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104 responses

  1. Vegasboi
    February 6, 2009

    A year or two for six-pack abs? Hmmm, Ill keep doing the planks and my other exercises, but I think I’ll reevaluate and reprioritize my goals.

    I’m currently at 5”11, 140lbs, 5% body fat. Is there anything I can do at this point, short of cosmetic surgery, to take 1-2 inches off a 25 inch waist?

    Would, for example, dropping 10-15lbs have any effect on my waist?

  2. atom-ant
    March 17, 2009

    I have heard that you are sore the next day if u had a good workout the day before. I have done your plank exercise many times and really do feel it working and burning during and a bit afterward, but i never wake up in the morning with sore abs. Is this normal for isometric exercises, or should I increase my workout. Thanks a lot!

  3. mickieb
    March 19, 2009

    I have done planks in the past, but just a little different. I never did it on one arm with the body sideways. I’ve always done mine still facing down, but putting one arm at my side, the alternating so its one arm and opposite leg are raised. I also havent done these for 2 min each! So today, along with my other Body Weight Exercises, I added the new Planks. I did fine with the regular plank, but only able to hold the one arm side planks for 1 min. I guess in time, I will improve.

    Now Id like to play Devil’s Advocate and throw out a question: as far as comparing the isometric plank and dynamic movement of a crunch, is there some merit to doing crunches, since it uses more range of motion and more of an explosive contraction? I still do crunches (I too hate them) and Planks ( I hate these less). The same question can go the other way for other dynamic exercises, such as rear leg lifts. Is the same or better effect achieved if doing a static hold in position versus the ROM of this exercise? They both burn, but which is better? or do we need to do both types?

  4. The Fit News
    June 3, 2009

    Certainly does feel like a lifetime!!

  5. admin
    June 3, 2009


    To gain strength without size…which really is the goal when trying to develop a six pack, you do not want to break down the muscle. Sore muscles typically mean (not always) muscle breakdown. So not being sore after this ab workout is a good sign.


    I really enjoy static holds for muscle groups that protect the spine. Both for abs and low back. Crunches will kill your lower back over time…especially if you are crunching hard all the way to the stopping point…your spine compression is what is stopping the movement in many cases. I think crunches work to a certain extent for at least part of the abs, but with a BIG price to pay.


  6. Tyler
    June 19, 2009


    I have a pretty good 6 pack, but they’re kinda big & bulky. If I continue to do the plank workout will they become more ripped?

  7. James
    June 26, 2009

    Hello! I have just a quick question, if you don’t mind. Leg raises are done when the back is straight, are they alright to do?

    I did three minutes of plank yesterday! *proud*


  8. vacoder
    July 18, 2009

    I have been doing planks and Breath of Dragon for some time. I feel I am ready to try the exercise ball. My question is should one balance his feet or his hands on the ball?


  9. Pawel
    July 19, 2009

    Anyone have advice on what to place under the elbows for planks? Ive tried a towel and scrapped some skin off from small movements. Like a burn . Thats holding a plank for 2 min 30 seconds. Maybe Ill try doing it on just the mat.

  10. Adam
    July 31, 2009

    Hey Rusty,

    Kudos on having one of the top fitness sites out there. I commented on this post March 18, 2008. I asked for some advice on becoming a fitness trainer and what not. Thanks again for the reply. Since then I have completed one year of college in respect to a Fitness and Health promotion course. I have picked up a lot of good knowledge and understanding of how the body works. An interesting perspective that I have picked up is the “Fight or flight, Rest and Digest”. That everything in respect to our body is designed to function in this manner. I thought it would a fun topic to discuss. I am interested to see what some of the readers have to say about it.

    So although I have text books and papers on health and fitness, I still find myself coming back to Fitness Blackbook. It is by far my favourite resource to staying in shape. Since my last post I have dropped about 8% body fat and have increased my overall fitness by 50%. I still remember the first time on the beach when someone said I had a 6-pack. lol. That made all the running, fasting, and circuits worth the effort. Not to mention the close I get to buy now. I fit into everything! lol.

    So my question for you is. What exercise do you think develops the ‘V’ the most efficiently? I have reached 5 min planks. My upper abdominals are quite defined. I wish to have just a bit larger lower. I feel planks will not help me accomplish this. Whats your opinion?

