Exercise Terminology Important to Know for Workouts

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 understand all of this terminology in order to improve both the your gym experience and the workout itself. Having a better idea of the following terms will help in both of those areas.

Compound Sets are a Good Place to Start

This can be confusing at times because we also call certain exercises like deadlift and bench press, compound lifts or movements. Compound sets, though, are basically back-to-back exercises that work the same muscle group using minimal or no rest. For example, performing bench press followed by push-ups or barbell curl followed by dumbbell hammer curls.

Using 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.

Exercise Terminology to Know: Supersets

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. This type of superset, typically, uses 8-10 repetitions with each set of exercise and no rest between sets.

Ascending and 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 a few repetitions.

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 percent 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 pounds. 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 percent 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 percent) and strength (7-32 percent) have been shown in men and women. An example of a Jefit circuit training program is bodyweight circuit training.

Stay Strong Together

More than 10 million members have had great success using the Jefit app. Jefit comes equipped with a customizable workout planner, training log, the ability to track data and share workouts with friends. Take advantage of Jefit’s 1400 exercise database for all of your strength workout needs. Visit our members-only Facebook group. Connect with like-minded people, share tips, and advice to help get closer to reaching your fitness goals. Stay strong with Jefit.

Michael Wood, CSCS

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