72 Weightlifting Phrases You Must Know

To the neophyte, energy coaching is simple: choose up a weight, put it down, get robust.

Spend a couple of weeks or months on the web or chatting up your new fit-buddies, and also you come to understand there’s a complete lot of science, artwork, and jargon behind the obvious simplicity: compound workouts; plyometrics; supination; RPE; 1RM; ATG.

That can assist you work out what the health club bros and health nerds are yapping about, we’ve put collectively a cheat-sheet of weightlifting phrases that breaks all of it down for you.

So subsequent time somebody recommends that you simply “Attempt to PR on the ultimate pyramid set of your compound actions the ultimate mesocycle earlier than deload,” you’ll know what they’re speaking about.


Ass to grass

Woman Does Jump Squats | Circuit Training

A motion carried out in squat variations whereby the knees and hips flex absolutely, and the glutes are shut as attainable to the ground. Typically abbreviated as ATG.

Compound motion

An train that includes vital motion of two or extra main joints. Examples embrace squatslungesdeadliftspull-ups, and presses of all types.

Concentric motion

A kind of muscle contraction through which a working muscle goes from a lengthened to a shortened place. In energy coaching, it’s the a part of the transfer at which the burden (or your body weight) strikes upward, as within the ‘pushing’ portion of an overhead press.

Eccentric motion

A kind of muscle contraction through which a working muscle goes from a shortened to a lengthened place. In energy coaching, it’s the a part of the transfer at which the burden (or your body weight) strikes downward, as within the ‘decreasing’ portion of an overhead press.


A motion through which a joint goes from an open to a closed or bent place, as in a biceps curl or sit-up.


A motion through which a joint goes from a closed to an open or lengthened place, as in a triceps extension or a deadlift.

Useful motion

A motion, train, or drill that resembles, or helps to enhance, actions repeatedly encountered in on a regular basis life. As an example, carrying groceries or hoisting baggage into an overhead bin.

Grip energy

Closeup of woman's hands opening a large pickle jar

The capability to know, maintain, pinch, carry, and cling from objects of assorted shapes, sizes, and weights utilizing primarily the energy of your fingers and arms.

Grip energy is a part of many various health club actions, together with farmer’s carries, rows, deadlifts, pull-downs, pull-ups, and, to a lesser extent, presses, and is taken into account an indicator of normal well being and a dependable predictor of longevity.

Hip hinge

motion through which each hip joints flex (bend) whereas the backbone stays braced and inflexible. A Romanian deadlift is an instance, as is the set-up place for the standing row.

Isolation actions

Workout routines that contain vital motion of only one main joint. Examples embrace lateral raisestriceps extensions, and biceps curls.

Isometric train

An train that locations stress on a number of muscle teams, however requires minimal motion at any main joint. Examples embrace the wall sit and the plank.


The act of extending, enjoyable, or releasing a muscle or muscle group. Within the ahead bend stretch, for instance, the hamstring muscle group on the backs of the thighs lengthens as you fold ahead.


The act of tensing or contracting a muscle or muscle group. Within the curl train, for instance, the biceps muscle tissue of the higher arms shorten as you increase the burden.

Lifting to failure

Performing an train till you’re unable to finish one other repetition.

Technical failure refers to performing an train till you’re unable to finish one other full repetition with good kind.

Absolute failure refers to performing the train till you’ll be able to not transfer the burden in any respect, and often includes performing a number of partial repetitions — generally with the assistance of a coaching companion — till your muscle tissue are fully exhausted.


Man Does Curls | Mind Muscle Connection

The act of turning your hand or foot upward or outward in order that the palm or sole is pointing up. In a dumbbell curl, supinating your hand as you increase the burden leads to better stress in your biceps muscle tissue.

The time period additionally applies to the entire physique, when an train is carried out on one’s again (supine).


The act of turning your hand or foot downward or inward in order that the palm or sole is pointing down. The time period additionally applies to the entire physique, when an train is carried out on one’s abdomen or dealing with down (susceptible).

Time beneath stress (TUT)

The time taken to finish all phases of a strength-training train, generally expressed as a four-digit quantity, with every digit referring to the time taken to finish a selected portion of the motion.

So a pushup with a 4210 tempo could be a set of pushups through which you’re taking 4 seconds to decrease your self in direction of the ground; two seconds holding the “down” place; one second to push your self again up, and nil seconds — no time — within the “up” place. Every rep of the pushup would give your chest, shoulders, and triceps seven whole seconds beneath stress.


