Life’s Funny Little Lessons
Life forces us to live by some kind of rules, guidelines, principles, or be punished. In fitness, which leads to living a better life, so get on it, there too are these antecedent models.
Think about when you were starting your first day at a new school or at a new job. Did you immediately fit right in, know all of the ins and outs, how to behave in that particular setting or culture? Were you ‘that guy/that girl’ who accidentally sat in your TA’s or your bosses chair? Did you crack a joke that no one got left standing in an uncomfortable sweat? How about being the only one who didn’t know the organizational chain of command and said the wrong thing to the wrong person?
You knew that there were things to learn but you had no idea what they were. It is that lovely aspect of all things life like when you don’t even know what you don’t know.
Blah blah blah Melissa, get on with it…
Like I was saying, fitness can lead to a better life but there are some principles that should be followed to get you going on the right track. One of these, which goes a LONG way back, is the F.I.T.T. principle. This is a theory that states that your training program should be based on Frequency (how often), Intensity (how hard), Time (how long) and Type (modality) that provide certain outcomes. What this means is that your plan should meet certain guidelines within each of those words that will help lead you to your goal. There are also various stages beyond this.
While there have been advancements beyond the F.I.T.T. principle such as FITT-VP relating to exercise prescription which adds in volume and progression (1), I wanted to simplify the wonderfully complex and well-developed FITT-VP concept for you. For most general population people, I propose that getting F.I.T.T. is a waste of your time and getting F.I.T.T.E is a better approach for you.
Confession Time – I don’t really believe that even getting F.I.T.T. is a waste of time. Omg doing anything is pretty awesome but it got you in to read this I see and with that, I want you to understand that there is a lot more to this world of fitness and health if you want to stay in it for the long haul.
What the E???? (my play of what the F ;-D)
What I propose to you as someone hoping to ‘stay in the game’ for life, have a plan and be sure that the E is not only added to the principle but unless it is your job, it should be prioritized. The E stands for enjoyment and while yes, exercise and training do require some level of discomfort, you need to be sure to have things in there that you enjoy too. You need to have a plan that is based on some level of the principles listed. If you don’t, now that you know some of the rules, know that you would face a consequence similar-ish to what would happen if you went to kiss your ‘friend’ at the end of the night who said it wasn’t a date but you totally wanted it to be; the outcome would not be good 😉
- ACSM’s Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription (9th ed.). (2014). Wolters Kluwer.