When trying to lose weight or get in shape, it can be easy to overdo things in a rush of initial determination and enthusiasm. That’s is why as a final point to this post about repairing and restoring function to the muscles, it’s important to understand what’s meant by keeping training consistent and appropriate.

Most training relies on the principle of progressive overload which dictates that when the body gets used to a particular intensity of an exercise you increase the intensity by a small amount so the body has to again adapt and progress in terms of levels of fitness. If you increase the intensity of the exercise too much your body will be unable to cope with the change and you’ll end up overtraining or getting injured.

A good guideline to follow when increasing the intensity of an exercise is to maintain the speed of the exercise and increase one of the following; load, volume, repetitions.

For increasing a load it should not exceed a 20% weight jump to stay within safe ranges, for volume a 20% frequency increase is safe. This applies for distance too, going from 10k to 12k when running is sensible going from 10k to 20k can lead to injury. Increasing repetitions should be done in relation to training goals, if you are training for muscular endurance increasing the repetitions by up to 50% should be safe if done with good form. If you are training for strength or for injury prevention, then the 3-8 repetition range should be optimal.