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There are a lot of different terms in the fitness world can be confusing to beginners. In this short article I am going to go over some that you should know.

Reps: A rep is a single movement of an exercise through the concentric and eccentric phase (raising and lowering). Let’s use the pull up as an example. Hanging from the bar if you pulled up to where your chin is over the bar and then down to where your arms are extended again, that would be 1 rep.

Sets: A set is the number of reps you perform during an exercise. So if you see 3 sets of 10 reps. You do 10 reps 3 separate times.

Eccentric and Concentric: The eccentric phase is the lower part of the movement and the concentric phase is the raising part. More focus should be put on the eccentric phase of the movement. That is where muscle growth occurs.

Super-set: A super-set is when you combine two different exercises together with no rest. If you see something like this

A1: Bench Press 5×5

A2: Flies 5×10

That means you would do 5 reps of bench press and immediately when you are done pick up some DB’s and do 10 reps of flies. Then you would rest a minute or so and do it 4 more times. Supersets are great to save some time and bump up the intensity.

Rest Period: This is a straightforward one. A rest period is the amount of time you rest/do nothing between sets. This is usually in the 1-2 minute range. But this can vary depending on what you are doing.

Hypertrophy: This term may come up every now and then. Hypertrophy essentially just means muscle growth without getting too scientific. So if you see a program labeled hypertrophy focused, it is more a of a muscle building program and not strength.

HIIT: HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. I am going to write a full article on this soon but it is a very effective way of doing cardio. You will do burst of high intensity cardio mixed with low intensity bouts. So it could be something like this

Sprint 20 seconds

Jog 1 minute

Sprint 20 seconds

Jog 1 minute

etc… for 10-15 minutes

There are many different ways to setup these workouts.

IIFYM: IIFYM stands for if it fits your macros. I am going to write a huge article on this but I will explain the basics here. Your food contains 3 macronutrients. Protein, Carbs and Fats. Most diets revolve around eating limited types of food. But this diet is more “flexible” and let’s you eat whatever you want as long as you hit your macro numbers for the day. This type of dieting is awesome because you can still eat the foods you like in moderation. You also learn what it is in the food you are eating.

Pump/Pumped: The pump is what you get when your blood start flowing through your muscles from a lot of reps. Your muscles swell up and look bigger than when you are not working out. It is an interesting feeling and it makes you feel huge.

Vascular/Vascularity: Vascularity refers to the visibility of your veins. The lower body fat you are the more vascular you get. Guys love getting lean and showing off their vascularity.

PPL: Push Pull Legs. This is a type of training split where you do push one day, pull one day and legs the other. I go into this in much detail on this article.

Shredded: Shredded is when you get to an extremely low body fat.

Bulk and Cutting: In the fitness world, most people go through bulking and cutting phases. In a bulking phase you eat above your maintenance calories and look to put on some quality size. In a cutting phase you work on getting rid of the fat you gained when bulking. If done right, you are left with most of the muscle you gained in your bulk. People tend to go a little overboard when bulking and use it as an excuse to just eat whatever they want. It is better to clean bulk to limit the amount of fat you gain. This will make the cutting phase much easier.

Clean Eating: Clean eating refers to eating foods that are good for you. Mostly meat, veggies and fruit. Nothing processed or filled with carbs.

Time Under Tension: Time under tension is the amount of time during a set that your muscle is getting worked. The entire duration of the set. To extend time under tension, focus on the eccentric phase of the movement.

Cardio: Cardio is forms of exercise that get your heart going! Some common ways are sprinting, jogging, walking, biking, rowing and much more. A lot of lifters tend to skip cardio but it has it’s place in every program.

Volume: Volume is the total weight lifted. You multiply the weight, sets and reps to get the volume.