You are on page 1of 14

FITT PRINCIPLE

the most basic law of physical activity. States that the only way to produce fitness and health benefits through physical activity is to require your body to do more than its normally does.Overload The principle of overload. .

They can easily be remembered using the mnemonic. . FITT.Overload: the FITT principle There are four ways to achieve overload in an exercise programme. Type ± the kind of training you do. Frequency ± how often you train. Time (or duration) ± how long you train for. Intensity ± how hard you train.

you should do 30 minutes of moderate exercise 5 times a week. . you will need to train much more frequently. Elite rowers often train twice a day! Training is best done regularly. However. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence suggests that to maintain health. if you wish to become an intermediate or elite competitor in any sport. rather than at random intervals.FITT: frequency How often you should train depends on what you wish to achieve.

. the heart cannot supply oxygen to the muscles as fast as the cells are using it. Anaerobic respiration ± means respiration µwithout oxygen¶. steady rate. If the exercise is fast or intense and done in short bursts. the heart can keep the muscles fully supplied with oxygen. When exercise is not too fast and at a constant.FITT: intensity ± energy systems Aerobic respiration ± means respiration µwith oxygen¶.

FITT: intensity Intensity refers to how hard you work during your training sessions. A good way to measure intensity is to monitor a performer¶s heart rate. the faster your heart beats. The harder you work. Heart rate can indicate which energy system is being used. .

FITT: intensity ± maximum heart rate (MHR) In order to train the correct energy system. . Your maximum heart rate is the fastest that your heart can beat. you need to calculate your maximum heart rate (MHR). It depends on your age and can be estimated using the following formula: maximum heart rate = 220 ± age Use this formula to calculate the maximum heart rate of: a) b) a 16 year old a 24 year old 204 196 c) d) a 53 year old a 67 year old 167 153 Heart rate is measured in beats per minute.

FITT: intensity ± maximum heart rate (MHR) Maximum heart rates can be shown on a graph. .

they should train at between 80% and 90% of their maximum. An unfit performer looking to improve their aerobic fitness would train at 60% of their maximum heart rate. The precise percentage level you train at will be based upon your current level of fitness. they should train at between 60% and 80% of their maximum. If a performer wishes to train their anaerobic system.FITT: intensity ± training zones If a performer wishes to train their aerobic system. A fit performer looking to improve their aerobic fitness would train at more like 80% of their maximum heart rate. .

60% to 80% of MHR ± Training between these levels will improve a performer¶s stamina (or aerobic fitness) levels. When there is too much lactic acid. the performer must stop. As you approach 90% of the performer¶s maximum heart rate.FITT: intensity ± training zones 80% to 90% of MHR ± Training in the anaerobic zone increases strength and power. This is because anaerobic exercise produces lactic acid. training time will have to get shorter and it will take more time for the performer to recover. Lactic acid is not produced during aerobic exercise. . Performers can train aerobically for much longer periods. which builds up in the muscles.

you should aim to spend at least 20 minutes per session in the target zone. The length of session required to achieve improvements depends on how hard a performer is training. time will vary greatly depending on the activity the performer is training for. However. . on the other hand. high intensity bursts with lengthy rests in-between. If they are training for a marathon. To achieve improvements in aerobic fitness. they may need to spend several hours at a time in the aerobic zone. will need to spend relatively little time actually exercising ± their sessions are likely to consist of many short. A sprinter.FITT: time Intensity will affect the time (or duration) of each training session.

Overload can be achieved by changing the type of exercise ± for example. you could lift the same weight but in a different way and using different muscles. You could even include activities like gardening. walking the dog or just dancing round your kitchen! However. then the type of exercise you do does not matter very much ± it just needs to raises your pulse into the aerobic zone for about 20 minutes. . if you are training for a specific event or competition.FITT: type If your aim is simple health related fitness. then the type of exercise you do is very important.

FITT .