F. I. T. Study Sheet
The F.I.T. principle can be used to help you create a fitness program. Your fitness program can be designed to maintain or improve your cardiovascular, muscular strength, muscular endurance, and/or flexibility fitness. Each of these health-related fitness components has its own unique F.I.T. principle.
F = frequency - this is how often you should do an exercise to maintain or improve fitness
I = intensity - this is how hard you should exercise to maintain or improve fitness
T = time - this is how long you should exercise to maintain or improve fitness
Cardiovascular is defined as fitness related to the heart and blood vessels.
F - Minimum of 3x/week. Minimum is for beginners and those who just want to maintain their fitness
- Maximum of 6x/week. As fitness improves, the number of days per week you can do cardiovascular exercise can increase. If you want to decrease body fat or increase cardiovascular fitness, you should exercise more times per week. You should not exercise every day. Your body needs rest and working out every day increases the chance of injury.
I - Intensity should be measured by checking your heart rate. Your heart rate should be in the "Target Heart Rate Zone". This is approximately 150 - 180 beats per minute or 25 - 30 beats per 10 seconds for a teenager. This is the level that you burn fat as a fuel very easily. If you want to improve your cardiovascular condition, especially for athletics, then you will need to increase your intensity toward the top of the range. If you want to burn more body fat, or if you are just starting a fitness program, then stay at the lower end of the "Target Zone"
T - This is how long you should exercise for each session. Aerobic exercise requires at least 20 minutes per session. This is good for beginners and those who want to maintain their fitness. Exercise for a longer time if you want to improve your fitness.
Muscular Strength F.I.T.
Muscular Strength is defined a your ability to apply a maximal force against a resistance, such as a weight.
F - Every other day/ 3 times per week is best if you want to improve. One or two times per week may be enough if you want to maintain your current level.
I - To develop strength, you must lift with high intensity, attempting to lift 60 to 90% of your maximal weights.
T - To develop strength, you will lift few repetitions, because you are lifting with high intensity. Usually less that 8 and often sets of 5 repetitions or less are used.
Muscular Endurance F.I.T.
Muscular Endurance is defined a your ability to repeat a muscle movement many times against a light resistance. An example is sit-ups.
F - Every other day/ 3 times per week is best if you want to improve. One or two times per week may be enough if you want to maintain your current level. However, muscular endurance exercises can be done almost daily because they are of lower intensity than strength-training exercises.
I - To develop endurance, you must exercise a muscle repeatedly at a low effort that allows you to do many repetitions. Usually this is about 30 to 50% of your maximal effort.
T - To develop endurance, you will lift many repetitions, because you are lifting with low intensity. From 12 up to 20 or more repetitions may be used to develop muscular endurance.
Flexibility is defined as your ability to move your joints through their entire range of motion. It requires muscles that can be stretched enough for this to happen.
F- Flexibility can be done daily, before or after exercise. In fact, the more you need to improve your flexibility, the more you should stretch. Flexibility usually follows some sort of muscle warm-up activities like biking, walking, or jogging and/or it is used at the end of an intense workout to help maintain flexibility. In general, more flexible people can maintain their flexibility by stretching less often, and less flexible people need to stretch more often to improve.
I - Stretching should be a slow and steady activity without bouncing or jerking movements. A stretch is often described as a steady tension in the muscle, but not pain.
T - To maintain flexibility, you should stretch for 10 to 30 seconds per stretch. To improve, you should stretch for 30 seconds or longer (maybe up to 5 minutes) per stretch. Muscle tissue responds best to slow, sustained stretching done frequently.