Knowing gym jargon is a must for any beginners starting out, or somebody with little experience. Heck, I would even have to say there are some advanced folks out there who also don’t know their gym/training jargon.
Anyway, this post is going to be a follow up of my previous post “Workout Programs For Beginners & Tip For Succeeding”.
So after reading this post at least 2 – 3 times whether you’re a beginner, intermediate or advanced trainee. You’ll be up to date and more knowledgeable on gym/training jargon.
Repetitions are the equivalent of ingredients to making a delicious cake, that helps you sculpt your body and get them golden gains(physique goals, improvements etc).
A rep is when you complete a full range, semi, or partial range of motion(a.k.a ROM). Think of performing a barbell curl, you start with your arms fully relaxed, then curl it all the way up to fully contract the biceps, and then bringing it back down to the starting position.
Completing a rep also has two phases such as your muscles contracting and then shortening. This also known as concentric, positive, and the overcoming phase.
Rep ranges allow you to build different types of strength, size, and endurance. Some ranges only increase strength, increase size, endurance or a mixture of both.
The great thing about rep ranges is that there’s leeway in rep ranges. So, for example, a program will have you aim for 8 – 12. Because you won’t always be able to get exactly 12,10 and you might even be shy of 8 sometimes.
- 20+: muscle endurance gains, little strength gains and little size gains
- 16-20: muscle endurance gains, some strength gains and some size gains
- 13-15: size gains, strength gains, and some muscle endurance gains
- 9-12: strength and size gains, but more size than strength
- 6-8: strength and size gains, almost equally
- 4-5: strength and size gains, but more strength than size
- 2-3: strength with little size gains
- 1: pure strength gains
This isn’t set in stone, you can make good gains from utilizing all rep methods as you become more advance.
This is one is pretty simple, this refers to the amount of time to rest after completing a set. Depending on your methods of training and goals. The rest periods will vary.
- :15 -:30 muscle endurance gains, little strength gains and little size gains: 20+
- :30 -:45 muscle endurance gains and some size and strength gains: 16-20 reps
- :45 – 1:00 size and strength gains, and some muscle endurance gains: 13-15 reps
- 1:00 – 2:00 strength and size gains, but more size than strength: 9-12 reps
- 2:00 – 3:00 strength and size gains, almost equally: 6-8 reps
- 3:00 – 4:00 strength and size gains, but more strength than size: 4-5 reps
- 4:00 – 5:00 minutes for strength with little size gains: 2-3 rep
- 5:00 – 6:00 minutes pure strength gains: 1 rep
Again…this isn’t set in stone, you can make good gains from utilizing all rest methods as you become more advance.
In laymen terms, volume means the total amount of work or sets done for an exercise. In a universal view, volume means the number of reps, the weight used, and how many sets.
In the fitness to competitive lifting world. Volume is referred to as number of sets per muscle group. Over 2o – very high volume, 17-20: high volume, 10-16: average volume, 6-9: moderate volume, 1-5: low volume.
Here’s another example of how to look at volume work. If you perform 300lbs for 5 reps for 10 sets on squats, your volume will be 15,000lbs.
A set is when you do exercise with no rest during the set for a certain amount of reps. For example, if you perform a set of reps for 10 for push-ups then it means you’re going to lower yourself, down and up ten times. Once you’ve completed 10, you have now completed a set.
Also when doing an already written workout program or when you write your own(if choose to). You’ll write the number of sets and then reps. For example, “4 x 15” means you’ll do 4 sets of 15 repetitions. You’ll rest between the sets for the time you’ve chosen(:45-1:00).
When your muscle shortens to finish a movement such as a bicep curl, leg curl, or dumbbell press at the end range of the motion. The terminology is known as concentric, meaning shortening of the muscle.
Note to remember. Concentric = muscles contracted.
The terminology of eccentric is the opposite of concentric meaning when you’re lower the weight back to its beginning point to where the muscles are at full length(or relaxed).
For most lifts, you’re going to be stronger in this phase than a concentric phase.
Note to remember. Eccentric = muscles shortened.
The term muscular failure is when you lift, push, press or carry a weight until you’re muscles can no longer move it by yourself.
If you have no spotter, not doing cheat repetitions, partial reps, or using bad form to continue getting repetitions.
There’s several reasons that can cause muscle failure such as the build up of lactic acid/hydrogen in the muscle, all muscle being completely exhausted(rare to happen) from an all out set of intensity, or drop sets.
And lastly of all ,a fatigued central nervous system that makes it harder for muscle contractions to move a weight.
Difference Between Intensive & Intense:
There’s a lot of confusion when it comes to these two words in the fitness world.
When it comes to the word intense, 90%+ of the time somebody is implying to a workout that’s tough for them.
