Home > Uncategorized > The "Enjoyment Scale" and FITT Principle

The "Enjoyment Scale" and FITT Principle

The Enjoyment Scale

In the April issue of Triathlete magazine well known tri coach Matt Fitzgerald writes about his idea of an “Enjoyment Score”. This can be used to assess how you feel during and following the exercise session and can help determine if overtraining is occuring. He also states how you can average the scores (he uses 1, 2, and 3 with 1 not enjoyable, 2 equally unpleasant and enjoyable and 3 as, on average enjoyable) to allow you to track the weekly scores. So if the weekly avg is 2.4 this was, on average an enjoyable week. If the avg score is a 1.3 than perhaps you need a rest day or more sleep, etc.

While reading this it reminded me of how we used an “Enjoyment Scale” in our Cardiac Rehab program at Jeanes Hospital in Philadelphia ~20 years ago. In an attempt to find what exercise the patients enjoyed we would ask them, by showing them a 1-10 scale, how much they enjoyed the type of exercise they just completed to identify what they will most likely use when they completed the program.

The FITT Principle

This is used for prescribing exercise.
Frequency: Endurance Exercise (run, swim, bike, elliptical, etc) 3-6 days/week. More on the 6 end if weight loss is important, controlling blood sugar, or training for an ironman event. Use 3 days a week to increase heart health(the minimum needed) and maintain your fitness level during the offseason recovery phase.
Intensity: How difficult the exercise is. Heart Rate, Perception of Work (Perceived Exertion) and conversation test (can you hold a conversation–than it’s light to moderate)
Time: 20-60+ minutes. This time can be split, i.e. 30 min in am and 30 min in pm = 60 min. More time more calories expended. But mix up the time to reduce your chance for injury.
Type: Swim, Bike, Run, elliptical –for cardiovascular health and endurance events.

Notice the range of Time. One session can be 20 min and the next days session can be 40 min. On the 20 min day the intensity can be higher (higher HR and Perceived exertion) due to the low time and the 60 min session should be a lower intensity(lower HR and an easy feeling session) due to the longer time.

And the Type can vary. One session use the treadmill another session the elliptical. Notice that you may have different HR responses so use your perceived exertion with the HR.

A variety helps reduce the chance for injury.

Happy Training!

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