The ‘FITT’ Formula Is the Easiest Way To Find the Right Exercise for Your Body

Photo: Stocksy/Rob and Julia Campbell
Even though exercise is an excellent way to reduce anxiety and depression, if you're anxious and/or depressed that can keep you from exercising. And the past year has not been particularly kind to our central nervous systems, so it makes sense that many of us are struggling to find the motivation to work out, even though we know it would be beneficial. The FITT formula can help by getting your to define your fitness goals and come up with a specific plan—and it's pretty easy to put together.

"To make the most of every workout and ensure you reach your goals, incorporate the principles of FITT into your routine to keep you sharp, inspired, and blasting past plateaus," says Juliet Kaska, trainer and Vionic Innovation Lab Member. Breaking down the components of the FITT formula makes it easy to incorporate them into your workout routine.

Experts In This Article

What is the FITT formula?

  • Frequency: How often are you working out?
  • Intensity: How hard are you working out?
  • Time: How long are you working out?
  • Type: What is your workout?

What are the benefits of the FITT formula?

If you have been struggling with motivation to work out, the components of this method may help you find get into a routine. "This method is great for anyone who is looking to get moving at a beginner or intermediate level," Kaska says. "It’s a great way to organize workouts so that goals become easier to realize, which is the best motivation to keep going."

It can also be beneficial for those who are already active but want to kick it up a bit. "Following these principles gives structure and a game plan to help keep you on track and also plan where you’re going," she says.

How do you use the FITT formula?

"This is where the personal accountability component needs to kick in for true success," says Kaska. The first step is defining your goal—the more specific the better because you can be more specific with your plan.

"If, for instance, the goal is shaving time off your two-mile’ll need to spend more of your time running or doing cardio than if your goal is to increase muscle mass," says Kaska. "All components of fitness (strength, flexibility, cardiovascular) are important, of course, but the frequency of each will change depending on your goal."

Now that you have your goal, it's time to go to the formula. Start at F (frequency) and work your way through each letter. So, first determine how often you are able to work out. "If the answer is six days a week, your intensity may not need to be as high as if you were only able to work out three days a week," Kaska says. The type of workout you do will influence how you measure intensity. For instance, you may use a fitness tracker when you are doing cardio to monitor your heart rate. This also factors into the time component, as a 10-minute jump rope workout can give you the same benefits as running for 30 minutes.

"As with any fitness plan, leave some room for flexibility," Kaska says. "Life happens, and don’t be discouraged if your plan doesn’t always, well, go according to plan. You are worth investing in."

Holding yourself accountable will not only help you reach your fitness goals faster, but it’ll also serve as a reminder of self-love. "When we keep promises to ourselves, it puts our self-esteem into practice, and makes our confidence soar," says Kaska.

Start your fitness journey with foundational movement by learning the right way to do a plank:

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