Energetic restoration

3 Friends Walking Together | Active Rest

Gentle, straightforward motion carried out on non-exercise days — or between or after coaching periods on exercise days — meant to stimulate circulation, relieve soreness, and improve restoration. Examples embrace foam rolling, straightforward swimming, strolling, stretching, dynamic warmups, and yoga.


A coaching block targeted on constructing muscle mass, often involving heavy, compound workouts, further protein and energy, and a deal with relaxation outdoors the health club.


Repetitive workouts involving body weight solely. Examples embrace push-upssquatsleaping jacks, and sit-ups.


A coaching block targeted on shedding fats, often involving lowered energy, continued deal with protein consumption and energy coaching, and an emphasis on further low-intensity train outdoors the health club.


A brief interval — often every week — of lowered quantity and depth in a strength-training program, often following every week or extra of high-intensity and high-volume coaching.

Density coaching

A coaching model targeted on finishing as many reps, units, and/or workouts as attainable in a given time frame. Instance: performing as many rounds as attainable of 10 reps every of push-ups and squats in 10 minutes.

Drop set

A set of a energy coaching train carried out instantly after a number of medium to heavy units through which you drastically scale back the burden used as a way to additional exhaust a muscle.

Dynamic stretching/warmup

Woman Holds Runner's Lunge | Dynamic Stretching

Gentle warmup strikes, carried out with body weight solely, to extend core temperature, loosen joints, improve circulation, and scale back damage. Examples embrace excessive kicks, leaping jacks, and strolling lunges.

Full-body coaching

A coaching block or program through which you’re employed all the foremost muscle tissue of the physique in every exercise.

Muscular endurance

The capability of a muscle to contract repeatedly beneath stress earlier than fatiguing.

One-rep max

The quantity of weight you’re able to lifting, for a single repetition at maximal depth, in a given strength-training train.


In energy coaching (versus endurance coaching), understanding at a stage of quantity and/or depth from which you’re unable to get better from one exercise to the subsequent.

Signs embrace elevated resting coronary heart fee, lowered coronary heart fee variability, lack of motivation, and hampered progress.


An method to coaching which focuses on completely different targets — energy, energy, endurance, restoration — in coaching blocks lasting 4 to 12 weeks, all through the coaching 12 months.

An instance is the Tremendous Blocks idea, through which you’re employed out in three-week blocks, every targeted on a specific side of health, separated by one-week deloads (see above).


The capability to precise energy shortly. A 100-meter dash or an extended leap are assessments of energy. In physics, energy is expressed as pressure x acceleration, so the stronger you’re and the sooner you progress the extra highly effective you’re.


woman man doing plyometrics

Jumps, throws, and calisthenics strikes designed to develop athletic explosiveness and energy, and improve energy.

PR (Private file)

A person’s efficiency in a elevate or different train that represents their greatest effort to this point. Examples in energy coaching might embrace performing extra pull-ups in a row than you’ve ever performed with out dropping from the bar, or lifting extra weight for a single repetition than you ever have in a deadlift.

Progressive overload

Systematically growing the reps, weight, and/or quantity of a energy coaching program over time as a way to increase energy, muscle mass, endurance, and different parts of health.


A energy coaching technique through which the burden will increase incrementally in an train over a number of units whereas repetitions inversely lower, typically culminating in a single all-out set of 5 or fewer reps.


A single cycle of a strength-training motion, together with — if relevant — decreasing, lifting, and/or isometric holds.


A rep or group of reps of an train carried out in succession to extend some side of health. Often expressed together with the rep rely of the train, as in, “Three units of 10 reps,” or, merely, “3 x 10.”

Break up coaching

Versus full-body coaching (see above) a break up program focuses on completely different muscle teams or actions on completely different days of the week, or days inside a cycle of exercises.

Some examples embrace “push-pull” through which the lifter performs actions that contain pushing workouts on some days, and pulling workouts on others; “upper-lower,” through which the lifter works higher physique some days and decrease on others, and “physique half splits,” through which the lifter works only one or two particular person muscle teams — say, arms or again or legs — every exercise.


Woman Does Deadlifts | Body Recomposition

The flexibility to exert pressure to beat resistance. In physics, energy is expressed as pressure x distance — so the extra pressure you’ll be able to exert, and farther you progress the resistance, the stronger you’re.

Tremendous setting

Alternating units of no less than two workouts, again to again, often to avoid wasting time, or to extend the workload on a given muscle group.

Undulating periodization

variation of the usual periodization (see above) mannequin through which you fluctuate the main focus of the exercises throughout the similar coaching block as a way to scale back stress, and create a stimulus for broader adaptation.

