Boom Generation Fitness

Mind - body fitness and health strategies for powering thru later years

The blog is aimed at the generation that was born between 1946 and 1964 - the so-called Baby Boomers.

We are now into our middle-age and very interested in staying fit and healthy until well into our senior years.

This blog provides some of the tools to do just that. You can find posts here and lots more by clicking on the links to THINK FIT and THE FITNESS PAPERS (see left side column).

These pages are about any and all matters concerning wellness, mind, body and spirit and, of course, physical exercise of all sorts. A special feature is an emphasis on individuals who can provide examples for us all of a healthy, energetic and positive life.


Geoff Quartermaine Bastin

More about who I am on:

Saturday, August 30, 2008


Thanya Sawangjareanwat who at age 42 is a hard core fitness and yoga freak and

prize winning marathon runner introduced me to "The Plank"… a 60 second isometric exercise for strengthening your core muscles (around your back,, sides and stomach – the principle muscles that support movement).

OK, it looks REALLY easy and I’m a bodybuilder – piece of cake, or so I thought!

Just try it, exactly as shown in the photo. Similar to a press up, but rest on your elbows with your hands clasped in prayer! Straighten your body off the ground so a straight line runs from the top of your head along your back (don’t sag or stick it up in the air!) to your feet which are up on the toes.

Hold it and breathe normally.

Easy huh? I leg press 660 pounds and I’m here to say this is a worse killer. Do it for one minute. Most beginners won’t make it. If you can, then build up to 3 sets of a minute each. Start variations like the side or back plank. Raise your legs alternately. Check it out on the Web for lots of info. One good site is

This is a great exercise for flattening the abs, building strength and becoming more agile. When you think you can, try this test for core muscle strength and stability designed by Brian Mackenzie , a senior athletics coach (UKA 4) with UK Athletics, the United Kingdom's National Governing body for Track and Field Athletics.

Conducting the Mackenzie Test

  1. Position the watch or clock where you can easily see it (I like it just above my clasped hands)
  2. Start in the Plank
    Hold for 60 seconds
  3. Lift your right arm off the ground
    Hold for 15 seconds
  4. Return your right arm to the ground and lift the left arm off the ground
    Hold for 15 seconds
  5. Return your left arm to the ground and lift the right leg off the ground
    Hold for 15 seconds
  6. Return your right leg to the ground and lift the left leg off the ground
    Hold for 15 seconds
  7. Lift your left leg and right arm off the ground
    Hold for 15 seconds
  8. Return you left leg and right arm to the ground
  9. Lift your right leg and left arm off the ground
    Hold for 15 seconds
  10. Return to the Plank
    Hold this position for 30 seconds


  • Good Core Strength
    If you can complete the test fully, you have good core strength.

I guarantee you are going to find this incredibly difficult, But without core strength, none of your other exercises are really going to help with all round fitness. Focus on core strength and everything else falls into place.

Photo courtesy from

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