Gym Lingo 101 – Your guide to the most commonly used gym terms

17 min read


Struggling with the confusing terminology used by personal trainers, coaches and gym rats? Working out, being active and developing your body isn’t complicated, but the industry likes to make it seem so. Part self-preservation, and part geekiness from the industry.

Knowledge is power, and confusion can often push people away from the gym and building their best bodies.

So, whether you’re new to the gym, or just want a one-stop-shop of the most important gym terms and training concepts, this glossary should fit the bill! Bookmark the page, share with friends, and reference back as and when you need to freshen up on a specific gym term.

Gym Lingo Term Short Description
1 % of 1RM / Max Some Workout plans will scale up or down the weight and reps between sets and/or weeks.
Typically they use % of 1RM or % Max to describe loading and also set the rep scheme.
You can use 1RM Calculators or 1RM Rep Scheme Tables to work out your loading and 1RM.
2 1RM Stands for One Rep Max – the most weight you can lift for a single rep.
People don’t often test their true 1RM, so they infer it using a 1RM calculator to reverse engineer their multi-rep max lift
3 Accessory Work Usually used to describe isolation exercises that support a Strength Training program.
Performed after the big lift(s) of the day, and focussed on helping increase strength performance by strengthening body parts
4 Activation Activation is the process of firing up and recruiting primary mover muscles ahead of a compound lift.
For example, people might activate their upper back ahead of a bench press, to ‘turn them on’.
5 Aerobic Exercise effort that leverages oxygen primarily to fuel the movement. Such as low intensity steady state cardio
6 Anabolic The building up of muscle, tissues and organs.
To be in an anabolic state, you need sufficient energy (a calorie surplus), adequate protein consumption, and training stimulus that has caused micro tears
7 Anaerobic Anaerobic exercise is a physical exercise intense enough to cause lactate to form and requires non-oxygen energy (ATP).
It is used in non-endurance sports to promote strength, speed and power; and in bodybuilding to build muscle mass.
8 Antagonistic Pairs Muscle pairs that do the opposite to one another. As one muscle contracts, the other relaxes.
An example of an antagonistic pair is the biceps and triceps – the triceps relaxes while the biceps contracts to lift the arm.
9 Anterior Tilt Describes the common postural weakness where the hips are tipped forward, forcing the spine to curve, bottom to protrude, and an imbalance in the upper back/spine.
The hips should be flat, by tucking your hips in by squeezing glutes and lightly tightening abs.
10 BFR / Occlusion Training Blood Flow Restriction or Occlusion training refers to training with bands, leg straps or tourniquet-like wraps around your upper arms, upper legs, or just beneath your knees.
Returning blood flow from the working muscle is restricted, causing metabolic waste such as lactate to build up.
A useful strategy if that muscle is injured, as much less weight is used to achieve a similar effect. Hypothesised to be of some use as an addition variation to traditional sets.
11 Body Composition Body Composition refers to the proportion of your weight between lean mass and body fat.
A desirable body composition is where you have a low body fat percentage and a relatively high lean mass for your height.
For men, holding 30+ lbs of extra muscle mass and 8-10% body fat is considered an athletic look.
For women, adding 15lbs of extra muscle and having 20-22% is considered a healthy and fit look.
12 Brace To brace your core is to take a deep breath, and create tension throughout your midsection and back that is similar to a beer barrel.
To brace is a common cue for the big compound lifts, as it helps secure your back and increase full body tension – thereby increasing overall strength.
You are holding the air whilst pushing out your stomach and side muscles – called intra abdominal pressure. Not to be mistaken with simply squeezing your abs.
13 Catabolic The breaking down of muscle, tissues, organs and molecules into simpler forms, usually to provide the body energy in the form of ATP.
Catabolism is happening all the time in the human body and is essential, but to develop muscle you need to have a greater deal of anabolic processes.
Big triggers of Catabolism, and eventual muscle loss, is being in a caloric deficit and having chronically elevated Cortisol.
14 Circuit A training circuit is a group of exercises performed one after the other for several minutes each round.
Typically seen in group classes, where a number of bodyweight and high intensity movements are performed – sometimes in designated stations.
This training style is not common in regards to bodybuilding, as fatigue lessen the effect of the lifts.
15 Cluster Set / Rest-Pause Set Cluster Sets and Rest/Pause sets are styles of extending the intensity of a set to maximise hypertrophy (muscle building effect) by increasing the number of maximally effective reps.
