Weight Room Lingo

How can you ever expect to walk the walk if you can’t talk the talk? A fitness lifestyle involves learning new exercise habits, diets, and levels of determination. All of these will have their own words and jargon that you can expect to encounter.

This list will help you decipher what all of these things mean, and why there are important. If there are any terms that you feel we may have missed, or would like us to explain, please leave it in the comments. We will hook you up.

Happy Reading, Happy Lifting.

1RM (1 Rep Maximum) - The highest amount of weight that you are able to lift only one time. Always proceed with caution, using a spotter or spotting device. Also see max.

Abduction, abductor - Moving away from the central axis of the body.

Adduction, adductor - Moving towards the central axis of the body.

Aerobic - State of energy generation that is completed by using oxygen, typical with moderate levels of exercise such as jogging.

Anaerobic- Intense activities that generate lactic acid production as the body cannot supply adequate oxygen levels to meet energy demands. Often during sprinting and strength training.

Barbell - The long bar used when bench pressing or squatting. Typically seven feet long and weighing 45 pounds (Olympic size).

BMI (Body Mass Index) - A number calculated based on a person’s height and weight. Often used to assess weight categories to screen for weight categories that could indicate health problems. Note that your BMI classification is not always accurate- each person will have a different amount of fatty tissue versus muscle tissue. Your individual combination paired with your height may classify you into a category that does not necessarily represent your body. When BMI was first popularized, it was meant to be used to determine fat levels of sedentary (physically inactive) populations, not people on an individual basis. However, because of its ease to calculate, it has become widely used on with individuals. Take with a grain of salt, but good to check on once in a while.

Clean Eating- Short definition- eating healthy. Lots of fruit and vegetables. Lean meats. No processed or fatty foods. Fueling your body with what it needs- protein, carbohydrates, mono and polyunsaturated fats, and avoiding anything that would derail the train- saturated fats, high levels of cholesterol and sodium, anything that starts with high fructose- non, natural stuff.

Creatine - A type of athletic enhancer. Studies have shown that consuming creatine can increase performance in high-intensity anaerobic efforts (sprinting or 1-2 rep sets). There is little evidence to support increased performance in endurance efforts with creatine consumption. Also see pre-workout.

Drop Set- Performing consecutive sets back to back (to back to back...) of the same exercise, decreasing the weight with each set. This is used to work the body past muscle fatigue by lowering the weight enough to be able to continue performing the exercise.

Electrolytes - A scientific term for ions that are electrically charged. The most well-known electrolytes are sodium, potassium and magnesium. These macro-minerals play a vital role in restorative health to the body. When electrolytes are depleted, your body is usually dehydrated, and succumbs to fatigue and in some cases cramping. Electrolytes also play a role in major bodily activities such as heart function, muscle function, and nerve reaction. A good thing to have.

Failure (exhaustion) - The point at which your body cannot do one more rep without breaking your form- the point at which you either must put the weight down or your spotter jumps in. Different meaning than the results of the drug tests taken by Barry Bonds, or more recently, the Queen of England’s horse, Estimate.

HR (Heart Rate) - Measures how hard your heart is working to supply your body with blood and oxygen, by counting the number of ‘beats’ per minute (bpm).

Isolation movement- Movements that target specific muscles in the body i.e. bicep curls, the tri-rope pull down, calf raises.

Lactic Acid- When you’re ‘feeling the burn’ it’s thanks to lactic acid. The burn is felt when lactic acid is produced faster than it can be removed, often during vigorous activities such as sprinting. The default method of generating energy in the human body involves using oxygen (aerobically). When your activity level reaches a certain point, your body can no longer supply an adequate amount of oxygen to meet the energy needs. That’s when the process of glycolysis kicks in, which the body metabolizes glucose into a substance called pyruvate. When the body is supplying energy anaerobically, pyruvate is converted into lactate, to allow for glucose metabolization to continue. The burn comes from the increased acidity in the muscle cells during this vigorous activity.

Max - the absolute most weight that you can lift one time. For body weight exercises (pull up, push-ups, etc.) usually will mean the most reps you can do without stopping. Also see 1RM.

Multi-Joint movement (compound) - Movements that involve more than one joint and more than one muscle group. High weight, low rep multi-joint movements have been shown to release higher levels of hormones, stimulating muscle growth at increased rates. Think squat, dead-lift, burpees, bench press, lifts where your whole body is involved.

Muscle strain (pull) - An injury to the muscle as a result of a tear in the muscle from overstretching. Usually indicated by stiffness and bruising. Treat with RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation). If pain is unbearable or conditions exist for several days with no signs of improvement, contact a medical professional.

Neutral Grip- A grip when your palms are facing each other.

Plateau (leveling off) - a point in training where results level off. No more massive gains in strength, endurance, performance, etc. Mimics aplateau landform of steady elevation, then a quick leveling out. Often time caused by extensive muscle memory and lack of muscle confusion. If you haven’t experienced any increases in the weight you can lift, or the number of reps you can perform over the last 4-6 weeks, it’s time to switch up your routine.

Pre-workout - As the name suggests, a substance that is taken before (pre) you exercise (workout). Often times will include 26,000% DV of ingredients that you have never heard of that promise to give you energy and big pumps. Proceed with caution and always do your homework before purchasing.

Protein - The building blocks of muscle growth. Protein helps to aid in repairing muscles that have been torn down during exercise. It will also refuel energy stores post exercise. Often obtained through protein powders. Also obtainable naturally through a variety of foods such as red meat, fish, and veg such as beans.

Repetitions (reps) - The number of times you perform an exercise consecutively. Doing ten pull ups (reps) will count as one set.

Sets- The number of times you perform a series of reps. Many workouts will consist of doing 8-12 reps for three sets. Often workouts will be written like so: (reps) x (sets). Therefore, instructions to do Bench Press 5x5 indicates to perform the bench press exercise five times in a row (reps), five separate times (sets).

Spotter (Spotting) - Someone to monitor your lift, to help ensure safety. Often times will help to motivate you to finish your set by letting you know "You got one more, bro!". Recommended when lifting near or at your max.

Superset- Combining multiple exercises together to be done back to back, starting the next one directly after finishing the first. Bicep curls followed by overhead triceps extensions for example. Oftentimes will pair opposite muscles together, to allow the first muscle group to recover while training the second.

THR (Target Heart Rate) - The desired Heart Rate you strive to achieve during exercise to develop your fitness goals. Usually will be around 70-80% of your max heart rate. Proceed with caution if exercising higher than 85% of your max heart rate.

Vascularity - Having veins that pop out of the arms, legs, neck, etc. Usually occurs due to a reduction in subcutaneous fat (usually below 10% body fat).



Posted by: Vince

"You've always got one more in you”

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