How to prevent injury? Part 2 (Suitable Training Intensity and Appropriate Resting Periods)
How to prevent injury?
Part 2 (Suitable Training Intensity and Appropriate Resting Periods)
The answer of this simple question is fundamental to every athlete, coach and fitness trainer alike. It mostly lies in the sport’s specific needs or the athlete/trainee’s goals. However, there are several essential needs common to anyone who wants to improve sport or fitness performance and stay away from injury:
Suitable training intensity (how hard and how much),
Appropriate resting periods,
Body and movement alignments and mechanics (closely related to ROM) and
Specific Range Of Motion (ROM)
On this article I will focus on the first 2, Suitable Training Intensity and Appropriate Resting Periods. As I have addressed Specific Range Of Motion (ROM) in How to prevent injury? Part 1 (ROM)
I will leave Nutrition and Body and Movement Alignments and Mechanics for different articles.
What is Training Intensity?
Exercise intensity refers to how hard your body is working during physical activity. Your health needs, including your biological age and fitness goals, as well as your current level of fitness, will determine your ideal exercise intensity. Typically, exercise intensity is described as low, moderate, or vigorous.
As you can see, there are many factors that dictate what it is the right intensity for you. As many of these variables are complex and unique to each individual, the best way to prescribe the right intensity for you is by performing a comprehensive fitness assessment.
However, there are a few tips that will help you to choose the right training intensity and prevent injury:
Get professional advice. If you are beginning to exercise or cannot break through a fitness plateau (not improving), you are an athlete attempting competition or simply you want to make the most of your workouts, it is highly recommended to seek professional help. An experience trainer can assess your fitness levels, and customise your exercise routine to your unique fitness level, goals and health needs. This is no doubt the safest, most efficient and effective way of training.
Leave your ego behind and be realistic. Do not choose the training intensity you would like to have, choose the one that meets your own fitness levels and current reality.
Master the exercise before upscaling. Make sure your technique and ROM (Range of Motion) is 10/10 (or at least 9/10) before increasing intensity.
Increase intensity gradually.
What is the Best Resting Period Between Workout Sessions?
This is also a complex question as it also depends in many factors: Your fitness levels, training intensity, biological age, daily sleeping hours, nutritional habits and for most your training modality and the fitness component/s you are training for. Please note that muscle endurance, strength and hypertrophy (muscle mass) have completely different training and resting requirements.
Again, best way to determine your ideal resting period to obtain max gains and prevent injury is to look for professional advice.
Providing you are training for general health, thereafter training all fitness components weekly, it could be suggested to workout at high intensity 2 to 3 times weekly, 1 to 2 times at moderate intensity and rest for 3 to 4 days weekly. This is only a general advice and does not contemplate your unique training requirements.
The Bottom Line
There are not set rules to follow while choosing the right training intensity and resting periods. Having clear goals, being realistic with your fitness levels and understanding the training requirements of the fitness component/s you are seeking to improve are key factors that will prevent possible injury and earn results.
Tomás Agustin Würst, Fitness Trainer, Yoga Teacher and Manager Director at Workout Australia. Have a question? firstname.lastname@example.org