April 6th- I am scheduled to begin Week #4 of the Ab Rehab Program. Headlifts begin. I am so excited to get started on a new exercise; I have worked really hard for the past 3 weeks to build the strength and body awareness to progress to the back-lying exercise. I am cheerleader optimistic.
Ever overkeen I book in a last minute 1-on-1 training session with Samantha to review the headlift execution. I am feeling pretty confident in the exercise. I recheck my diastasis and measure upper 3 middle 3 lower 4, with stronger connective tissue. Progress! I have closed 1 finger width at center. My naval measurement is 29" (down 2" from 31") and my waist is down 1" to 27". Not bad for 3 weeks!
So week #4 looks like this:
- No more Elevators
- 10 sets of 100 contractions 5th to 6th (1000 per day now!)
- Headlifts 3 sets of 10, 3 x day
Cake right? Absolutely not. I average 3 sets of 10 headlifts PER DAY, I miss a couple of sets of contractions and the splint is starting to annoy me enough that I have taken it off for a few hours here and there this week. Dang it WTH? I assess my performance and decide to repeat Week 4.
Of course I am also still running 3x week for about 30 km total, training for my half marathon. I also have 2 full body workouts on Mondays with my AM & PM Stroller Fit Groups, but this Ab Rehab component is really biting into my dedicated strength and cross training time and focus in a big way.
Monday April 12th I begin a new week with a fresh resolve for my repeat of week 4. I do 6 solid days without skipping a beat. Amazing! I am jacked and feeling like a champion. On Sunday April 18th I am going for a trainer team session of headlift review so I am excited to get rechecked and to have my form spotted by Samantha. I certainly have further closed my gap which is good news! I am now measuring upper 2, middle 3 and lower 3, closing 1 fingerwidth at top and bottom. My headlift form, however was less than champion and I am disappointed that my abs are "coming forward" when I do the exercise. A bit deflated, I take some tips, practice while being spotted, and walk away to repeat week 4 for the third time, but with some modifications. Since my form was subpar I decide to work on a modified Week 4 with only 1 set of 10 headlifts 3x/day so I can really perfect my execution before trying to bang off 90 headlifts/day!
At this point I am really wondering where rest comes into this program and I decide that to invest in the sustainability of this program I need to allocate dedicated rest days- no splint, no exercises, a big fat break :) With that in mind I take a break on April 19th and begin again on April 20th with week 4-3 which I am able to complete 95%. I take a rest day/reward and I progress myself to a modified Week 5 on April 27th. I am progressing to 2 sets of 10 headlifts 3x/day plus the 1000 contractions. My waist is measuring 26" so I lost another inch there.
So 7 weeks in and here is my progress in a nutshell:
- Lost 1 fingerwidth at each location: Upper, Middle and Lower
- Strengthened connective tissue- it is noticeably more shallow. This is often the first stage of progress with a wider diastasis and weak tissue to start.
- Lost 2" from naval measurement- 31" to 29" relaxed
- Lost 2" from waist measurement- 28" to 26"
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