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Too much too soon is often the cause of overuse injury. You should start slow when beginning a new exercise program or sport, or trying to achieve a higher level of proficiency or intensity in a given sport or exercise program. To reach your peak performance, slowly build the intensity of your workouts - an increase of about 10% each week is usually recommended as a safe program to prepare your body for the full-blown version of an activity and to prevent injury. As exercise becomes more intense, be aware that some soreness is normal as your muscles adapt to the increasing workload, but you should never put yourself in a position or at an intensity level that causes musculoskeletal pain.