It’s not secret that January is the time to set new goals, make new resolutions and time to get fit and ready for the New Year. The eagerness that corresponds with the start of the year can be great for some, but for others it can be disastrous and reek havoc in the injury department.

We have spoken about this before in our too much too soon blog, but it’s something that continually needs to be revisited.

How much is too much? 

Indicating by DOMS

There is some information out there with regards to what DOMS is or delayed onset muscle soreness and how long this should last. This is a great indicator for whether you have done enough or whether you could have done more. Usually DOM’s is the greatest at 24 hours but can last for up to 72 hours.

Generally
NO DOMS = could have probably worked a little hard
DOMS that last 24-48 hours = the exercise intensity is just about right
DOMS > 24-48 hours = you have probably gone a little too hard and need to step it back

Use this as a guide only to see where you sit on the recovery guide for your exercise. Its a great way to keep a bit of a track of when you’ve been going to hard or too easily during a session!

Indicating by gradual progression

Although there is no real evidence based guide for the amount of increase that should occur within your exercise routine, the general rule is 10%. This is a 10% increase from your chronic training load. If you haven’t been training, then your chronic training load is nothing, if you have been training then it is a 10% increase in the intensity, duration or load from what you normally do.

REST

Rest And Relax

Although this is the time to get out there and to start getting those endorphin’s pumping, it is also important to allow the body to rest and recover from the exercise. The resting time is the way that the body adapts to the exercise and load that it is placed under and, if you can believe it, helps with improvements. So for those that like to rest all the time – this is not permission to do nothing, it is the chance to be able to give yourself permission to have a rest.

Want more about rest – check out our blog Rest days – don’t feel guilty taking them.

The biggest thing with starting any new exercise regime is listening to your body! If you have a niggle that does last longer then the normal DOMS and keeps coming back – best option – go and get it checked out. The earlier that you get things seen to, the less time that you will spend out of your exercise routine and the better that your body starts to respond to things.

We hope that everyone goes out there and trains smarter not harder in their New Year!