You perform a number of reps, rest 15-30 seconds, lift again, and repeat this until the total number of reps is achieved.
With Rest-Pause Sets, the first set is to failure, followed by more sets to double the first set reps.
16 CNS Stands for Central Nervous System, which includes the brain and spinal cord, and is responsible (amongst other things) for the coordination and recuitment of motor units to perform voluntary movement.
As it includes the brain, almost all actions stem from this system.
In relation to training, heavier and more ‘stressful’ exercises demand more from the CNS that in turn demand more from your muscles. You can fatigue your CNS by over training and life stress.
17 Compound Movement A compound movement is any multi-joint movement, where two or more joints are moving at the same time.
As it relates to the gym, the most commonly cited compound movements are squats, lunges, deadlift, pressing, pulling exercises, and olympic lifts.
Compound movements are more energy intensive, more calorically demanding, and work multiple muscles at once.
18 Concentric Concentric describes the shortening, lifting or contractile phase of a lift.
For example, the concentric phase of a Dumbbell Curl is the rising of the weight up towards your shoulder.
Often considered as the phase of a lift where power is produced, and speed is indicative of how much force can be generated given the opposing load on the bar / dumbbell / cable.
19 Cue A cue in gym terms is a short instruction, typically simple analogies or descriptions, to assist a lifter in performing the exercise correctly.
A cue looks to address one feature of the lift, such as “screw your feet into the ground” in squats to activate glutes.
For compound movements, there are many cues, specific to the coach, that help the coach explain how the lifter should be feeling or moving. Cues exist across every exercise, such as “pour milk out of the jugs” at the top of lateral raise.
20 Dead Start A dead start refers to starting a lifting with zero momentum.
The most obvious example being the Deadlift, where you start each rep from a stationary start from the floor.
Dead start bench press, squats or overhead presses are started from the bottom of the exercise (versus the top), usually from pins.
It removes the advantage of the stretch reflex, and solely relies on strength to complete the rep.
21 Deload A deload is a deliberate and extended recovery break from a programmed gym routine.
If you’re training hard and frequently, fatigue will accumulate and signs of overstraining may creep in. It’s important to manage fatigue and cortisol levels, to maximise muscle and performance gains.
A Deload could be a few days and up to a week – whatever feel right. Try alternative lower intensity activities, practice form at 50% weight, or take a few days off completely.
22 Distal The furthest part of a bone/muscle from the centre of the body or point of attachment.
For example, the tendon of the biceps attaching to the elbow joint is considered the distal attachment, whereas the attachments within the shoulder joint will be called proximal.
You’ll hear distal and proximal a lot from coaches – it’s just a way of explaining the relevant end of a bone/muscle.
23 DOMS Stands for Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. This is not to be confused with the muscle burn you get during a workout, general fatigue or injury.
DOMS is the pain and stiffness you get after unaccustomed and strenuous exercise, where the soreness is most felt between 24-72 hours the intense exercise.
During exercise, micro damage to tissue has temporarily irritated nerve endings. Whilst it can feel uncomfortable, once warmed up you can continue to train with DOMS.
24 Drop Set A Drop Set is another form of intensity extending rep schemes, designed to maximise the number of growth-stimulating reps within a set.
You lift until technical failure. You take a 15-20 second breather, and continue the exercise with a slightly lighter weight – again to failure. Typically, this is repeated for a total of 2-4 smaller sets within one Drop Set.
25 DUP Stands for Daily Undulating Periodisation.
Sounds fancy, but basically describes a training program design where different rep ranges are used within a single workout, to assist performance of muscle development.
26 Eccentric Eccentric is the lowering and/or extending phase of a lift, where the muscle is stretching under load.
Think of the lowering portion of a biceps curl, a leg curl for the hamstring, or a bench press for the pecs.
Muscles are stronger in the eccentric phase, and it’s also this phase where more muscle damage is caused – i.e. muscle growth.
Therefore, always keep tension in the lowering phase of the lift to maximise gains. Slow eccentrics extends the benefits further.
27 Externally Rotate Refers to the rotation of your legs or arms.
For example, externally rotating your shoulder would be to rotate your arms outwards away from your stomach, whilst keeping your arms stationary by your sides. That in turn straightens your upper back.
People when squatting externally rotate their hips by “screwing their feet into the ground”.
