Meridian's Challenge #1

Challenge #1 Plank for a solid 4 mins 

Last Week we set James the challenge of holding the plank position for 4 mins! This week he came back to us with how he got on. 

James how did the challenge go?

I managed to get in a second early training session with my PT Kris this week & thought it was a more stimulating environment to beat the challenge set. After a warm up of running around the ring, squats, crunches, Kris raised the intensity of training to another level; some proper fight training he said! Help! 3 x 2 minute rounds of 1 minute burpees, 1 x minute full power Thai kicks on the bag, 1 x minute rest & repeat 3 times. Massively demanding on muscles & cardio. However, this ensured I was in the ‘zone’ for a challenge & the whole body warmed up. That was it, straight into the 4 x minute plank. Set it up, Kris timed on the ‘rounds’ clock & I held rock steady for the duration. Thanks to Kris for moral encouragement throughout! I think 50/50 mental prep & core strength.

I think we need some proof James! 

Here are some pictures taken on the day! 

James Plank
James Plank
We are very impressed! Maybe this was too easy, perhaps we should up the tempo next week.... 
Our task for you this week -
If you could give someone one bit of advise when starting out their fitness journey, what would it be?

Here is JameS's nutty workout routine:

Monday - PT Session

Early PT session. Warm up with jogging, sprints, squats & crunches. Work on legs with 100 x ‘straight foot thrust’ (Thip) & 100 x ‘knees’ against bag. 3 x 2 minute rounds on bags free style, followed by some techniques of boxing & kicking. Further weighted squats, core work balancing the weights bar. Finished with further 3 x 2 minute rounds of knees, kicks & elbows! The ‘round’ sessions are completely demanding but very satisfying!

Tuesday - Run

Out at 06.10 for 6km run, though I’m not sure of exact distance, but the circuit takes me over the River Teign & along Teignmouth Sea Front, back across river. It is still dark & running on the seafront beach is out until it gets lighter. Though mainly sand, there are large pebbles & flotsam which if you run on can result in an easily turned ankle. This runs gets me back into the house for 06.50. Routine is the porridge is put on to bubble gently whilst showering. Heap on almond butter & banana.

Wednesday - PT Session

Kris introduced some kettle weights & weight bar drills, which were great to add into the whole mix, finishing with a punishing routine of Boxing & Muay Thai Kicks. Before this session, being so intense & again early, I usually eat half a banana & a handful of nuts. I have tried a small strong coffee to help with stimulating the mind with the challenge of co-ordination early morning! Not sure if this works & usually I’m not a fan of any caffeine based drinks pre-exercise.


Aim to get in one shorter ( 30 mins total) session a week of  fast sprints to help with explosive power & test the lungs. There is currently a sandy small beach formed after last year’s great storms 5 minutes run from home. This morning at 06.30, there is some light emerging from the horizon out at sea. N.B. With the explosion of commemorative bench seats on sea fronts, they provide ideal push-up ‘platforms’ &  it is easy to mix in press-ups using the bench in your run..(technique in later blogs) Breakfast is natural muesli with peanut butter & a boiled egg.


A minor cold has got me, so I work slowly on some weights such as arm curls, upright rows & planks on a Pilate ball in the ‘garage gym’. A good oat porridge with mashed banana & almond butter sees me away at 07.30 to see the final new Rocks RTD production!

Saturday & Sunday are current rest days, though we usually have a family walk or cycle & I may do some light stretching over the weekend. ( 10 minutes max) 

Try James's 'Post Full Workout Porridge’

  • Half/Three quarters Cup Large Oats
  • 2 x Tablespoon Almond Butter
  • Teaspoon Coconut Oil
  • Tablespoon Wheat Germ
  • Pinch Salt & Whole Almond
  • Sliced Banana

Made with 50% water & 50%  milk.

Thank you James! 

james cropped

James is our in house fitness enthusiast! He has a true passion for maintaining an active lifestyle and is one of Meridian's biggest nut butter fans.