The FITT Principle

The FITT Principle:

(F)requency – How often are you exercising?

(I)ntensity – What effort are you putting in? 50%? 85%?

(T)ime – How long was the workout for?

(T)ype – aka “mode” – What style of fitness / exercise were you doing?

This is the basis in improving your exercise program and avoiding a plateau in your workouts. Alter one of the FITT Principle elements and you’ll be on your way to new gains!

Lets elaborate…

To elaborate each one…

  1. Changing the frequency of your workout is simple. If you’re currently exercising 2 days per week, add a 3rd day!
  2. The intensity of your workout should vary per exercise. If we are discussing strength training, focus on the percentages of effort on your 1 rep max OR use your rate of perceived exertion (RPE). This will allow you to gauge your effort / intensity level. Cardiovascular effort can be found with a heart rate check or the speed per mile (if measurable).
  3. Changing the time of your workout is pretty straight forward. Say you’re consistently running for 20 minutes, try adding an additional 5 minutes. This can be done every 2 weeks and before you know it, you’ll be up to 60 minutes or more! Typically, the standard is to add no more than 5% per week. Adding time to your strength training plan is a fun challenge referred to as “TUT”, or, time-under-tension. Basically if you’re average 15 reps takes 15 seconds to complete, try slowing the rep down to 1/2 of the speed making the same 15 reps take 30 seconds. Now, the muscle is being engaged for twice the time and completely changes the individual exercise itself. You’ll quickly come to learn that your normal weight ranges feel much heavier.
  4. Moving to a new type of exercise (or workout style) is what most people think of when altering their strength training workout. If you’ve been doing flat bench press for 12 weeks, try adding incline DB chest press. This is changing the type of exercise completely while still focusing on the same muscle group. As for cardiovascular exercise, change the type is as simple as moving from running to rowing or cycling to elliptical. We suggest changing your cardiovascular exercise frequently. This insures that you’re not overusing the same muscle groups at high-rep ranges. Running a few miles can equate to 10,000 steps (reps) while moving to cycling can reduce how much the calves are used in comparison. Not changing the type, or mode of exercise can lead to overuse injuries.
woman deadlifting in Akron Ohio

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