Gym jargon, fitness terminology and workout words… the terminology you hear in the gym has a meaning!
When you’re beginning your fitness journey, there may be a few words and terms flung around in the gym that you’re unfamiliar with. To help you decipher through the mumbo jumbo, we’ve put together a little glossary of fitness terms you may find useful..
Pre-workout is not just limited to the chemical powders you've heard of. It's also defined as the energy source you consume prior to a workout to fuel you - whether it be food, drink or a powder. The carbohydrates in fruit break down and absorb quickly, so something like a banana or smoothie is great for endurance and circuit training. If you’re looking to build muscle, meals like chicken, veggie omelettes and turkey lettuce wraps are a protein rich energy source. Check out these great wholefood pre-workout snacks to keep you pushing through your workout.
To really maximise the benefits of your workout, you would consume an energy source to replenish you and repair torn muscle (better known as post-workout). A protein shake is a convenient way to get your post-workout in on a run. However, try and source your post-workout fuel from whole foods - a combination of protein and carbohydrates after your workout will benefit you the most and restore your energy.
A PB is simply a ‘personal best’. PB’s are for you, you want to beat your PB’s and increase them as you progress. A PB can apply to any kind of exercise. Whether it be the furthest you can sprint in a minute, the most you can squat 10 times or the most number of push-ups you can perform without stopping.
When you see phrases such as ‘do this exercise while maintaining form’ or ‘perform this in the correct technique throughout’, it is a reference to the way you carry out the exercise. Correct form should be a priority before you consider adding weights or increasing intensity. You need to ensure your posture is correct and you are engaging the correct muscles so that you prevent short-term and long-term injuries.
Compound exercises are those that work multiple muscle groups at the same time. For example, a squat is a great compound exercise because it engages many muscles including quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, glutes, lower back, and core.
‘DOMS’ is an acronym for ‘delayed-onset muscle soreness’. That pain you get in your glutes the day after you performed lower body exercises? That’s DOMS. It can occur anywhere in your body that has been exposed to intense physical activity and it normally starts a day or two after your workout. Despite the soreness and inconvenience, it’s nothing to worry about and is usually a sign of a good workout and that you’re making progress.
HIIT is ‘high-intensity interval training’ - a workout which combines short bursts of intense exercise with periods of rest. During the work interval you push yourself as hard as you can so you raise your heart rate to its maximum, then during the rest or low-intensity phase your heart rate decreases. HIIT workouts have been proven to have many benefits for your cardiovascular health and metabolism, allowing your body to continue burning energy even after your workout is complete.
‘Reps’ refers to repetitions - the number of times that you repeat an exercise consecutively. For example, if your training guide advises ’Squats x 10 reps’, this means you will need to perform the squat ten times.
1RM simply means One-Rep Max - the maximum possible weight you can lift for one repetition. Often, the exercises tested for 1RMs include the squat, bench press, deadlift and overhead press. You can find out how to calculate your 1RM here.
AMRAP is an acronym for ‘as many reps as possible’. A high-intensity style of training, an AMRAP workout is where you push yourself as hard as possible during the work phase. Instead of performing a specific number of repetitions, in an AMRAP workout you have to complete as many repetitions as you possibly can within the given time frame (e.g 40 seconds).
A superset is when you perform two exercises back to back with little or no rest in between. They usually consist of exercises targeting opposing muscle groups, such as biceps and triceps.
Resistance training increases your muscle strength by making your muscles work against a force or weight. Different types of resistance training include using weight machines, free weights, resistance bands, and/or your own body weight.
Did you find these fitness terms useful? Let us know in the comments below!