Adventures in Plank Holds & Simple Meals

The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Soldier of Steel™. All opinions are my own!

Hello, my friends, and happy Wednesday! First things first: have you guys ever timed yourself doing a plank hold? The plank hold is one of my favorite workout moves because you can do it anywhere and no equipment is required! Between yoga and Crossfit, I end up doing a lot of planks, but I’d never actually timed myself to see how long I could just straight up hold a static plank. So this morning I did!


Photo via fANNEtasticfood on Instagram!

The verdict? I made it 5 minutes and 1 second before collapsing! I was actually really surprised I made it that long. Try it yourself and let me know how it goes! :) I started on my forearms/elbows but switched to my hands for the second half (without letting my knees touch the ground, of course).

So, why was I doing plank holds this morning? My inspiration came from checking out some of the cool new Soldier of Steel™ workouts developed in partnership with The National Guard by Mark Twight, a Hollywood fitness trainer who helps train fighters, endurance athletes, and cast and stunt crew for action movies. He most recently helped Henry Cavill become the MAN OF STEEL™ for the new movie! Check it out:

Mark sounds like a pretty hardcore guy – he was one of America’s leading alpinists at the turn of the 21st century, and holds the title of the fastest climb of "Slipstream," a three thousand-foot-high waterfall in the Canadian Rockies. He climbed it in 2 hours and 4 minutes; most people do it in 12 hours. Um, wow.

I checked out the workout plan he developed (which is free to download once you put in your name and email address) this morning and it’s awesome! In addition to the downloadable month-long day-by-day training routine, their website also includes tutorials and videos for the exercises, webisodes, and more. I’d encourage you guys to check it out if you’re looking for a way to mix up your routine! I love that it’s all offered totally free.


Having grown up in a military family, I know that staying physically fit is an important part of the job, so it makes sense that a workout affiliated with The National Guard would be pretty intense – from the looks of the program, you will be whipped into serious shape in no time! Check it out and in the meantime, if you have any fitness questions for Mark Twight, he’ll be taking over the @NationalGuard Twitter handle for Q&A on Thursday, June 20 from 3 to 4 p.m. EST. Follow the conversation at #TwightTakeover !


Anyway! I haven’t shared any of my simple eats lately so I figured today would be a good time to do that (yes, still waiting to hear back from Brooks on whether I can give out extra prizes – stay tuned!). Last week, I rediscovered my love for Mexican-style wraps.

mexican wrap

The inspiration was this fun local crab salsa that I purchased down in Richmond a couple weekends ago! So good.


My wrap was stuffed with guacamole, black beans, some leftover shredded chicken, chopped peppers, fresh cilantro, the crab salsa, mixed greens, and some cracked pepper. The fresh cilantro definitely made the wrap.


I packaged it up in some tin foil so it didn’t fall apart or explode while I ate it! Yum. This would make a great packed lunch for work, too – just pair it with a piece of fruit and you have the perfect meal.


Another old favorite that I rediscovered lately was my Pesto Baked Salmon with Veggies (click for recipe)! So easy and great for summer.


I mixed it up and had asparagus instead of zucchini and squash and it was still great.


Matt doesn’t like salmon so I ate it all myself – first with a side of leftover quinoa, and then again the next day for lunch. I threw the salmon and asparagus atop some salad, added some black beans for a little fiber and texture, and finished it off with some feta and salt and pepper. No dressing needed – the pesto was enough!


And now it’s time to get back to work. Have a great day, everyone! :)

Do you prefer to follow specific workout plans or just wing it day by day?

What’s your favorite quick and easy lunch or dinner as of late?


  1. 1

    Woa 5 min plank! That’s so impressive. I can just about do 3mins and it’s a real struggle. I tend to plan my runs each week as I like to know what I’m doing each day. Though if I’m tired I’ll change things up.

  2. 2

    My plank goal is 5 minutes! I have been planking daily for about 2 weeks and am up to 3:30 so I still have a little ways to go :) I have been hearing about those workouts but had no idea they were free. Def will check them out now!

  3. 3

    I need to follow specific plans; I’m horrible at doing something if it isn’t written down because then I’m like “Oh, I don’t really need to run 4 miles; I’ll just do 3”.

    I will definitely be checking out those workouts :D

    I love egg white wraps … yum!

  4. 4

    This reminds me of the time I decided to see how many sit ups I could do… I stopped at 350 because it was giving me a headache… I should try it out again :)

    I’m starting on Monday a new half marathon training program for the Madison Mini in August. I want to set a new PR.

