Gym Jargon… An A-Z

Gym Jargon… An A-Z

For many fitness first-timers, the gym can be an intimidating place!

Aside from getting to grips with the rules of gym etiquette and knowing how to use a myriad of exercise contraptions, there’s the subject of gym vocabulary. Gym jargon can sound like a whole new language to those not in the know. According to a study by Fitness First, 36 per cent of us pretend to understand fitness jargon when we haven’t a clue what it means. Because of course, we’d hate to look foolish when it comes to our fitness knowledge!

So, thankfully, a few fitness experts have created a handy list, taking you through an A-Z of fitness speak, from bulking to burping and other baffling buzzwords!

The guide, created by Fitness First, comes as statistics show that women are twice as intimidated about joining a gym as men. Their aim is to make everyone feel much more confident when it comes to getting their gym time done.

Notepads at the ready…

Agility
The ability to change direction quickly.
BMI
Body Mass Index is a measure of height against overall body weight which is a good indicator for health. An ideal BMI is between 18.9 and 24.
Bulking
Increasing the amount of calories consumed to gain muscle mass
Burpee
Full body exercise. Place hands on the ground, jump legs behind you, immediately jump back in then jump into the air with arms above your head
Calisthenics
Exercises using no added weight, commonly referred to as body-weight training – for example pull-ups.
Cardio
Short for cardiovascular and is any exercise which increases your heart rate.
Clean Eating
Natural, unprocessed food.
Cutting phase
Decrease calories and increase cardio to shed excess fat gained when bulking. The aim is to allow muscle definition to show.
Deadlift
Lifting a weight from the floor whilst standing, this exercise is great for lower back, glutes and hamstring strength.
DOMS
That sore feeling two days after a workout.
Donkey kicks
Start on all fours and bend one knee by 90 degrees then lift knee to hip level and lower without touching the floor.
Downward dog
An essential yoga pose. It’s named after the way dogs naturally stretch their entire bodies!
Drop sets
Completing multiple sets of the same exercise by reducing the weight each time, with no rest in between.
EPOC (Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption)
An increased rate of oxygen intake following strenuous activity.
Free weights
Includes dumbbells, barbells and weight plate machines.
Functional training
Exercise to help with everyday activities
Jumping Jack
Start from a standing position, then jump, shooting arms and legs outwards mid-air, and land with feet together.
Kettlebell
A cast-iron weight which looks like a cannonball with a handle.
Lactic Acid
Lactic acid is produced when you work muscles hard. A build up of this normal by-product is what causes your muscles to fatigue during a workout.
Maintaining form
Keeping the correct technique when performing an exercise.
Mountain climbers
A press up position while bringing each knee as close to the chest as possible.
OCR
Obstacle course racing – an alternative to running a marathon – think military training!
Plank
Lie flat and hold yourself on your toes and elbows for as long as possible.
Plyometrics
An exercise that involves rapid and repeated stretching and contracting of the muscles
Power lift
Three movements used in a power lifting competition; the squat, bench press and dead lift.
Probiotics
Good bacteria
Protein window
Best time to eat protein
Prowler
A heavy metal sled which is pushed or pulled to build muscle strength, power and speed.
REP
Repetition
Spinning
An indoor cycling exercise class focusing on cardiovascular fitness, endurance and strength.
Spotter
Weights wingman to help you lift heavier weights safely
Squat
A lower body exercise used in strength training. The individual bends the knees and shifts hips back and slowly lowers down then stands back up.
Superset
Two moves back to back with no rest
Triceps Dip
An arm exercise which targets the muscle at the back of the arm.
TRX
Suspension training product that leverages gravity and the user’s body weight to complete hundreds of exercises.
Whey Protein
Protein from whey, a by-product of cheese production, used as a dietary supplement in a powder form that is typically mixed with water or milk.
Yogi
Someone who loves yoga

…so now you know!

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