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FIIT Principle for injury prevention

overuse and overload injuries and pain

As discussed in the first episode of the Health IQ series, overtraining can lead to some common and not so common overuse/ overload injuries.

  • Tendon pain +/- bursitis
  • Bio-mechanical pain
  • Motor control issues
  • Injury prevention (training loads/ FIIT Principle)
  • Early injury management

This week the focus will be on injury prevention and the utilisation of the FIIT principle.

Successful training must involve overload, however must also avoid the combination of excessive load plus inadequate recovery. This is where the balance of exercise and rest become crucial to prevent ‘OverTraining Syndrome’ aka OTS.

To assist in preventing injuries related to overtraining, including various musculoskeletal injuries, the FIIT Principle can be applied.  The FIIT Principle is a great way to monitor an exercise program and can be thought of as a set of rules. These rules must be adhered to, to benefit from any form of fitness training program.


Frequency: refers to the frequency of exercise undertaken or how often you exercise.

The frequency of exercise is a fine balance between providing enough stress so that the body will adapt to and allowing enough time for adaptation and healing to occur.

Intensity: refers to the intensity or effort that will be utilised during an exercise or workout.

Like frequency, intensity must also reach a balance between finding enough intensity to overload the body ( so it can adapt) but not so much that is causes overtraining.

Time: refers to how long you spend exercising. It is influenced upon various factors such as your fitness level, goals, the type of training (cardio or resistance) and the amount of time you have to exercise.

Type: refers to the type of exercise that will be undertaken

Cardio respiratory training: the most beneficial type of training to improve the cardiovascular system should be continuous and utilise large muscle groups (swimming, running, cycling etc).

Resistance training: Is a great form of training to place stress upon the neuromuscular system which can be achieved by weights, resistance bands or bodyweight exercises.

So how will adhering to these four rules assist in injury prevention?

Frequency: After exercise, an individuals body goes through a process of building and repair. It’s during this process that the benefits of training are achieved. However, if you are training daily, your body does not have the chance to gain those training benefits are it does not receive adequate time to repair and grow. Therefore, we begin to feel tired or continuously sore which are the perfect conditions for injury to present itself to us!

So, to prevent injury, remember that it is ok to have a day off or two from training each week. Not only will you feel better, but your body will thankyou as you are giving it longer to repair and heal.

Intensity, Time and Type: Try something new! Don’t let yourself get stuck in a exercise rut, have some variety in your exercise program. Furthermore, with regards to intensity and time, vary your effort. Consider having some long, easy continuous sessions (long walks or light, repetitive weights), whilst also including short, high intensity sessions.

Finally, to lower your chance of injury even more, do a variety of exercises. This will target a difference range of muscle groups your body in not accustomed too, making you stronger all over and more versatile.

Remember, if you feel a niggling injury coming along, take a break and schedule an appointment with our friendly team at The Joint. Click on the link below!


stretchingon bridge




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