FitTec Tenets

te·​net | \ ˈte-nətalso ˈtē-nət \

: a principle, belief, or doctrine generally held to be true

especially : one held in common by members of an organization, movement, or profession

These are some of our beliefs. This is not a complete list. We will be adding to them in 2021.

Our tenets are based on science based guidelines and best practices.

FitTec focuses on the latest wellness knowledge and its distribution, employing consistent, safe, effective wellness practices following accepted AHA, ACE, ACSM and NSCA guidelines. *

*American Heart Association (AHA), American Council on Exercise (ACE), American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), and the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).

1. Strive to be healthy above all. Many people start off with the goal of being Fit. That is great goal, but you can not consider yourself Fit without being Healthy first. See I am Healthy Webpage to find out what it takes to be Healthy. Never sacrifice your health for a fitness or sport goal.

2. If you are looking to go beyond being healthy and want to elevate your fitness you should understand what being fit means. Most people do not have any idea what it means: Being Fit means that you have an above average/elevated level of physical ability in all the components of fitness. It would be great to strive to be fit, but meeting the healthy criteria is more important (see I am Healthy). You can understand your own fitness by doing self-assessments. If you are looking to get Fit see I am Fit. If you are striving to be extremely Fit see I am xFit. If you are looking to be functionally fit see our Functional Screen Test. If you are looking to see if your run times are healthy and fit see I am 5k (if you want to run safely see our 5K Training Program). If you are just interested in your muscular fitness see our Muscular Ability Screen.

3. You should never feel pain from exercise (before, during, and after): Some muscular soreness is common from exercise, but pain is a different story especially if it impacts your ability to move and function. If you do have pain reconsider your program. If you have some minor issues with pain please seek us out. We may be able to help. If it is more severe than this see your doctor. For more information about self-care techniques please see our Muscle and Joint Care Webpage.

4. Be kind to your body - use it but do not abuse it: You only have one body so use it properly and do not abuse it. If you do not use your body through activity and exercises you will lose physical ability. Movement can build your body up, but it can break it down if it is not the right type or too much. The same can be said about nutrition. Therefore, it is important to practice good principles such as performing restorative motions and stretches, having recovery days, eating a balanced diet, and getting quality sleep.

5. To the point of being kind to your body we typically do not recommend using a sport as a sole form of exercise to promote health: Use sports as a form of recreation. Most sports carries physical risks. If you are going to perform athletics make sure you condition and recover like the elite athletes do. They perform specific exercises that protect their body and allow them to perform better. Athletics does promote some aspects of fitness, but not all. Just do not think going out once or twice a week and playing your sport is enough for your health you should also follow a foundational fitness program that works on all aspects of your health and fitness. What is a foundational program? Ask us about exercises that will help you play your sport better and keep you safe.

6. If you do train make sure you have Recovery Days: Generally muscular conditioning should be done 2 to 3 days a week, aerobic exercise can be done 3 to 6 days a week through varied activities, and restorative stretches and motion can be done daily. Therefore make time in your week for recovery days. Walking or light activity is a good thing to do on recovery days. Palpate your muscles. If they are sore to the touch it is a good indicator you need additional recovery.

7. Make reasonable goals because they are most likely achievable and sustainable: Most people expectations are usually too high when it comes to fitness. A five percent improvement in your ability to physically perform every couple of weeks within a training program is a reasonable expectation when starting a program. Being able to do an extra push up is an example. Long term goals of being at an average to above average level on fitness norms are very reasonable and excellent goals.

8. Avoid Extremes when it comes to your health and fitness: When you follow any training or exercise program do not train to the extremes unless your sport or occupation depends on it. Typically training to the extremes creates physical issues that some people have a long time recovering from. If you have a goal that is great, but make sure you follow a safe plan that will assure success. Avoid any extreme fitness programs that causes pain, sacrifices good technique, and uses advanced and possibly dangerous exercises. The same holds true to your diet. You should follow the basic guidelines established from the A.N.D. ( Academy or Nutrition and Dietetics ). Fad and extreme diets are not in our vocabulary. For more about nutrition See Our Nutrition Information Page.

