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45 Strength Training Terms & Lingo Women Should Know

Strength training terms and lingo that women should be familiar with to improve performance and health

Woman strength training performing weighted squat with barbell outdoors with camp gladiator
Fit Photo Credit: Brandi Bedford

Strength training, like resistance training, employs opposing forces to grow muscle mass and improve strength throughout the body.

Conventional strength training often depends on isolating muscles one at a time to take them to fatigue, while traditional strength training typically relies on isolating muscles one at a time to take them to exhaustion.

Weight training does more than help you become stronger and more stable (all of which are necessary as we age).

Muscle tissue is more metabolically active than fatty tissue, so it's beneficial for heart health, can lower cholesterol, aid posture, and keep your metabolism running.

This means that the more muscular tissue you have, the more energy your body will burn at rest.

Strength training for women or beginners (or weight training for beginners, if that's what you like to call it) doesn't have to be a mess of confusing terms and rules. As it turns out, it's a simple way to exercise that uses resistance training with free weights, fixed weights, and machine weights.

For people who aren't used to working out, the weight training area of the gym can be intimidating. If you're finally getting around to dusting off that piece of home gym equipment that's been gathering dust in the garage, or if you're about to join your local gym, we want you to be prepared.

We're going to go over 45 terms and lingo that people use when they talk about strength training and weight training, so you can get the most out of your multisport training plan or fitness program, whether you're weight training at home or in the gym.

female triathlete celebrating at a triathlon race finish line with muscle pose
Fit Photo Credit: Jamie Costas

45 Strength & Weight Training Terms Every Women Should Know

  1. 1RM (One Rep Max): The heaviest weight a person can lift in a single repetition with maximum effort.

  2. A barbell is a resistance training weight that consists of a bar with detachable weighted plates at each end.

  3. Abduction is the movement of a limb away from the body's center line.

  4. A compound exercise is one that requires the use of more than one muscle or muscle group to complete.

  5. Adduction is the movement of a limb towards the body's center line.

  6. A limb's extension is the movement from a bent to a straight state.

  7. A precise technique of doing a movement or activity is referred to as form. Correct technique should help the exerciser prevent injury and get the most out of their workout.

  8. Barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, and other comparable pieces of equipment that, unlike a cable machine, do not have a fixed movement pattern.

  9. Bodyweight Strength Training is a type of strength training that uses a person's own weight to generate resistance to gravity. Strength, power, endurance, speed, flexibility, coordination, and balance are just a few of the biomotor abilities that can be improved with bodyweight workouts.

  10. Concentric: The muscle shortens or contracts during the lifting portion of an activity.

  11. DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) is muscle discomfort or stiffness that occurs 24 to 72 hours after a strenuous workout.

  12. Dumbbell: An exercise weight having a small handle and fixed or detachable plates at each end.

  13. Eccentric: The muscle lengthens during the lowering portion of an exercise.

  14. Exercise or the completion of a full workout should be done on a regular basis. It's common to see it written as each week.

  15. Failure: The point in an activity when the exerciser's working muscles are fully tired and they can no longer execute any more reps.

  16. Flexion is the change in posture of a limb from straight to bent. Extension's polar opposite.

  17. Hypertrophy is a term used in science to describe an increase in muscle mass and relative strength.

  18. Instead of breaking up workouts into bodily parts, full body training involves working out the entire body in one session.

  19. In strength training, PB (Personal Best) refers to the best performance of an exercise, which is usually quantified in weight lifted or reps accomplished.

  20. Isolation exercise is a type of exercise that isolates a particular muscle or group of muscles from the rest of the body.

  21. Isometric: A muscular contraction in which the muscle length remains constant and the connecting joint remains stationary.

  22. Isotonic: A muscular contraction in which the length of the muscle changes, such as concentric and eccentric movements.

  23. Muscular endurance refers to a muscle's ability to hold repetitive contractions against a resistance for a long amount of time.

  24. Negative repetitions are when you perform many reps of a lift or exercise only in the eccentric phase.

  25. Partially reps: Performing an activity without fully extending the muscle's range of motion.

  26. Periodisation is the systematic design of a training program to enable the exerciser to achieve their best possible performance in a set amount of time.

  27. Progressive resistance: As muscles gain strength and endurance, the weight utilized during exercise is increased.

  28. Push/pull training: To avoid overstretching the muscles, 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.

  29. Reps (Repetitions): The number of times a person does an activity or lifts and lowers a weight in a single set.

  30. Rest: A pause or break in between sets that allows the muscles to recuperate somewhat.

  31. RPE (Rated Perceived Exhaustion): A scale that ranks the difficulty of exercise from 1 to 10, with 1 being easy and 10 being extremely difficult.

  32. Sets are a series of reps performed one after the other, followed by a brief rest time.

  33. Split training, often known as a "exercise split," refers to the division of the body's muscles into separate training sessions or days of the week.

  34. Spotter: A person who keeps a close eye on an exercising partner and is ready to assist if needed during an exercise.

  35. Strength training is a type of resistance training that is used to increase muscle force.

  36. Superset: Switching back and forth between two exercises until you've completed the necessary number of sets.

  37. Tempo refers to a lift's speed or count. The concentric, isometric, and eccentric phases are each given a count, which is added together to form the pace, depending on the exercise's purpose.

  38. The amount of effort put into each round of exercises is referred to as intensity.

  39. The amount of reps or sets performed in a workout is referred to as volume.

  40. The muscle that opposes the agonist muscle by extending while the agonist muscle contracts.

  41. The muscle whose contraction is directly responsible for moving a component of the body is called an agonist.

  42. The overload concept (also known as progressive overload) is the application of a greater than normal stress or load on the body, which is essential for training adaptation and advancement.

  43. The relative size of a muscle group or the overall body is referred to as mass.

  44. Tri-set: Switching back and forth between three exercises until you've completed the necessary number of sets.

  45. Weight: The mass of a barbell, dumbbell, or other similar piece of exercise equipment. Usually expressed in kilograms or pounds.

Woman strength training using cross fit tire and squatting
Fit Photo Credit: Natalie McManamon

Reasons Why All Women Should Strength Train

To conclude, proper strength training can benefit any woman, regardless of race, size, age, or level of activity. Strength training can make it easier to perform daily activities, boost your energy, build stronger bones, improve your biomechanics and reduce your risk of injury or falls, keep your joints in optimal alignment and improve your athletic performance in running, swimming, cycling, duathlons and triathlons.


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Mila B
Mila B
29 de dez. de 2021

Which gym would you recommend in the Round Rock area?

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