Reading Workout Programming

One of the biggest barriers to working out on your own using a program is understanding the language around workout programs so you can understand what you’re being instructed to do! Fortunately, there is some common language used by fitness professionals.

  • Repetitions – Often shortened to “reps”, refers to how many times you’ll do an exercise in a row
  • Sets – How many times to repeat the repetitions of an exercise, taking a break or doing other exercises between each round
  • Circuit – A series of exercises done in a row and repeated for multiple sets
  • Rest Sometimes, the amount of rest time will be specifically written out. In our program, we write how long to rest after the exercise is performed on that exercise’s line. When we write two times, e.g. 20s/90s in a field workout, that means to rest 20 seconds between repetitions of the exercise and 90 seconds between sets.

In the example below, you can see that all the exercises in the warm-up section are done once for the written number of repetitions. So after jogging around one frisbee field’s distance, you would perform 3 inchworms, then 8 glute bridges, etc. The strength circuit, however, is written as a circuit with rest intervals. For this circuit, you would do 6 split squats on each side, rest 30 seconds, do 8 running side planks per side, rest another 30 seconds, followed by 6 reverse lunge to high knees on each side. You would then rest 1 minute before repeating the circuit, starting with 6 split squats per side.

screenshot of a warm-up and strength circuit from one of our workouts

The following example shows two rest intervals for each exercise. In this case, for Hesitation Accelerators, you’d do the first repetition, rest 20 seconds (which is about how long it takes to walk back to the starting point!), then do your second, third, and fourth rep in the same way, alternating the foot you start with, until you’ve done 2 on each side. Then you’d rest 90 seconds before starting the next round of four reps. The same goes for the 40-yard sprints, but these you’ll rest an extra 10 seconds between each repetition.

We believe in quality over quantity, so for the conditioning sets, you’ll check in at the end of that second set to see if you’re still sprinting as fast as you did in the first set by timing yourself or checking in to see how you’re feeling. If you feel like you’re starting to run funny or you’re slowing down, you’ll just end up training slow or funky form running if you keep going!

screenshot of agility and conditioning portions of a field workout

Finally, something that a lot of program these days do is link to exercise demonstrations from the program. These examples are all screenshots of our programming, so the blue underlined exercise names aren’t clickable on this page, but in all our programs, you can click those links to see demos of the specific movement so you know you’re doing it right! We recommend watching all the videos before you start working out to get a sense of what you’re going to do, then refreshing your memory as needed once you get going.