9. Do not use as exercise as a means to lose weight: Exercise will improve how you look and feel and it will change your body composition by increasing muscle mass, but it does not do a great job at helping you decrease body weight ( see article ). To lose weight it is more important to make your diet healthy and less in calories than what you are accustomed to. However, those who are successful in keeping their weight off according to the Weight Lose Registry combine both a sound diet and exercise for up to 60 minutes a day. So to take the weight off follow a healthy weight loss diet, but to keep it off you should perform aerobic exercise.

10. There is no one size fits all when it comes to your muscular fitness: Every body is different and age has something to say when it comes to fitness programming. As mention define your goals, assess your body for those goals, and build on the deficits you find in your assessment, while maintaining your strengths through an appropriate program. There are many tools in the fitness toolbox, but there are several primary movements and exercises which is usually part of most of our clients training and we refer to them as foundational: 1) Types of Squats 2) Types of Lunges 3) Types of Rows/Pulls 4) Types of Pushing (example: Push Ups) 5) Types of Core Exercises: Bridges, BirdDogs, SideBridges, and Planks. What is a foundational program?

11. Practice good posture: You can not be truly healthy and fit if you have poor posture. Poor posture wrecks havoc on your body (see article). There are three major postural keys that I stress such as head up and pulled back to prevent forward head posture, shoulders retracted and arms slightly externally rotated to prevent rounded shoulders, and maintenance of the three natural curves of your spine while sitting and standing to prevent lordosis/swayback/kyphotic postures. Learn more at Medline Plus.

12. Work on your posture should be a first major fitness goal: If you are starting an exercise program it is important that you do not just start doing any exercises on a body with poor posture. It could cause create problems. Example if you have rounded shoulders and started doing shoulder presses your poor posture could cause shoulder issues. Address your posture with postural changes and other good postural habits and incorporate exercises that both strengthen and stretch weakened and tightened areas, which are common with certain types of poor posture. Please seek us out to learn more about postural exercises.

13. In conjunction with working on poor posture you should work on mobility as part of your first major fitness goal: Mobility is a comibination of range of motion and proper movement wherewhen you move your body is aligned in a way that makes it safe and efficient.  

14. Move Well (Remove Bad Movements): It is imperative that you lye, sit, stand, squat, twist, lunge, lift, walk, run, etc. with good form. Through removing poor movements and replacing them with good you can allow your body to recover and heal faster and set up good habits for a lifetime. All of which will allow you to perform better in the game of life. Brief examples: Sleep on your side or back trying to maintain the natural curves to your spine through use of pillows (see more). Sit with the three natural curves for no more than 20 minutes if you can. Stand on balls of feet, with bent knees, and weight evenly distributed. Squat by hinging from your hips keeping a neutral back and come up pulling through your hips by using your buttocks as the prime movers. Twist from your legs, and hips and never from your low back (twisting from the hips generates more power and protects the spine). As with the squat, never lift from you back, use your hips and keep back locked with the weight being lifted close to the body. Walk briskly using your arms with consistent strides. Run horizontally with very little vertical displacement with strides that have you landing lightly with your feet under your body.

15. Build a resilient body first through foundational movements and exercises: I am a firm advocate on using a simple foundational stretches, motions, and exercises that may look boring and simple, but will wreck dividends in the end. If you only go hard with just a few compound exercises your training may be building on structural deficits that may show its ugly head someday. If you are looking for fitness extremes then start with and as you progress continue with foundational exercises. What is a foundational program?

16. Stretching should be performed regularly, but it should not be the sole form of exercise. A fitness program should also entail muscular, aerobic, and functional exercises. Just doing stretching, as in Yoga, may do more harm than good. Creating mobility with the lack of stability can cause joint issues. Stability is created through a balance approach of muscular conditioning around the joint. It is also important to stress that certain stretches and Yoga poses carries risk. Understand that risk and what they are before trying them. Generally speaking a stretch that places undue stress on the joint or extreme positions should be avoided. You should not have pain when you stretch. Lumbar spinal flexion and twisting should also be avoided as well as having your head below your waist due to ocular issues. Stretching/Yoga Training Keys: Never stretch or move into pain. When stretching move slowly going to first resistance barrier and hold. Let the stretch happen. Do not sacrifice final position over form. Try to keep head above waist and try not to flex or twist spine under tension. It is more advantageous to have a normal degree of flexibility versus being hyper-flexible. Aim for balance/symmetry throughout your body. Follow a program specific for your needs (posture, habits, weaknesses, sport). Understand all of this through a personal assessment. We can help you with that.

