Lifting Lingo

Have you ever came across a program and didn’t fully understand it? Let’s say you are presented with this

A1: Barbell Bench Press 3×10-12
A2: Barbell Rows 3×10-12
B1: Shoulder Press 3×10-12
B2: DB Curls 3×10-12
C: Barbell Squats 3×5

Rest: 90 seconds
Tempo: 3-0-1-0

Look confusing? Let’s break that down. Whenever you see a letter with a number that means a superset. So in the A1-A2 example you would do a bench press for 10-12 reps and then immediately do a Barbell Row for 10-12 reps. You then take a 90 second break. The first number in 3×10-12 is the amount of sets.

In this case you would do that whole thing 3 times. Then you would move on to the next superset doing the same thing. Lastly when there is a number with just a letter and no number, that is a set by itself. So for squats you would only do 3 sets of 5 reps.

Now the only other thing that needs explaining is the Tempo. Tempo is the speed in which you perform the exercise. The first number is the eccentric or lowering phase. The second number is the time spent at the bottom of the exercise. The third number is the concentric or lifting phase. The 4th number is time spent at the top.

Let’s take the bench press as an example. You would lower the bar in 3 seconds, no pause at the bottom, press up in 1 second and no pause at the top.

For the second part of this article I am going to just throw out some terms you may hear at the gym. This is more just for fun if you happen to hear them.

  • Aesthetic: Very good looking body. Lean and muscular
  • Shredded: Veins popping, six pack showing
  • Ripped: Same thing as shredded
  • Swole: Very muscular
  • Skinny Fat: Skinny arms, no muscle tone but having a gut.