Jan 16 / Warren Lucas

FITT-VP Principle for Resistance Training

When structuring your resistance training programme, regardless of the type of resistance training approach (Muscular Endurance, Hypertrophy, Strength, Power), a few considerations need to be kept in mind, specifically the FITT-VP principle.

The FITT-VP principle includes the following (1):
• Frequency (how often is exercise done each week)
• Intensity (how hard is the exercise)
• Time (how long is the exercise duration)
• Type (what is the mode of exercise)
• Volume (what is the total amount of exercise)
• Progression (how is the program advanced)

Generally, the FITT-VP framework is present in all forms of exercise programming. For this introduction to FITT-VP, we will focus on resistance training (RT), which is also referred to as strength training. In summary, training each major muscle group should take place 2 to 3 days per week; it is recommended that 60% to 70% of one repetition max (1RM) should be utilized to develop strength for novice to intermediate exercisers, and more experienced exercisers should adopt 80% or greater of 1RM in their programming. Regarding the development of muscular endurance, it is recommended that 50% 1RM or lower loading is used for each major muscle group across various exercises (1).
There are many claims about various types of resistance training programmes (3). It is important to note that there is not one optimal combination of exercises, sets and repetitions to enhance adaptation in muscular fitness for all in the long-term. Programmes must be specific to the individual, their training objectives and training. For effective resistance training programme design, the following should be considered; (a) choice of exercise, (b) order of exercise, (c) resistance used, (d) training volume i.e. total number of sets and repetitions, (e) rest intervals between sets and exercises, (f) repetition velocity, and (g) training frequency. Adopting variety between one or more of these variables, an infinite amount of resistance training programmes can be designed by strength and conditioning coaches, personal trainers, sports scientists and biokineticists.
1. Bushman BA. Developing the P (for Progression) in a FITT-VP Exercise Prescription [Internet]. 2018. Available from: www.acsm-healthfitness.org
2. Brown LE. Strength training. Second Edition. National Strength & Conditioning Association (U.S.); 2007. 391 p.
3. ACSM. ACSM Resources for the Exercise Physiologist by American College of Sports Medicine. 2018.
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This information was taken from the first part of our "The Rundown on Resistance Training" course in research digest. Click the button below to head to the course page and sign up to research digest for only R90/month to learn more about protein.
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