written by runnergirl training
The FITT Principle is a way to change up a work program’s variables. It is an acronym for Frequency Intensity Time Type. When building a workout program these are the factors that are changed to keep the body challenged and to reach fitness goals. Click below to read on!
Frequency is how often you exercise. If you workout 3 times a week after your body adapts to that routine you may increase that to 4 times a week. Or perhaps you are nearing a race or competition and you decrease from 6 to 4 workouts per week.
Intensity refers to the amount of intensity of the workouts. If you are lifting weights perhaps you alternate hard & easy during the week. If you are playing sports and have a game on Thursdays you have high intensity workouts early in the week and low intensity workouts before & after Thursdays.
Time is the amount of time spent exercising. If you are training for a half marathon you may do a long run of 2 hours on Sundays. When not training for a half marathon your Sunday run might be 4 miles. If your goal is to lose weight you may slowly increase your 4 days a week workouts from 20 minutes to 45 minutes.
Type means the kind of workout (running, walking, cycling, swimming, elliptical, weight lifting, etc). If your goal is to decrease your body fat you can set up your training week to include both cardio & strength training workouts. If you have a walking program and you want to add variety perhaps you add in tennis one day a week.
Why is the FITT Principle important? Why not simply do the same workouts for 10 years? There are several key reasons why incorporating the FITT principle is important.
Avoiding injuries is a significant reason to use the FITT principle to vary your workout routine. Stress fractures, trauma to ligaments joints and tendons as well as muscle strains are all common from overuse.
Another reason to switch up your workout regimen is the body becomes efficient at repeated activities and burns less calories than when those activities were new. That translates into needing to surprise your body by not doing the same ‘ol each day. For example, if running 4 miles then make those intervals instead of steady paced miles. A simple change is enough to cause the body to readapt to the new challenge.
The FITT principle is pretty easy to use to periodically switch up your workout routine. You can change just one component at a time. Small changes are good. Enjoy the new results you will have as you pursue your fitness goals!