Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Gym & Fitness Terminology

Staying Informed

Know the Terminology!

Let’s face it; knowing all you need to know when it comes to staying in shape can be down right confusing. Otherwise you wouldn’t be here reading this right now!

There is a lot of information to absorb and understand before you can even think about getting that dream body, so take a few minutes and prepare you with some ground level basics.

There is no point in describing muscle groups, workout techniques, or exercise equipment when you can’t decipher the terminology. So let us start off first with the various gym-lingo. There are many important inside terms used frequently at the gym, in fitness articles, and by health professionals, and knowing what these mean can make a huge difference in how fast your results come. By reading this glossary, you will be more prepared for gauging your working and meeting your goals. This information will be the building block of the rest that you do inside the gym.

  • Cardiovascular (Cardio) – The physical conditioning related to an interval workout. These types of exercises are meant to burn fat, build endurance, and increase the heart rate to a desired level. The level of intensity of a cardio workout is directly linked to the heart rate. For optimal results, try and achieve your specific target heart rate.
  • Strength Training – The technique of building up ones strength by the use of resistance training accompanied by the duration of rest. The heavier the weight and the shorter the rest time will yield better results than lower weight and longer rest times. However, the amount of weight affects results much more directly than rest periods, as long as the rest periods do not exceed a few minutes.
  • Rep [Repetition] – One full movement, from start to finish, of a given exercise. Set – A completion of continuous repetitions from start to finish. A grouping of repetitions to form a set will depend on the type and intensity of a given exercise. 1 Set = X amount of continuous Reps. Most typical exercises involve multiple sets.
  • Cool Down – The period after an intense workout in which you cool down and allow your heart rate to gradually drop back down to normal.
  • Warm Up – A brief period in which you do a light exercise in order to loosen certain muscle groups and raise your heart rate.
  • Muscle Group – Grouping of related muscles either physically connected, or containing similar exercises. Back and Biceps can be considered a muscle group because working out your Lats often requires the use of biceps. The same goes for flat bench in relation to incline and decline bench press when it comes to working out your chest.
  • Stretching – The process of stretching ones muscles to warm them up for a workout. In order to achieve full range-of-motion it is a good idea to stretch that particular muscle.
  • Range Of Motion (ROM) – The complete motion cycle of a given exercise repetition. For Biceps a full ROM would include starting the rep with the weight at its lowest point with your arm fully extended, curling it up towards you, and then lowering it back down to its original starting point.
  • Curl – The act of bringing a weight towards you while using a joint as a pivot point. An example would be a curl exercise for biceps or hamstrings in which your muscle starts fully extended, then you curl it towards you, then release in a controlled fashion.
  • Aerobic Workout – A workout or exercise which requires a great deal of oxygen to perform. An aerobics class in which you perform a full body workout would be a good example.
  • Anaerobic Workout – A workout or exercise that typically does not require an extensive amount of oxygen.
  • Modality – The specific mode in which you exercise a muscle or muscle group. This could be anything from ‘Flat Bench’ for chest press exercises or running on a Treadmill for your cardio.
  • Intensity – The level of energy exerted when exercising. A high intensity workout typically will involve a higher heart rate, burn more fat, and be more difficult to perform.
  • Duration – The length of time you perform a given workout for.
  • Compound Exercise – A single exercise that involves multiple muscles or joints.
  • Supplements – A supplement is an external nutrient taken in place of something else; either a meal or a specific nutrient. Supplements can range from diet pills and creatine to protein shakes and vitamins.


Anonymous said...

You're missing some terms, but this is still a great list. I was wondering what the difference between aerobic and anerobic workouts was..Good find

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I am a 24 year old college graduate from California. I am big into health and fitness, and feel everyone should get out there, be active, and live the best life they can.

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