Week 2 - Creating Your Athletic Heat Map

During the early stages of any injury rehab, taking a little extra time to lay a foundation is critical to the long-term success of the program.

This week's activities

The exercises for week two are a continuation of week one. Be sure to do it daily and pay close attention to the details.

One of the most common questiosn we get in week 2 is:

When should I increase the weight on the knee iso holds?
As a general rule of thumb, be more conservative on this than you think. The magic in the iso’s isn’t about how heavy you can go, but about how well you can manage the hold and doing them consistently throughout the week. We recommend starting at 5kg (feel free to go lighter if this cannot be maintained for the full 30 seconds) and maybe increase by 1kg every second week.

Some athletes get great results and fully return to sport while never changing from the 5kg starting point.

The daily routine is still to be done every day. It now contains:

  • Foam rolling, 10 rolls each position
  • Knee isometrics, four sets of 30 seconds each leg
  • Keep logging your pain levels before and after the days program
  • Complete at least two versions of the heat mapping activity, one for your current activity and sport levels and another that reflects the full sporting loads you wish to be able to get back to.

Creating Your Athletic Heat Map

Welcome to Week 2.

During the early stages of any injury rehab, taking a little extra time to lay a foundation is critical to the long-term success of the program.

For this reason, there are no new exercises this week. Spend this week foam rolling and doing the knee isometrics every day, repeating the planned training from week one. This will have huge benefits in the later, more advanced stages of the program.

While you continue with these exercises, take an opportunity to learn how to track your training load. This is a crucial skill in remaining pain-free after the seven week program, something we have written about here.

Week 2 Instructions & Resources

Create A Training Load Heat Map

A heat map shows you how much sport you are doing and its distribution over the week.

We have built a heat mapping spreadsheet specifically for junior athletes that you can download below:

Enter your weekly sporting commitments into the spreadsheet and fill in the number of minutes the session lasts and a rating of perceived exertion (RPE)*.

*RPE is an individual’s measurement of how hard a training session was. 1/10 would be an easy walk, 10/10 being your hardest sporting session ever. Some sessions may have a mix of hard and easy components, but most athletes have a pretty clear idea of an overall score. Get them to use that score.

We recommend athletes create a copy of the spreadsheet and complete a new heat map every school term in order to track ongoing loading and determine if there is enough rest incorporated into the week. There is no magic number for weekly training load, as we all handle training stress differently, but keep an eye out for large spikes or changes, and aim to have at least one day (ideally two days) per week that have light training volumes.

That's it for Week 2

Continue foam rolling routine, performing the knee isometric holds every day and filling in your workbook. Take a few minutes to create an athletic heat map to get an idea of how much sport you are currently doing and which days have the highest loads.