What are Reps?
Gym Terms Explained
If you're new to strength training, the whole process may seem overwhelming and possibly a bit intimidating. However, once you learn some basic terminology and learn some basic moves, before long you'll be feeling strong and confident. But first things first. You need to know what are reps?
What are reps?
Reps is short for repetitions. It's a word you'll hear frequently in the gym, in the books, or on the DVD. A repetition is one complete movement through an exercise. A simple bicep curl is a great example. You curl your arm up, and then back down. That's one rep. The lifting phase of a rep is called the concentric phase, and the lowering part is called the eccentric phase. You won't hear these terms as often, but they're good to know when you do.
What are sets?
A set is a group of repetitions. A typical set will be anywhere from eight to twenty reps, although many programs use sets that are around ten to twelve. The idea behind a set is to use a weight that will fatigue the muscle or muscle group that you're exercising by the end of the set.
There are a number of different types of sets. Bodybuilders get quite complicated with sets, but for a typical exerciser, using a few different techniques is enough to keep your routine varied and your muscles continually challenged in new ways.
One thing to know about sets is that some programs utilize a rest period in between sets. This is how long you "relax" in between sets. A typical rest period is between thirty and ninety seconds.
What is a Super Set?
A superset is a set of exercises with no rest periods in between. These sets may work the same muscle groups, or they may work opposing muscle groups (such as your quadriceps and hamstrings, chest and back, or biceps and triceps).
What is a Giant Set?
A giant set is a group of three or four sets that work the same muscle group. An example for the legs might be a set of squats followed by walking lunges followed by leg extensions.
There are other ways to work your sets that will keep your muscles challenged. If you are getting bored with your workout, consider changing your sets. Additional options include:
What are Drop Sets?
In a drop set, you begin your set with a heavier weight, and toward the end of the set, as you can no longer complete any more reps, you switch to a lower weight and complete a few more reps.
What are Negatives?
These sets work your muscles using only the eccentric portion of the exercise. This is a good way to work up to certain exercises. If you cannot do a pull-up for example, you can use a bench or spotter to lift yourself to the mid portion of the exercise, and then you can lower yourself to the starting position.