Having a good understanding of the F.I.T.T. principle assists you with creating a workout plan that will be most effective for you to reach your fitness goals. F.I.T.T. stands for frequency, intensity, time, and type of exercise. These are the four elements you need to think about to create workouts that fit your goals and fitness level. Learn how the F.I.T.T. principle works.
The F.I.T.T principles can be used for all concepts of fitness.
This means the number of times, on a weekly basis, you perform cardiovascular exercise. To improve your cardiovascular fitness levels a minimum of three days a week is recommended. The American Council of Exercise Guidelines recommends 3 -5 days per week.
When beginning a programme for the first time a person should perform group exercise classes or exercises – for example brisk walking – at least every other day with two days in a row thrown in during the week.
For some people it may be of benefit to exercise every day and for some people doing two cardiovascular exercises a day may be of benefit.
Remember that a person should not try to overdo it to soon but progress slowly and efficiently.
Intensity level is a very important part of any exercise programme. Exercising at correct levels can make a big difference in the effectiveness of a programme. ‘Intensity’ can be defined as speed or workload of an activity. Many people, such as walkers, do not exercise at the correct intensity level for cardiovascular and fat burning enhancement.
On the other hand some people can actually exercise at too high an intensity level. Exercising at a high-intensity level will increase an individual’s heart rate. The guidelines for intensity levels from the American College of Sports Medicine are 60 -90 % of maximal heart rate. This range is approximately 50 to 85% of maximal oxygen consumption (functional capacity or VO2 max) and 50 – 85% of heart rate maximum reserve.
A person who is beginning a program should start at between 50 and 60% of their maximum oxygen consumption although some beginners need to start at levels of 40 – 50%. For fitter people, exercising at 75 – 85% is probably more appropriate. Overall for healthier adults it is good to be at 60 – 70%.
The key to all of this knowledge is understanding where you are as far in your cardiovascular fitness level is concerned and starting slowly, progressing as cardiovascular fitness levels increase. Starting a programme too fast is not good, but not doing enough is not good either. A comfortable balance which progresses to higher levels over time is recommended.
This refers to the duration of an exercise session or the length of time a person takes to complete an exercise. For many the duration of an exercise depends upon the intensity of an exercise. In general, the cardiovascular exercise should last a minimum of 20 minutes with the best results coming after a longer period of time.
A person can get good cardiovascular fitness and body fat burning utilisation at 20 – 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise. People who are just beginning a workout programme should start slowly and progress over time. A person who has rarely ever exercised should start at 10 -12 minutes including a 5-minute warm-up and increase this by about 2 minutes per week until they are above 20 minutes. The key is to spend some time doing some cardiovascular activity every day if possible.
Even just changing one of these elements can make a big difference in your workout and in how your body responds to exercise. It’s important to change things up on a regular basis to keep your body healthy and your mind engaged.
A trained personal trainer will be able to tailor make your programme for you so you can adhere to the FITT principle and get the most out of your workout.