However in a scientific variable of training, it’s the amount of weight lifted.
In laymen terms, the heavier the weight compared to what you normally do.
For example let’s say you normally squat 390lbs for 5 reps, but today you decided to increase the weight to 400lbs, which you only get three reps.
You just made it more intense, due to more exertion of force.
Compared to if you were doing 200lbs for 20 reps. Even though you’ll feel more pain and burning from doing this weight.
There are tons of several methods in the fitness world, I’m going to focus on the best ones from my experience and that I’ve have looked into.
Singlet Set: Single set training is when you focus on one exercise and complete all the sets for it before moving onto to your next exercise in your program.
Super Sets: Super setting is when you focus on two exercises at a time. Paring them back to back, without rest between them(you actually do get a rest, when switching to the other paired exercise)Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t how to apply this method of training correctly. But we’ll save the talk about improper pairing and correct paring later.
There are several types of super setting methods.
- Antagonist: This method of super setting involves working opposing muscles such as the chest and back. As with any super method, there’s no rest(only during the transition) between the first and second movement. Here are the muscles you want to pair
*Upper & Mid Back/Chest
*Wrist Flexors/Wrist Extensors
*Rear Deltoid/Lateral & Front Deltoid
- Isolation: This method of super setting involves doing two exercises variations that work different parts of the muscle you’re isolating such as the chest. Here’s an example to get an idea of how to isolate/target different parts of the muscle your working.
*Leg Curls/Stiff Leg Deadlifts – Hamstring Exercises
*Dumbbell Flies or Pec Deck Machine/Incline Dumbbell Bench Press – Chest exercises
*Seated Rows/Lat Pull Downs – Back exercises
*Standing Calf Raises or Machine Standing Calf Raises/Donkey Calf Raises – Calves
* Tibialis Raises/Cable or Leg Curl Tibialis Raises – Tibialis
*Reverse Dumbbell Curls/Wrist Dumbbell Curls – Forearms
*Tricep Cable Extensions/Laying Tricep Extensions – Triceps
*Incline Curls/Alternating Dumbbell Curls or EZ-Curls – Biceps
*Reverse Flies/Bent Over Rear Deltoid Raises – Rear Deltoid
*Dumbell Lateral Raises/Cable Lateral Raises – Lateral Deltoid
*Front Dumbbell Raises/Dumbbell Shoulder Press – Anterior Deltoid
*Back Extensions/Good Mornings – Lower Back
*Leg Raises/Seated Tucks – Abdominals
*Glute Hip Thrust/Lateral Band Walks – Glutes/Butt
- Pre-Fatiguing: This method of training involves pairing two exercises, however, the first one is an isolation movement and the second one is a compound movement. An example of doing this would be performing a set of squats and then doing leg extensions that would both target the quadriceps. The logic behind this method is that when you’re performing a compound movement, the target muscle is not doing all the work to be fully stimulated. So to further be stimulated, an isolating movement is combined with it to ensure that it’s been fully stimulated.
*Pros: It teaches a beginner mind(some intermediate to advance) and muscle connection when performing compound movements such bench press, squats, and barbell rows. That are still having a hard time feeling their chest, quads, or back being worked.
*Cons: You can’t use as much weight in compound exercises, which is unfortunate since the compound movement is going to give you the most bang for your buck.
- Post-Fatigue: Very similar to pre-fatiguing, the only difference is instead starting with an isolating movement first. You start with a compound first and then do isolation next.
*Pros: Allows you to fully stimulate the muscle, and doesn’t interfere with the amount of poundage you can do on compounds.
Cons: None…hell yeah.
- Compound: This type of superset, is when you’re doing two compound movements.
*Pros: Allows you to work multiple muscles, and getting it done in a faster time.
*Cons: Personally, I don’t think this type of superset is great. Since you’re doing two movements that are working the same muscle. By the time you get to the second compound movement, you’re heavily fatigued so you won’t able to do much weight.
Triple Sets: Triple sets are similar to doing supersets, but as the name states you’ll be doing three exercises in a sequence to complete one set. When comes to doing this method, you want to do it sparingly because it’s very demanding. So if you’re a beginner or somebody with a low work capacity, don’t do them until you become at least intermediate to an advanced trainee.
When comes to do them, they’re several methods on how to perform them like the superset methods.
- Holistic Method: This triple set method consist of performing one compound movement, then an assistance movement and then an isolation movement. With the compound movement, you’re going to keep the reps low and the weight heavy(3-6) then moving on to assistance work with moderate reps/weight(8-12). If it’s distance assistance work of carrying an object then carry the object about 30-50 feet. To finish off with isolation work, we’re going to do high reps, low weight(15-30 reps). I’ll have examples below.
