Inconsistency & Going Too Hard: Acute on Chronic Workload – Acute on chronic training load: a framework for progressing consistently over time.
🤯 Your body is accustomed to a certain amount of stress (physical and otherwise) as a result of your normal activity level and lifestyle – your chronic training load.
✅ In order to make progress, you have to do more than what you are normally accustomed to.
However, doing way too much can overwhelm your ability to adapt to stress and result in slower progress and potentially even injury.
✅ Your acute training load is the training you’ve done most recently (in the last week compared to the chronic training load of the last several months).
✅ Trying to slowly progress that acute training load without enormous variations in intensity and volume tends to result in steady progress with a much lower risk of injury.
In addition, when people become injured, they tend to drop their acute training load too low out of fear, and they become deconditioned.
Their chronic training load drops over time, and when that person’s pain stops, they jump back into an acute training load that is too high compared to their new, lower, chronic training load.
✅ So the moral to the story is…make sure that you are progressing your activity slowly and consistently over time. The more consistent you can be the lower your risk of injury.!
A word from Dr. Zac:
I can literally feel, taste, and see (pollen has turned my black car to yellow) Spring! This means more outdoor activity, movement, and recreational endeavors. This means more injuries…..
Unfortunately there is a direct correlation between activity and injury. I mean, think about it! If you sit on the couch all day long and eat sugar excessively then the likelihood of you sustaining an orthopedic injury is minimal. You are not moving or challenging your body so you will not get hurt. Instead you will get heart disease, diabetes…..but I digress!
When you are moving your body you WILL sustain some injuries. We work with a lot of people on injury prevention but really there will still be some degree of small nagging injuries. How can we manage this? Well, through the load principle described above. We must be aware that our bodies must adapt to movement before overloading.
Let’s put this into practice.
When you go hiking, start small. Aim to perform 50% distance of the maximal distance you hiked last Spring. Then build on that by no more than 10% each week.
This is a principle called the 10% rule. It was originally designed for runners, but I have seen success throughout multiple sporting events. If you allow your body to progress in duration of exercise, distance of running/walking, intensity of weights, then you will be 90% less likely to sustain an overuse injury…
Think about it!!! 90% less likely….put this into your movement practice this Spring and lets get out there and enjoy this beautiful time of year!