Depending on a particular goal of an individual or the time available to exercise pairings is almost always a beneficial variable to include in a training program. A pairing represents the order in which the exercises are completed. It is possible to perform all of the sets of an exercise one after another with the allotted rest in between. There is also the option of combining two or more exercises in a row before completing the next set of each exercise. For example, after completing one set of push-ups, after the appropriate rest period, a set of squats would be performed instead of the next set of push-ups. Such a pairing, depending on exercise selection, is often referred to as a superset or a compound set. A grouping of more than two exercises, is sometimes referred to as a giant set.

In each of the above examples, it is important to have a system for designating the desired pairing. The most widely used format includes the use of a letter followed by a number, i.e. A1. Using this system each letter represents one grouping of exercises, which can be as little as one exercise or any number of exercises. The number refers to the order of which each exercise in a group is to be performed.

For example, a program listing A1: Squats, B1: Push-Ups, B2: Lunges would signal that all sets of squats are to be performed one after another, with the appropriate rest between each set. Once all the sets of the squats are completed the B-grouping is to be completed. In this case, a set of push-ups is followed by a set of lunges, with that rotation performed for the prescribed number of sets.