Fitness Definition: Top 20 Words You Need To Know For Strength Training
fitness definition

Let’s face it: strength training can be confusing. There are so many different exercises and techniques, not to mention all the specific strength training words that come with them. So in this article, I want to clear up some of that confusion with a strength training vocabulary lesson!

I believe that once you understand the basics of something, it becomes easier to build on that foundation. How many times have you rushed into the unknown? Some people follow a trial-by-fire or sink-or-swim mentality, but does it really work? And how does it help you grow? Without a foundation, how can your “house” stand?

That’s why it’s important to know the terminology used in gyms across the globe, as this will make more sense of your actual training.

The following are 20 of the most commonly used strength training words. You may have already heard or even said them without really knowing what they mean, but once you know them, you’ll be one step closer to being a strength training expert!

Top 20 Strength Training Words


1. Strength Training

A method of improving muscular strength by gradually increasing the ability to resist force through the use of free weights, machines, or the person’s own body weight.


2. Endurance

The ability of a muscle or group of muscles to sustain repeated contractions against a resistance for an extended period of time.


3. Relative Strength

The amount of strength an individual has in relation to their own bodyweight.


4. Power

The ability to exert maximum muscular contraction instantly in an explosive burst of movements.


5. Absolute Strength

The maximum force that a muscle can produce in a single voluntary effort. Also known as the maximum amount that a person can lift in a single repetition.


6. Load

The weight or amount of resistance you use in training. Can be broken down into percentages or RPE (rated perceived effort) of the maximum weight you can lift.


7. Repetition (Rep)

The number of times a single exercise is repeated within a set.


8. Set

A basic unit of a workout containing the number of times (repetitions) a specific exercise is done.


9. Superset

A combination of two different exercises performed one after the other without a rest in between.


10. Tri-Set

Three different exercises performed one after the other without a rest in between.


11. Unilateral

Training one limb/side of the body at a time.


12. Negatives

Controlling and slowing down the lowering (eccentric) phase of an exercise for approximately 3–5 seconds.


13. Isometric/Iso-Hold

Means “without movement”. During isometric training, your muscles will not contract and release or change length, and your limbs and joints will remain in the same position.


14. Volume

The number of muscles worked, exercises, sets, and repetitions during a single training session.


15. Concentric

A muscle contraction that shortens the distance between joints where the muscle tenses.


16. Eccentric

A muscle contraction that lengthens the distance between joints where the muscle tenses.


17. Tempo

The speed of a movement within an exercise.


18. Periodization

The systematic planning of your training.


19. Active Recovery

A low-intensity activity designed to help your body recover before your next workout.


20. Plateau

The point in an exercise program where no additional progress is being made (gains in strength, weight loss, increased endurance, etc.).

There you have it: 20 of the most frequently used terms in strength training! This is a great list to refer to if you ever get confused about strength training words, so be sure to bookmark this page for future reference!

Do all of these words make sense, or are there any that you want me to explain further? Share your thoughts in the comments below, and if you have friends who need help learning strength training words, be sure to share this article with them!

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About the Author Jay Kali

Jay Kali AKA, The Strength Architect is the founder of Kali Coaching. He holds certifications as a Specialist in Strength and Conditioning, Certified Fitness Trainer, Online Trainers Academy Graduate, Training For Warriors Level 2 Graduate and is a 300-Certified Yoga Teacher in Power Yoga. He is also an Amazon Bestselling Author in four different categories and has made it his mission to help women create long lasting, healthy lifestyles in just 8 weeks!

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