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Mary

*One Program/Day* x 21 days... or... *Repeat for X Days*, then Program 2?

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I’ve just begun the ABSS series. It seems wonderful and I am very happy with it!
 
I have a very basic question that I did not see answered here in the ABSS forum. Please pardon, if I missed it.
 
My question:
  • I finished Program 1.
  • The very NEXT time I stretch (say, tomorrow or after that; yes, I read Kit's recommendation re: DOM),
    • do I repeat Program 1, or move on to Program 2?
 
That is, is the student-practitioner supposed to follow this schedule:
Day 1 - do Program 1
Day 2 - move on, and start with Program 2
etc., onward to Day 21
or, this schedule: 
 
           Day 1 - do Program 1
           Day 2 - repeat Program 1 for a few sessions (4-7 days, say)
           Day 5-7 - start with Program 2
           etc., onward to Program 21
 
Thanks for any guidance you can give me.
Mary
 

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Hi Mary,

In general, it's fine to move on and continue through all of the programs. This will provide you with an exploration of the whole body, and thus a chance to find out where you're tightest. Then you can begin to personalize your practice and focus on the areas that need the attention most.

That said, there's absolutely nothing wrong with repeating a program several times before moving on, as long as you are not pushing too hard in each session. We all have different learning styles, and if that makes you feel more confident about your practice, then by all means do it. Remember that you don't need to stretch every day, though. If you want to repeat a session (or even if you're moving on to the next program), it may be a good idea to take a day (or two or three) off between the two sessions. If you listen carefully, your body will tell you what it needs :)

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You're welcome! Let us know how it goes, and feel free to ask if anything else comes up!

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This is a slightly edited version of my reply to Mary; I am sure there are others out there who might not be clear on how to use, either:

The short answer is don’t overthink the process; there are an infinite number of ways of using the programs. Try to feel your boy's responses, both in the moments of experiencing them, and in the subsequent days. Both will provide insights that no amount of thinking will.
 
Having said that, here’s one way. You’ll note there are three Series, with seven programs each. Master the exercises from Series 1 (doing program 1 one day, and 2 the next or, if at all sore from program 1, leave a day or two, then do 2), by progressing from programs 1 through to program 7. We do not prescribe the “how to use” aspect because individual starting points and individual responses simply vary to greatly to do this in any meaningful way.
 
Once you feel comfortable with Series 1, move on to Series 2, using the same approach, and likewise Series 3. Each series builds on the one before, and each is slightly harder than the one before.
 
There is no special significance to the use of the word “program”—in fact when I used the term I did not mean either of the meanings you write about—I meant program one like the first program in a television series, so simply an order. The increase in difficulty between programs 1–7 is designed in, however, but even this is misleading—person A might have very tight shoulders, and find those exercises challenging, and person B might fly though the same exercises.
 
And I did not want to prescribe doing the programs daily, as “Day 1, day 2, etc., would imply, for the reasons given: individual differences, especially in a series designed for beginners, is too great to do this. Some beginners (especially those with existing or past injuries) will need a week to recover between programs, for example. Others will do programs 1–3 in a single hour-long session, and do the remaining programs in a long session on a subsequent day—please feel free to approach and use the material any way that fits either your schedule, or how your body works. 
 
I hope this helps.
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