Consistently striving towards excellence and the desire to best your personal record score can serve as a strong source of motivation when it comes to training. However, there will be periods in your life when you feel more “bleh” than badass. Does this mean that progress comes to a halt as well? It doesn’t have to, which is where the FITT principle comes into play.
FITT is a great acronym that allows you to internalise the key aspects of your exercise regimen in order to, well, keep fit. The Frequency, Intensity, Time and Type of exercise that you do are four major contributors to the effectiveness of any training programme. Whenever you want to ramp up a workout but are unsure how, simply consider switching up one of the four factors of FITT.
Frequency – the number of training sessions in a week
Intensity – the level of effort exerted in each training session
Time – the duration of each training session
Type – the kind of training you do (e.g. strength, power, endurance, etc.)
A simple variation utilising the FITT concept would be to add repetitions or increase the load of your existing lifts. Or you could go by time – can you finish Workout A five minutes faster than you did the last time? You can manipulate each variable independently or you can dabble with a combination, as long as you do so conservatively as opposed to engaging in night-and-day changes.
Switching up the kind of workouts you typically engage in is something that many people tend to neglect. Bored of your typical hatha yoga class? Go a level higher or try workouts with a different pace such as hot yoga or Zumba. Even if your training is intentionally targeted, incorporating variety can allow you to address needs that you aren’t aware of or are being neglected by your current training regimen.
You don’t always have to go up or do more when it comes to FITT; a regression can be a gateway to progress. There are instances when plateaus arise due to the body being unable to recover and adapt sufficiently. Kicking things down a notch or two could give you the space to move up three steps or even four.
Remember: FITT works more as a guideline than an actual rule. Progress isn’t linear, so don’t be too worried if you don’t find yourself improving with every subsequent session. As long as the intent behind your training is there, you’ll make your way through the ranks in due time!