The FITT abbreviation stands for frequency, intensity, time and type. These four factors are best thought of as a set of guidelines that you can follow to achieve the best results from your workouts. Often these factors are used in relation to low to moderate exercise training levels and can help particularly with cardio and resistance training.
Whatever level you are at with your fitness, applying the FITT factors into your mindset and workout regime will really help you to reap those benefits, but it will also help you from running yourself into the ground feeling exhausted, and as if you don’t want to continue on your fitness journey.
Some of you may be sitting there, scratching your head, wondering what all of this is about. If so, let’s dive into what each factor means, and how all four are connected.
Often, when we start out on our fitness journey, we are ambitious, aiming to work out once a day or at least most days of the week. Sometimes this can leave us burned out and giving up way too early on before we even see the benefits and results of our workouts. Be realistic when you set the frequency of your workouts in your mind, whether its three times a week, to five, to six. But in the case of strength and resistance, bear in mind, that you should be allowing yourself a day in between workout days so that you can recover.
We recommend that at the beginning of your journey, you aim for two to three workouts a week, and build it up to three to four times if you can.
To really see those results, try and keep your intensity at a level between moderate to vigorous, if you are a healthy and fit individual to start with. If you feel you do not fall into that category, start of lighter, then build yourself up to these intensity levels.
If you are a runner, the degree of the intensity will depend entiry on your speed and the distance that you will be running, as opposed to a weightlifter whose intensity will depend upon the number of reps completed.
It can be unhealthy and wholly unbeneficial for your body to be hitting the gym at high frequency levels while expecting to carry out high intensity workouts every time. Allow yourself longer resting times/days between high intensity workouts.
Note that during those high intensity workouts, or any workout, it is important to stay hydrated. Keep drinking that water!
How long do you find you are able to work out for before you want to give up? Is there a certain time of the day that works best for you?
The amount of time that you put into your workouts should directly relate to the previous factors and also as to the type of workout you are doing (see next). If you are doing long distanced running, you should be aiming to be doing this for longer periods of time than you would do weightlifting, at a higher intensity than you would if you were walking, but perhaps at a less frequent rate, unless you are in training for a specific upcoming event.
If the workout you are doing is very highly intense such as weightlifting, then we recommend that you keep this shorter than say a long walk or light jog. Or perhaps, if you plan on doing shorter sessions each time, then you can perhaps still reap the benefits by doing these shorter sessions, more frequently.
Make sure that you listen to your body though, not just the timer. Your body will let you know when it’s ready to end the workout, not the clock.
Now this here, is the most important factor out of all of the FITT principles. This is because, everything comes down to what TYPE of exercise you are performing. Most often, cardio and resistance training are the two most common exercise types that people participate in.
While cardio involves running, to swimming, to hiking, to dancing, resistance can include weightlifting, to push-ups, to sit-ups among others. It is recommended that to truly see the results you desire, that you mix and match your types of exercises, and mix and match with it your frequency, intensity and times.
BENEFITS OF FITT
Whether you are looking to get stronger, lose weight, or just improve your overall fitness, using the FITT factors in your workout regimes, will help you to push yourself, but only enough to see progress without harming your body or causing yourself injury.
Learning how to exercise correctly, can create a fun and positive workout environment. Exercise releases endorphins that can actually act as a pain relief and alleviate symptoms of PMS or mental health conditions.
FITT allows you to customize your workout plan according to your body’s needs. We can guarantee that if you adopt these principles, along with a healthy and balanced diet, you will see the short and long-term benefits from your FIIT managed workouts.