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Weight Training Terms For The Beginner

Feb 5, 2008
Weight Training is one of the best ways to beef up and get fit. All the benefits of weight training are way too numerous to list now, you may know a lot of them or you may not, but what you should know is that it's one of the best things you can do to get that body you want. The whole purpose of this article is to help you come to terms with the wide array of terminology used in the weight training world. Whether you are speaking to a personal trainer, reading from a book, or listening to a salesperson it's always good to know what they're talking about.

Maybe you have thought about joining a gym or thought about buying a piece of gym equipment. Either way you're probably going to get bombarded with some terminology that you don't understand. The gym and people within in it tend to use terms that would baffle most, and this article is about trying to understand these terms so that you know and feel comfortable with conversations regarding weight lifting in the future.

Some of the basic terms used are:

Routine : The range of exercises you carry out make up a routine. Whether it be a whole body routine or a half body routine (upper or lower body) it is more popular that a routine is split up over 3 days a week, so that you have time for your muscles to recover in time for your next workout. Always remember and take into consideration the time it takes for your muscles to recover when designing a routine. The best way to design your routine around this is to separate the 3 training days with a day off in between. So you would train Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Repetitions (Reps) - Let's say your doing push ups shall we. Taking into consideration the normal technique of a push up is lying down with 2 hands placed shoulder width apart flat on the floor. You then push up keeping your back straight, and at the top of the movement you lower yourself back down again and repeat. Doing this once counts as one repetition (rep). The amount of reps that are recommended is very important as any more or less could bring upon the results that you didn't desire. For instance - If you did more reps than recommended then you could decrease muscle growth and just increase your stamina. Whatever your goal is the amount of reps reflect it.

Sets - If you do 10 push ups then rest a minute and do another 10 thats 2 sets all together. A set is defined by the exercise then rest affiliation. Sometimes personal trainers will recommend doing less reps in each set. Say, 1 set for 10 reps, then 1 set for 8 reps, and so on.

Spot - If anyone asks you while you're in the gym do you need spotting, don't take it as an insult, because they're not saying you have spots, they're simply asking you if you want them to assist you if you're lifting a heavy weight. This is particularly useful if you want to lift to failure.

Free weights - These are simply weights that free of machinery, they include dumbbells and barbells. You have to physically load the weights onto the bar.

Rack - The rack which is sometimes known as the pwer rack is used for many exercises. It's the big metal contraption with holes drill dup both sides so that you can slide a safety bar in. A rack can be used for squats, chin ups, and a wide variety of other exercises.

Circuit routine - A circuit routine combines a number of cardio exercises with weight training. This is where you perform a variety of weight training exercises back to back without having a rest period in between. A circuit routine like this is generally used as a form of toning up and cutting to get rid of those few extra calories.

Negative - You may here someone in the gym saying something like "Why don't you add some negatives". What they mean by negatives is the lowering of a weight. Say in a bicep curl, you lift the weight up and then you let the bar down. The negative is the part were you let the weight down. This is know as the negative porion of a rep and it can be very effective at stimulating muscles. Some people increase the amount of time on a negative rep than they do on the positive rep, which in turn increases more muscle tension and allows for more muscle growth.

Some less than obvious muscle terms :

Pecs - Pectorals (Chest)

Lats - Lattisimus Dorsi (Muscles in your back that flare out)

Hams - Hamstrings

Glutes - Gluteus Maximus (Butt Muscles)

Traps - Trapezuis (The muscle that goes from your neck to your shoulders)

Bi's - Biceps

Tri's - Triceps

Quads - Quadriceps (Your thigh muscles)

Delts - Deltoids (Your shoulder muscles)

Abs - Andominals (Your stomach muscles)
Right, go to the gym right now and ask a personal trainer for a 3 on 1 off mass building routine with reps containing an increased negative motion at a tempo of 1-3-1 with special emphasis on your glutes and delts....Only kidding.

If you're a beginner I do hope you have learned something from this article. If you are experienced at weight training then you've just wasted your time because you should already know this LOL.

Get straight to enjoying the many benefits of weight training, be stronger, leaner, and more confident within yourself starting tomorrow.

All the best in health.

Wesley McDermott
About the Author
Wesley is an avid fitness and bodybuilding enthusiast who has worked in the industry for over 5 years. He has written many articles and has a site dedicated to weight training and teaching beginners how to gain weight and muscle through proper training and nutrition. You can check out some reviews of top weight training programs to get started straight away.
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