The Lingo

For many new gym goers, the gym can be an intimidating place trying to learn how all the machines work and then there are all these terms that you start hearing. The following are some of the most common terms you might hear when weight training. It may also give you some ideas of how to mix up your routine.

Superset: A superset is when an individual does one lifting movement and then immediately does another movement for a different body part. Example: Push ups then right into squats.

Compound Sets: This is when one does two movements in a row for the same body part. Example: Leg curls right into stiff leg deadlifts.

Giant Sets: Giant sets are performed when an individual completes more than two movements in a row without rest. Example: Wide grip pulldowns, crunches, then squat jumps.

Concentric: This is the “positive” movement of the exercise. Example: the curling up when completing a dumbbell curl or the pressing down when completing and tricep pushdown.

Eccentric: This is the “negative” portion of the exercise. Example: straightening the arms after curling them in a bicep curl.

Isometric: There is no movement during and isometric exercise. Example: a plank or a wall sit.

1RM: This is an individual’s one rep max. This is the maximum amount of weight one can lift in a single repetition for a given exercise.

Drop sets: This is when an individual will take the amount of weight they are lifting and lower it by a percentage in order to complete more reps. Example: Bench press 100lbs for 10 reps then drop the weight 20% for 10 more reps.

Forced Reps: These are reps that require a spotter-someone to help watch your form and lift the weight for you if you can not. A forced rep would require the spotter to help the individual lift the weight once he/she feels they have reached failure in order to get more reps.

Plyometrics “plyos”: a type of exercise training that recruits the fast twitch muscle fibers the body uses for explosiveness and heavy lifting. Often times one thinks of jumping when it comes to plyos. Plyometrics can also be done for the upper body. Push ups, barbell curls, pull ups, push press and various other upper body movements can be done with the plyometric style.


Intensity and Recovery! From FITPOINT

FITPOINT Topic of the Week: We all workout at different intensities and vary in how often. How hard do you work-out? Do you ever fatigue yourself or do you workout just enough to get a little burn? If you do go all out, how do you deal with this or recover? What is your routine after your workout?

This is a great topic, and I have given it a lot of thought. Intensity and Recovery actually give me a lot of anxiety, as I am never sure I am doing the right thing.

First is intensity. Over the past six months, I have been trying other people’s workouts that I have gotten online – mostly from I have done drop set type work outs, rest pause type work outs, 15 rep work outs, and I am now finishing up a four week program of 7 sets workout. I was missing having a trainer, so by printing out a structured workout and following it to the “T” each time, I felt like I had a kind of “trainer”. I also chose workouts that I had never heard of before that offered a new way of thinking about muscle building. I figured that I was sure to do something “right” if I tried a whole bunch of different techniques.

After a lot of sole searching and analyzing of these workouts, I have come to realize that my intensity has suffered. I think because the workout routines were so specific, I felt like I had “pass” if I did not work as hard. Except for maybe the rest pause, all the workouts have not been as intense as what I would have done on my own. I am glad I gave each workout a try, but I am also disappointed and thinking that I wasted six months of training.

Today was legs and the last day of my 7 sets workout. I followed the workout as I have been for the past four weeks, but I also added several supersets to ramp up the intensity. I realized how much I have been missing that intensity.

I am looking forward to next week to get back to my old way of doing things, and I am sure I will incorporate a few tricks that I have learned along the way.

Next is recovery. What to eat, when to eat, how much protein, how many carbs… it makes my head spin. Everyone has a different opinion on the best way to recover. I almost always have a protein shake after a workout. Sometimes I add a banana in the shake and make a smoothie.

I used to add a teaspoon of raw honey to get a surge of sugar. When I first read about adding the honey, it made sense, but as I thought more about it, it seemed kind of crazy. I want my body to use up stored fat I already have, not give it honey to burn.

It is hard finding the balance between building muscle in the most efficient and effective way possible and maintaining a low weight. That is where my anxiety comes into play and why I stopped with the raw honey. I used to have a sweet potato about an hour after my protein shake. I need to start doing that again.

Click on the Fit Point Box to check out what other Bloggers
have to say about Intensity and Recovery.

Workout Reviews

I always try to mix up my workout, but I have realized that I actually mix up my workouts very little. I change the exercises or the sets and reps, but that is really it. I recently came across an article that described a workout that I have never heard of and concepts that I had never even considered. I printed it out and committed to it for six weeks.

First, I really liked having a workout that specified exactly what to do. I usually go to the gym and make up my routine as I go. Sometimes it will even change depending on what machines are open. Having it written down was almost like having a trainer. There was no guess work or thought about what to do next…. it was all right there for me to follow.

After six weeks, I was in search of another new workout to follow. I am trying to choose routines that are completely different than anything I have been doing, and I will review each routine based on the following criteria:

Desired result – did I make improvements?
Ease of use – was it easy to follow?
Timeframe – how long did it take each day, was the time realistic to commit to each day?
Intensity – did I feel like I had a really great (hard) workout?
Dread factor – did I dread it or look forward to it?
Repeat – will I do this routine again in the future?

***One thing to note: Women, please remember that building muscle or developing muscle does not mean getting bulky or manly. It refers to building muscle tissue which helps burn more calories and makes you look tone and fit.

Check out my “Check This Out” section on the right to get reviews for the exercise routines I am trying.

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