10% – Progressive Overload


Amazing how the 10% rule is mocked or praised, but I think the point of it is about incremental loading. Realistically 10% is not perfect, but I think it illustrates a point. Add volume and intensity slowly and progressively. So many times injuries come from other factors, such as surface and mechanics, but loading should not be the primary fault of injury. Prescribing sequence and progression isn’t a simple formula, but it’s amazing how a high school athlete will be expected to jump into a program that elites don’t even attempt. Too much theory and too little history and notes. Often an athlete will produce stellar times in High School and get murdered there freshman year. The first response is to blame the HS program for not preparing him or her for college. The reality is many coaches, including myself, advocated for a less dense competition schedule to keep them from burning out. Often the Dual Meet twice a week and the invitational on Saturday won and the athletes suffered. This schedule did get some performances but the training background was week. Fast forward to the fall of their freshman year, a two week prep time from HS is replaced with a 2 month deep training period. Some do great and some do poorly. I like to error in less and add more gradually. Once injured it’s hard to do much about it. If a HS girl ran 11.8 on nothing, doing a little may get her to go 11.6. Sometimes the classic outline we see in powerpoints works great for super stars but the average athlete simply can handle it.

Carl Valle

Carl Valle

Track & Field Coach
Carl is an expert coach who has produced champions in swimming, track and numerous other sports. He is one of the foremost experts in the fields of nutrition and restoration.
Carl Valle

Latest posts by Carl Valle (see all)