17. Include strengthening with stretching in preventing tight muscles: In order to fully address tightness and tightness the use of tissue work and stretching is not enough. Much of the tightness is caused by weakness either within the muscle or around them or both. Therefore to reduce nagging sensations you should assess where weakness and lack of motion exists and then incorporate all three (tissue work both massage and use of releasing tools, stretches/motions, and strengthening exercises). Postural and movement issues should also be addressed.

18. If you are doing muscular training you should work to or towards momentary muscular failure using only good form on one or more sets of an exercise: Momentary Muscle Failure is cornerstone of muscular training and it is the point at which no more repetitions can be performed using proper form due to complete acute exhaustion of the muscles. I am not saying that all sets should be done this way, but to improve your muscular strength it should be incorporated into your program.

19. Aerobic Conditioning requires you to get out of your comfort zone at times. Get out of breath daily at points. If you are healthy and able to exercise (see PAR Q) you should try push yourself where you get out of breath momentarily at points when doing aerobic exercise. Studies have shown just seconds to minutes of high intensity interval training can bestow health benefits beyond what you get from steady state exercise like walking at the same pace. So spice it up when doing aerobic exercise with 20 seconds to 90 seconds of higher intensity aerobic exercise for one or more intervals. Just one session of climbing 4 flights of stairs shown benefits. Make sure you are warmed up before.

20. Make sure you understand what your goals are and what would be the best exercises and movements for those goals. If your goal is to be healthy follow our simple Daily Moves Program or our Foundation Exercise Program might be appropriate. Foundational exercises include Core, Gluteal, and Shoulder Stabilizing Exercises. If your goal is some type of athletics or physical pursuit you should follow a more specific program for that sport or physical pursuit, but it should include Foundational Exercises to assure a base of fitness.

21. Every exercise has a purpose and some can be dangerous for your fitness level and even for even the elite level. Doing an exercise because it looks cool is wasted effort and may lead to an injury. Try to know what is right for you. Example: Competitive Olympic and Power Lifts. Some people do not have the hip structure to get into the deep squat position that is required for these lifts.  Please see Olympic and Power Lifts section below. We have assessment tools that will help you understand what exercises are best for you and Master Lists of Muscular and Functional Exercises for beginner, intermediate, and advanced abilities. See Muscular Ability and Functional Ability Pages for Self-Tests and Exercise Lists. We also have a comprehensive list of what exercises to avoid/limit/modify (see list).

22. Good nutrition does not need to be complicated.

When it comes to good nutrition I point simply to the healthy plate by Harvard (see plate). It is so simple to understand. Plenty of fruits and veggies, healthy fats, and lean proteins. The complicated part is just doing it. Make a plan and go with it. I do not care if you eat the same meals over and over again. I do. As long as they are healthy I am fine with it. Learn more about nutrition at this page.

23. Calories matters when it comes to weight loss.

No matter how you cut it, chop it, serve it, say it, I do not care but alories will always be an important factor of dieting to lose weight. You can eat the healthiest diet in th world and not lose weight. Vice versa you can eat the worst diet in the world and loseweight (see Twinkee Diet).  Every single weight loss diet has you eating less calories. The key though is to make sure those calories are healthy so it sustains health and performance. See the healthy diet list on this page.

24. Make the times you eat work for you. I generlly tell peope to eat 3 healthy meals a day with a couple of snacks. This may not work for you. Some people do well with internittent fasting where there is a short window of time, 6 hours in day, in most cases that you eat. Although this type of fasting works for some people I would not suggest it for athletes or those trying to build muscle.

25. Make sure whatever dietary practice that you follow is healthy and that you can sustain it for life. If you can not see yourself doing this for a year do not do it. What typically happens with some diets, especially very low carb diets, people tend to gain much of their weight back because they just can not sustain it. We never allow anyone go below 400 calories worth of carbs a day.