Back in 2010 I attended a kickboxing class at Oldham Sports Centre. One of the exercises we did between practising the strikes was plank.
At the time, I'd not long moved out from my parent's gaff and I had a slim but wiry physique. In the class on this one occasion, we used a “last-man-standing” system to see who could hold plank the longest. I won. Since then I've continued to train regularly but the quality of my diet has fluctuated. I'm eating well now, but my planking isn't anywhere near as good as it was. I realised that, and wanted to do something about it. I started reading and planking.
The plan was to read the shortest book in my to-read pile whilst holding plank position. I expected to do it in one day. Uh-uh. My abs aren't what they were, and my resistance to holding plank has diminished. I was struggling to read a page at a time. I timed my plank at 1 minute 39.
I hammered on through the fascinating and reassuring Men's Sexual Health: Fitness for Satisfying Sex. Sexual health, the book describes, is more than just being free of infections or diseases. It's being of sound mind and body overall, leading to a healthy sex life.
Well, that's the theory.
By the time I'd finished, I'd managed a planking record of 3:05- almost double my starting record!
I recommend the book to any man of any age. It book took 15 days to read- it's a small book but reading is much harder in plank than it is when doing other forms of exercise, like using a treadmill or an exercise bike, or practising the splits.
I'll be trying this project again soon, with some alterations.