The lexicon of muscle-building, and training - Part 37

Perceived exertion

The perception of exertion level from exercise.


A sequence of individual training cycles, or periods, that attempts to vary workload, intensity, and other variables, to meet a long-term goal of building greater strength or muscular development.

Personal record

Best, personal achievement in a given exercise or activity, typically abbreviated to PR. It's also sometimes called a personal best.

Personal trainer

A hired trainer or coach who, through teaching, assisting, and encouraging, provides one-on-one training, taking an individual through his entire workout with constant attention and monitoring. Personal trainers vary greatly in their competence. They may or may not have any formal qualification or certification, and even if they do, the qualifications or certifications may be of dubious worth. A list of letters after an trainer's name isn't necessarily an indication of competence.

Although the personal trainer needs to have had a lot of personal training experience, and experience of training others, he or she doesn't have to have an outstanding physique in order to be a competent coach. Good coaches are usually past their physique prime, and often spent many of their youthful years learning through experience about what doesn't work.

Ironically, some of the worst coaches have the best physiques. Young men with super physiques, and young women with outstanding bodies (which, in most cases, they had before they took up systematic exercising), are unable to understand the lot of genetically typical trainees.

Also see Certification.


Peripheral heart action, a system of training whereby you move from one exercise to another, with little or no rest in between. PHA is a variation of circuit training. PHA tends to use multiple, short sequences of exercises — several mini circuits — whereas circuit training is more likely to use a single, longer sequence of exercises. How well PHA trains the various components of muscular development, strength, and cardiorespiratory conditioning, depends on how the reps, sets, and exercise sequences are arranged.


The study of the processes and functions of the body.


The treatment or management of physical disability, malfunction, or pain, by exercise, massage, hydrotherapy, therapeutic electrical current, and so forth, without the use of medicines, surgery, or radiation. It's also called physical therapy. One who practices physiotherapy is a physiotherapist, or physical therapist.

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