Went too hard out the gate?


Whether you are an avid gym goer, weekend warrior, or have set a goal to get into shape. The new year period is full of potential – one common problem is that we often go too hard out the gate.

Strength training Plantar fasciitis

When we start, motivation is high, so we get going – all in! Instead of attending the gym 2-3 x week we go everyday. Instead of starting running by building up slowly and interrupting it with periods of walking we go flat chat like we’re trying break a PB we set in our prime! 

The problem with early enthusiasm is that we so often end up giving up when we meet some resistance or get injured from over load.


So here’s a few key points to consider to avoid the early enthusiasm trap:

1.Establish your priorities and set realistic goals 

Knowing what you want to do and why it’s important to you is key in sustainably achieving your goal. It’s worth considering developing some habit goals rather than purely achievement goals. This helps you develop a lifestyle/routine that works for you rather than achieving a short term goal and falling off the wagon again.

If you’re unsure of how to do this, check out our recent blog post on goal setting

2. Increase intensity (how hard you’re working) and volume (how much you’re doing) by 10% each week 

The 10% rule is well known in the running community. Where runners are encouraged to increase their running mileage by about 10 % each week. This stems from research which suggests that increases of greater than 30% are associated with higher risks for injury.

Although 10% sounds quite conservative over the span of 12 months, it allows room for a healthy amount of progress to be made. This rule does not have to be exclusive to just runners, and can apply to resistance training when considering total volume of weight lifted in a week.

3. Ensuring you get adequate rest and recovery – a good night’s sleep

Getting into good recovery habits and prioritizing sleep is key to setting a good platform when pursuing new goals or beginning a new year with training. Aiming for 8 hours of sleep can ensure we keep our stress levels low, allowing for optimal and efficient performance. 

Poor sleep alone can increase your risk of injury. One study found students who slept less than 8 hours/night had a 30% higher risk of injury! So makes sure your prioritise your rest.

You can read more about sleep in our blog here

4. Have a positive mindset and “avoid all or nothing” thinking

Sometimes thing just don’t go your way, making it seem hard to get into a rhythm. ( a week of rain halts your running volume for a week, or a busy night at the gym where none of the equipment is available). A negative mood is a stress producer and this can cause a cascade of negativity.

We can find ourselves slipping into “all or nothing” thinking: “I couldn’t do my usual session so the whole week is out now!” In these instances, it’s important to keep a positive mindset, find an alternative option to get things done and accept that these obstacles are just part of the journey. Do what you can and remember each day is new – pick up where you were and just crack on!

Move well!

By Prash Varatharajah and Tim Cathers

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