2. The FITT Principle

Regardless of whether you’re training for a marathon, getting ready for intramural sports, or trying to lose weight, understanding the FITT principle will make your workouts more effective. The FITT principle is an acronym which stands for:

  • Frequency
  • Intensity
  • Time
  • Type


Frequency refers to how often you exercise. Frequency is also dependent upon the type of exercise you’re doing. For example, if you are targeting cardiorespiratory endurance at a moderate-intensity the frequency is 3-5 days, whereas vigorous intensity is 3 days. However, if you’re targeting muscular strength 2-3 times a week is recommended. Just remember to have a least one day off per week.


Intensity refers to how hard you exercise.Intensity can be classified as either moderate or vigorous. There are two ways you can measure intensity: (a) perceived level of exertion and (b) heart rate. Perceived level of exertion is how you feel while exercising, so it is a subjective measure.

Click on the following link by the CDC to identify your:
Level of Intensity

Heart rate provides a more objective measure, and specifically you want to calculate your target heart rate. Click on the following link by the American Council on Exercise to determine your: Target Heart Rate


Time is the duration of the exercise.How long you exercise will differ depending on your level of fitness and the type of workout you’re doing. With regards to intensity, minimum recommendations for moderate exercises is 30 minutes 5 days a week and vigorous exercise is 20 minutes 3 days a week.


Type refers to the specific kind of exercise you do to achieve the goals you have set.There are four major types of exercise you should know: aerobic, anaerobic, strength, and flexibility.

  • Aerobic exercise- is a type of moderate intensity physical activity an individual can sustain for an extended period of time. Aerobic means in the presence of oxygen. For example, jogging, swimming, or cycling.
  • Anaerobic exercise- is performed at such a high intensity, it is only done in short quick bursts. Anaerobic means without oxygen. For example, sprinting, power lifting, or a HITT workout.
  • Strength exercises- are designed to improve both muscular strength and endurance. For example, weight training, resistance bands, and body weight exercises.
  • Flexibility exercises- improve the range of motion of any given joint or series of joints. For example, stretching, yoga, and Pilates.


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Ch. 5 - Fitness Copyright © by UGA PEDB Program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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