28 Fasted Training Refers to training in a fasted state, where you no longer have the glucose benefits of a digested meal within your blood stream.
It typically refers to skipping a meal ahead of training, and most usually performing in the morning without having breakfast.
There is no unique benefit to this training other than helping reduce total caloric consumption, and potentially can have a negative effect on training performance dependant on intensity and hunger levels.
29 Frequency Training Frequency refers to the number of times you train a body part per week, not how frequently you train.
You could train 5 days a week, but have a chest frequency of 1, due to a body-part split routine where you train chest only in day 1.
Optimally, you should look to train a body part 2-3 times a week, if your schedule and program design allows.
30 Giant Set Same as a Super Set, but with four or more exercises. It’s a high intensity rep scheme, with absolute minimal rest (10-20 secs) between exercises.
Once all four exercises are completed, that’s the first set, where you can rest for you standard rest time of 90 seconds or so.
Can either be on the same muscle group to induce fatigue, or antagonistic pairs.
31 Glycolytic When someone refers to a ‘highly glycolytic exercise’, they are often referring to a high intensity training modality such as HIIT classes, CrossFit WODs, spin classes etc.
Basically, any form of exercise which has a sustained high demand on you body. It refers to the energy system that utilises glycogen stored in your muscles and liver.
Strength training, for example, would not be considered as a highly glycolytic activity, due to the short 20-40s intensiveness followed by sufficient rest – this leverages anaerobic energy systems.
32 High Frequency Training Referred to Weight Training programs where you are training the same muscle part at least three times per week, and quite often 4-5 times a week.
To do this without causing recovery issues, per session volume is often pared down.
33 HIIT Stands for High Intensity Interval Training, and has many applications and styles.
This training style involves doing an activity at a super high ‘all-out’ intensity for 20-40 seconds, followed by a rest period of 40-60 seconds to lower your heart rate and temporarily recover, and repeat for 10 or so rounds.
Deadmills, Tabata, bodyweight movements, kettlebell movements, sprints etc fit nicely into this style. Sessions last 10-20mins max. It’s efficient, but taxing. Limit to 2-3 times a week max.
34 Hypertrophy Hyper (more) Trophy (nourishment) is the growth of cells, and is used in training to describe the growth of muscle cells through the right sufficient training combined with sufficient nutrition.
A.k.a building muscle.
Lots of factors determine if you will induce hypertrophy – not least intensive training, correct training, sufficient rest, sufficient protein, sufficient calories, training age, consistently… and other factors.
35 Hypertrophy Rep Range Whilst all rep ranges completed and used correctly can elicit muscle growth, the often cited “hypertrophy rep range”
It’s typically 8-12 reps and is considered the sweet spot where you can train intensively, with correct form, and get sufficient growth stimulating reps.
To be clear, all rep ranges should be leveraged for developing your body.
36 Intensity / Intensiveness Training Intensity describes the level of exertion in a session. A highly intense session is one where the trainee evaluates their effort as maximal and all out.
There is a difference between Intensity and Intensiveness.
Whilst an Intense Session could include high volume and low rest across the session, intensiveness describes the level of exertion for individual exercises.
You can train Intensively (train to failure for each set) whilst having a moderately intense session – due to lower volume and high rest periods.
37 Internally Rotate Refers to the rotation of your legs or arms.
For example, internally rotating your shoulder would be to rotate your arms inwards towards your stomach, whilst keeping your arms stationary by your sides. That in turn rounds your upper back.
Internally rotating a limb means rotating it in towards the centre of your body.
38 Intra Abdominal Pressure See Bracing.
Whenever an exercise loads the spine, it is important to create intra abdominal pressure, where your musculature in and around your spine/trunk activate to take the load… and not leave your spinal discs vulnerable.
Often visualised by the 360 degree pressure pushed outwards from your abs, obliques and back – creating a thickness around the trunk and a sense of pushing your belly out.
39 Isolation Exercise Any exercise that looks to focus on only one muscle group and mobilisation of only one joint.
Think a Bicep Curl, Tricep Extension, Leg Extension, Leg Curl etc.
To do an isolation exercise correctly, you are looking to stabilise all other joints, and ensure that the target muscle is doing the super majority / all of the work.
40 Isometric An Isometric exercise is one where you are holding a position or maximally contracting a muscle without movement.