    Thanks again,

  11. Nove
    August 26, 2009

    hi rusty
    what about isometric training for full body?is that works?

  12. Rowan
    October 9, 2009

    Hey! Thanks for this great website and all the useful info.

    But I wanted some help with the plank exercise. I maintain a straight line from my feet to my head and can hold this position for 1 minute easily. The problem is that being in that position tends to cut off the circulation to my forearms and hands. This is very uncomfortable. Also, my legs actually got more sore than my abs from doing this exercise. So can you give my any advice?

  13. Sensei
    October 15, 2009

    Hello Rusty

    I don’t have a six-pack now, but it’s still possible to see my abs. Will doing the planks help me to get them more visible so I’ll get that six-pack, or are the planks only to keep the six-pack ones you have achieved it?

  14. Sensei
    October 15, 2009

    And just to add I don’t have a really high fat percentage – around 10% I think.

  15. Parnelly
    April 11, 2010


    I have been doing the Planks for a solid three weeks now and I can definitely testify to their effectiveness for framing the abs.

    BUT i don’t really see as much of the improvement in I guess the actual Rectus Abdominis muscle, any suggestions?

    Or am I not giving the planks enough time?

  16. Seane
    August 31, 2010

    Fantastic. If not anything else I am smiling for the afternoon. That too is good for our health, right!. I love that scene it is memorable and I am just going to play it once a day to remind me to do my exercises. What 6, 7 or 8 minutes, oh I know I am loyal I get an extra minute free. Great article.

  17. hats shoping
    November 12, 2010

    Will doing the planks help me to get them more visible so I’ll get that six-pack, or are the planks only to keep the six-pack ones you have achieved it?
    BUT i don’t really see as much of the improvement in I guess the actual Rectus Abdominis muscle, any suggestions?

    Or am I not giving the planks enough time?

  18. passer
    November 29, 2010

    @ hats shopping
    as mentioned in rusty’s visual impact, do 4 sets of hanging leg raises to failure + 4 sets of ab wheel(with 30-45sec break) to build that six pack, once you got it you can sharpen it and maintain it with planks and renegade rows routine..

  19. Russia
    January 21, 2011

    Holy shit Rusty I’ve been working up to this routine for a long time. I just finished it completely for the first time and my abs are still spazzing and contracting. Excellent stuff. Thank you!

  20. Furniture
    February 1, 2011

    This is one of the most useful Internet resources that I have seen. Thanks! 😉

  21. Kevin – Fitness B&W
    February 11, 2011

    My favorite ab/core exercise to date! Thanks!

  22. Bubbles
    February 28, 2011

    Hi Rusty, Is it important to do the side plank and work the obliques or is it alright to focus on doing the original straight plank? What benefit is there to doing the sie plank as I simply want to focus on getting a toned stomach? Will this make my stomach look odd as the middle would be developed whereas the sides (obliques) would be undeveloped? Thanks in advance, Bubbles

  23. Jack
    May 10, 2011

    Hey Rusty,

    I utilize planks frequently while working out. What do you think of this article?


  24. Ben
    October 4, 2011

    Hi Rusty,

    I’m looking to flatten my stomach and add tone. Will this workout alone achieve this, or will I require to continue with other workouts as well?
    If so, what workouts would do this?

  25. Stephanie
    January 31, 2012

    If I’m trying to follow your suggestions to not work the muscle to fatigue to avoid bulkiness, wouldn’t I stop before I “can’t hold out one more second”? Or are isometrics different and I can indeed work till I drop?

    Also, I know conventional training wisdom says otherwise, but as you’re not mainstream, I thought I’d give it a go: are there any ways you to gain fat in certain areas (ie buttocks, hips, face) while not gaining in others (waist)?

  26. Al
    June 22, 2012

    When I do planks, I dont really feel a burn. Yet I am still interested in trying this soon. Is it ok to feel the shaking before I get the burn or should the burn come first. Im very new to doing midsection workouts, so any other tips would greatly be appreciated.

  27. Tony
    September 28, 2012

    I dont feel any burning sensation in my abs. But I feel it in my forearms and legs.

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