Strength Training: A Beginner’s Guide To The Lingo

 In Aubs In The Blog

Whether you are brand new to strength training or need a little refresher on the most common terms used, let this be your new go-to guide. As a certified personal trainer and nutrition professional at Jada Blitz Fitness, it is always a priority to make sure our members, clients, and community have access to the most up to date and educated resources for their health and wellness.


Let’s look at the basic lingo when it comes to strength training.


A repetition (“rep”)  is the complete motion for the exercise.


A set is the specific number of repetitions performed before taking a rest.

Range of Motion (ROM)

Range of motion is the act of moving to the correct anatomical position of the exercise. The ROM of an exercise can be changed up depending on the goal of the movement.

Rest Period

The amount of time between sets that is taken to rest. Rest periods allow the body to recover and prepare for the next set.

Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE)

RPE is a scale that has been designed to help with monitoring how hard you are working. This method is an effective way to measure intensity level and progressively train your body without hitting failure every time.


Strength & Power = AKA Stronger x More Power

The goal is to make muscles stronger through intensity, volume, and frequency.

The goal is to develop maximal force in as short a time as possible.

3-4 sets of 1-5 reps with longer rest periods of 2-3 minutes

Hypertrophy = AKA Building Muscle Size

The goal is to see an increase and growth of muscle cells aka muscular size.

3-5 sets of 6-12 reps with shorter rest periods of 60-90 seconds

Muscular Endurance = AKA Muscle That Is Long Lasting

The goal is to gain the ability of the muscle or muscle group to perform repetitive contractions against a force/resistance for an extended period of time.

12-20+ reps with shorter rest periods of 30 seconds or less


Compound Movements

Exercises that work multiple muscle groups at the same time.

  • Deadlifts: quads, glutes, inner thigh, hamstrings, erectors (spinal), lats, traps, rhomboids (back), core/obliques
  • Squats: quads, glutes, hamstrings, core/obliques
  • Romanian Deadlifts: hamstrings, glutes, erectors (spinal), rhomboids (back)
  • Overhead Press: pectorals, triceps, deltoids, rhomboids (back), core
  • Bench Press: pectorals, triceps, deltoids, rhomboids (back), core
  • Bent-Over Row: lats, rhomboids (back), traps, biceps, forearms

Isolation/Accessory Movements

These exercises involve a single muscle group, help fix muscle imbalances, and allow us to target specific muscles while allowing others to rest. For example:

  • Flyes
  • Shrugs
  • Lateral raises
  • Single-arm row
  • Hammer curls
  • Tricep kickbacks
  • Hamstring extensions
  • Leg curls

Drop Sets

Performing several sets without rest while lowering or “dropping” the weight down between each set.


The combination of 2-3 moves that work the same or opposing muscle groups. These exercises are performed back-to-back with no rest between.


The measure of the total amount of work that you perform. This involves reps, sets, weight, time, and effort.

AMRAP (As Many Reps As Possible)

A training technique that focuses on working toward completing as many reps or rounds as possible within a set time.

1RM (Rep Max)

The max weight that can be lifted with proper form for one rep.


And there you have it, friends. The beginner’s guide to strength training lingo. 

Aubree “Aubs” Shofner
Fitness & Nutrition Professional

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