forget to send me your plank videos and pictures if you want to be featured on the blog! (email@example.com)
Do you ever do outdoor workouts? Have you ever met someone like Ralph? Do you do planks in your workout regularly?