  5. 6
    Christine Rival says

    Wholly mholly – 5 mins???? I started off with 20 sec planks a few weeks ago and I’m up to 50 secs and I was proud of that – guess I have a LONG way to go!! Thanks for the shoulder video!!

    • 7

      Everyone starts somewhere different – it’s all about improving on your own personal best! Good for you for already more than doubling your time! :)

  6. 8

    There was a 5 min plank challenge at my gym….If held for 5 min, timed by a trainer, you won 2 training sessions. I knew I could do 3 min, and tried it and actually did the 5! For me it was more mental than physical, definitely left me smiling for the day :)

  7. 10

    5 minutes is epic! I’ve done 4 before but it was tough! Totally checking out the workouts; I love ZWOW but she’s just started charging and I’d rather not get locked in to a monthly payment. Loving grilled fresh corn on the cob…with cashew cream and avocado…a little salsa..heavenly!

  8. 11

    I saw your instagram post- 5 minutes is awesome!! I made it that long once but I’m happy to not repeat it. :) Love your simple wrap ideas- and the salmon looks delicious!

  9. 12

    Those quick meals look amazing!!! I especially love the ezekial wraps, they are the best.

  10. 13

    woah 5 minute plank is so long!!! My form starts getting shaky at 2 min

  11. 14

    The meal looks so good. Thanks for sharing the wrap ingredients. What is your opinion on Alpine Valley Organic Breads? As well as skinny cow ice cream ( cup) and vita tops? I have been wanting to ask for a while. Thanks

    • 15

      I’ve never had Alpine Valley breads, but they sound great! I’m not a fan of Skinny Cow or their ingredient lists – it’s always better to have a small amount of the real thing vs. a diet imitation. Same with Vita Tops – never had them but they have an unnecessarily long ingredient list!

      • 16

        Thank you so much for replying I really appreciate it. So is there a particular brand if chocolate ice cream and brownie dessert you recommend? :)

        • 17

          Sorry to butt in here since you probably want Anne’s opinion, but I have a major sweet tooth, and thought maybe I could share what I often do for dessert. When I’m craving a brownie, I love to have dark chocolate with walnuts, in alternating bites :) So I’ll have one bite of dark chocolate, and then one or two pieces of walnut, then one bite of chocolate, etc. And the other day when I was craving ice cream, I mixed dark chocolate chips with some frozen blueberries, and then topped with whipped cream. That was AMAZING. I hope that helps!

        • 19

          For ice cream, I recommend Haagen Dazs – real, simple ingredients! For a brownie, I’d recommend making your own from scratch or finding a local bakery. If you’re going to have a brownie and ice cream, have the best! :)

  12. 20

    a 5 min. plank is super impressive!!

  13. 21

    I recently had a major back injury and my plank time has decreased by over 2 minutes, but I’m back to working on them!

  14. 22

    That wrap looks really good – you can’t go wrong with guacamole!

    I like to do whatever I’m in the mood for with my workouts. One day I might be feeling like Tae Bo, another yoga.

  15. 23

    I’ve been loving bean salads over greens with yummy sauce! Or my Yin-Yang salad is a great summer time lunch as well (recipe on my blog!)

  16. 24

    A 5-minute plank?! That’s awesome! The most I’ve ever been able to do was just under two minutes.

  17. 25

    Wow well done on the 5 minutes straight of planking :)

  18. 26

    Do you put anything on your asparagus?

  19. 28

    When I work out, I find that I push myself the hardest when I convince myself that I can bail soon, so I don’t really like to follow a specific plan – that feels too much like a chore to me. For running, just to get myself out the door, I tell myself, “just run 20 minutes, see how you feel, and then you can stop if you want to.” Inevitably, after 20 minutes I feel great and want to keep going! Or for speedwork, when I get tired I tell myself, “just run 2 more minutes at this pace, and then you’re free to stop,” and I will do that several times before I actually stop :) Even though I know I’m tricking myself, I’m still tricked into running longer and faster! And if I really don’t want to run, I will work it into my strength-training circuit, doing 10 minutes at a fast pace at the end of the circuit, x3. I love feeling free to choose between options, and to bail two minutes from now :)

    • 29

      Great tips – totally agree that sometimes you just need to trick yourself – and you’ll often end up doing more than planned, too!

  20. 30
    Roadrunner says

    Love the introduction to the Soldier of Steel; really neat! Many thanks –

  21. 31
    Paula Sparkle says

    These recipes look great – will try!

    5 minute plank! Wow – that’s awesome – inspiring too!

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