Before getting into female fitness, it is vital to set a goal and make a clear-cut plan towards achieving the goal. It is inappropriate to approach physical exercise haphazardly. Imagine someone who had never done 10 pushups a day, based on motivation from friends and articles read, decides to do 50 pushups that very day. Needless to say, that mission might turn suicidal. Factors such as the workload, intensity, recovery, diet, and duration must be carefully planned before jumping into fitness workouts. Otherwise, instead of building the body, training may be harmful to the body’s development. We must respect the fact that our body is not a mechanical gadget. Therefore, it is expedient to follow the principles that guarantee reaching female fitness goals while ensuring safety.
The fundamental principles of female fitness include:
- Steady and progressive workload
- Alternate between Workout Focus
- The specificity principle
- The rest and recovery principle
STEADY AND PROGRESSIVE WORKLOAD
This principle is also known as the principle of overload. It is frequently referred to as the most crucial concept in fitness. This principle indicates that the body will respond to changes in the workload it is subjected to. For example, if you start with 10 pushups daily, soon your body will develop the workload’s capacity to the extent that you will become more comfortable doing it. When the body has adapted well to handling the workload, you can slightly increase the workload. This change is not limited to the body muscles. In the case of a highly intense cardio workout, the lungs become larger and hold more air; also, there are physiological changes to the heart. The process needs to be steady and progressive. A significant hike in the workload may cause the body to have some adverse reactions, including or breakdown.
ALTERNATE BETWEEN WORKOUT FOCUS
The right way of preventing excessive workload is to alternate between workout focus. This principle is conventionally referred to as Frequency, Intensity, Time, and Type (FITT). For a consistent and effective female fitness program, it is good to adopt the principles of overload and FITT simultaneously. FITT enables adequate recovery of overloaded body parts while working the others; efficiently monitors cardio activities and strength-focused training. FITT is necessary for making a workout plan for people recovering from a stroke.
When making a fitness plan, the FITT plan for each workout must be clearly determined.
Frequency – this is the number of times you undertake workouts in a weak. It is essential to determine the number of time necessary for carrying out an exercise to meet the goal without disproportionately overloading the body.
Health and female fitness researchers and trainers have developed a frequency plan that serves as a general rule. It must be noted that each person must be observant of how the body responds to workouts.
- Cardiovascular: The trainee should aim for cardio sessions not more than three per week. But this can be extended to about six sessions a week if your goal is to reduce your weight.
- Strength and Bodybuilding: These exercises can be as frequent as four times a week. You may as well lift some weights to increase strength and body balance. If your goal is not to participate in a bodybuilding competition, you may limit weight lifting to the light bars.
- Time out: some people who self-train may regard days of rest as laziness. As a matter of fact, it is on the contrary. You must schedule day-offs for the stressed tissues to recover after workouts.
Intensity – This describes how difficult each training session will be; the amount of effort it requires to have successfully completed the task. It is good not to start with very challenging activities to prevent injury. Instead, you can take it a step at a time, from very light to very challenging sets of activities, from supremely comfortable workouts to the difficult ones.
When strength is the focus, you can start with very light and comfortable weights and gradually progress to the heavier ones. You can start with completing very few repetitions at first then go higher. Do few sets or a single set, then to multiple sets.
Cardio intensity measures the heart work rate in beats per minute (bpm). Based on your age and fitness level, the maximum heart rate (MRH) calculated as 220 – your age will be multiplied by 0.5 and 0.85 to get your target heart rate zone. In this zone, your heart functions optimally.
Time – How long each workout session lasts. It is essential to be consistent at training. Increase your training duration only when the body has mustered enough endurance to keep at with the new time set. Usually, each training session should last for about 30 minutes (light to moderate intensity) and 15 minutes for high intensity. A total of about 150 minutes or 75 minutes per week is ideal for female fitness: age, health, weight, and the type of exercise can increase or decrease session duration. While 30 minutes running would achieve a session goal, cycling may require much more time to reach the goal.
Type – the kind of workout to do. Broadly there are two types of class – cardio and strength/bodybuilding
Cardio workouts aim at improving the cardiovascular system (blood supply and respiration). Includes activities such as running, cycling, swimming.
Strength workouts focus on energizing and toughening the muscles, causing muscular hypertrophy. It usually involves lifting loads; working against gravity. Examples include situps, pushups, weight lifting.
There are different types of exercises for achieving various goals in health and female fitness. This principle teaches that you should focus on the workouts that help achieve your goals. For example, a race athlete might do more bodyweight workouts while a bodybuilder will do more weightlifting exercises. Both workouts are for building strength and balance. In another vein, someone interested in weight loss will focus on taking a healthier diet to lose more calories than the intake. Another preparing for a bodybuilding competition will focus on intense weight lifting, a cyclist on speed. Your goal determines your choice of exercise, both cardio and strength.