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What makes a set of planks

Posted: Sat Apr 02, 2011 7:35 am
by KenDowns
I cannot work out exactly what makes a set of planks, how many to do, with what intensity, how to increase intensity, etc.

I started trying unweighted, to see how long I could hold. This came out to 60 sec for first rep, and 45 secs for each rep thereafter, repeated up to 7 "reps". However, with a 45 second rest in-between, this would mean 15 minutes just for 10 planks. Is that how its done? Is that what I should schedule?

So next I went for intensity. I can load 32# into my weight vest in the slots that are low on the torso, and this gives me a burn faster, but I can still go 45 seconds, it seems to be about how much burn I'm willing to tolerate before I say, "OK, that's a rep."

My problem I guess is I cannot judge gains or effect. With body weight and free weights its easy, More weight + more reps = gains. But how do I measure the gain with planks?

Is this about how long you can hold 2 or 3 reps, going for longer and longer times, or is this more like something you do 10 holds of 30 seconds for the rest of your life?

I'm so confused.

Re: What makes a set of planks

Posted: Sat Apr 02, 2011 7:37 am
by robertscott
just do it three times, holding as long as you can, resting a minute or so inbetween. If you can hold it longer than a minute then do a harder variation

Re: What makes a set of planks

Posted: Sat Apr 02, 2011 7:57 am
by stuward
Try the variation where you have to keep your feet against the wall. Then do them the same way, bringing one knee at a time up to your elbow. I know I saw these on the web somewhere but I can't find it.

Peter wrote about planks here: http://strength-basics.blogspot.com/200 ... tions.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Re: What makes a set of planks

Posted: Sat Apr 02, 2011 11:28 am
by Jungledoc
You can use plates without a partner. The plates with a openings for grip are easier. Lean the plate against your side as you lay down prone. Reach behind with the opposite arm, grab the plate and pull in on top of your lower back. When you're done, just roll it off.

I think that going 90 seconds to 2 minutes is OK. I have done several schemes--prone followed by side planks each side and repeated, prone planks 5 times for a set time, etc. There's no right or wrong--just do what challenges you.

Re: What makes a set of planks

Posted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 5:50 pm
by KenDowns
All three replies here have useful information, so rather than quote and reply to each I'll just say "thanks" for the details and I'll read through this stuff and decide what to go with.

Re: What makes a set of planks

Posted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 1:01 am
by tyciol
Jungledoc wrote:You can use plates without a partner. The plates with a openings for grip are easier. Lean the plate against your side as you lay down prone. Reach behind with the opposite arm, grab the plate and pull in on top of your lower back. When you're done, just roll it off.
Could one put sand bags on one's glutes in a similar manner?

Re: What makes a set of planks

Posted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 1:34 am
by Jungledoc
tyciol wrote:
Jungledoc wrote:You can use plates without a partner. The plates with a openings for grip are easier. Lean the plate against your side as you lay down prone. Reach behind with the opposite arm, grab the plate and pull in on top of your lower back. When you're done, just roll it off.
Could one put sand bags on one's glutes in a similar manner?
Sure. Maybe even easier, especially if you have a strap or a cord attached to the bag.

Re: What makes a set of planks

Posted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 12:05 pm
by KenDowns
Jungledoc wrote:
tyciol wrote:
Jungledoc wrote:You can use plates without a partner. The plates with a openings for grip are easier. Lean the plate against your side as you lay down prone. Reach behind with the opposite arm, grab the plate and pull in on top of your lower back. When you're done, just roll it off.
Could one put sand bags on one's glutes in a similar manner?
Sure. Maybe even easier, especially if you have a strap or a cord attached to the bag.
...and of course don't forget chains. Wrap a few feet of iron chain around your mid section. This is something I'm going to try out, I've got two heavy chains gathering dust in the basement.

Re: What makes a set of planks

Posted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 10:35 pm
by taifun
I've tried using plates without a partner, but it's hard for me to stack 'em. If I want to add more weight, I'll use a smith rack. The one we've got doesn't go near enough to the ground, so I'll set up a pair of benches to get a bit of extra height.

Re: What makes a set of planks

Posted: Fri Apr 08, 2011 7:02 am
by Nkkip
I always use a dip belt for weighted planks. Like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J99lRvLDbVs" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Except I use two benches to get high enough.