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With gyms closed and access to fitness equipment at a premium, for a lot of people, their exercise routine has become stagnant and they are no longer seeing any progress.  May as well just quit right?

No!

By making some adjustments using the F.I.T.T.E principle, you can jump start your fitness routine right back into high gear.

So what exactly is this F.I.T.T.E. principle?

F – Frequency

I – Intensity

T – Tempo

T – Type

E – Enjoyment

Let’s look closer at each segment of that principle.

Frequency

This is going to depend on several factors: Goals, time, fitness level for just a few.  If you’re workout consists of once a week, perhaps it’s time for 2 to 3 times per week.  Maybe increasing workouts from once a day to twice a day where time permits, or how about increasing the number of workouts aimed at a specific muscle group.  It all starts with goals.

Cardio – The WHO recommends 150 min per week of moderate aerobic activity or at least 75 min of vigorous intensity aerobic activity per week.  If burning calories for weight loss is a goal, increasing the weekly amount of cardio may be the option to choose.

Strength – With strength workouts, frequency will depend a lot on what type of workout you’re doing.  If it’s split between anterior chain and posterior chain exercises, or upper body lower body, you may benefit from increasing the weekly frequency of each.

Intensity

Just as the word implies, this is how hard you work during exercise. 

For cardio: For cardio, you will usually monitor intensity by checking your pulse for your heart rate.  If able, it’s a good idea to have a mixture of low, medium, and high-intensity cardio exercises so you stimulate different energy systems and avoid over-training.  However, depending on your particular fitness level, you may opt to remain at a low intensity and adjust another element of the F.I.T.T.E. principle.  Work closely with your fitness professional to ensure you’re at the correct intensity.

For strength training: Monitoring the intensity of strength training involves a different set of parameters. Your intensity is made up of the exercises you do, the amount of weight you lift, and the number of reps and sets you do and the intensity can change based on your goals.  Intensity can be changed thru the number of repetitions or sets (How many cycles of a specific number of repetitions), or even through the tempo of the particular exercise.

Time

The next element of the FITTE principle is time and that is how long you exercise during each session. There isn’t one set rule for how long you should exercise and it will typically depend on your fitness level, the type of workout you’re doing and how long you have set aside for exercise.

Commit to Keep Fit

Type

The type of exercise you do is the next part of the F.I.T.T.E. principle and an easy one to manipulate to avoid overuse injuries or weight loss plateaus.

For cardio exercise: Cardio is easy to change, since any activity that gets your heart rate up counts. Running, walking, cycling, dancing, and the elliptical trainer are some of the wide variety of activities you can choose. Having more than one go-to cardio activity is the best way to reduce boredom, and your body needs variability along with progressive overload.

For strength training: Strength training workouts can also offer variety. They include any exercise where you’re using some type of resistance (bands, dumbbells, machines, etc.) to work your muscles. Bodyweight exercises can also be considered a form of strength training. You can easily change the type of strength workouts you do, from total body training to adding things like supersets, peripheral heart action or pyramid training to liven things up.

Enjoyment

The last part of the F.I.T.T.E. principle is enjoyment.  It’s important to enjoy the exercises you choose so that you get an all-around positive experience which will make you more effective and willing to keep pressing forward with your workouts.  And once you start seeing results, your enjoyment will skyrocket!                

You don’t have to make drastic changes to your current workout regimen.  Even changing one of the 5 elements can make a huge difference in your workout and how your body responds to the exercises.  Change things regularly to keep your body healthy, your mind engaged and reduce your chance for injury due to repetitive movement patterns.

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