A1.Barbell Squats: 3-6 reps
A2.Loaded Carry Variation: Farmer Walks: Walk 30 – 50 feet
A3.Leg Extensions: 30 reps
A1. Incline Bench Press: 3-6 reps
A2. Decline Dumbbell Press: 8-12 reps
A3. Dumbbell Pullovers: 20 reps
Another example of method is doing 3 isolations exercises performing them from different angles/patterns
A1.Leg Curls: 15-20 reps
2.Leg Extensions: 15-20 reps
3.Split Squat: 15-20 reps
B1.Dumbbell Flies: 15-20 reps
2.Dumbbell Pullovers: 15-20 reps
3.Pec Dec Machine: 15-20 reps
*Pros: Great for developing size but mainly endurance strength.
*Con: Very taxing, you have to build a tolerance if you want to do this routine more than once a week.
Not great for strength and power.
- Drop Sets: This is probably one of the most intense methods to use for building muscle and burning fat. So when you do drop sets, your objective is to lift a weight for a desired amount reps until failure. Once you reached failure ,or your target rep range. You drop the weight down to do to get more reps. You can do double, triples to 10 drop sets with dumbbells, kettlebells, machines and barbells.
EZ-Curls with 100lbs for 4 reps,80lbs for 6 reps, 60lbs for 8 reps, 40lbs for 10 reps and then 20lbs for 12 reps.
*Pros: Your able to hit every muscle fiber to complete exhaustion for maximum muscle growth.
*Cons: Super taxing on the muscle(s)needs to be used wisely like one or two times on a body part.
Can be some difficulty to do efficiently in the beginning, especially if you don’t somebody helping or a trainer.
Harder to do with barbells, since you can’t drop the weight as fast on other resist equipment.
- Paused or Extended Sets: They are similar to drop sets, however the only difference is instead of dropping the weight when you reach failure with a weight. You rest for 6 – 15 seconds and get in 1-4 for more reps.
*Pros: Great for pushing the muscle past failure and hitting all the muscle fibers hard for maximum growth.
*Con: Very taxing, and can be dangerous when performing compound movements such as barbell squats, deadlifts, bench, leg machine etc.
Cluster Sets: Again very similar to paused/extended sets. The only slight variation is you’re performing 1 rep, and then resting for 10 secs – 20 secs and then performing another rep until muscle failure.
*Pro: Not as taxing as the other methods, allows you to use heavier weight and get in more reps due to 1 rep/10-20 sec pauses.
*Con: Can be dangerous if you got spotter for heavy compound movements such as bench pressing and squatting movements.
Full Range of Motion(ROM): Is when you take an exercise movement through a full range of motion to bottom or top part and returning it to starting position.
*Pros: Strengthens the muscle in the full range of motion, makes you less injury prone(strengthens tendons), you get a passive stretch that makes the muscle flexible stronger.
*Cons: Tension can be lost on the muscle after returning to starting position. It can’t be applied to every exercise due to excessive stress being placed on joints.
Partial Reps: Partial reps are when you do an exercise in a certain range of motion.
*Pros: Can strengthen a specific part of range of motion in a lift, able to do more weight, enhances movements in sports, strengthen tendons and stabilizers, and you’ll have less psychological inhibition when attempting heavier lifts.
*Cons: You have to know how to utilize them intelligently into your training. This method is more for intermediate to advanced trainees.
You just can’t do them only, it’s still important to still utilize different types ROM as the majority of you’re training regiment as you progress to break plateaus and to reach your maximum genetic potential.
Regressive Range Of Motion: This method of training is great with compounds to isolation exercises.
Depending on the exercise, either the partials will start from the bottom or top.
You start out with a full ROM, or before lockout until almost muscle failure, then you go mid partial(half way) till muscle failure, the quarter partial(when joint is partially bent).
Examples of exercises:
- Any squat variations with bodyweight, dumbbells, machines, and barbells.
- Any chest press or chest exercise.
- You can do these on any exercise with any equipment. However for compounds, or exercises you can do to fair amount to heavy weight. Be safe when doing, know your limitations and get a spotter when available.
*Pros: You can use heavy to light weights, able to do more reps with any poundage, strengthens tendons, will get stronger if implemented intelligently.
*Cons: Even though, it can be done on any exercise. This method works better on some than others.
This isn’t the ultimate gym jargon/training methods. They’re numerous methods, technique and so forth on training principles, jargon, hacks and etc on being gym smart and knowledgeable.
This is just to give you a head start to save you time, energy and to reach your goals faster. All this stuff I listed took me over a decade to learn from reading, talking to people, and doing these methods on myself.
So I hope this helps whoever reads this, which I’m sure it will. If you have any questions, or any methods I didn’t list.
Feel free to comment, I look forward to it. Thanks for reading, from yours truly
– Larentay Walker
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