Fitness Glossary

The fitness industry is loaded with jargon. Here are some of the more common terms you’ll encounter on your quest to burn fat and build lean muscle.

A | B | C | D | E | FG | HI | J | K | L | MN | O | P | Q | R | S | T | UV | WX | Y | Z |

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A

  • Abduction – Movements where limbs get further away from the center of the body.
    • Adduction is the opposite.
  • Absolute Intensity – The percentage of weight lifted based on your 1RM
  • Accommodating Resistance
  • Active Recovery
  • Adenosine Triphosphate – (ATP)
  • Adduction -Movements that bring limbs towards the center of the body.
    • Abduction is the opposite.
  • Aerobic exercise
  • Amino Acids
  • Anaerobic exercise
  • Anaerobic Threshold
  • Antagonist Superset – Alternating between opposite / apposing muscles with little or no rest.
  • Anterior Pelvic Tilt –
  • Arteriosclerosis
  • ATP – Acronym for Adenosine Triphosphate
  • Atrophy – Loss of muscle mass. Tends to happen as we age. Occurs durning long bouts of decreased activity.

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B

  • BMI (Body Mass Index)
  • Body Mass Index (BMI)
  • Body Tempering – A myofascial release technique. Massage with heavy weight.
  • Boomstick
  • Butt Wink

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C

  • Calisthenics –
  • Circuit –
  • Cluster Sets –
  • Compound Exercises –
  • Compound Set – Two exercises for the same muscle group performed back to back with zero to minimal rest between the two.
  • Concentric Muscle Action – The lifting portion of an exercise.
  • Cool-Down –
  • Cross-Training –

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D

  • Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS)
  • Deload – A planned period of training when volume or intensity is reduced.
  • Delts – Short for deltoids. The large triangular muscles of the shoulder
  • Density – The amount of work/volume done in a given time period.
    • Increasing density means you are doing more work in the same time. Or the same amount of work in less time.
  • DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness)
  • Doubles – What you say when you’re too cool to say, “sets of two reps.”
  • Drop Set
  • Dynamic Stretching
  • Dynamic Warm-Up

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E

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F

  • Failure – The point in a set where you can’t do any more perfect reps.
  • Fartlek Training – speed play
  • Fascia – Connective tissue that covers, supports and separates all muscles and muscle groups.
  • Fat Soluble –
  • Fatty Acids – Lipids used to create ATP when muscle cells are using aerobic energy systems. Oxygen must be present in order for muscle cells to convert fatty acids into ATP.
  • Flexion –

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G

  • Glucose –
  • Glycemic Index (GI) –
  • Glycogen – The glucose stored in your muscles. It’s a quick source of energy drives form glycolosis to create ATP.
  • Glycolosis – The metabolic pathway that converts glucose into ATP/energy.
  • Growth Hormone

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H

  • Heart Rate Zones (HR)
  • HIIT – High Intensity Interval Training
  • Hypertrophy

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I

  • Intensity – Level of execution. Think of it as how close to your 1RM you are.
  • Interval training –
  • Iso kinetic Exercise –
  • Isolation Exercise – An exercise that only one joint moves. The other type of movement is a compound exercise.
    • Examples:
      • Biceps curls – Only move at the elbow.
      • Hamstring Curl – Only move at the knee.
      • Crunch – Only flex the spine.
  • Isometric Exercise – Muscular contraction where muscle maintains a constant length and joints do not move.
    • Think wall sits and planks.

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J

  • Joint

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K

  • Kinesiology – The study of muscle and their movements.

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L

  • LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein)
  • Lifting Tempo
  • Lipids – A diverse group of water insoluble compounds found in the blood. They act as chemical messengers, provide energy, insulation, and comprise membranes.
  • Lumbar – The lower portion of your spine.

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M

  • Midline – An anatomical term describing an imaginary line running down the center of your body that separates it into left and right sides.
  • MPS – An acronym for Muscle Protein Synthesis
  • Muscle Protein Synthesis – The process your body uses to repair, grow, and strengthen muscle fibers. Is a short-term marker of muscle hypertrophy.

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N

  • NEAT (Non-exercise activity thermogenesis)
  • Negative

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O

  • OHP – Overhead Press.
  • Olympic Lifts –
  • One Rep Max – The most weight you can lift. Your maximal effort for an exercise.
  • Overload Principle –
  • Overreaching –

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P

  • Parasympathetic Nervous System –
  • PB – Short for Personal Best. Your all time record for that exercise.
  • Pelvic Tilt – The orientation of your hips.
  • Periodization – The planning of volume and intensity over a specificities duration of your workout plan.
    • Linear –
    • Undulating –
  • Planes of Motion –
  • Plyometric Exercise –
  • Posterior Pelvic Tilt –
  • PR (Personal Record) – Your all time best effort for that exercise. Most weight lifted or fastest time completed.
  • Primary Exercise – Main compound movement in the workout. Squats, deadlifts, and presses are common examples.
    • Related Terms: Secondary Exercise, Tertiary Exercise, Assistance Exercise.
  • Progressive Overload – The gradual increase in stress placed on the durning training.
  • Pronated / Pronation

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Q

  • Quads – Abbreviation for quadriceps femoris muscles.
  • Quebrachine – Also know as Yohimbine.

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R

  • Rated Perceived Exertion
  • Relative Intensity – The percentage that represent how close you are to maximal effort for a given number of reps.
  • Rep – Short for for “repetition.” One rep is the lifting and lowering phase of an exercise. So if you curl a dumbbell up and down 10 times before you rack it, that’s “10 reps.”
  • Resistance Training – Exercise that forces muscle to contract against an external force.
    • Not limited to weights. Other forms of resistance training include body weight exercises and training with bands.
    • Click here for a Beginners Guide to Resistance Training
  • ROM – Range of motion
  • RPE – Rate of perceived exertion

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S

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T

  • Tempo (Lifting)
  • Tendon -The white fibrous material that attaches your muscles to the bone.
  • Tertiary Exercises – Mostly isolation exercises done after the primary exercises to round out the training and address specific muscles.  Also referred to as assistance exercises they can be used as active recovery in between sets.
  • Thoracic Spine – The 12 thoracic vertebrae that lie between the cervical and lumbar vertebrae to make up the middle section of the vertebral column (spine).
  • Tonnage – Measures the amount of volume you did. Tonnage = Sets x Reps x Weight
  • Trigger Points
  • Triples – Gym speak for doing sets of three reps.

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U

  • Underhand Grip -Supinated Grip, Reverse Grip
  • Undulating Periodization

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V

  • Variable Resistance
  • VO2 – 
  • VO2 MAX – The maximum amount of oxygen you can utilize per minute of work. Often used to measure a person’s cardiovascular efficiency.
  • Volume – Used to measure the amount of work done.
    • Total Tonnage = Sets x Reps x Weight
    • Simplified Volume = Sets x Reps

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W

  • Warm up
  • Water Soluble
  • Wave Loading
  • Weight Belt

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X

  • X-Ray – An imaging technique used to look at bones.

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Y

  • Yoga –
  • Yohimbine – Also known as Quebrachine. A compound promoted as a fat burner, an aphrodisiac, an erectile dysfunction aid and a veterinary medicine to reverse sedation.

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Z

  • Z-Line –
  • Zygomatic Bone – Your upper cheek bone.

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