The Beginner’s Guide To Strength Training Terminology

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Getting started on a strength training program? If so, chances are you’re reading a variety of literature on the practice and are trying to make sense of it all.

In this research, you may come across some terms that you just aren’t quite sure of. This can make understanding the concepts rather difficult.

To help make things easier for you, let’s go over your beginners guide terminology. This should help make things clearer.


Rep: Refers to moving through a single pattern of exercise, start to finish, one time.

Set: Refers to performing a number of reps, one after another, before taking a rest period. Your total rep number performed per set can vary from 1 to 20 depending on your program plan.

Superset: The act of performing one exercise immediately after another and then taking a rest break once both exercises are finished.

Hypertrophy: The process of inducing muscle growth.

Overloading Stimulus: Providing more stress on the muscle than it’s used to. By evoking an overloading stimulus, you will force the muscle to grow stronger and larger after rest is provided. This is necessary for ongoing progress.

Periodization: The art of selecting different goals to work towards over a period of time. This helps prevent overtraining, ensures continual progress, and can help you avoid boredom.

Drop Set: The act of performing an exercise, decreasing the weight by 5-10 pounds, performing another set without resting in between, and then dropping the weight down one more time after that.

Overtraining: The state of placing more stress on the body than it can recover from, which leads to long-lasting fatigue.

So keep these terms in mind as you continue to do your reading. Staying informed is the best way to see ongoing results.

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