Must Know Fitness Terms

10 Fitness Terms to Know

Are you down with the lingo of fitness these days? If not, we’re here to give you all the deets on 10 fitness terms to know so you can understand how our science-backed programming works.

This is perfect timing too. We just released 4 brand new workout programs, re-did our membership subscriptions, and also released a bomb zone 2 / zone 5 cardio add-on program that stacks perfectly with our workouts.

Check out our programs here!

Reps & Sets

“Reps” = is an abbreviation for “repetitions” and refers to the number of times you will perform a movement or lift.

“Set” = a collection of reps.

Let’s say the workout reads:
3 x 10 Back Squats
Rest 2 min

What this really says is completely 3 SETS of 10 REPS of Barbell Back Squats with 2 minutes of rest time in between. Aka, you’ll complete a total of 30 Back Squats by the time you’re done.


“AMRAP” = As Many Reps as Possible.

Keep moving and accumulate as many rounds and reps as you can until the time cap expires.

For example:
AMRAP 30 Minutes:
Run 200m
10 DB Deadlifts
5 Burpees
Rest 90 seconds
Run 200m
10 Kettlebell Swings
5 Burpees
Rest 90 seconds
Run 200m
10 Burpee DB Deadlifts
Rest 90 seconds


“EMOM” = Every Minute on the Minute.

At the beginning of every minute, complete the programmed reps, then rest the remainder of the minute.

For example:
6 Minute EMOM
Bentover DB Rows x 10-12 Reps

This means, we complete 10-12 reps, then rest the remainder of the minute (maybe as much as 30 seconds rest, maybe as lil as 15-20 seconds rest).

“Alternating EMOM” = alternate between movements at the start of every minute, rest remainder of the minute.

Example of Alternating EMOM:
EMOM x 8 Minutes (Alternating)
DB Front Raises x 10-12 Reps
Ring Rows x 8-15 Reps

Progressive Overload

Progressive Overload = workouts that increase in difficulty over time (so you can get stronger, gain muscle, hit new PRs..)

Example: Squatting every Monday.
Week 1 = 200 lbs
Week 2 = 205 Ibs
Week 3 = 210 lbs, and so on.

You could also:

  • Increase reps/sets lifted each week
  • Increase tempo each week
  • Add pauses at the top or bottom of reps
  • Rest less between sets each week

Doing random workouts OR not following a plan can land ya in the “random training = random results” camp. Friends don’t let friends spin wheels in the sand. If you’re following a lifting program, make sure it has Progressive Overload!


“Hypertrophy” = “muscle building.”

This is how ya should be training most of the time if your goal is to look your best!

See someone at the gym or on a figure stage with a super shredded physique? They prob did a LOT of Hypertrophy work to look as they do (:

You’ll be lifting moderate weights for lots of reps and sets (for example, sets of 10-12 Reps, 12-15 Reps, etc).

Whether you plan to chase fat loss, muscle gain, or any goal in between, Hypertrophy training is an excellent choice to get ya there.

The best way to get optimal results using hypertrophy training is to adjust nutrition accordingly:

  • Goal = fat loss (eat in a calorie deficit)
  • Goal = muscle gain (calorie surplus)
  • Goal = maximize health and look/feel your best (eat at maintenance)

The ego is the enemy of Hypertrophy. It’s less about HOW MUCH weight you can lift, and more about HOW you lift it.

We want to net time under tension, move with control, maximize mind-muscle connection, get a full range of motion, and get into lengthened muscle positions, etc.

With hypertrophy, we’re also usually seeking movements or lifts that will isolate or target specific muscle groups, versus big compound lifts that have a high recovery demand or might burn down your Central Nervous System.

For this reason, you’ll often see movements like RDLs (instead of Deadlifts), Heels Elevated Squats (rather than Back Squats), etc. You’ll usually catch a great pump from workouts as well! (:

Reps from Failure or RPE

“RPE” = Rate of Perceived Exertion

  • RPE is on a scale of 1-10. 10 being max effort “hi, I’m dying aka emptying the tank”

“RFF” = Reps from Failure

  • how many reps you have “left in the tank” (also known as RIR/Reps in Reserve)
  • With RFF, we’re asking: “if someone had a water gun pointed at me, how many more reps could I possibly squeak out?”

RPE and RFF are both ways of helping people understand how hard they should be working when lifting, running, etc.

Percentage work can have a lot of limitations, so using RPE allows individuals to train smarter, listen to their bodies, and make adjustments in their workout efforts accordingly. RPE and RFF are both also great as they don’t require knowing current 1-rep maxes. You’re going by “feel” and how hard you feel you’re working.

A newer lifter might think they’ll make faster progress if they’re redlining, emptying the tank, and going as hard/as fast as possible every day. That would be an RPE of ~9-10, or ~0-2 reps from failure.

Training at that intensity 24/7 isn’t sustainable, could be a fast track to injury, and isn’t super conducive to consistently seeing progress over time. You’ll also feel like the poo poo.

We want to be TRAINING most of the time (RPE 6-9), not COMPETING (RPE ~9-10).

RPE 7-9 or being ~2-4 reps away from failure = where most of the magic usually happens (:


“Chipper” = a workout where you complete the repetitions stated for each exercise, before moving onto the next.

Chippers are usually on the longer side. The name “chipper” comes from the fact that you are “chipping away” at the workout (:

For example:
One Round Chipper
16 Reps Barbell Hip Thrust
12 Reps Barbell Ab Rollouts
8 Reps Barbell Hip Thrust
12/8 Calorie Row or Bike Sprint
Rest 3 min
20 Reps V-ups
20 Reps Decline Sit-ups
12/8 Calorie Row or Bike Sprint

Alternating Movements

“Alternating Movements” = going back and forth between movements, with a brief rest in between.

This might look like completing 1 movement (ex: bench). Rest 1-2 minutes. Then another movement (ex: row). Rest 1-2 minutes.

For example:
Alternate Movements:
1 warm-up set each, then:
2 tough sets (~1-2 reps from failure each)

Barbell Bench x 10-12 Reps
Rest 1 minute
Bentover Barbell Row x 10-12 Reps
Rest 1 minute


“Superset” = two movements performed back-to-back, with no rest between them.

For example:
Superset x 3 Sets
1-2 warm-up sets prior, then:
2 challenging work sets each
Goal = 2-3 reps from failure each

DB Lateral Raise x 10-15 Reps
Incline DB Anterior Delt Press x 6-10 Reps
Rest 2 min

Giant Set

“Giant Set” = where you perform multiple movements back-to-back, with very little or no rest in between.

Or said differently: a superset with more than 2 movements.

For example:
Giant Set x 3 Rounds

Walking DB Lunges x 12-20 Reps (6-10/leg)
Leg Curl Machine x 10-15 reps
Heels Elevated Goblet Squat x 10-15 Reps
Rest 2-3 min

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  • or just look/feel your best

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