January 2017 Exercise Challenge #Plankawayjanuary

Are you ready to get your fitness plans for the new year started! Whatever your fitness resolutions for the new year, add this challenge into the mix for daily inspiration and a challenge to keep you focused throughout January, plus keep with us, we have an new challenge every month.

Sign Up to our Daily Exercise Challenge Email and join our Facebook Group to stay motivated.
The plank is an excellent isometric exercise, it requires core stabilizers to fire to maintain body & spinal alignment. 

This challenge is staggered & progressively increases in time throughout the month. You’ll end up holding a plank for 2 minutes which is enough for most of us, any more is likely to cause undue stress and not likely to be any more effective. If you find the plank exercise easy, increase intensity by adding instability by placing you feet on a BOSU Balance Trainer or Stability Discs or feet or arms on a Fitness Ball etc. Get creative and up the intensity. 

World Pank Record

The longest time in an abdominal plank position is 8 hours 1 minutes and was achieved by Mao Weidong (China) on an event organized by Men’s Health in Beijing, China on 14 May 2016.

Read More

Before you start the challenge

This challenge is progressive and you should notice some gains throughout the month. To start off you should test your current core strength with a Plank test. This simple test will give you an idea of where you are now, this can be compared when conducting the same test at the end of the challenge. The result from the test will help you choose the plank variation to do during the challenge.

To conduct the test:

  • Have a stop watch ready or a friend with a stopwatch.
  • Get into the plank position.
  • Hold the plank for as long as you can.
  • Stop the test when you fail or you reach 2 minutes.

Choose the Plank variation based on your initial Plank Test result

  • Under 30 seconds – Choose the Beginner variation (Half Plank).
  • 30 seconds up to 1 minute 30 seconds – Choose the regular or alternative plank variations.
  • 1 minute 30 seconds and above – Choose the Plank/Up Down variation for a dynamic plank. Alternatively you could use an unstable platform such as a BOSU, Balance Pod or Fitness Ball and place your feet upon them creating a more demanding static Plank exercise.

Test your progress with a follow up Plank Test at the end of the month

After a month of regular planking, you should be feeling stronger with more endurance in your core and stabilizing muscles. To find out how you have improved, repeat the test you conducted at the start of the month. The test should be exactly the same conditions, same plank variation etc. 

Required Equipment

Plank Challenge 2017 Target Guide #Plankawaychallenge

Download the #plankawayjanuary targets, pin to your fridge and hit those plank times. 

 PlankawayJanuary Target Guide

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Programme Design

The January Plank Challenge has been designed as a simple and progressive workout style with targets rising slowly throughout the month. Initially progression is slow but raising more consistently half way though the month. This type of programming allows for consistent steady progress and an increase in intensity.
PlankawayJanuary Target Chart

The Plank Exercise

Key Points

  • Keep neutral spine alignment
  • Maintain straight line through shoulders, hips, knees & ankles
  • Maintain abdominal tension
  • Remember to breath


Half Plank from Knees Exercise
Half Plank (from knees)

Watch Video


Plank on forearms Exercise
Plank on Forearms

Watch Video


Straight Arm Plank Exercise
Plank with Straight Arms


Exercise Image Template plank Up Downs

 Plank Up/Downs

Watch Video

Challenge yourself this January and don’t forget to join in the conversation with hash tag #plankAwayJanuary

“I can feel and notice huge positive differences since the beginning of my training”

I can feel and notice huge positive differences since the beginning of my training

I have been training with Dan for approximately 16 months now. I train twice a week for an hour each time. My own needs are core strength and mobility as well as weight loss and general maintenance of my body.  I can feel and notice huge positive differences since the beginning of my training.*

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Dan monitors my performance, progress, strengths and weaknesses, he weighs me weekly and keeps a record and graph of my weight and body fat.

Dan comes to each session with his own equipment and a well thought out plan which is different and varied each time. Dan monitors my performance, progress, strengths and weaknesses, he weighs me weekly and keeps a record and graph of my weight and body fat. He encourages me to eat well and is happy to discuss any dietary questions I may have.

Dan prepares an individual daily training programme online for me to use each day. This is easily accessible through the Kiss Fitness Online Training App.

If we haven’t done a certain routine or exercise for a while I will ask Dan about it, usually his response is that he doesn’t think it is the best use of my time and he has replaced that particular routine with another which is more beneficial to me.

Dan is very fair, he listens to my concerns and advises me accordingly. He tough when he needs to be though and believe me I need that!

Kiss Fitness as a company work hard to look after their clients. The monthly newsletter is always full of different, interesting and helpful articles to keep their clients motivated and focused on their goal. The monthly recipe is always yummy and I like the fact that they try the recipe themselves first.

Maximuscle Whey Protein Concentrate Review (CHOCOLATE)

A Lot of people get very excited about protein, it’s a necessary supplement when training hard and wanting to get results but what is a good protein? For me, it’s about taste, to be honest a protein powder is a protein powder. Now that’s not what a manufacture is going to want to hear but it’s true, especially when looking at just ‘Whey Protein Powders’ which generally have little else added to them. Therefore in reality, it’s all about taste, texture and how easy it is to mix.

That then is what I will be looking at when it comes to this Maximuscle Whey Protein Concentrate in CHOCOLATE by MaxiNutrition, yum.

To be fair, Maximuscle have sent me the best flavor, i’m not sure if they were trying to win me over before i’d opened it, but it worked. What’s not to like about a chocolate flavored shake (protein or no protein)

Value for Money

Maximuscle was once seen as an expensive brand but I can assure you this one is competitively priced, in fact i’d say it was cheaper than most other similar products from other brands. At least it was when I check while doing this review. 

Let’s get into it!



Smells like chocolate goodness when you open the bag, I was keen to taste it so I grabbed my protein shaker scooped in a couple of chocolate powder cup fulls and added water. Shook it like crazy, result was, little unmixed powder. Nice result. Ready to go, let’s taste.



A little under whelming, I was expecting a bit more chocolate. However, not bad at all. It doesn’t say to use milk but I like to mix with milk now and again, adds another dimension to the shake! It can feel a little heavy so probably not a good idea to use milk all the time. Also be aware this adds additional calories beyond that on the nutritional information sheet.


Smooth shake, no lumps, no grit and no blocks of un-mixed powder, how it should be and what you should expect so no issues on this front.

Buy Yourself a Bag, you deserve it!


Here is all the Nutritional Information for this product

Typical Values Per 100g Per 30g serving
Energy kJ / kcal 1677 / 397 503 / 119
Fat, g 9.0 2.7
of which saturates, g 6.2 1.8
Carbohydrates, g 7.2 2.2
of which sugars, g 5.5 1.7
Fibre, g 2.6 0.8
Protein, g 70.7 21.2
Salt, g 0.7 0.2
BCAA, g 21.4 6.4
Leucine, g 9.9 3.0
Isoleucine, g 5.8 1.7
Valine, g 5.7 1.7
Glutamine, g 12.8 3.8