Get With It - Gym Chat!

There is a lot of ‘’lingo’’ used in the fitness world which us trainers might take for granted but the truth is a lot of people may as well be reading an article in French! It isn’t due to the fact they don’t get it but because like any industry, there are ‘’insider’’ words and terms which are thrown about. Therefore today we are going to run through 5 of the most commonly used ‘’terms’’ and ‘’phrases’’ used to help sharpen up your fitness vocab!

Part 1 - Gym Talk!

ROM or Range Of Motion

This refers to the length of range used during a repetition. For example, when you do a bicep curl a ‘’full range of motion’’ would mean extending the arm to its natural limit and then curling it the opposite way. Sometimes an article might recommend a shortened ROM or insist on a full ROM. Next time you see ROM you will know how to do the exercise properly!

Rep Tempo

This refers to the speed at which you perform a repetition and it also dictates whether or not there are ‘’pauses’’ at either end of the repetition. For example, if the rep tempo was 2-4-2-0 that would mean a 2 second pause at the ‘’top’’ followed by a 4 second negative, then another 2 second pause at the ‘’bottom’’ with an explosive lift (hence the zero second time frame prescribed). Rep tempo is manipulated to yield different results, whether that is strength, size or fat loss.

Isometric Contraction

This describes the ‘’pause’’ bit at the ‘’bottom’’ or ‘’top’’ of a repetition as outlined in rep tempo above. Often in workouts there will be special emphasis placed upon these ‘’pauses’’ to eliminate cheating/swinging and increase the amount of tension placed upon the target muscles. One of the best training tools available to use are isometric contractions! After all it all boils down to muscle fibre stimulation.


This describes the phase of the repetition where you ‘’lower’’ the weight having lifted it. For example after pressing the bar up you lower the weight back down, it is during this ‘’phase’’ which you are performing the negative part of the repetition (officially the eccentric contraction). Negative phases are where we are strongest so utilise it, resist the weight and put those muscles under stress!

High/Low Volume

Obviously the end of the title gives away the topic, volume. However what constitutes a ‘’low’’ or ‘’high’’ volume workout? There is a degree of individuality here, what is ‘’high’’ volume for you might not be for the next guy. However, typically speaking here are the definitions

– Low Volume – generally 3-5 ‘’working’’ sets per body part (with 2-3 warm up sets beforehand). Intensity is KEY here, this means failure, forced reps and even negatives (training partner required). The rest periods are also slightly longer due to the fact ‘’weight’’ lifted is more of a concern in this kind of workout when using lower reps.

High Volume – generally anything up to 30-60 depending on time spent in the gym. Rest periods are usually shorter (30-60 seconds is a good marker) and it is all about ‘’time under tension’’ over weight or intensity.

Hopefully this summary has provided a little more insight into the meanings of various terminology us ‘’fit pros’’ like to chit chat with!

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