skip to main content
For New Patients
Healtheuniversity > English > Cardiac College > Get Active > Resistance Training > F.I.T.T. for Resistance Training

F.I.T.T. for Resistance Training

The FITT principle used to design your aerobic training program is also used to design your resistance training program.

FITT stands for:

Remember these resistance training terms:


  • 1 performance of an exercise
  • Example: doing 1 bicep curl


  • Specific number of repetitions
  • Example: doing 1 set of 10 bicep curls


  • A series of exercises
  • Example: doing 1 set of 10 repetitions for 10 exercises

Important Tips for Your Resistance Training Routine

  • Warm up before doing the exercises. Walk slowly for 5 minutes before doing resistance training.
  • Use the proper technique to do the exercises.
  • Do not hold your breath.
  • Do not let your RPE go over 16.
  • Take at least a 30 second rest between sets.
  • Cool down and stretch after the session.
  • Take at least 1 day to recover between resistance training days.

Muscle Soreness and Stiffness

Soreness and stiffness in your muscles is normal when you start resistance training. It may happen several hours after you do the exercises. It can last up to 3 - 4 days.

Stop all resistance training if the soreness or stiffness lasts longer than 3 -4 days. This may be a sign that you have lifted too much weight or used incorrect technique. Talk to your doctor or cardiovascular prevention and rehabilitation team before doing more.​


Do your resistance training 2-3 times per week.

Do not do resistance training 2 or more days in a row. Make sure you have a rest day in between to recover.

Back to Top


When doing resistance training:

  • You should be breathing comfortably. Do not hold your breath! Holding your breath can increase your blood pressure during the exercise.
  • Avoid lifting a weight that is so heavy that you need to strain and hold your breath to lift it. Use a lighter weight if you cannot lift a weight without holding your breath.
  • Follow a resistance training program set out by your cardiovascular prevention and rehabilitation team. 

It is important to lift the right amount of weight for you to get the best results. Use the rating of perceived exertion scale (RPE) below to help guide you. Your last repetition in your set of exercise should feel like a rating of 11-16 on the RPE scale.

Do not exercise with symptoms such as:

  • chest pain
  • angina
  • shortness of breath
  • palpitations
  • dizziness
  • body aches and pains

If you feel any of these symptoms, tell your cardiovascular prevention and rehabilitation team so they can help to adjust your exercise intensity.

Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) scale

Number RatingVerbal Rating​Example​
​6No effort at all. Sitting and doing nothing
​7 Very, very lightYour effort is just noticeable
​9Very light
​10Light effort
​11​Fairly lightStill feels like you have enough energy to continue exercising
​13​Somewhat hard
​14Strong effort needed
​15 Hard
​16Very strong effort needed
​17 Very hardYou can still go on but you really have to push yourself. It feels very heavy and you're very yired
​19Very, very hard​For most people, this is the most strenuous exercise they have ever down. Almost maximal effort
​20Absolute maximal effort (highest possible). Exhaustion.​

For resistance training, your RPE should be between 11 and 16. This is how you should feel when you complete the last repetition of your set.

Back to Top


Once you work up to two sets of 10-15 repetitions of each exercise, it will likely take you about 20-30 minutes to complete your program.

Back to Top


There are many different exercises to improve the strength and endurance of your muscles. Your cardiovascular prevention and rehabilitation team may recommend 7 to 10 different exercises that are safe and will work all your major muscle groups. These exercises can be modified if needed so that you are comfortable and safe.

These exercises can be done with different types of equipment such as:

  • hand held weights
  • resistance bands or tubes
  • exercise machines
  • your own body weight
Back to Top
Last Reviewed: