My abs and I survived Matty Maggiacomo’s enCORE28 challenge!

Since the month of March couldn’t have been crazier, I’m finally getting around to writing about this—better late than never, right? So here I am, bursting with excitement (and a healthy dose of pride) to talk about how I did a 10, 15 or 20 minute core strength class each day for the entire month of February, better known as Matty’s enCORE28.

Wait, who’s Matty Maggiacomo?

Matty Maggiacomo is a Tread and Strength Instructor for Peloton. As a former television reporter and longtime New Yorker with a passion for pop culture, he captured my attention from the start and quickly became one of my favorite instructors on the platform! His community of fans/followers is referred to as “Matty’s Maggic Makers” (it used to be “Body Party” up until a couple of months ago). You’ll learn more about him as we continue….

Why did I do enCORE28?

I’m not even going to lie. About half the reason I dove into this challenge was because I wanted abs. I have no shame in admitting that, but I quickly realized that this couldn’t be all about looks—I needed to follow Matty’s focus for all 28 days of February, which was to build core stability and strength. Your core, which is comprised of the muscles in your abdomen, back and pelvis, keeps your body balanced and stabilized overall, and it also affects the functionality of your arms and legs. Your core is pretty much your spine’s BFF.

Me personally, it’s the area of my body I am most self-conscious and insecure about. You’d think that because of this, it would be the area I work on (or at least want to work on) the most… but that’s totally not the case! I’ve never, ever done any kind of ab challenge before, which is why I committed myself to enCORE28. Although I wasn’t 100% confident I would have the physical strength to finish, I signed up anyway. With the virtual support and accountability of other Maggic Makers and Matty himself, I didn’t let myself give up! I just kept reminding myself that aesthetics aside, my body deserved the opportunity and reward of getting stronger.

What were the workouts like?

Matty has dozens of core strength classes on Peloton, so he hand-picked the top-rated ones and posted each week’s selections on Instagram. No matter the class length, each one always started with a warmup or activation and usually ended with a few brief stretches.

Day 28 screenshot of Matty's enCORE28 challenge

Some days required free weights, others were equipment-free. Some days we were on our backs the whole time (which lazy me loved), other days we circuited between standing, kneeling and laying on the mat. Matty offered tons of modifications to include all strength levels, which I really appreciated, especially on days when I was superrr sore! In addition, I learned some fun visualizations for proper form—he told us to keep our backs flat in plank position to accommodate a tray of martini glasses, which was often followed by “Yummm, martinis!” (his words, not mine!)

If you love animals, you may love (or hate) some of Matty’s signature moves. We’re talking bears, armadillos, bird dogs… you’ll have to explore the rest!

Female doing a plank exercise on a blue yoga mat
The standard plank is a must in any core strength workout!

Would I do it again?

ABSolutely yes (sorry not sorry, had to). I’m not trying to get a six pack, but I can for sure feel how much of a difference even a slightly stronger core makes, both during my workouts and in everyday life. If you’re interested in doing enCORE28, just check out Matty’s Instagram page, which has all the details in his highlights section!

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