Exercise Terminology is Important for Workout

There is so much information about working out and exercise terminology that it’s hard to keep things straight at times. It’s important to become more educated regarding this terminology in order to improve both the workout and training experience. Having a better understanding of the following terms will help in both of those areas.

Compound Set & Exercise are Exercise Terminology to Know

Compound sets use full body exercises to perform a series of sets using minimal or no rest. The same muscle group or opposing muscle groups can be worked this way. As the first muscle group recovers partially, a second area on the body can be worked. Training with this format allows for a more efficient workout. Many bodybuilders use this type of training model when trying to build muscle hypertrophy. A good example of a Jefit strength training workout that features compound sets is the Compound Strength Routine.

A compound exercise, or multi-joint exercise, is a full body movement like a Barbell Squat or Kettlebell One-Arm Clean. To perform one of these movements, multiple muscle groups need to perform together to execute a movement.


When you take a good look at exercise terminology and the history of supersets you’ll notice two distinct systems. One method involves several sets of agonists and antagonists muscle groups. An example of this is a Dumbbell Bicep Curl and Tricep Dip. A second type of superset can use one set of several different exercises working one specific area of the body like the chest. An example of this is one set of dumbbell Bench Press followed immediately by dumbbell Chest Fly and then Push-ups. Typically this types of superset uses 8-10 repetitions with each set of exercise with no rest between sets.

Ascending & Descending Pyramids

A strength training program can also utilize a pyramid method for program design. Any type of workout can benefit from a pyramid training method especially powerlifters. There are two options, performing sets where you progress from light to heavy weight, is an ascending pyramid. When sets of an exercise transition from a heavy to light weight, it’s considered a descending pyramid. The weight is typically light and starts with 10-12 repetitions and the weight gets heavier as the repetitions decrease until you reach one repetition.

Negative Repetitions

The lowering phase of a repetition is known as an eccentric contraction or negative phase. When this phase occurs, a muscle is actively lengthening (think Bicep Curl for a moment) so the weight can be slowly lowered in a controlled fashion. An individual can actually handle or control more resistance on the lowering phase of an exercise. Negative lifts require a spotter to help lift the weight up while the exerciser slowly lowers the weight. In terms of a resistance to use, around 105% to 110% of the concentric 1-RM should suffice. As an example, if someone has a Barbell Bicep Curl 1-RM of 135 pounds, the weight range to use would be about 140-150 lbs. The spotter would help left the weight upward while the exerciser slowly lowers the weight for the desired repetitions.

Circuit Training

Circuit training (CT) is a fast, efficient, way to exercise. CT consists of a series of strength training exercises performed one after the other with minimal rest. In regard to program design, 10-15 repetitions are used typically with 40% to 60% of 1-RM. There is a great deal of research showing the benefits of doing 8 to 20 weeks of circuit training. Increases in both maximal oxygen consumption (of 4-8%) and strength (7-32%) have been shown in men and women. An example of a Jefit circuit training program is Bodyweight Circuit Training.

The Jefit app is an award-winning workout planner & tracker app and a perfect built in coach that can assist you in putting these terms and more to good use – Stay Strong!