Think about a plank, maximally pressing your hands together, pressing a barbell against the pins, or even posing.
This technique is good to help activate muscles, work you way back into training after a lay off, and has some benefits as part of a phased program designed to maximise strength and power.
41 Lagging Body Part Used in bodybuilding circles to describe a body part that is lagging behind in terms of size when compared to the rest of the body, and the symmetry that is trying to be achieved.
For example, people can often find that their calves, or shoulders are lagging body parts, and as such will focus additional effort through the week to try and bring these body parts up.
42 Lateral A lateral movement is the moving of a body part to the side, in the frontal plane.
Lateral Raises, for example, involve lifting dumbbells to the side from your hip to shoulder height, whilst maintaining straight arms.
It’s important to train through all planes of motion – front-to-back, side-to-side, up-and-down, and diagonally.
43 LISS Stands of Low Intensity Steady State. Walking, hiking, or a light cycle/jog would be considered forms of LISS.
The idea is low demand repetitive movment, where you can sustain effort with relative ease and for extended periods of time.
LISS is an effective training modality to support body mechanics, calorie burn, cardiovascular health, and if the effort is low enough… act as a calming and parasympathetic activity (e.g. walking in nature).
44 Mechanical Tension Mechanical tension, an important contributor to muscle growth, is simply the external loading of a muscle through it’s full range of motion.
Your muscles undergo mechanical tension during any exercise, and increasingly so as you lift heavier things.
To further increase mechanical tension, you can move the weight slower, pause-hold a rep, extend the range of motion, and maintain muscular tension in the lowering portion of the lift.
45 Metabolic Conditioning Metabolic Conditioning is a style of training that involves a very high work rate, with exercises selected to burn maximum calories and increase work capacity.
CrossFit WOD’s (Workout of the Day) are examples of Metabolic Conditioning. Lots of work, minimal rest, as many reps as possible.
46 Mind-Muscle Connection Mind-Muscle connection is used in bodybuilding to describe the level of mental focus applied to the working muscle during an exercise.
With greater focus on a muscle as it is being used, you can more accurately control it’s movement, maintain maximal tension, and really isolate that muscle versus allowing other muscles to lend a hand when you’re fatiguing.
It’s an important factor to getting the most out of isolation exercises for the benefit of maximising hypertrophy.
47 Muscle ‘Burn’ During an intense anaerobic exercise such as lifting weights, the burning sensation that develops is a result of lactic acid buildup in the muscle that spills out into the bloodstream.
During intense exercise, there is insufficient oxygen, so in combination with ATP, phosphocreatine and muscle glycogen, the byproduct lactic acid is produced to help convert more energy.
48 Muscle Belly Muscle Belly is basically the sum of all the muscle fibres in any given muscle, and make up the thick part of a muscle, as opposed to the tendons that attach to your skeletal bones.
49 Muscle Endurance Rep Range The Muscle Endurance Rep Range is typically considered the 13-20 rep range (or higher).
You’ll typically see classes use this rep range, or even metabolic conditioning rep ranges of 20+ reps.
That said, there is application of this rep range in the context of building muscle…
As you train for strength, quite often failure is not due to muscular failure, but due to low endurance capability. By working hard on lower weights for more reps, you get to improve your muscle endurance.
50 Pause Reps A Pause Rep is often used in heavy compound movements such as pull ups, bench, squats and deadlifts, where you hold the rep for 1-2 seconds at either top, middle or bottom.
This technique can help with extending the mechanical tension, and also training the body to be effective within the weakest parts of your lift – such as a couple of inches off the floor in a Deadlift.
You can also use this technique in isolation exercises, for hypertrophy benefits.
51 Periodisation Periodisation refers to the design of a longer-term training plan into a series of smaller phases (mesocycles), where the variables of reps, weight, sets and rest are linearly adjusted between phases.
Periodisation emanated from Olympic strength coaches to help develop maximal strength and performance for their national athletes.
Powerlifters also extensively periodise their training in line with their meet schedule.
This training plan design has bled into general hypertrophy training, however there is less utility, albeit can help with exposing the lifter to all rep schemes.
52 Plyometric Plyometrics is mostly associated to training involving jumps from a dead start. Box jumps are plyometric training.
Plyometrics are often used incorrectly, where they are performed to fatigue or exhaust the trainee.
Instead, plyometric training is about training for instant maximum muscle exertion to develop power (speed-strength). Great for athletes looking to increase their acceleration and speed.
