I'm not around these forums much anymore. But it's still x-mas holidays for me, and I've got some time on my hands. Some people might even have exercising more as their new years resolution, so this might be handy.

Who am I:
I'm 24 years old. I'm in the army, and have been for three years now, both as a private and later as an NCO. Exercise has always been important to me, and I've seen great results with myself and the soldiers I've trained from simple methods.

I won't go into the advanced stuff, that's more individual.

Article 1:Gym talk
If you're new to strength training, the process of getting started might seem scary and overwhelming. Knowing the basic terminology helps you feel comfortable.

What are reps?
Reps is short for repetitions. It comes up in all exercise litterature, in the gym and in youtube vids. A repetition is one complete movement through an exercise. A simple bicep curl is a great example. You curl your arm up, and then back down. That's one rep.

1RM: 1RM is short for 1 rep max. This means the heaviest weight you can lift one complete repetition. This is what people are talking about when they ask you how much you bench.

What are sets?
A set is a group of repetitions. A set will be anywhere from five or six reps to twenty reps. Most programs will have the sets at 8-12 reps. The main point to the set is to use a weight that will fatigue the muscle group (or muscle) that you're exercising by the end of the set.
This means some trial and error before you know where to start.

One thing to know about sets is that some programs utilize a rest period in between sets. This is how long you "relax" in between sets. A typical rest period is between thirty and ninety seconds.

Super Sets:
A superset is a set of exercises with no rest periods in between. These sets may work the same muscle groups, or they may work opposing muscle groups

Drop Sets:
In a drop set, you begin your set with a heavier weight, and toward the end of the set, as you can no longer complete any more reps, you switch to a lower weight and complete a few more reps.

These sets work your muscles using only the eccentric portion of the exercise. This is a good way to work up to certain exercises. If you cannot do a pull-up for example, you can use a bench to lift yourself to the mid portion of the exercise, and then you can lower yourself to the starting position.

Can you spot me?
Often heard in the gym. This does not mean that the person asking needs some cash, nor does it mean that he or she thinks they are invisible.

Spotting in the gym means to support another person in a particular lift, with particular emphasis on allowing the person to lift more than they normally could safely. However the spotter should always be ready to intervene or assist when he sees that it's no longer safe.

Allright, I'm heading to the gym. I'll be back later today to write some more.