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4 More Beneficial Things You Could Do in 4 Hours and 26 minutes Than Plank

by Meaghan posted October 9, 2014

I’m sure we’ve all heard by now about the new world plank record set by Mao Weidong: 4 hours and 26 minutes.


He actually probably could’ve held it even longer but, according to reports, he went for 4:26 because his wife’s birthday is April 26th. AWWW.

Not to knock anyone who holds a world record, especially in a difficult fitness feat, but I can’t think of a much more non-functional one than planking for four and a half hours… And that doesn’t even include all the training time! Anything over about two minutes is pretty useless.

Sure, it’s cool to say you can. But when do our cores need that type of endurance against such low forces? Where we usually run into problems is when we can’t stabilize against a larger, unexpected force that is quickly applied, or when we can’t keep a stable core during dynamic movements (i.e., movement of the limbs). Personally, I’m much more impressed when I see people get a 3 on the rotary stability test:


It’s much harder than he makes it look!

That said, here are 4 much more beneficial things you could be doing with your time than planking for 4 hours and 26 minutes:

1. 53 heavy deadlifts (or squats, if you prefer). Both are far more functional exercises that train your core more effectively. With 5 minutes of rest between each lift, you could do 53 reps in the same amount of time as Mr. Weidong planks. Knock the rest time down by a minute or two and you could do even more. Not that you should…but you could.

2. Farmer walk 13.5 miles. If you walked 3 mph, you could cover this distance in about 4.5 hrs. Offload your farmer walk and you’ll train your core better than with a plank.

3. Prepare food for the week. “You can’t out-train a bad diet,” and preparing your food in advance is a good first step to making sure your body gets the healthy fuel it needs to train and recover. Plus, abs are made in the kitchen!

4. Run a marathon. Ok, that’s probably not much better… but the average marathon time is just about 4.5 hrs. But if you run it in sprint intervals, you’ll utilize your core much more as you attempt to keep a stable trunk and pump your limbs to maintain a high velocity!


I will say, though, our FPTI Advanced Concepts students have been doing a fantastic job teaching the new Theory and Application class some great dynamic plank variations at their lunchtime Plank Club. Keep it up, guys!

Filed under: core training, fitness commentary

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