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chinese plank

chinese plank hold • for time

How long can you hold a Chinese plank? No skill and no technique needed for this either with bonus that you can almost certainly try this at home with hardly any risk.

> Level 3    Guardian          06 min+
> Level 2    Fit human         03 min+
> Level 1    Homo sapiens      90 sec+
- - - - -
~ sub:level  demi-sapiens      55 sec
… non:level  non-fit creature  30 sec or less

Everyone should be able to hold at least close to a minute and a half. I am not for example expecting of you a Shaolin monk like ability who can easily hold this position while meditating. They do it for other reasons probably but for modern human its really hard to find a more simple — yet useful — exercise to strengthen your lower back without moving and just holding still. It doesn’t work just your lower back, expect to feel a notable burning sensation in hamstrings and your butt as well. What’s great about this exercise is that even if you are really bad when you first try it, big improvements are possible in short time.


  1. Arms need to be on your tummy or hips. You can also relax/extend arms to gently touch but not push against the floor. Having your hands behind your neck makes it all somewhat easier so it doesn't count as a valid standard.

  2. What matters is that you hold as horizontal position as you can, for this reason setting your height to only 10-15cm above the floor can already be high enough and as safe as it gets.

  3. Height of your two blocks, bolsters, bumpers, chairs, benches, etc. doesn’t really matter that much. You can improvise as long as what you use is safe but in general remain at/or lower than a bench height.

  4. Only minimal support from upper part of shoulders and tip of your heels is allowed. I show this nicely on the photo.

  5. Listening to the music, watching Netflix or even falling asleep is allowed as long as your form remains intact.

stand behind what you preach @ Cirencester workshop

one arm hang • for time

No skill and no technique needed and hardly any risk to try. One arm hang is one of those things one can either do or can’t do.

How long can you hang from the bar with one arm only?

> Level 3    Guardian          60 sec+
> Level 2    Fit human         30 sec+
> Level 1    Homo sapiens      10 sec+
- - - - -
~ sub:level  demi-sapiens      03 sec
… non:level  non-fit creature  00 sec


  1. You need to test your weaker arm. As the saying goes, you are only as strong as your weakest link, so let’s check how your weaker side does.

  2. No use of chalk is allowed, there is no such thing as a slippery bar, there is only lack of grip strength. Notice also I specifically said, hang from the bar.

  3. There is no buts about chalk use. If someone is set to sabotage your test by putting a thick layer of oil grease on the bar, kindly wipe the grease off …or if there is some chalk on the bar, grease it a little, then apply your natural grip strength to the bar.

  4. Just for fun try also the stronger arm even though your result doesn’t count toward completition of the standard.

You will now be able to view equality as you’ve never seen it before. Even your own left–right side are not and never will be completely equal. Not being equally in balance is not the issue, rather the issue is, if your left–right side — arms in this case but applies to other body parts as well — are hugely out of balance, that's something you should be worried about. To be strong and healthy you need to create and maintain good balance.

Sašo and Andrej @ level 2

wall handstand • hold for time

How long can you hold a wall handstand? Here is a really simple way to look at things while being upside down.

> Level 3    Guardian          03 min+
> Level 2    Fit human         90 sec+
> Level 1    Homo sapiens      45 sec+
- - - - -
~ sub:level  demi-sapiens      10 sec
… non:level  non-fit creature  00 sec

Everyone should be able to hold at least close to a minute. This is nothing extreme and more than a reasonable benchmark to consider as a bare minimum from a human (hence Homo sapiens) with basic functional abilities, and if not, why not, and why not better your self by setting a higher (as proposed) standard to aim for.

Marck Goran Lorencin © all rights reserved