###### March 17, 2023May 15, 2023 By Bobby Aldridge

Reading training program notation can be a daunting task for a beginner, and it can be difficult to know where to start.

In this article, we will provide an overview of the basics of reading training program notation, so that you can begin to understand and interpret the instructions given in a training program.

## What Do the Notations Mean?

At its core, training program notation is simply a way of conveying instructions to the user. It is composed of symbols, abbreviations, and numbers that represent different exercises and sets. The goal of this notation is to be as concise as possible while conveying as much information as possible. For example, the notation “3×10” means to do three sets of 10 reps of a given exercise.  To get started, let’s look at the most common symbols and abbreviations used in training program notation.

• Reps: Reps, or repetitions, are the number of times you’ll perform a given exercise. This is typically represented by the letter “R” or the number of reps. For example, 3×10 means to do three sets of 10 reps.
• Sets: A set is a group of repetitions that are performed consecutively, without rest. Sets are typically represented by the letter “S” or the number of sets. For example, 3×10 means to do three sets of 10 reps.
• Rest: Rest is the period between sets, and is typically represented by the letter “R” or the amount of time in seconds. For example, 3x10R60 means to do three sets of 10 reps with a 60-second rest between sets.
• Tempo: Tempo refers to the speed and intensity of a repetition, and is typically represented by four numbers. The first number represents the amount of time spent in the eccentric phase, or the lowering of the weight, while the second number represents the pause between the eccentric and concentric phase, or the lifting of the weight. The third number represents the amount of time spent in the concentric phase, and the fourth number is the pause between the concentric phase and the next rep.
• Weight: The amount of weight used in an exercise is typically represented by the letter “W” or the amount of weight in pounds or kilograms.

## What Are the Different Types of Exercises and Rest Periods?

Next, you should understand the different types of exercises that are typically included in a training program. This includes exercises such as squats, deadlifts, bench presses, pull-ups, and rows. Knowing the different exercises and their variations will help you understand the instructions in the program.

Finally, it is important to understand the different types of rest periods and tempo instructions. Rest periods are typically indicated with a number, such as 30 seconds or 1 minute. Tempo instructions are typically indicated with a combination of numbers and letters, such as 4-2-1-0 or 3-1-2-1. Understanding the rest periods and tempo instructions will help you follow the instructions in the training program accurately.

## Conclusion

By understanding the basic symbols, abbreviations, exercises, rest periods, and tempo instructions, you can begin to interpret and understand the instructions given in a training program. This knowledge will help you as you progress in your fitness journey and become more comfortable reading training program notation.