Confidence is key at the gym! Before you let the dust collect on your gym trainers or begin to panic at the gym talk being thrown around by fellow gym goers, become confident in the gym lingo to help your navigation around the gym floor.
Here is a list of common gym lingo which will help you grasp a better understanding of your workout programme without feeling too intimidated to get started!
Reps – Reps is short for repetitions. This means how many times you will complete a specific movement. For example, if the programme says 12 reps of squats, you will squat 12 times.
Sets – Sets means how many rounds you will do of a specific movement or series of movements. For example, if the programme says 4 sets of squats, you will do the prescribed amount of reps then take a rest, then complete another set, rest, and so on until you have done 4 sets of that movement.
Tempo – Tempo refers to the rate at which you move the weights. This is a great way to build muscle and strength, especially if you are hitting a plateau – ladies this is a fantastic method for creating toned muscles! For example, if the movement said complete squats at a tempo of 30X1, the first number ‘3’ is the time in seconds to squat down, the second number ‘0’ is the pause at the completion of the exercise, the third character ‘X’ means an explosive lift back to the top, the fourth number ‘1’ is the pause at the top of the lift.
Compound – A compound movement is an exercise that involves multiple muscle groups. Examples includes exercises such as squats, deadlift, pull ups, shoulder press and bench press.
Isolation – An isolation movement is an exercise that focuses on a single muscle group. These movements tend to be focused on smaller muscles. Examples include exercises such as bicep curls, triceps extension, lateral raise and hamstring curl.
Functional – Functional movements generally refers to exercises that can be applied to everyday living. For example, learning to squat in workouts so that you can pick up things without hurting your back and using your legs (i.e. boxes, bags and babies).
Circuit Training – This type of workout combines a series of different strength and cardio moves as a single set. Circuit training is effective at burning a lot of calories, moving your body into fat loss mode, and building stamina.
Cardio – It is short for either “cardiovascular” or “cardiorespiratory”. Cardio refers to a form of aerobic exercise.
Aerobic Training – Generally known as ‘cardio’, aerobic training means “with oxygen”, and refers to the use of oxygen in the muscles energy-generating process. Aerobic includes any type of exercise, typically those performed at moderate levels of intensity for extended periods of time that maintains an increased heart rate, such as a steady run.
Anaerobic Training – Defined as short duration, high intensity exercise lasting anywhere from merely seconds up to around two minutes. After two minutes, the body’s aerobic system kicks in. An example of anaerobic training is short bursts of sprinting. [I think we should include the definition of anaerobic like you did for aerobic.]
HIIT – This refers to High Intensity Interval Training. It involves a mix of light and intense activity for a period of time. For example, rowing for 20 seconds and resting for 10 seconds of 6 to 10 sets.
Intervals – This is very similar to HIIT, however the intensity can be lower, including a mix of low to medium to high. For example, walk 1 minute, jog 2 minutes, run 30 seconds and repeat 5 to 10 times.
Supersets – Two exercises are performed back-to-back with no, or minimal, rest in between. Add in a third exercise, and it becomes a triset. The beauty of this is it means more work in a minimal amount of time.
Calories – A calorie is measurement of energy. In food, you get calories from the macronutrients – protein, fats and carbohydrates; all of which are vital in providing the body energy for functions such as breathing and physical activity.
DOMS – Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness is a common complaint for beginners at the gym. DOMS often occurs 24 to 72 hours after a strenuous workout, and is the result of micro-tears in the muscles.
DB – This refers to dumbbells. If the workout says DB shoulder press, it means complete the movement using dumbbells.
BB – This refers to a barbell. If the workout says BB deadlift, it means complete the movement using a barbell.
KB – This refers to a kettlebell. If the workout says KB squats, it generally means complete the movement holding a kettlebell at the chest.
Cable – This refers to using the cable machine. If the movement says cable bicep curls, it means complete bicep curls using a handlebar attached to the cable.
BMR – Basal Metabolic Rate refers to your metabolic rate while at total rest, like sleeping. Your Basal Metabolic Rate is the amount of calories used to sustain life (i.e. breathing, digesting and pumping blood). To keep a healthy body, support physical activity and achieve body composition goals it is important to not undereat your BMR.
Spotter – A spotter is someone who supports another person during a particular exercise, with an emphasis on allowing the participant to lift or push more than they could normally do safely. For example, spotting someone whilst they perform a bench press might involve the spotter helping the lifter to unrack the barbell or pass the dumbbells. During the set, the spotter keeps hands near the BB/DB but does not touch it. The job as a spotter is to make the lift safe!
Don’t forget – if you are a beginner to lifting weights check out these articles to get started: Strength Training for Women – A Beginner’s Guide, Eating for Strength Training – A Beginner’s Guide: Part One and Eating for Strength Training – A Beginner’s Guide: Part Two.
Are you ready to hit the gym?