Being new to strength training comes with a host of new challenges, not least of which is being out of the know with training terms and having to learn what the hell your PT means when he says “let’s work on isolation exercises”. Even if you purchase and download a strength training for beginners guide, there’s a good chance you’ll spend the first few sessions flicking between this and Google.
Then, there’s the type of workouts themselves. “The next couple of weeks we’ll do split training,” says your virtual coach. You imagine schoolgirl splits–not the case.
Simply put, learning the lingo of training terms that comes with working out can be just as tricky as mastering a Romanian deadlift.
So to save you questioning what the hell the difference is between isometric and isotonic, WH has made a handy glossary of strength training for beginners. Do swot up now to save on internet searches later. You’re going to want to bookmark this for your next session.
STRENGTH TRAINING FOR BEGINNERS GLOSSARY
The movement of a limb away from the centre line of the body.
The movement of a limb towards the centre line of the body.
The muscle whose contraction is directly responsible for moving part of the body.
The muscle that counteracts the agonist, lengthening whilst the agonist muscle contracts.
A weight used for resistance exercise; a bar with detachable weighted plates at each end.
An exercise that involves using more than one muscle or muscle group to perform.
The lifting phase of an exercise, in which the muscle shortens or contracts.
DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness)
The pain or stiffness felt in muscles in the 24-72 hours after heavy exercise.
A weight used for exercising; a small handle with either fixed or detachable plates at each end.
The lowering phase of an exercise, in which the muscle lengthens.
The movement of a limb going from a bent to a straight position.
The point in an exercise at which the exerciser has fully fatigued their working muscles and they can no longer perform any additional reps.
The movement of a limb going from a straight to a bent position. The opposite of extension.
A specific way of performing a movement or exercise. Correct form should allow the exerciser to avoid injury and maximise their benefits.
Barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells and other similar pieces of equipment.
How often exercise or the completion of a full workout should happen. Often written as per week.
Full Body Training
Training the full body during one workout, rather than splitting workouts up into body parts.
The scientific term meaning an increase in muscle mass and relative muscle strength.
The degree of effort put into each set of exercises.
An exercise that stresses a single muscle, or muscle group, isolating it from the rest of the body.
A muscular contraction where the muscle maintains a constant length and the connecting joint does not move.
A muscular contraction in which there is a change in the length of the muscle; for example concentric and eccentric movements.
The relative size of a muscle group, or the entire body.
The ability of a muscle to sustain repeated contractions against a resistance for an extended period of time.
Performing multiple reps of only the eccentric phase of a lift or exercise.
Applying a greater than normal stress or load on the body, required for training adaption and progression to occur.
Performing an exercise without going through the complete range of motion of the muscle.
PB (Personal Best)
The best performance of an exercise; often measured in weight lifted or reps performed in strength training.
The systematic planning of a training programme to allow the exerciser to reach their best possible performance in a specific time frame.
The increasing of weight used whilst exercising as muscles gain strength and endurance.
A training method in which the push muscles (chest, triceps, quads and lateral and medial deltoids) and pull muscles (back, biceps, read deltoids and hamstrings) are trained on separate days to avoid overstressing the muscles.
The number of times an exerciser performs an exercise, or lifts and lowers a weight, in one set.
The pause or break between sets designed to allow the muscles to partially recover.
RPE (Rated Perceived Exhaustion)
The scale from used to measure the intensity of exercise; 1 being easy and 10 being very strenuous.
A group of reps performed back to back, after which a short rest period is taken.
Splitting the muscles of the body up so that they are worked in different training sessions or on different days of the week.
A person who watches an exercising partner closely and is on hand to offer help during an exercise if it is needed.
Using resistance training to build maximum muscle force.
Alternating back and forth between two exercises until the desired number of sets is complete.
The speed or count of a lift. Depending on the goal of the exercise, the concentric, isometric and eccentric phases are each assigned a count and these together create the tempo.
Alternating back and forth between three exercises until the desired number of sets is complete.
The number of reps or sets that are performed in a workout.
The mass of a barbell, dumbbell or similar piece of equipment used during a workout. Often measured in kg or lbs.
1RM (One Rep Max)
The heaviest weight a person can lift with maximum effort in a single repetition.
Before you start strength training, are you aware of the most important thing to remember about exercise and building strength? WH has also debunked 6 myths about strength training and weight lifting for women.