3. Start Slowly
As the proverb goes, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” If your idea of “hell” is a workout-ending injury, don’t be surprised if your well-intentioned workout program helps get you there.
It’s a common mistake for people to dive into new workout programs with misplaced gusto. They work out too long, too hard, and too many times per week. They follow the same program they did 20 years ago, assuming their now-older body is up to the task. Then, they fail to rest and recover appropriately, wearing down their bodies and opening themselves up to extreme soreness and injuries.
There’s absolutely no reason you should end up injured, forced you to derail your workout program. You just have to be willing to ease your way into a program.
“Look at your whole week of training, ” Elwood says. “Break down the sets and reps and weights you intend to lift. Then, use this formula to calculate your total weekly volume:
Total Sets x Total Reps x Weight Used for Each Exercise = Volume
If you increase this amount by more than 10 percent per week, you run the risk of injury.”
If you’re feeling especially tired or sore after a workout day, give yourself extra time to rest and recover. Instead of hitting the gym hard, opt for a day of hiking, foam rolling, or active stretching. You’ll maintain your new habit by doing something active, but you won’t exacerbate your fatigue or soreness.