Friday, June 16, 2017

The F.I.T.T. Principle

I was watching a man in the gym for several months (not in a stalking kind of way).  I nicknamed him, quietly in my head, Mr. Magoo. He looks a lot like the cartoon character but is not nearly as endearing. He bit my head off one morning for some infraction I now cannot remember. I may have taken up too much space on the stretching mat. 

This not-so-adorable gentleman appears at the gym every morning. I found the cartoon Magoo irksome. This doppelganger is no different. in the beginning, I tried to be friendly. I smiled and said hello but he just pushed past me and went about his daily routine (and routine it is).

This brings me to the subject at hand.

Some routines are great! Some routines are bad.  The routine that gets you up and gets you to the gym every day is good. The routine that has you doing the exact same thing every time you go to the gym is bad.

Mr. Magoo shows up every day at 8:00 AM and does the exact same thing every single day.  The same exercise, the same weights, and the same cardio.  Not only is this BORING, he is making no progress, and doing little to maintain his current fitness level.

I admire the fact the he shows up every day. It also drives me crazy that he does the same thing and does it wrong.

To help overcome the grind of doing the same thing repeatedly, you can apply the F.I.T.T. principle.

F- Frequency.
ACSM guidelines for cardio respiratory exercise is 30-60 minutes of moderate intensity exercise 5 days per week or 20- 60 minutes of vigorous exercise 3 days per week.

Strength training should be done 2-3 days per week with 48 hours rest in between strength sessions. Two to four sets of each exercise, 8-12 repetitions to improve strength and 15- 20 repetitions to increase endurance.

Flexibility should be done 3-4 days per week. Each stretch should be held 10-60 seconds.
muscles are best stretch when they are warm. NEVER stretch a cold muscle.

You cannot go hard every day.  Some days need to be easy, and some days need to be intense with high intensity intervals.  Use your RPE (rate of perceived exertion). Some days you will be at a 4 or 5. On higher intensity days, you will be at 9 or 10. Schedule the different intensity days into your regular routine.

Unless you are training for a marathon or other road race, running everyday can get monotonous. Try adding cycling or swimming to break up your routine.  Add a group fitness class a great trainer (hint).

Can you run every day for an hour? Of course you can. I don’t know why you would want to but you could.  Vary your time. Shorter and more intense, longer and easier.

Here is some tips to maximize your workout time. Vary the amount workout times to alter your routine even more. Set aside time on the weekend for a long ride with friends. Have NO time in the morning before work for an hour workout? Then add a 30-min high intensity interval training session to get your metabolism jump started.

Use the fit FITT principle to keep your workouts interesting  & fun. Most of all to make sure you are doing something every day. Keep moving your results the direction want to see.

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