Perform a maximum of 6 jumps, focussing on maximal muscle recruitment.
53 Posterior Posterior refers to the muscles on your back side – back, glutes, hamstrings etc.
Posterior chain is the connection and utilisation of multiple posterior muscle, such as your hamstrings, glutes, lower back and lats all working together to perform a deadlift.
54 Priming Priming (or activation) is the process of establishing a strong neural connection/response of the target muscle groups ahead of an athletic event or compound movement.
For example, You may wish to prime your back, scapular and rotator cuff musculature ahead of a heavy session of Bench Press.
55 Progressive Overload Progressive Overload is the primary and foundational principle of developing strength and muscle.
In order to gain strength or muscle, you must continue to incrementally test the limits of your strength and muscular performance – otherwise known as Progressive Overload.
The goal is to continue to set Weight or Rep PR’s from session to session, assuming that the reps are heavy enough to be maximally effective.
Volume (Weight x Reps x Sets) is also a contributing factor to Progressive Overload, but too much sub maximal volume can be counter productive to recovery and growth.
56 Pronated Pronated refers to the rotation of the hand and forearm so that the palm faces backwards or downwards.
A pull up or a traditional lat pulldown are examples of a pronated grip. See Supinated for the opposite hand position in movement.
57 Protein Synthesis (Muscle) Protein Synthesis refers to the bodily process of building new proteins specifically for your muscles. Protein synthesis happens for every organ in the body, in order to repair, renew and build new tissues.
Our bodies are continually breaking down proteins (catabolism), and Protein Synthesis is the countering force to renew. In order to build bigger muscles, you need more Protein Synthesis than Protein Breakdown.
When you train, you damage muscle tissue. The combination of adequate nutrition and recovery will resort in Protein Synthesis to repair the damaged proteins and provide net-new muscle proteins.
58 Proximal The closest part of a bone/muscle to the centre of the body or point of attachment.
For example, the tendon of the biceps attaching to the shoulder joint is considered the proximal attachment, whereas the attachments within the elbow joint will be called proximal.
You’ll hear distal and proximal a lot from coaches – it’s just a way of explaining the relevant end of a bone/muscle.
59 RDL RDL is a Romanian Deadlift, a Deadlift variation where you let the bar travel just passed the knee, before return back up to lockout.
You do not let the bar touch the floor. Romanian Deadlifts increase mobility in your hips due to the straighter leg position. The RDL favours your glutes and hamstrings over your quads.
60 Recovery To repair micro tears in muscle tissue, followed by net Protein Synthesis (adding new muscle proteins), you need adequate time between sessions.
Train before the muscle has fully recovered, and you risk causing excessive fatigue, cortisol, stress, and ultimately a slowing or reversing of muscle growth.
Recovery involves adequate time from intense physical exertion, adequate micro and macro nutrition, sufficient high quality sleep, and reduced lifestyle stress.
Recovery times vary dependant on the intensity and intensiveness of the workout for that muscle group.
61 Recomp To Recomp (recompose) is to adjust your body composition to one of more muscle and less fat.
Seldom is this achieved in one step, unless you are very new to dieting and weight training.
Typically Body Recomposition follows periods of muscle gain via a calorie surplus (bulks), followed by fat loss via a calorie deficit (cutting).
62 Rest Period The time in between sets, where you look to clear waste metabolites from the muscle and recharge your anearobic energy systems, ready for the next set or exercise.
Rest periods range dependant on the rep scheme, intensity, intensiveness, and goals.
Typically in weight lifting, rest periods are 60-90 seconds from 8-12 rep work, and 2-3 mins for intense strength work sub 6 reps.
63 RIR RIR stands for Reps In Reserve, and is a weight lifting term to describe the level of intensiveness in a set.
For example, should an exercise suggest that you leave 2 RIR (Reps in reserve), that would mean finishing what feels like two reps from failure.
In all fairness, this is incredibly subjective, and many trainees do not know true failure to use this instruction accurately.
Furthermore, training to failure for the first 5 years of training is needed to know what your true failure point feels like.
64 ROM ROM stands for Range of Motion – the distance travelled between both ends of a rep.
In general, it is always advisable to train through your full ROM to maximise mechanical tension and to maximally develop the muscle fibres of the given muscle(s).
Quite often, people perform exercises with shortened range of motion – due to lack of sufficient mobility or incorrect training on that movement.
