Frequency, Intensity, Time and Type: The essence of a good program
Now what is this? Well, these are basic programming principles that we want to account for when developing or starting an exercise program. These principles will help you create a good exercise program when combined with other factors.
Why? Great question
We want to know the FITT principles and factor them into our program design to aid our recovery, to enable effective workouts and to keep us accountable to our goals!
Let’s break down each letter in our FITT principle to give you a better understanding!
Have you had lots on through your week so you only completed 1 out of your 4 scheduled sessions? Chances are your frequency wasn’t enough.
Research recommends a frequency of 2-3x per week of resistance training to reap the benefits, for things such as low to moderate intensity the frequency is even more! With the recommended daily intakes being around 30 minutes at least 5x per week. Want to find out more about the recommendations? See my blog HERE.
The notion I want you to take away from this paragraph is that moving regularly is ideal, I would rather see someone complete smaller sessions but daily rather than 1-2 massive sessions across the week. We are meant to move, so let’s make it a habit and do it frequently!
Have you ever gone into the gym and your session went for 2-3 hours because you got caught talking with friends? chances are your intensity was quite low.
OR maybe you’ve experienced the opposite, where you have flogged yourself trying to go to failure on every exercise, only to find yourself the next day feeling battered and bruised leading to you skipping sessions from being too sore or fatigued.
Intensity is a crucial component to any of our training programs. Think of it like baking a cake, we can follow the recipe and make an awesome cake or we can neglect key ingredients using too much or too little of certain ones leading to a cake, just not a very good one. Our bodies are no different we can still get results with our intensity being too low or too high, however we can also get some ill effects such as under and over training. Basically, becoming inefficient with our training!
Have you ever skipped the gym due to poor time?
Or maybe rocked up to the gym but not have a plan for what type of exercise you will perform on the day?
The amount of time we allocate to a session and the amount of time we actually have to complete the session can be the difference between success and failure within the context of our program.
If you only have 3 hours to train per week that you can commit 100% too and you allocate yourself a 6-day training program each consisting of 1-hour sessions, how successful do you think you will be?
People often go awry by biting off more than they can chew, instead I recommend we instead aim for the minimum effective dosage and build from there as tolerated! This way we will build adherence and make progress towards our end goal.
The type of exercise should align with our goals. If we have a goal of running a marathon, should we spend all our time boxing and performing aqua aerobics to achieve our goal? No.
Choosing the right type of exercise is essential based on the outcome we are setting for ourselves. Be specific with your choice, exercise selection and make sure it aligns with your goals!
As you can see the FITT principles can guide us towards training smart, without wasting our time. We can alter these variables in a million ways to get our desired goal.
I mentioned earlier ‘other factors’ needing to be combined with a good exercise program. These extra factors include your adherence to the program and the goal setting / action plan you created to help you achieve your goals!
Not sure where to start or struggling with adherence? Let us help you!