Most of you know that muscles change if loaded. However you may not be aware that all of your musculoskeletal tissues are mechanoreceptive. Bone, ligament, tendon, cartilage and connective tissue all adapt to the regular loads that are applied to them. This could be your training load but is also the everyday loads that we are subject to, body mass x gravity combined being the main one.

It is particularly important to know this because:

1. When starting training for the first time, getting back into training after a break or making changes to your training programme as it’s not just muscles that need to alter to adapt to the new or different loading. Changes in tendon and cartilage in particular take longer to manifest than muscle and this should be factored in before progressing the new loading. If you increase or change your training load to rapidly, your muscles may be capable of dealing with the load but your other structures may not. A classic example is a stress fracture in a runner who has increased their mileage too quickly. The bone hasn’t been able to adjust given the time frame and reaches failure point after repetitive loading. This article in Runner’s World references research that suggests that ‘overload’ injuries should really be termed ‘training load error injuries’:

2. When rehabilitating from injury. The term ‘strengthening’ is often used when rehabilitating from injury. However, this does not refer only to muscle but to all musculoskeletal tissues. Even if the damaged tissue is muscle, it is likely that the rest of the area/limb has suffered from disuse and all tissues need to strengthen under progressive load.

Train and rehab smarter with Super Fit. Personal training and rehabilitation (physiotherapy) in Limehouse and London.  Personal training case management for major physical challenges a speciality:  On-line training also available. For more details, contact me via or on