The FITT principle is a very basic and common principle in the strength and conditioning industry and is a fundamental rule in training and writing gym programs. To be able to write basic as well as advanced training programs your strength and conditioning coach must understand the FITT principle.

The FITT principle stands for:
– Frequency
– Intensity
– Time
– Type

The FITT principle doesn’t just apply to weight training, but also to stretching, recovery, cardio, circuits and pretty much any type of training.

Frequency refers to how many days a week your client does a particular training session. Are they going to do 3 days of weight training and 3 days of cardio? Take into consideration recovery ratios, and training specifications etc to figure out how many times a week is a session being done.

Intensity is an interesting one, because in the end it’s up to your client to determine how much they would like to push themselves.

Although intensity could also include maximal lifts such as 3 repetitions or a 500m sprint on the rower. A good training tool to use for measuring cardio intensity is a Heart rate monitor, this way you have no way of cheating.

Time refers to how long each session is. How long is the circuit they are doing? How long are they doing cardio for? How long do they hold each stretch? How long is a break in between sets? How long will they be in the gym? Is it part of their schedule?

What type of training are they going to be doing? Strength training or strength endurance, maximal training or just a recovery session. In regards to cardio, are they doing interval, fartlek or fat burner exercise?

These are all the questions you must ask yourself when writing a program.

As you can see there are a lot of factors that need to be considered when writing a strength and conditioning program. The more advanced the trainer the more advanced the program planning becomes.

To be a good trainer your program writer must take Strength Training for Everyday Athletes into account not just your clients needs but what they want out of a certain training regime. For example if I have only 30 minutes in the gym I would not be able to complete a power lifters weight training program because they require 3 minutes or more recovery between sets.

So when writing a program take into consideration the FITT principle and your client will be very happy with what you have written.

Author: Matt D’Aquino

Matt is the founder of Beyond Grappling fitness and conditioning. He is a 2008 Beijing Judo Olympian as well as nationally ranked freestyle wrestler and National Champion in Brazilian Jujitsu. Matt has a passion for teaching all aspects of grappling especially the fitness and conditioning aspect. Recently he has been traveling the world aiming to qualify for his second Olympic Games.


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