Posted by: JT | August 11, 2010

The FITT Princple

The FITT principle is an effective guide on how to organise an aerobic or anaerobic training program. This type of cardio respiratory or resistance program offers guidelines to ensure maximum safety and effectiveness for an individual, allowing reckonable improvements in order to enhance performance levels.

The acronym ‘FITT’ refers to different components recognised in a training program in order to increase fitness levels. Frequency is the first component, and it refers to the number of exercise sessions per week that are performed. It has been suggested that an optimal guide for aerobic training is around 3-5 sessions per week to allow your body’s cardio respiratory fitness to increase, as well as maintaining optimal fat levels, and 3-4 times a week for resistance training.

Intensity refers to the amount of effort you put into your training session. For aerobic exercise, the standard heart rate should be around 60-85% of your maximum heart rate, and for anaerobic exercise, the suggested is a percentage of your best pace – for example, in running, 85% of your best 400m pace. In resistance training, this principle is used effectively by either (for example, lifting weights) increasing the repetitions or mass in order to increase strength.

The Type indicates the type or kind of exercise you should choose to achieve the appropriate training response. In cardio respiratory training, the best type of exercise is that of which is continuous in nature to make use of the large muscle groups. Hence, exercises such as running, walking, cycling and dancing are good. Resistance training obviously would include a type of resistance exercise, not only weights but could incorporate exercises involving resistance bands, or perhaps circuit training that only involves bodyweight exercises.

Lastly, the Time relates to the duration of the exercise. For cardio respiratory training, it is recommended that individuals with lower fitness levels should aim for approximately 20-30 minutes of exercise, whilst those with high fitness levels can aim for 45-60 minutes, but beyond 60 minutes, the benefits are generally minimal. Similarly, resistance training should last 45-60 minutes maximum, however, a high intensity work out may only last 20-30 minutes.

The FITT principle is therefore an effective guide in creating a sports-specific fitness program as it includes important elements in order to increase fitness levels, developing higher performance. However, along with these four guidelines, rest is also important to allow the body to rest and adapt to the program.

Tanya 11PDHPE


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