October 18th, 2012

Health N' Sports: Fitness Program Training

Staff Report

Health N' Sports: Fitness Program Training
photo from Louisville Orthopaedic Clinic

Louisville Orthopaedic Clinic shares insight on Fitness Training

As a part of the Louisville Orthopaedic Clinic, the Sports Rehab Team physical therapists are knowledgeable and trained in the latest advancements and techniques available in sports rehabilitation.

 On a weekly basis, the Health N’ Sports Update will give information on prevention, recovery, and include special offers, as well as general health tips that would be beneficial to all. If there is a specific topic you’d like to know or hear more about, email future suggestions to editor@catholicsportsnet.com.

Fitness Program Training


FITT (Frequency, Intensity, Time, and Type)

Elite level athletes over the world have the privilege of having personal trainers who can map out their programs.  As a former professional BMX racer, I was lucky to have one the best coaches to help my training programs, in order for me to compete at the elite level of racing into my 40’s. 

FITT is a term we use to describe and monitor a fitness program.  First on the list is; frequency.  Frequency is a fine line of putting the body under stress and allowing enough rest time.  Some of my patients feel that they need to train every single day in order to get stronger.  Wrong!  You have to allow your body time to recover and adapt.  It’s a very fine line to balance.

Intensity is the type of effort you put into your training.  For example, most folks in the gym are doing 3 sets of 10 reps.  That’s fine for the average “Joe,” however as a competitive athlete, you have to realize that agility, explosive power and strength requires you to lift the weights, run or cycle at different intensity levels.  During the winter season of my sport, I spent my time building strength.  I wasn’t necessarily concerned with how fast I moved the weight, just so that I could at least do 6-8 reps, with good body mechanics.  As the racing season neared, I would modify my lifting so I focused on how fast I could move weight, increasing my power. 

Type is referred to cardiovascular or resistance training.  Again, finding balance is the key here, because you don’t want to fall into an over-trained muscle group.  For example, I do recovery rides after a hard sprint workout. 

Time is the last component of the FITT principle.  Time is the duration of the activity you are doing.  As a BMX racer, my race lasts anywhere from 30-35 seconds.  Although I might be at the track training for 3-4 hours, I’m not riding at a continuous 3 hour period.  I normally will do full laps with 3 minute rest periods.  Even then, I break down components of the lap; first straights, first and second straights, second and third, etc. 

Changing the components of the FITT principle is a useful tool to help an athlete prepare for their sport and be ready for competition.  Every 3-4 weeks you want to review your program, because the body will adapt and plateau.

-Tommy Board, PTA-

Louisville Orthopaedic Clinic & Sports Rehab Center

Main Office: 502-897-1794

Physical Therapy: 502-897-1790

Website: louortho.com

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