Saturday 8/8 and why you should join Undisputed’s Plank Challenge.

You may have heard that we are running a Plank Challenge for the month of August. The test out is August 9th at high noon. The buy in is $10. The prize for the longest plank hold (off of the fore arms) is $100. Just think, you could win $100 just for getting stronger abs and better core control. Why wouldn’t you participate in a challenge designed to make you better (with an added benefit of flatter bellies). It’s a win win.

Planks are one of the most functional movements that we train in CrossFit with the largest return on skill transfer to other movements, especially lifts. There are no movements that we train where it is not important to maintain a strong, organized, neutral spine. We must stabilize and connect the lower body and the upper body and we do that through strengthening and controlling our mid section.

Here is a link to an article on Breaking Muscle about how “Everything is a Plank”. I recommend (even request) that you read it. I found it to be very interesting.

If you are interested in learning just how valuable plank training can be but don not have the time to read the whole article, here are the cliff notes.

From the article-
In his book Never Let Go my friend Dan John explains this formula:

“A + B + C = D. D is your goal – either an athletic performance or a level of body fat. A is an upper body movement. B is a full body movement. C is abdominal work.

When I increase B, either by max lift or increased volume, I’ve noticed D improves. Therefore, dropping B is universally bad…Generally, increases in A have some effect on D, but it’s more difficult to see the value.

Which leads us to C. Increasing ab work doesn’t seem to help us with the goal…

Why do abs? According to Dane Miller, when you drop C, A and B go straight to hell, which we already know is going to impact D so fast it’ll make your head swim. In other words, abs support your training goals as much as they support your internal organs. You have to do abs to support your whole training system.”

Andrew Read’s –
“The correct plank sequence goes like this:

core strength, core tension, abdominal training, core training, abs, plank1. Find where a neutral pelvis position is. I find the simplest way to do this is rock your pelvis back and forth until you find the spot where you can tense your glutes the hardest. When you find that spot where you can create maximal tension you’ll have found the spot where you are most likely neutral.

2. Lock the ribs and pelvis together. Remember that the purpose of this exercise is to teach us to create a stiff link between upper and lower body. Letting your ribs and pelvis disassociate is a few steps away for us right now.

3. Tighten the abs and breathe out. You’ll find that as you breathe out you can shrink-wrap your abs to create an even tighter brace. Don’t let it all go when you breathe in, only take short little sips of air, just enough to replenish what you breathe out. In the RKC we call this breathing behind the shield – stay tight and protected. The main mechanism of spine injury is running out of work capacity or strength endurance, not of having not enough maximal strength to withstand a flexion incident. I used to think shorter holds were better until I started digging into Dr. Stuart McGill’s work and then started working longer core holds. My usual drills all last sixty-plus seconds. I spoke to a Navy SEAL a week or so ago about training and he told me he routinely does twelve to fifteen minute non-stop plank holds. Given he has to stabilize his back while wearing a pack for up to 48 hours non-stop, that seems like a good idea. Don’t shortchange yourself with short duration holds.”

If it interests you to take your training to the next level by stabilizing your spine and strengthening your core, sign up for the Plank Challenge today!!


Community WOD

Team WOD
3 players (at least 1 female), partition work as desired
Run 400m (entire team)
150x Box jumps (20 inch)
75x Push press (35# DBs)
125x Squats
150x Overhead Alternating lunge steps (35# plate)
Run 400m (entire team)

Post your scores to the Whiteboard.

Mobility WOD