So, as a substitute of specializing in endurance for 4 weeks, hypertrophy for 4 weeks, and energy for 4 weeks, you may carry out two endurance exercises, two hypertrophy exercises, and two energy exercises every week for a six- or eight-week interval.


The overall quantity of labor carried out in a given exercise, week, or coaching block. Generally expressed as “weight lifted x units x reps,” however typically quick handed as “variety of working units.”


Amino acids

amino acid funtions | Amino Acids

The constructing blocks of dietary protein, which kind the uncooked supplies for muscle- and tissue-building throughout the physique.

Anaerobic vs. cardio

In biology, cardio reactions are people who require oxygen, and anaerobic ones don’t. So, many trainers and exercisers discuss with endurance actions (operating, swimming, biking, and many others.) as cardio, and energy and energy actions (energy coaching, sprinting) as anaerobic.

In reality, few if any bodily actions are purely one or the opposite; most actions lie on a spectrum someplace between the 2 extremes.

ATP (Adenosine triphosphate)

The first gas that powers organic exercise within the physique. Power in meals (carbohydrate, fats) is transformed by metabolism into this power to carry out work.


Scientifically unproven coaching and dietary recommendation, typically delivered by individuals with few if any professional credentials, in individual or on social media.

EPOC (Extra post-exercise oxygen consumption)

The tendency for the physique to proceed burning power above your baseline metabolic fee after the conclusion of a exercise.

EPOC is considerably increased after high-intensity actions like sprints and circuit coaching than lower-intensity ones, however, opposite to some older analysis, not a significant contributor to caloric burn or fats loss.


Muscle progress.


An often-misunderstood and mischaracterized gas supply for muscle contraction, produced and burned throughout extended high-intensity energy or endurance coaching.

RPE (Charge of perceived exertion)

A subjective scale, expressed as a quantity from six to twenty or one to 10, of how arduous an individual is working relative to their maximal capability.



biceps anatomy | arm muscles

The muscle tissue on the fronts of the higher arm, answerable for flexing (bending) the elbow.

Glutes (gluteals)

The “butt muscle tissue” on the backs of the hip joints answerable for extending the hips.

Lats (latissimus dorsi)

The thick muscle tissue on the edges of the torso answerable for drawing the arms again and down, and serving to to increase the decrease again.

Pecs (pectorals)

The chest muscle tissue, answerable for drawing your higher arms in direction of, and previous, your heart line.

Quads (quadriceps)

The muscle tissue on the fronts of your thighs, answerable for extending your knee joint.

Traps (trapezius)

The kite-shaped muscle in your higher again, answerable for drawing your shoulder blades upwards, backwards, and downwards.


The muscle tissue on the backs of your higher arms, answerable for extending (straightening) your elbows.


single leg standing hip abduction woman band proprioception

The act of shifting an arm or leg away from the middle line of the physique.


The act of shifting an arm or leg towards the middle line of the physique.


All metabolic actions that contain progress, or the assembling of smaller organic parts into bigger ones. Muscle progress, which includes the development of recent muscle tissue from amino acids, is one instance.


Muscle loss or breakdown.

Physique composition

A measurement or the proportion of physique fats in an individual relative to their total physique mass.

Muscle fiber sort

A means of categorizing the lengthy, parallel, hair-like fibers that comprise muscle tissue. (See additionally quick twitch and sluggish twitch).


Altering the relative proportion of physique fats and muscle tissue within the physique, with minimal change in whole physique mass.


Metabolic actions that contain breakdown, or the breaking of bigger organic parts into smaller ones. Fats loss, which includes the breaking of fats tissue into triglyceride gas, is one instance.

DOMS (Delayed onset muscle soreness)

Soreness in muscle tissue felt many hours — or generally days — following a tough train session.

Quick twitch

A kind of muscle fiber, also referred to as sort II, that’s massive and lightweight in shade, and answerable for quick, high-effort, high-exertion actions like all-out sprints and heavy lifts.

These are distinguished from slow-twitch, or sort I, fibers, that are slimmer and darker, and answerable for slower, decrease effort actions like jogging and lighter, sooner lifts.


An imaginary heart line that bisects the physique vertically.

Thoughts-muscle connection

The psychological consciousness of the motion of your muscle tissue as they lengthen and contract, proven to enhance the effectiveness of a strength-training program.

Muscle imbalance

distinction within the relative energy of muscle tissue on two sides of the physique or two sides of a joint, believed to play a job in posture and susceptibility to damage.

Vary of movement

Seated Woman Stretches Hamstring | Dynamic Stretching

The course and diploma to which a joint or a collection of joints transfer — or are able to shifting — in a specific train or stretch.


Lack of muscle mass stemming from illness, growing old, or disuse.

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