Weight Training Glossary

Exercise Classification | Weight Training Prescription | Abbreviations

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Exercise Classification

Basic

    A principal exercise that can place greater absolute intensity on muscles exercised relative to auxiliary exercises. Basic exercises tend to have more of the following characteristics:
    • gravity dependent
    • inclusion or shift of resistance through multiple muscle group throughout the range of motion
      • e.g. bench press: front deltoid to pectoralis major to triceps
    • natural transfer of torsion force to compression force (e.g., lockout on squat, bench press, etc.) or tension force (e.g. extension of arm curl) to the bone(s) and joint(s) during full range of motion

AuxiliaryBarbell Lunge

An optional exercise that may supplement a basic exercise. Auxiliary exercises may place greater relative intensity on a specific muscle or a head of a muscle.

Compound

    An exercise that involves two or more joint movements.

Isolated

    An exercise that involves just one discernible joint movement.

Weight Training Exercise Classification Utility
Basic Auxiliary
Mechanics Compound Many Some
Isolated Some Many

Closed Chain

An exercise or movement in which the end segment of the exercised limb is fixed, or the end is supporting the weight. Most compound exercises are closed-chain movements.

Open Chain

An exercise or movement in which the end segment of the exercised limb is not fixed, or the end is not supporting the weight. Many isolated exercises are open-chain movements.

Functional

An exercise which allows one to gain motor development or strength in a manner in which it is used in the execution of a particular task (eg: specific sport skill, occupational task, or daily activity).

Push

Movement away from center of body during the concentric contraction of the target muscle. Isolated movements are classified by their compound counterparts.

Pull

Movement toward center of body during the concentric contraction of the target muscle. Isolated movements are classified by their compound counterparts.


Weight Training Prescription

Cable Standing TwistSet, Reps, Workload Shorthand

  • Sets x Rep Range
    • 2 x 8-12
  • Sets x Reps x Resistance
    • 2 x 10 x 120 kg
  • Sets x Relative Workload
    • 2 x 80% 1RM

Intensity (I)

    The amount of weight used, percentage of one repetition maximum, or the effort used during the exercise. Also see Aerobic Intensity.

Frequency (F)

    The number of workouts per week (or unit time) or number times a muscle group is trained per week (or unit time). Also see Aerobic Frequency.

Duration (D)

    The time from the beginning to the end of the workout. Duration may also describe other time components such time under tension or Volume (see below). Also see Aerobic Duration.

Volume (V)

Total amount of work performed in a training phase (workout, week, month, etc). Methods of calculating include:
  • number of repetitions or sets performed in a workout
  • product of resistance and repetitions (eg: 10 reps * 45 kg = 450 kg)
  • total work (eg: 445 N * 1 m * 10 reps = 4450 J)

Also see Aerobic Volume.

Handstand Shoulder Press (between benches)Rest Between Sets and Exercises

Influences energy recovery and training adaptations.

Repetition Velocity

Speed of repetition, cadence, or time under tension

Tempo Training Shorthand (seconds)

    • 2 point tempo
      • Example: 3/2
      • Eccentric / Concentric
    • 3 point tempo
      • Example: 3/0/2
      • Eccentric / Stretched / Concentric
    • 4 point tempo
      • Example: 3/0/2/1
      • Eccentric / Stretched / Concentric / Contracted

See Types of Muscular Endurance and Types of Muscular Strength. Also see Weight Training Guidelines and Aerobic Exercise Prescription Components.


Rotating Weight Plate Tree made from wheel axleHypertrophy

An increase in muscle size

Hyperplasia

An increase in muscle cell number

Atrophy

A decrease in muscle size


Abbreviations

Barbell Squat


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