Motivation Monday and Fitness Challenge #3

Before I get to the meat of today’s post, dare I ask: did anyone out there besides me complete their 200 Burpees? Or try out the burpee pyramid challenge from last week?

Let me know how it went!

Now before I give you your challenge for this week, I want to tell you about a part of my day yesterday that was so awesome it’s hard to even describe here.

Will and I set out around 11 am to do a workout down along the Charles River because it was such a gorgeous day. For those of you not from Boston, there’s a little workout area at one point along the river path that has pull up bars, different height benches, push up bars, etc. It’s kind of like a little mini “muscle beach” without the actual weights. Any given nice day in Boston you’ll usually see a handful of people doing various workouts there, and yesterday was no different.  When we got there, I payed particular attention to one gentleman who was doing all sorts of interesting movements, including a lot of work while hanging from his feet on the pull up bar.  After watching him for a little while, I started in on my own workout, and at one point I was approached by him because he was curious about some of the more creative things that Will and I were doing. (He was particularly interested in the backpack with a 40 pound chain in it… But again…That’s a different post).

Once we started talking to him, we all began sharing workout tips, trading techniques, and even sharing some of the equipment that all of us had brought.

Did I mention that this man, Ralph, was 72?

Here he is, talking to Will, who is using Ralph’s leg straps which allow you to hang upside down for ab work, etc. 

Note the backpack in the picture above. That’s the one that’s holding a 40 pound chain, and Ralph couldn’t wait to use it. After showing Will how to use his ankle straps, he put them back on himself, and after being hoisted up to the high pull up bar, proceeded to do upper body work as well as ab crunches while holding the bag.

Just look at the incredible shape he is in!!

After speaking with him about more exercises and he so graciously agreed to be featured on my blog, he also agreed to show us some of the more creative (and extremely difficult) things he had been doing when we first got there.

He honestly smiled the entire time. He was like a little kid up there!

 (Ahem, 72?!?!?) This man, Ralph, was incredible. He was passionate, curious, joyful, exuberant, and hilarious all wrapped up into one tiny, super-fit package.

And the kicker? By the time we were taking these pictures, it was about 1:00 pm. He told us he had been out since 5 am, riding his bike around to different outdoor workout areas and stopping for exercise intervals as he saw fit. Since 5 am! I don’t know many people my age who would have the stamina and endurance to do that, let alone someone who could be my grandparent.

So why am I telling you all about the incredible Ralph? I think it’s quite obvious. He is pretty much the definition of health and motivation. At 72 years old (I don’t think I can say that enough times), he trains at least 4 days per week, is in incredible physical shape, and is on no medications.

So next time someone asks you why you work out so much, or next time you doubt that starting an exercise plan really will make a difference, think of Ralph. Next time you don’t want to get your butt to the gym or do one of my challenges, just think WWRD (What Would Ralph Do?) 🙂  He was a great person to talk to, and I honestly can’t wait until I see him out there again. Maybe he’ll even agree to an interview one of these days?

Now that you’ve had that megadose of awesome, let’s hear today’s challenge. This week we’re going to take it back a notch from the madness that was Burpees, and we’re going to go a little bit more low-key. Your challenge this week is:

For some of you this will be easy, for some it will be a struggle. But remember, No Cheating! If you can only hold a plank for 5 seconds with good form, than you need to do about a bazillion (ok 96) sets of 5 second planks. If you can hold a plank for a minute, than really you just need a plank a day (plus a little extra somewhere in there).

**Good form for a plank means that you are basically forming a straight line from the tip of your head all the way down to your toes. NO “tent butt” or sagging midsection. Keep that core and glutes engaged the entire time in order to keep your form correct.

**Tip: Do these in front of a mirror so that you can see if your core is sagging or if your butt is creeping up. A crooked plank is no plank at all.

And with that, I’m off! I’ll be gone for the rest of this week for the National Athletic Trainer’s Association conference in St. Louis, and then for a little bonus time in Memphis. I’ll be putting up some great guest posts to finish out this week, and then I’ll be back next Monday. Enjoy your week, and don’t miss me too much!

Don’t forget to send me your plank videos and pictures if you want to be featured on the blog! (

Do you ever do outdoor workouts? Have you ever met someone like Ralph? Do you do planks in your workout regularly? 

18 thoughts on “Motivation Monday and Fitness Challenge #3

  1. singlewhitefemaledating June 25, 2012 — 5:28 am

    Great post “I train…” Ralph certainly is amazing, thanks for highlighting the benefits of exercise for longevity and quality of life!!! LOVE IT 😀

  2. HOLY CRAP Ralph is so inspirational and awesome!!!! I hope I can be that fit when I’m 72! 😀

    1. Right?!? What an inspirational guy. I hope I see him out there again sometime so I can find out a little more about him!

  3. I went backpacking this weekend and we met a through hiker (a man doing the entire AT from start to finish) who was 69. SIXTY NINE!!!!! It was incredible. That stuff is awesome.

    1. WHAT. That is amazing. I love seeing people like that!

  4. WOW good for Ralph!!! That is seriously inspirational!!!!!!!!!!! I’ll see if I can get a picture of myself planking =) I’ll do it for 8 minutes this week!!

    1. Yay planks!! I’m sure your planking picture will be perfect… You can show off those little abs you’ve been sculpting! 😉

  5. Woohoo, Go get ’em Ralph!! I love it. Inspiration and motivation to stop the nay sayers who try to say – slow down…. we ran into a couple in Plymouth, they walk the steps across the street 70 times a day on their walk about time. 70!!
    I do series of planks that are 1 minute each.
    1 Minute – Up Downs
    1 Minute – Right Side Plank
    1 Minute – Left Side Plank
    1 Minute – Low Plank
    1 Minute – Spidermans
    1 Minute – Side Toe Tap [ L/ R ]
    1 Minute – Low Plank

    So is it low plank for 8 minutes throughout the week? Going back to catch up on that burpee challenge!

    1. Wow that’s awesome!! And great plank series there — that looks tough! Yep the goal is to hit 8 minutes of low front planks… But it looks like you can do a lot more than that!! And good luck with the burpees, I wanted to punch myself in the face after doing that one!

      1. The burpees made me want to run to the locker room & hide! Holey cow!

  6. Wow! How inspirational!! He is more flexible than I am!!

    1. He was SO flexible it was amazing! I don’t know how he did half of the stuff that he was doing. I think I kept stopping and staring without even realizing it 🙂 Luckily he was so friendly!

  7. Ralph is the man! that’s going to be us at age 72. Outdoor workouts are my jam!

    I fell behind but I did the burpee pyramid tonight and cursed you the whole time 😉 in the best way possible. It was wonderful.

    Have fun at NATA! drop some knowledge bombs when you get back!

    1. YES it will be us!! He was a blast, man, I wish I could work out with him every weekend! And Oh god that Burpee pyramid kills me… I pretty much wanted to die after doing my 200 last week, 70 of which were during my outdoor workout with Ralph 🙂 Thanks!!

  8. I bet Ralph eats a paleo diet… he reminds me of Art DeVany :


    hahahahah I love that! WWRD!? 🙂 LOVE IT! So amazing

  10. Wow, Ralph is AMAZING. What an inspiration. That’s what we all should be striving to be like at his age. So many people use age as an excuse… It’s not! Ralph is living proof of that and is more toned, fit and flexible than most of us young ones!!! Thanks for sharing 🙂

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