PLP - Half way home

Thirty days ago today, I began a journey and decided to drag my family along with me. We started doing 3 exercises every day, and each day we did one more repetition than the day before. The plan is to do this for 60 days, and with one month down it’s probably time for a little reflection on the experience.

What is his PLP thing

The concept isn’t mine, it is the brain child of Chad Waterbury and something he has done with his clients. The concept is brilliantly simple. As a supplement to regular workouts, everyday do pull-ups, lunges, and push-ups. You have an upper body push, an upper body pull, and a great dynamic lower body exercise. His clients started with 10 reps on day 1, and then added a rep every single day for 60 days.

Our adaptation

Push-ups and lunges are no problem for our family, but as most people know, pull-ups are hard. We do have a door jamb pull-up bar, and that’s my preferred method. The rest are using PVC pipe positioned on bar height chairs and are doing inverted rows. They still get the pulling exercise and are better able to add reps. Also, we started at 1 rep instead of 10.

Also, PLP isn’t meant to be in addition to regular workouts. However, if the kids are doing the same exercises during gym or sports, I let them count those efforts as well.

What we’re learning

I’m speaking for the family here, and maybe at day 60 they can tell their stories. For now though, I hear enough complaining that I think I know their feelings.

  1. Accountability helps. There are days that it would be really easy not to do it. If we were doing it on our own instead of a family, I’m sure we all would have skipped days, missed reps, or just quit. Since we’re all in, we’re all in and we have to keep up with each other.
  2. Don’t skip a day. It’s possible that life gets in the way, and it gets to be too late and you just want to go to bed and think you’ll make up for it the next day (and because of item 1 you’ll want to keep up). That was fine early on, but once you get to a certain point doing an extra 15 pull-ups isn’t fun. 
  3. Gradual adaptation works. Yes, the first week was really easy for everyone. You almost feel silly doing 2 push-ups, 2 lunges, 2 pull-ups, and calling it a day. But seeing the form improvements that have taken place for everyone has been awesome. And the girls are doing regular push-ups with good depth. The form is improving because the strength is, and that’s the point of this. 
  4. Stuff adds up. It’s one thing the say “I did my PLP today.” It’s another thing to think about it in the aggregate. Over the last 30 days we’ve each done 1395 reps of exercise that we otherwise wouldn’t have done. In another week that total will be over 2000. That’s kind of awesome. 
  5. Just show up, start small, but be consistent. Having a plan works for me. Having a manageable plan really works for me. At this point It hasn’t taken me more than 5-6 minutes to complete the exercises, and I don’t have to go anywhere. A little everyday means that even on a bad day, I’ve accomplished something and I’ve stayed on plan.

Hopefully in another 30 days I can tell you that we’ve completed the full 60 day challenge. The next 30 days will be much harder than the last 30 from both a mental and physical perspective. But tomorrow will only be marginally harder than today, and that’s the point.