Riverside Fitness Centre Forum

Time and Type – the FITT Theory – Part 3
February 16, 2008, 4:42 pm
Filed under: Basics

In the two previous installments we looked at the Frequency and Intensity elements of the FITT theory, the two final elements are Time and Type.

Time: It is recommended that we dedicate an hour each day to doing physical activity. The great thing is that it doesn’t have to be a continuous hour; it can be broken up into smaller sessions through out the day. For example, you could take the dog for a brisk fifteen minute walk in the morning, do twenty minutes on the treadmill at the gym during your lunch hour and then a half hour of curling in the evening and you would have easily made up your hour of daily activity.  Or if you wanted you could drop by Riverside Fitness at a time when one of your favorite TV programs was on.  You could spend an hour on the cardio equipment while watching TV, breaking up your work out by doing 20 minutes on the bike, 20 on the treadmill and 20 on the cross-trainer, causing the hour to simply fly by.

Type:  The type of exercises that you choose should match your goals.  If you simply want to maintain or slightly improve your all over fitness, then any activity would be great from walking to down hill skiing.  However, if you have more specific goals you will need to engage in more specific activities.  If you want to bulk up you weight train using very low reps, if you want to get lean, you should train with higher reps. If you want to improve your cardiovascular health or lose weight you should do prolonged cardio sessions at a specific intensity (heart rate).  If you want to improve your core or your balance, then you should incorporate an exercise ball into your workouts.

As always, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask the knowledgeable staff at Riverside Fitness.


Intensity – Part 2
February 16, 2008, 4:40 pm
Filed under: Basics

There are some people who continue to hit the gym year after year, and seem to make little or no progress towards achieving the body they desire.  Most times it is due to a lack of the second FITT element; Intensity.

Intensity  It is much like learning math; you wouldn’t expect to learn advanced calculus by simply adding 2 plus 2, over and over again for a year.  The same goes for the body, you can’t expect to develop a stellar physique if you simply keep lifting the same amount of weight for the same amount of sets over and over again. You have to push your body, providing it with a reasonable overload, so that it is stimulated to respond and improve.

When you weight train, you should be continually trying to increase the amount of weight that you can lift.  During the final set of an exercise you should completely exhaust the muscle so that you fall just short of being able to complete the full amount of repetitions.  If you can perform three full sets of twelve repetitions for an exercise, then most likely the weights you’re using are slightly too low.  The muscles are being exercised but they are not being stimulated to improve.  To correct this you simply have to use a slightly heavier weight the next week.

Your cardio workouts should also increase in intensity.  Each week you should be trying to improve upon the speed or the incline or the length of the session.  Though you may not be successful in making an increase every week, it should always be your goal.  To do this safely, you should only increase the length or speed of a workout by a maximum of 5% per week and you should always try to not exceed your target heart range. 

As always, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask the knowledgeable staff at Riverside Fitness.

Get Back to Basics – Part 1
February 15, 2008, 7:09 pm
Filed under: Basics

If you want to really make some big improvements this year then we should start by getting back to the basics.  The BCRPA (the certifying body for personal trainers in BC) recommends that the FITT formula should be the core of every exercise program.  The FITT formula is comprised of four basic training elements; Frequency (how often you train), Intensity (how hard you train), Time (how long you train) and Type (which sort of exercise you choose).We will look at each of these elements separately to ensure that we are properly applying them to our own work outs.


The first element is frequency; how often you make the time to exercise or get down to the gym.  A new study released by the National Academies’ Institute of Medicine recommends doubling the amount of physical activity previously advised – from a minimum of 30 minutes per day to 60 minutes per day.  Now that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to go the gym seven days a week, but it does mean that you should try to do some thing physically active everyday.  If it is your goal to make consistent gains in your physique or fitness then it is absolutely necessary that you adopt a consistent and frequent training schedule. 

“I just don’t have the time,” is the response many people give to this suggestion. Ultimately it comes down to priorities and since 80% of people claim that the two top priorities in their lives are family and health, it seems that we should all be able to find a little time to do something that will greatly enhance the quality and our enjoyment of our top priorities.

We will look at the other FITT elements in the following installments.  As always, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask the knowledgeable staff at Riverside Fitness