We’ve been told time and time again that incorporating strength training into your weekly workout schedule is one of the best ways to lose weight and boost your metabolism. It makes sense right? Muscle burns calories so the more muscle we have, the more calories we’ll burn during our workout and hours beyond. So when it’s time to bust out the dumbbells or barbell for your next sweat-sesh, don’t be intimidated by the terminology used. Let this guide help you decipher what exactly it is you’re supposed to be doing while you pump some iron:)
Reps & Sets
Reps are the number of times you do a single move. A standard number of reps that I incorporate in my workouts and classes is anywhere between 10-15. If I say “bicep curls for 10 reps” that means I’m going to do a bicep curl 10 times.
Sets are the number of times you cycle through the given number of reps. So going back to the “bicep curls for 10 reps” example – that means 10 reps is considered 1 set. If I then go on to say “We’re going to do 3 sets of bicep curls” that’s essentially 30 bicep curls in total.
Supersets are when you complete a set of any given workout and move right away onto the next move (usually a different move) right away without any rest in between. Once those back to back sets are complete, then you give yourself a rest.
Failure is when you can no longer physically perform another rep of any given move.
Drop sets are where you perform as many reps of a single move until you reach failure, then reduce the amount of weight you’re using and continue on with the reps again reducing your load every time you reach failure.
AMRAP stands for “as many reps as possible” and it means just that. Perform the move as many times as you can to failure. This is usually paired with a time frame. So you might do as many reps as possible in 3 minutes for example.
Max is the maximum amount you can lift when performing a move while maintaining good form. You might sometimes hear something similar to “50% of your max” which means about half of the weight you consider your max weight lifting capacity.
Feel free to return to this guide as you continue on your strength training journey! And of course, let me know if there are any terms that you’ve heard before that I may have missed – let’s share the knowledge as we work towards are best selves:)