Progressive Overload for PREVENTING Injury

30th May 2023

Progressive overload is a familiar phrase to our clients. It’s the idea of progressively pushing into the limits of their tissue capacity to increase: capacity, tolerance and / or strength. Encouraging tissues to adapt by accommodating appropriately graded loads.

In simple terms: by pushing a little further each time you do an activity you build up your ability to do more.

This concept can also be applied to preventing injury. For example, Joanna has recently started the Couch to 5km running programme. 

The first week was about easing her into the new movement. It was the same run, repeated three times over: a warm up of five minutes, and eight, sixty-second, runs broken up with ninety second walks. 

The first run Joanna felt her lower legs during and after the session. She could feel her bones and tendons complaining during and then muscle soreness hit a few days later. 

By the time the next run came around three days later, everything was calm again. Afterward the run, there was less soreness. 

Then two days later it was easier again. The tissues were adapting to that initial load. During this time Joanna was careful to ease her training load for strength and hiking to accommodate.

In the space of just seven days, progressive overload occurred.

So when you’re next taking up a new activity, think about progressive overload. This doesn’t even need to be running! It could be something like gardening, or decorating. Allow your body to adapt to the new loads you are asking of it to avoid injury!

Got a niggle every time you work in the gardening, pick up a paint brush or dust off your trainers? Come and have a free 20 minute consultation to find out more about how we can help you.