Terminologies Used In Strength Training

6:15 PM Posted by Lilian

Strength training has a variety of specialized terms used to describe parameters of strength training:

  • Exercise - different exercises involve moving joints in specific patterns to challenge muscles in different ways
  • Form- each exercise has a specific form, a topography of movement designed to maximize safety and muscle strength gains
  • Rep - short for repetition, a rep is a single cycle of lifting and lowering a weight in a controlled manner, moving through the form of the exercise
  • Set - a set consists of several repetitions performed one after another with no break between them with the number of reps per set and sets per exercise depending on the goal of the individual. The number of repetitions one can perform at a certain weight is called the Rep Maximum (RM). For example, if one could perform ten reps at 75 lbs, then their RM for that weight would be 10RM. 1RM is therefore the maximum weight that someone can lift in a given exercise - i.e. a weight that they can only lift once without a break.
  • Tempo - the speed with which an exercise is performed; the tempo of a movement has implications for the weight that can be moved and the effects on the muscle.
According to popular theory:
  • Sets of one to five repetitions primarily develop strength, with less impact on muscle size and none on endurance.
  • Sets of six to twelve repetitions develop a balance of strength, muscle size and endurance.
  • Sets of thirteen to twenty repetitions develop endurance, with some increases to muscle size and limited impact on strength.
  • Sets of more than twenty repetitions are considered to be focused on aerobic exercise. They do still use the anaerobic system, but usually at a rate through which it can consistently remove the lactic acid generated from it.


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