This article looks at the FITT Principle and how it can help you to achieve your fitness goals, plus the FIIT guidelines that will enable you to tailor a personalized workout program.
In a world where lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, atherosclerosis, and cancer are ranked among the top 5 killer diseases, doing all we can to prevent these is of paramount importance. The best way to do this is to maintain a healthy weight and get regular exercise.
Making smart food choices can help you to burn calories and lose weight.
Some healthy foods to incorporate into your diet include protein sources such as fish, lean beef, or chicken breasts. Add “good” carbs as found in fruit and vegetables. Plus whole grains, and healthy fats, and you have a nutritious and healthy diet.
When it comes to working out, you need an effective plan. The best workout plan should address the following questions:
How often should I exercise? How hard should I exercise? For how long should I exercise? What kind of exercises will help me to reach my fitness goal?
Well, you will be happy to know that there is such a plan, and it goes by the name of the FITT Principle Training which includes a set of guidelines designed to help you maximize your workout routine and reap the benefits.
FITT Principle Training Video
What is the FITT Principle?
For an exercise plan to give you the most effective results fast, it should follow the FITT principle.
The abbreviation FITT stands for frequency, intensity, time, and type of workout. These are the four elements required to develop an efficient workout plan that will enable you to achieve your goals. We will look at each of these components below.
Frequency refers to how often or the number of times you should work out each week to get the best results. This will vary depending on your primary fitness goal.
If improving your general fitness and heart health is your aim, do three to five cardio sessions a week. Increase this to four or six sessions if you also want to lose weight.
To improve your strength and muscle tone, beginners should use light weights to exercise each body area – upper, middle, or lower – once or twice a week. As your strength and fitness improve, increase this to two or three times a week.
You can do short sessions targeting different areas on different days. This type of workout is called single muscle groups exercise. Examples include Sit-Ups, Leg Extensions, and Bicep Curls.
If preferred, you can do an entire body workout that targets different muscle groups in the one session. Known as a compound exercise, this type of workout burns more calories.
Many people favor it as it offers some exercise-free days each week. When working out this way, take a day’s break between workouts to allow your muscles to rest, recover, and build.
Intensity refers to the level of effort one puts into each workout. To get the best result from aerobic exercise, you should work at between 60% and 80% of your maximum or targeted heart rate. The closer to 80% you get, the higher the intensity will be, and the more calories you will burn.
If you are a woman, a quick and easy way to calculate your maximum heart rate is to subtract your age from the number 230. Men should subtract their age from 220. A device such as a heart rate monitor will help you to stay in the right zone as your exercise.
To read about a more accurate way to calculate maximum heart rate, click this link.
When strength training, the intensity is determined by how much weight you lift, how many reps you do, and how long you rest between sets.
Adult females can usually start with 3 to 5-pound weights, and adult males, 5 to 8 pounds. If this is too heavy, go lower.
Over time, women may want to work with weights of between 5 and 10 pounds. They may later go up to between 10 to 20 pounds, depending on how far they want to take things. Men can increase the weight they use to between 10 and 15 pounds, and later 16 to 30 pounds, if desired.
Time references the length of the workout.
Beginners focusing on cardiovascular workouts can start by doing between 15 minutes and 20 minutes, not including a Warm-Up and Cool-Down. Those who are already reasonably fit should aim for between 30 and 60 minutes.
When it comes to weight training, 30 minutes is a good starting point. Over time, this can be increased to between 45 and 60 minutes at most. This may involve doing 8 to 10 reps of each exercise before taking a break if you are a beginner, and up to 12 t0 15 reps if you are advanced level. Start with one set, and increase this to two or three sets as you progress.
Longer workouts do not necessarily equate to more significant fat loss or an increased calorie burn, because as your workout goes on, you will begin to tire, and the benefits will plateau. Working out when tired, or overstressing your muscles, can also result in an injury.
Type references the sort of workout you will be doing, be that cardiovascular or strength training. It also covers the specific exercises you choose to undertake.
While the benefits may overlap, the exercise you choose to focus on if you want to lower your body fat could be different to that you do when wanting to improve your general fitness, stamina, build muscle, or strengthen your heart.
The more varied your exercise routine, the less likely you will be to sustain an injury caused by overstressing a particular muscle or muscle group. A varied workout also lowers the incidence of boredom that can occur when doing the same workout repeatedly for a long time.
Final Thoughts on FITT Principle Training
Using the FIIT guidelines above, you can plan an exercise plan that will enable you to achieve your desired fitness goals.
To recap, FITT Principle Training offers a basic foundation for improving your shape and attaining optimum results. Apart from that, it allows you to change your workouts according to your current needs. As a result, you can continue to grow your fitness and avoid the common problems that many athletes encounter.
These include weight loss plateaus caused by burning fewer calories as your body becomes accustomed to your workout. Injury caused by overstressing a muscle or muscle group. And boredom which can make it challenging to stay motivated.
By continually making adjustments to how often you work out, how hard you work out, how long you work out and the type of workouts you do, your workouts will be fresh, and your fitness will progress.
Give FITT Principle Training a try! You won’t be disappointed!