Tests are useful to provide objective feedback on your strength level. By performing an exercise in the exact same conditions before and after a training program, you can track how much you have improved. Your score will also indicate your current training level (beginner, intermediate, advanced) and provide you with guidance on which programs to follow later on. I’ll be using two tests in this program to test your core strength.
Test #1: Hollow body hold
You’ll begin with the hollow body hold as it is the more difficult of the two core exercises we will be testing. It’s important to choose a variation of the hollow body hold that allows you to keep your lower back in contact with the floor. Don’t be concerned with performing the advanced variations too soon. As soon as your back arches, the test is over. Make sure you repeat the same variation at the end of the program.
|< 20 secs
|20 – 60 secs
|> 60 secs
REST FOR 5MINS, THEN PERFORM THE PLANK TEST
Test #2: Plank hold
Unlike the hollow body hold, where technical failure is easy to detect (your lower back loses contact with the floor), the plank requires more discipline. If your hips begin sagging to the floor or you feel your lower back begin to arch, stop the timer. It can sometimes be tricky to ‘feel’ when you have lost correct form – filming this test can help keep your score honest.
|< 30 secs
|30 – 120 secs
|> 120 secs
Rest for five minutes after you have completed the test and you are ready to begin workout one. Don’t worry about your scores – we just wanted to objectively identify your starting point so you can see exactly how much you improved at the end of the program.