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Key Fitness Training Tips To Help You Reach Your Goals

By Expert Author: Lisa Kowen

There are some basic rules to follow when it comes to training. This includes everyone from the elite athlete to the beginner. These key areas can be broken down to the age old F.I.N.D Theory of;

Frequency, Intensity, Nature and Duration


Firstly consistency is the key component to your success. You need to maintain the basics of training four to five times a week for at least forty to sixty minutes each time. If you are really pressed for time, a quality session of thirty minutes is good enough. I do believe that training more than five days a week can lead to fatigue and overtraining. Over training needs to be monitored carefully as people often do not see the benefit of rest.

10 signs of overtraining

Agitation, moodiness, irritability or lack of concentration

Excessive fatigue and malaise

Increases perceived effort during normal workouts

Chronic or nagging muscle aches or joint pain

More frequent illness and upper respiratory infections

Insomnia or restless sleep

Loss of appetite

Chronically elevated heart rate at rest and during exercise

Menstrual cycle disturbances in women


If you are going to train make it worthwhile. All exercise sessions need to be at a moderate or vigorous intensity. There is of course always the recovery session but that should be after an event or maximum output session.

Your intensity can be measured by two main factors, your Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) and your heart rate. I am not a huge fan of heart rate scales that are nicely painted on the gym bikes. If you are going to use heart rate buy yourself a heart rate monitor your own heart rate. You will soon learn what your optimal zone is. Remember exercise needs to push you out of your comfort zone to be beneficial.


What are you doing in your training sessions? Find a goal and work backwards from there. If your goal is weight loss, variety is the key. Weight loss training requires constant change so that your body does not become too efficient at one activity. The variety will keep pushing you out of your comfort zone and allowing an overall fitness and weight loss.

If your goal is an event, you need to do the opposite to weight loss training. You need to get your body used to the activity so that your comfort zone gets to a higher level of that particular activity. This will enable you to push harder and faster on event day. Always include some cross training, this will add to your overall ability to deal with the stress that the activity places on your body.


This was covered briefly in Frequency. Longer does not mean better, optimal training requires a fine balance between quality and quantity. A thirty minute maximum session can be as beneficial as an hour session. This is where having a heart rate monitor helps, on the days that you do shorter sessions you need to push harder. This can be quantified by your heart rate.

Follow these basic point and the results should all fall into place go make it happen!

Lisa Kowen has 20 years experience in the fitness industry in South Africa She is director at The F.I.T. Principles Academy, American Council on Exercise (ACE) representative in South Africa, co-owner and developer of fitnessconnect.You can find useful fitness training tips here.

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