The acronym FITT outlines the key components of an effective exercise program.
F, I, T, T, stand for Frequency, Intensity, Time, Type… and how they relate to Injury Prevention
The FITT formula is a great way of monitoring your exercise program.
- Frequency …frequency of exercise undertaken or how often you exercise.
- Intensity …intensity of exercise undertaken or how hard you exercise.
- Time …refers to the time you spend exercising or how long you exercise for.
- Type … type of exercise undertaken or what kind of exercise you do.
What is the Mainstream Recommendation?
The FITT Principle is commonly used in the weight loss industry and as part of strength/ weight training recommendations. The standard recommendation are as follows:
- Frequency – 5 to 6 times per week
- Intensity – Moderate
- Time – Anywhere from 15 to 60 minutes
- Type – Any form of exercise
Frequency: You need to know the ‘point’ of your exercise and what you want to achieve from it before starting. Adjust the number of times you exercise per week to reflect your current fitness level, the time you realistically have available, your other commitments like family and work, and the goals you’ve set for yourself.
Intensity: is probably the hardest factor to monitor. The best way to gauge the intensity of your exercise is to monitor your heart rate. You can purchase exercise heart rate monitors easily at good sports stores and online.
If you don’t want to spend the money on a heart rate monitor, simply count your heart rate over a 15 second period.
All you need is a wrist watch that has a “seconds” display. Feel for your heart beat by either placing your hand over your heart or by feeling for your pulse in your neck or on your wrist. Count the beats over a 15 second period and then multiply by 4. This will give you your exercise heart rate in beats per minute.
Time: time dedicated to exercise usually depends on the type of exercise undertaken.
For example, it’s recommended that to improve cardio-vascular fitness you’ll need at least 20 to 30 minutes of non stop exercise.
For weight loss, more time is required; at least 40 minutes of moderate weight bearing exercise.
However, when talking about the time required for muscular strength improvements, time is often measured as a number of “sets” and “reps.” A typical recommendation would be 3 sets of 8 reps.