The General Terms of Lifting and Training in Weight Training. When you walk in to a gym or fitness facility for the first time, you should be familiar with some general terms, as no doubt an aggressive salesperson or trainer will tackle you with terms that will make you feel as if you missed a whole developmental stage of your life. Knowing what you are doing is half the battle. Understanding some general lifting and training terminology will help you understand what people are saying, will help you feel more comfortable when working out, and of course, will prevent you from looking as if you have never been in a gym.
The Lifting and Training TermsAbduction refers to moving a limb away from the midline of the body. For example, if your arm is down at your side and you move it out and up to shoulder height (so your armpit makes a 90-degree angle), your arm is now abducted.
Adduction refers to moving a limb toward the midline of the body. For example, if your arm is up at shoulder height (your armpit makes a 90-degree angle) in the abducted position and you bring it back down toward your side, you are adducting it.
Alternative resistance devices are any type of external way to produce resistance that is unconventional from that of a machine or free weights, such as specialized tubing, medicine balls, stability balls, and other objects.
Extension is the act of increasing the joint angle. For example, if you are sitting and you lift a leg straight out in front, you are extending the knee.
Flexion is the opposite of extension. This is a confusing term because we use the word flex to describe “making a muscle,” as in flexing the biceps. The anatomical term and gym jargon are slightly different. Anatomically, flexion is decreasing the joint angle. The gym term probably arose from the fact that you flex your arm (make the joint angle smaller) to make your biceps bulge (flex the muscle).
Group training is any training session that has more than one participant. Gone are the days of the original aerobics classes. Today’s classes incorporate tubing, balls, dumbbells, bicycles, and other devices. Also, personal training has developed from the standard one-on-one session to small groups (similar to that of an athletic program at a high school or college) to ease individual budgets while increasing trainer’s hourly rate.
Free weight is the catchall term for anything that is not a machine. Dumbbells, barbells, and plates are free weights. Generally, free weight plates are added to bars to increase the total resistance, but some machines also allow for additional weight to be added. Don’t let the name fool you, though; they are certainly not free when it comes to the price. Although inexpensive plates and bars are available at a variety of sporting goods stores, high-quality equipment is expensive. In fact, rubber-coated special plates and those used by Olympic and high-level athletes can cost more than $5 per pound (per .5 kg). The bars themselves can run more than $1,200 each.
Isolateral is a fancy term that means each arm or leg moves individually. Iso stands for isolation, and lateral refers to either side.
Locking out refers to completing the entire repetition and finishing with the joint or joints fully extended. Although some people are against locking out, if done gently, you increase your total range of motion, increasing the overall length and shape of your muscle. You should never “snap” into place, but a soft lock is definitely recommended.
Machines are anything that either has preloaded weight or can add external weight while maintaining a specific line of movement for control and stabilization. Machines that move in a set path provide greater stabilization and focus more on isolating specific muscles. Some companies believe that this specific line is too strict and have created machines that work along multiple paths, forcing other muscles to get involved as well as creating greater variation for the lifter.
The multiple paths approach attempts to make a machine more like a free weight. Some machines work well this way while others do not, making the machine more cumbersome and the movement more difficult to perform. Since both isolation of muscle and incorporating multiple muscles are desired, a training program should use both fixed machines and those with adjustable settings. Machines that use pulleys and cables allow for greater range of motion, which in turn allows the lifter to create many different exercises using the same machine. However, with a cable you need better technique and control; thus the true beginner should focus on machines with a set path of motion.
Multijoint (or compound) exercises involve more than one joint and are oriented more toward sport and real-life movement since they are not isolated. For example, a lat pull-down involves the same muscles of the elbow as the dumbbell curl as well as the muscles that cross the shoulder joint. Multijoint exercises are the preferred choice when time is limited or when looking for a movement-based approach rather than isolation.
Personal trainer, facility manager, group fitness manager, and floor staff are all fancy terms given to gym staff members. True personal trainers have certifications or college-level education in exercise science and training. They can be a great source of information when you are looking for help, a few ideas, or full-scale training services to push yourself beyond your own means. However, be careful when joining large-chain gyms that have all kinds of fees and offer many services in an expensive building with high-end equipment. Many of the staff are merely pawns of the sales game looking to sell you anything they can. Although this is not true of all facilities, be wary, be armed, and understand what you are getting into. Take your time, and pick a training center where you feel most comfortable.
Plate-loading machines are ones where you have to put the weight on yourself. Generally, there will be a bar or pole to place plates on, and you select your load by increasing the number of plates you add.
Single-joint (or isolation) exercises focus on the muscles of a single joint. A dumbbell curl involving the muscles surrounding the single elbow joint is the best example. These exercises are best for working specific hard-to-grow muscles or to specifically isolate a particular muscle.
21s are just one of many ways to add variety to your training routine. The number refers to the total number of reps. Specifically, you perform 7 reps of half of the movement, 7 of the other half of the movement, and 7 of the complete movement one after another. This approach is generally used when doing arm curls but can be used for any part of the body.
Weight stack, adjustable, and pin-loading machines are common machines that have a preset weight stack, and you select the actual load you are looking to lift. The pin is a tool that helps you select the appropriate weight by placing it in the stack at the weight level you desire; it is easily adjustable if the weight is too light or too heavy.
That's the article about the general terms of lifting and training in weight training that you should know before you join in the gym. Hopefully this article useful for all readers. Thanks.