The acronym FITT stands for frequency, intensity, time, and type. It describes the various factors that determine what kind of impact physical activity will have on your body. These four factors do not stand alone but are closely connected and interdependent. Let’s delve a little deeper into each component and how it relates to your fitness regimen.
Regardless of your experience level, FITT helps ensure that your body reaps the full benefits of regular workouts. By the same token, it protects you from eventual exercise burnout. But what exactly is the FITT formula?
If you think of a calendar week as your workout period, then your frequency would be the number of times you exercise per week. Frequency should always be determined by the type of activity you’re engaging in. In the case of strength and resistance training, for example, it’s recommended that you allow at least one day for recovery between sessions. Therefore, your frequency of exercise per week will be lower.
The degree of intensity is based on the amount of work you have to put in. When you’re doing cardio, such as jogging, intensity is determined by the speed and distance of your running. When you’re strength training, it’s the number of weight lifting reps you end up completing.
The intensity with which you approach your workout also depends on your current level of fitness and on how often you hit the gym. It’s wise to do high-intensity training fewer times a week, allowing longer rest periods than you would with low-intensity training.
The length of time you spend exercising is directly impacted by the other three components of the FITT model. Cardio routines, for instance, are almost always longer than weight lifting routines. Similarly, high-intensity workouts should be shorter than low-intensity workouts. And lastly, you can exercise more frequently by doing shorter sessions, or vice versa.
The type of physical activity you choose lies at the heart of the FITT principle. All other aspects of the model revolve around it. Generally speaking, cardio and resistance training are the two most common types of exercise.
The former includes running, swimming, bike riding, and hiking. Meanwhile, the latter includes weight lifting, pull-ups, push-ups, and sit-ups. Depending on your desired goals and outcome, you can mix and match the above, as needed.