Understanding Your Workouts: Strength Glossary April 23, 2019 15:26 Updated Follow Not a Member yet? $25/month Get Purple Patch Education Membership, A complete performance education program for coaches and athletes. SUBSCRIBE You need to sign in to view this page. Sets and Reps: Sets are the number of rounds you will do and reps are the number of repetitions of a given exercise in a round. So when you see 3 x10 push-ups this means 3 sets of 10 reps. You will complete 3 rounds of 10 push-ups with a short break in between. Be sure to take your time, these strength sessions are not meant to be massive cardio workouts. Main Set: Within a main set is generally one main exercise we really want to be the focus of the day. They are going to be multi-joint movements that can be described as our “bulls-eye” exercises for the day and that particular phase of training. We recognize that maybe people might have a hard time getting in the entire day of strength in the gym sometimes, so we are happy as long as you are consistently focused on completing the "main set" exercises for the day. Over time we expect you will make progress on these movements. Warm-up: This is actually a TRICK because in our main focused strength days, you do not see a section for “warm up.” This does not mean that we don’t want you to do them, and we do not just want you to dive right into the main set without getting loose or warm. It is impossible to tell a team of athletes exactly what warm-ups to do, because everyone needs something slightly different. So, through utilizing some of the other strength days or simple core/mobility exercises that you like and are appropriate for you, we would urge you to spend 10-15 minutes in preparation for the main set. Be creative and inventive with your strength warm-ups. Supporting or Ancillary Set: These are sets that we would like you to do following successful completion of the main sets. These are great exercises that will help translate your physical fitness into performance. They will also really address some of the missed movement patterns that we often do not do, yet these movements help us maintain joint and muscle health. In a perfect world we would always have time and resources to do these sets as well, but if we don’t then these are the ones that it is OK to drop, as long as you are able to get to the main sets. Superset: In many supporting sets, we want supersets to be efficient and try to cover as many joints and movements as we can. In a "superset," you are going to perform the listed exercises in sequence, and then rest, followed by repeating that sequence again. For example, if we see “3 rounds of: 8 reps of shoulder press and 10 step ups” then we would do 8 x shoulder press, right into 10 x step ups, then rest for 30-60 seconds and repeat with 8 shoulder presses and 10 step ups, and so on. % Effort: The way we are looking to prescribe the appropriate loads and weights that you use in an exercise is going to be commonly listed as a % of effort. The last thing we want is for you to be lifting heavier than you are able to handle and then compromise the rest of your week because you are sore for 4 days. That is not our intention for the majority of our athletes. That said, a common question we get is “but 85% of what?” This is a very valid question. We want you to look at the number of reps, and take the % of effort for that exact number of reps. So if we say 80% effort on 10 x a front squat, then think about what a VERY heavy load would be for a front squat and then take 80% of that weight. That should be enough load to challenge you and facilitate the appropriate strength response, but not enough to leave you fatigued and sore. **Note: On this, athletes with greater strength backgrounds can generally handle higher %s and will also know the appropriate loads better. If you are newer, begin with the low end of % effort and make sure you executing successful movements as you work on developing your strength abilities. Rest or Recovery: We ask for rest and recovery between sets in most of our strength sessions (excluding some circuits like the Lucky 7s), which is very important to adhere to. Endurance athletes training revolves around a beating heart and heavy breathing. Strength training for us should NOT be seeking that same feeling! It should be different and focus on your joint mechanics and successful form on each and every exercise. In addition, if done right, it can even be a time where your cardiovascular and pulmonary systems can get a little break. Even if you think you could rapidly get through things, that removes some of the value of the sessions. Take anywhere from 30 - 90 seconds of rest in most sets (even 2-3 minutes if you are doing some higher power work in a main set), depending on how hard you are working or even how fatigued you are globally. Each strength workout will also have a video embedded in it to explain the various exercises that you will complete. Related articles Understanding Your Workouts: Run Glossary What Should I So If I Am Really Fatigued? How do I manually log or update a workout? I have a question about my race build. What if I don't understand a workout?