Use FITT Principles For An Exceptional Workout

Whether you’re a beginner at working out or an established pro, there are four fitness principles considered the foundation of exercise that are applicable to just about anyone. Using these principles can help you develop a workout routine to meet your goals and to gain the most from your exercise program.

The principles are called FITT which stand for Frequency, Intensity, Type, and Time of exercise.  These principles provide guidance to getting in shape with better results. 

Sometimes our workouts need an extra shot of adrenaline to see more progress.  If we always do the same exercise routine day after day, it’s better than doing nothing but it can also lead to our bodies adapting to the same workout causing the following:

·         Boredom.  This can set it fairly quickly it you do the same workout all the time.  This can be a real motivation killer keeping you from exercising.

·         Injuries from overuse.  Never switching up your exercise routine can put a strain on the same muscles constantly being used leading to long-terminjuries.

·         Your body adapts becoming more efficient.  This may sound good but when the exercises start to become too easy, fewer calories are being burned than when you first started.

·         Weight loss plateaus.  Initially, starting an exercise programignites weight loss but as you become smaller, you will be burning fewer calories losing less weight.

Here is how FITT can be utilized to benefit you the most in meeting your exercise goals:

·         Frequency

How often you exercise makes a difference.  You want to train hard enough to see results but at the same time, allow time for healing and repair of your body to acclimate to the extra stress demanded fromit. 

·         For cardio (aka aerobic conditioning)  workouts – To see positive health outcomes, a minimum of three days a week but preferably up to five days or more each week of moderate exercise must be done for improvements to occur.  This would include aiding in weight loss. 

·         For strength training workouts – 2-3 days each week with a day’s rest between sessions.   

·         Intensity 

Intensity refers to the amount of effort you put into your exercise routine.  This will have to be determined on an individual basis finding the right balance between training hard enough to overload the body but without causing undue strain or harm to your body.

·         For cardio workouts – This is all about getting the heart pumping faster than normal giving it a great workout. To measure intensity in aerobic training, determining your target heart rate zone is a must as this is a function of both your fitness level and age.  Typically, target heart rate zone is between 50 percent and 85 percent of your maximum heart rate, the number your heart should beat in a minute without dangerously overexerting yourself.

·         For strength training workouts – Determining intensity for resistance training has three components – the number of different types of lifts you do, the amount of weight you lift, and the number of reps and set during the session.   

·         Time

The length of time you are exercising. 

·         For cardio workouts – The aim here is to work out between 30-60 minutes.  Beyond this time length, the associated benefits are minimal.  Besides, you run the risk of injury that can set you back for a while or permanently.  Also the greater the intensity, the shorter the workout can be. 

·         For strength training workouts – Depending upon the intensity, strength training can be as little as 20-30 minutes.  If you ‘re doing a total body workout, it could take up to an hour. 

·         Type 

The type of physical activity you choose to do.

·         For cardio workouts – Think aerobic for cardio workouts so any type of activity where your heart rate is elevated above normal when resting will count – jogging, walking, cycling, swimming, dancing, sports, etc.

·         For strength training workout – There are many different types of resistance methods a person can use – dumbbells, bands, machines, our own bodies, etc.  The greater the resistance, the more likely we are to build muscle mass and strength.

Using the FITT principles is a terrific method ofhelpingyou get and stay fit efficiently and
more effectively.