How to safely increasing your training loads when returning from injury



The graph above is a great visual representation of how to increase training loads when you’re coming back from an injury. The first bar to the left is week one rehab, (the week before would be zero training load). The last bar towards the far right is when you return to play. As perfectly linear as the graph is your rehab might not look 100% like this but the idea of the trend line and progressivley overloading is what is important. The big take way is the subtle increases in load from week to week building towards the loads that you’re going to have to tolerate when you’re playing your sport. This progression models is a reflection of your total training load which will include your strength program and your conditioning/sport specific training. The diffent training loads (strength vs conditioning) don’t necessarily go up together, depending on the phase and goals of the rehab you may have more focus on one vs the other.


Too much, too soon 

Rapidly jumping up your training loads in an effort to try and get back quicker form injury, what most likely will happen is you’ll get re-injured. If your clever enough you’ll learn from your mistake and take your time to re-load properly, otherwise you can get caught in a viscious cycle of reoccuring injuries. The graph below is a great representation of this, it depicts how small (10%) increases in load reduce your risk of injury while large (>10%) increases in load elevates your risk of injury.


Get some help

Understandably you may not completely grasp the concepts in the graphs hence why you should seek the help of a good Physiotherapist (Physio) and Strength and Conditioning Coach (S&C). A good team can help you develop a plan with the correct training loads in mind. They can also help you set targets and goals so you know when your making progress and if your on track to return to play on time. Physio’s and S&C can also help you adjust the program when needed, good programs are written in pencil not pen and if you need to change something it’s good to have someone that knows what their doing


What you need to know:

  • Seek help from professionals
  • Make a plan
  • Make gradual progress
  • Manage your loads
  • Take your time