Maximising your ROM is an important part of a strong and functional body.
65 RPE RPE stands for Rate of Perceived Exertion, and is a way of rating the level of effort required for a given set.
RPE is rated on a RPE scale from 1-10, where 10 is maximal effort and reserved for those all-out feats of maximal strength.
Most people unknowingly train at an RPE of 6-7.
Some performance programs use the RPE scale to scale up efforts for lifting or athletic performance.
RPE programming is not often used for standard training, albeit honest retrospective rating of the effort of a set can be useful feedback.
66 Steady State Steady State refers to cardio exercise, and is considered the same or similar to LISS.
It is unlike HIIT, where you undulate between high intensity bouts and rest periods. Instead, you maintain a constant effort, which results in a relatively consistent heart rate, respiration level and rate of effort.
It differs from LISS, as it can describe any effort level, not just low intensity. A competitive 10K run, for example, would be a moderate to high intensity form of Steady State cardio.
67 Strength Rep Range The Strength Rep Range is often considered 4-6 reps, where you exert maximal effort and train very close to technical failure within that range.
You can of course develop strength at any rep scheme, but this rep range including sub 3 reps are considered the most effective in increasing max strength.
68 Stretch Reflex The stretch reflex is the momentum you gain at the bottom of the rep as you change direction from eccentric to concentric, allowing you to generate a little extra power for the next rep.
The stretch reflex is most obvious when squats and bench pressing are performed at higher speeds.
There are exercise variations that look to minimise or eliminate the stretch reflex, such as dead start bench press or dead start squats.
69 Superset Superset is the pairing of two weight training exercises back-to-back, with minimal to no rest.
The primary benefit of supersets in the gym is time efficiency, and to a lesser degree some positive fatiguing if the same muscle group is used across both exercises.
66 Supinated Unlike pronated, a supinated grip refers to the rotation of the hand and forearm so palms are facing upwards or forwards.
Examples of a supinated grip include a standard barbell curl or standard chin up.
70 Time Under Tension Time under tension refers to the period of time where a muscle is under Mechanical Tension during a loaded exercise.
Not to be mistaken with exercise or set elapsed time, as not every moment of a set will have the muscles under sufficient mechanical tension.
The goal with hypertrophy training is to maximise time under ‘significant’ mechanical tension by using correct and strict form, as well as slowly controlling the eccentric (lowering) portion of the lift.
71 Train to Failure Training to Failure refers to performing a weight training set to the point where no further reps can be correctly and safely performed.
Failure can be fatigue, movement, psychological or true muscle failure – all of which are different.
Many strength and conditioning experts would argue that you should train to failure across all your lifts for the first 5 years of training, to ensure there are sufficient growth-stimulating reps performed, and for you to truly understand what failure is.
The only caveat being compound lifts, where holding back by one rep is the safest approach due to heavy loads.
72 Unilateral Unilateral movements involve the exclusive or differing use of one side of your body.
Lunges, Split Squats and Single Arm Dumbbell Pressing are all examples of bilateral exercises.
There is a large benefit to unilateral training, as much of our life is unilateral (think walking or running). Unilateral training develops coordination, stability, core strength and smaller stabilising muscles.
Unilateral exercises can improve bilateral movements, such as the squat or bench press.
73 Variation Exercises Variation exercises are simply that, variations on the standard movement.
The squat for example has many variations, including the front squat, safety bar squat, zercher squat, goblet squat, pistol squat, high bar squat and sissy squat (to name but a few).
Whilst similar in principle, these variations target different muscle fibres, require different recruitment patterns, and can be used to address weak portions of the lift or lagging body parts.
74 Volume Volume, or Training Volume refers to the total weight lifted within a session.
Volume = Weight x Reps x Sets, across every exercise during that workout.
Volume is a factor of hypertrophy, metabolic conditioning and calorie burn.
Most frequently, volume is discussed with Training Frequency and Training Intensity. In order to maximise each session, volume needs to move inversely to intensiveness and/or frequency. See Frequency and Intensity.
75 Working Sets Working Sets refers to the sets of an exercise which truly count, and exclude any prior warm up sets.
Warm up sets prepare you to lift heavy weights, but are often performed with lower intensiveness.
The Working Sets are typically with maximum intensity, where you are looking to progressively overload – i.e. lift more weight or perform more weight with your maximum weight.
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