Strength Training Terminology

January 8, 2018

Strength Training Principles and Guidelines I wanted to share this information with you because it has helped me throughout my fitness journey to understand what certain words meant.

muscular strength: ability of a muscle to exert force against a resistance

muscular endurance: ability of a muscle to exert force repeatedly for a period of time

compound exercise- an exercise that utilizes multiple muscles
-squat, bench press, lunge, push-up, pull-up, leg press, lat pulldown, deadlift, shoulder press, etc.

isolation exercise: mostly isolates a specific muscle or muscle group (keep in mind you never truly isolate one muscle at a time)
-biceps curls, hamstring curls, calf raises, triceps extensions, leg extension, lateral shoulder raises

repetition: the execution of a strength training movement once through the entire range of motion

set: a group of repetitions done for a particular exercise

volume: the quantified amount of work performed in a strength training session (sets x repetitions x weight)

flexion: movement that decreases the angle between a joint (e.g. biceps curl)

extension: movement that increases the angle between a joint (e.g. leg extension)

concentric action: a muscle action that results in muscle shortening

eccentric contraction: a muscle action that results in muscle lengthening

flexibility: the range of motion about a joint or group of joints

hypertrophy: increase in muscle size

atrophy: decrease in muscle size

1RM (1 repetition maximum): amount of resistance that can be moved once; a measure of absolute strength

sarcopenia: the loss of skeletal muscle mass related to aging

overload principle: increasing the demands placed upon the muscles
-must be done systematically and progressively

Overload can be achieved in the following ways:
1. increase resistance
2. increase repetitions
3. increase or decrease the speed of the repetition
4. decrease rest period
5. increase training volume (volume = sets x repetitions x weight)  
6. any combination of the above

specificity: the training must be specific to the desired outcome

periodization: alternation of training volume and intensity; cycling the objectives of training

Types of Strength Training
Isometric
Isometric actions produce little or no movement. This type of training does not require equipment. Strength gains with this type of training are specific to the angle of the contraction.    

Dynamic
Dynamic training includes the concentric and eccentric phases. Strength is gained through a full range of motion. This type of strength training is very applicable in our day-to-day lives since most activities in our lives are dynamic (pushing, pulling, & lifting)

Isokinetic
This type of training requires specialized machines. The speed of contraction is maintained at the same rate; the machine’s resistance matches the force produced by the user throughout the range of motion. Access to the isokinetic machines is needed in order to engage in this type of strength training.  


Free Weights vs. Machines
There are advantages to both machines and free weights:
Free weight advantages
-cost less
-more variety with few pieces of equipment
-portable
-stabilizing muscles are engaged more
-people of all ages and sizes can use them

Machine advantages
-usually safer; spotters are rarely needed
-some exercises can only be performed with machines
-variable resistance through the range of motion
-more isolation of individual muscles

Types of Workouts:
straight set: A set of an exercise is performed followed by a rest period. This is repeated until all of the sets for the exercise are completed.   

super set: Two different exercises for different muscle groups are done together.  One set is performed for one exercise immediately followed by a set of the other exercise.  This is repeated until all of the sets for the exercises are completed (e.g. bench press and leg press).

compound set: Two different exercises for the same muscle group are done together. One set is performed for one exercise immediately followed by a set of the other exercise. This is repeated until all of the sets for the exercises are completed (e.g. push-ups and triceps extensions).

circuit training: A group of different exercises for different muscle groups performed together.  One set of each exercise is done in order and then repeated until all of the sets for the exercises are completed (e.g. squats, bench press, lat pulldowns, reverse crunches, lunges, pushups, dumbbell rows).

full-body routine: Performing exercises for the entire body in a single session. Allow at least 48 hours between workouts.

split routine: Working one muscle group one day and another muscle group on the next. (e.g. upper body on Monday/Wednesday and lower body on Tuesday/Thursday). There are different ways to do a split routine.  


Design of Strength Training Programs
Strength training workouts should be designed using the FITT principle.  
Frequency is the number of times per week the workout is performed.  
Intensity is the load used for an exercise.
Time is the number of repetitions (different than time for cardio).
Type is the specific activity you choose.

Guidelines for Strength Training :
-Warm up for 5-10 min before beginning your workout. This can include light aerobic activity and body weight movements.
-Use a spotter for lifts in which there is the risk of a load falling on you.
-Work all of the major muscles groups.
-Work large muscle groups before smaller muscle groups.
-Maintain a neutral spinal alignment while lifting.  Stabilize yourself with your core. 
-Use proper technique. If you are not sure ask an exercise professional.
-Perform lifts in a controlled manner.
-Allow enough rest between sets. Depending on your fitness level and goals this can be between 45 seconds to 3 minutes.  
-Stop if you feel pain.
-Rest at least 48 hours between training the same muscle group.  

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