Book online

What would you like to book?

Book a physio
Book Pilates
Injury prevention through load management

Injury prevention through load management

Whether it be social sport, walking/running, lifting weights in the gym or doing home workouts, gradual increases in load are super important!

Holly McIntosh ·
~3 minute read

When it comes to training and exercise of any kind, “load” is the buzzword that we use a lot when educating our clients on how to stay injury free or to get back to training safely.

Whether it be social sport, walking/running, lifting weights in the gym or doing home workouts, gradual increases in load are super important!

What do you mean by “load”?

Load refers to the amount of stress placed on an individual during training or competition. 

It can be defined by:

  • Time or distance e.g. minutes or kilometers covered during a walk or run

  • Resistance e.g. the amount of weight you are squatting in the gym

  • Intensity of a workout e.g. the amount of effort you are putting in - this can be altered through speed, gradients, recovery times and more

  • Frequency e.g. how many times per week you are training

When measuring training, it is important to look at cumulative load, and how this can build up over a period of time and impact our bodies.

Why is this important?

When our body is placed under physical stress or load, our bodies systems (physical, physiological and psychological) respond over time to adapt and become stronger or more capable of tolerating higher amounts of load. 

In simple terms, the more training you do the more your body can cope with! So increasing load becomes a key part of any training program in order to improve fitness and eventually improve performance.

What happens when it goes wrong?

Unfortunately, a common occurrence that we see in the clinic is when our clients overload themselves by “doing too much too soon”. Rather than our muscles, tendons and bones adapting slowly over time, these tissues can become damaged - leading to pain and injury.

How can I safely increase my loads?

This all depends on your fitness levels prior to beginning training. For example; if you aren’t a runner but have a goal to be able to run 5km, then you should very gradually start some interval run/walk training, rather than going out and running 5km! 

Top tip: 10% RULE FOR TRAINING LOAD - this is a rule that we often apply in which clients are to increase their training load by no more than 10% per week. This has been shown to allow for training adaptations to take place with reduced risk of injury - winning!

Please note: this is not a hard and fast rule as it depends on a number of factors. For example with running - 10% of 50km per week is quite a big difference to 10% of 5km per week, so the increases in weekly load may need to be adjusted to suit

If you think this applies to you or if you would like any further advice you can book in with our Christchurch physios to carry out an assessment and come up with a training plan!

If you are struggling with training load or injury, our physios are here to help. Get in touch if you would like to get in touch.

Happy training everyone!