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 | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |
- ½ Kneeling – Position where one foot is on the floor and the knee of the other leg is on the floor.
- 1RM – Abbreviation for “one rep max.” The most you can lift.
- 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
- Agonist Muscle –
- Amino Acids
- Anaerobic exercise
- Anaerobic Threshold
- ANS – An abbreviation for Autonomic Nervous System.
- Antagonistic Muscle – An opposing muscle. The antagonistic of the biceps are the triceps.
- Antagonist Superset – Alternating between opposite / apposing muscles with little or no rest.
- Anterior Pelvic Tilt – The orientation of the pelvis is pointing down in respect to the thighbones.
- Anti-extension – Exercise that resist lengthening of the targeted muscle.
- ATP – Acronym for Adenosine Triphosphate
- Atrophy – Loss of muscle mass. Tends to happen as we age. Occurs durning long bouts of decreased activity.
- Autonomic Nervous System – The control system that regulates bodily functions, like your heart rate, digestion, respiration, and other unconscious actions your body takes to keep you alive and running. This system is the primary controller of the fight-or-flight response.
- Basal Metabolic Rate – (BMR) The amount of energy you burn at rest to keep you alive.
- BCAA (Branched Chain Amino Acid) – These are a subgroup of the nine essential amino acids that the body can’t make and are necessary part of your diet. They include leucine, iso-leucine, and valine and . Of these, leucine is the most potent stimulator of muscle protein synthesis via mTOR stimulation.
- BMI (Body Mass Index)
- BMR – Acronym, Basal Metabolic Rate
- Body Mass Index (BMI)
- Body Tempering – A myofascial release technique. Massage with heavy weight.
- Boomstick – a heavy piece of steel used for body tempering
- Bulking – The press of adding weight to increase muscle mass.
- Butt Wink –
- Calisthenics –
- Calorie Density –
- Circuit –
- Closed Chain Exercises – Limbs remain fixed while torso lifts weight.
- Cluster Sets – Multiple mini-sets with minimal rest between each.
- 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 –
- Cut (cutting) – Fitness jargon referring to the process of losing body fat to reveal muscle definition and abs.
- Daily Undulating Periodization (DUP) – A form of periodization where volume and intensity are altered every training session. Typically done by changing repetitions. Example: Monday: 15 reps, Wednesday, 10 reps, Friday: 6 reps.
- Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) – Soreness which occurs 24 – 72 hours after exercise as a symptom of muscle damage.
- 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) – the pain and stiffness you feel hours to days after exercise.
- Doubles – What you say when you’re too cool to say, “sets of two reps.”
- Drop Set – A set extender where intensity is decreased within a set to allow for more reps.
- Dynamic Stretching – Taking your muscles through a full range of motion without holding the end range.
- Dynamic Warm-Up –
- Eccentric Contraction – Muscle lengthening while maintaining tension or under load.
- EMOTH – Acronym of Every Minute on the Minute
- Energy Density – The ration of calories to nutrients in any given food.
- Exercise Intensity – How close you are lifting to your maximal capacity.
- Exercise Library – Database of showing how to do various exercises.
- Extension – Muscle action where distance between opposite ends of joint increases.
- 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 – Vitamins that dissolve and are stored in fat throughout the body. The main Fat-soluble vitamins are… A, D, E and K
- 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 –
- 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
- Half Kneeling – (½ Kneeling) Position where one foot is on the floor and the knee of the other leg is on the floor.
- Heart Rate Variability – A measure of the variation in time between each heartbeat.
- Heart Rate – The number of times your heart beats in one minute.
- Heart Rate Zones –
- HIIT – High Intensity Interval Training
- HR – An abbreviation for Heart Rate
- HRV – An abbreviation for Heart Rate Variability
- Hypertrophy –
- 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.
- 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.
- Kinesiology – The study of muscle and their movements.
- 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.
- Sometimes used as a synonym for fats. However, fats are a subgroup of lipids called triglycerides.
- History / Metabolism / Functions
- Lumbar – The lower portion of your spine.
- Macro – Short for macronutrient. A substance that we need in large amounts as a source of energy, to live, and function and grow.
- Man Boobs – The technical term for this condition is pseudogynecomastia. It’s a condition that occurs when men carry excess fat tissue on their chest giving them the appearance of having female breasts.
- Meta-analysis – A a detailed statistical review and summary of a group of studies on a related topic.
- 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.
- Myofascial Release – Massage type techniques used for treating painful tight and stiff muscles by stimulating the stretch reflex and relaxing the muscle along with increasing blood and lymphatic circulation in muscles.
- NEAT (Non-exercise activity thermogenesis)
- Negative –
- OHP – Overhead Press.
- Olympic Lifts –
- One Rep Max – The most weight you can lift. Your maximal effort for an exercise.
- Open Chain Exercises – Torso remains fixed while limbs move weight.
- Overload Principle –
- Overreaching –
- 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 – imaginary lines slicing through the body to help describe how the body moves
- 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.
- Primary Movers – Or Prime Mover is the muscle relied on to do the most work in an exercise or lift. Also known as the agonist muscle.
- Progressive Overload – The gradual increase in stress durning training over time.
- Pronated / Pronation
- Quads – Abbreviation for quadriceps femoris muscles.
- Quebrachine – Also know as Yohimbine.
- Rated Perceived Exertion Scale – RPE
- 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 – Acronym: Rate of perceived exertion
- RMR – Acronym, Resting Metabolic Rate
- Sagittal Plane -Movements involving flexion and extension occurring
- Secondary Exercise – Compound exercise that uses lighter weight than a primary exercise.
- Related Terms: Primary Exercise, Tertiary Exercise, Assistance Exercise.
- Self Myofascial Release
- Set – A fixed number of repetitions of a particular exercise.
- Soft Tissue Work
- Supinate / Supination
- Static Stretching
- antagonist superset
- Synergist Muscles
- Tempo (Lifting) – Performing a lift according to a specific cadence.
- 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.
- Unbroken – Not the movie. Even though it was inspirational. The number of consecutive reps you complete without pausing or breaking rhythm.
- Underhand Grip -Supinated Grip, Reverse Grip
- Undulating Periodization –
- Variable Resistance – The weight or resistance of the exercise changes as you go through a full range of motion. Think resistance bands.
- 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
- Warm up –
- Water Soluble Vitamins – Vitamins that dissolve in water.
- Wave Loading –
- Weekly Undulating Periodization (WUP) – A form of periodization which alters volume and intensity every week. Most often through repetition manipulation. Example: Week 1: 15 reps, Week 2: 10 reps, Week 3: 6 reps, etc.
- Weight Belt –
- X-Ray – An imaging technique used to look at bones.
- Yoga – An ancient India group of physical, mental, and spiritual exercises and practices.
- 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.
- Z-Line – The structure formed between adjacent muscle units.
- Zygomatic Bone – Your upper cheek bone.