Everyone loves a bit of jargon to make them feel special, and gym goers are no exception. That can be off-putting if you don’t know what they’re talking about, so here’s the no-nonsense guide every new gym goer needs:-
Abdominal Muscles – More commonly referred to as ‘abs’, these are muscles located in the stomach When these muscles are well defined they are often described as a ‘six-pack’.
Aerobic Training – This training involves in-taking plenty of oxygen. The body’s muscles are worked, which in-turn increases your heart rate and ultimately strengthens your heart and lungs. It is also commonly referred to as Cardiovascular or Cardio training and exercises such as swimming, cycling, running and rowing would all fall into the aerobic training category.
Anaerobic Training – The opposite of Aerobic, Anaerobic training involves actions or exercises which require very little oxygen intake. They are quick explosive movements such as sprinting.
Agility – This is the ability to move your body’s limbs quickly and with ease. Nimbleness, speed, strength and overall body flexibility are key factors when describing an athlete’s agility.
Body Mass Index (BMI) – This is a scale that compares your height and weight. Many fitness professionals believe this technique to be outdated and sometimes inaccurate, but it can be useful for guide purposes.
Bodyweight Exercises – These involve performing an exercise with weights equaling the weight of your body.
Cable Machines – A fixed gym station that has a pulley system attached to a weight based load. Loads can be incrementally changed via adjustment of a pin in a stack of weights connected to the pulley system.
Cool Down – After a workout or training session it is important to change your body into a relaxed state, which will slow the heart rate down and allow for lactic acid and other waste products to be removed from the muscles. A cool down usually involves light stretching.
Core Training – This training type focuses specifically on the lower back and abdominal muscles and is essential for almost every sport and fitness activity.
Dumbbell / Barbell – A dumbbell is a short bar with weights at each end that is used, usually in pairs, for exercise. A barbell is a larger bar with adjustable weighted disks attached to each end and involves two armed use.
Free Weights – A weight or load that has no attachment to any other object. I the gym this is likely to be a dumb bell or medicine ball. At Mint Condition we use exclusively free weights and cable machines to promote joint strength and stabilisation throughout and exercise programme.
Interval Training – A form of high intensity training which combines bursts of fast movement with slower recovery periods. This training is excellent for burning calories and increasing speed.
Lactic Acid – A liquid which is produced in the body’s muscles mainly during anaerobic training. As it builds it often slows the athlete down and hinders performance.
Maximum Heart Rate (MHR) – The maximum number of beats in one minute your heart can function at during exercise. MHR can decline due to a number of factors including age and lack of fitness.
Pectoral Muscles – The large set of muscles located in the chest area which are often referred to as ‘pecs’/
PB – An abbreviation for ‘Personal Best’. This is used to describe a new personal achievement or milestone. This could be lifting 50kgs for the first time or running a mile under 5 minutes. Many athletes record their PB’s and use for motivational purposes.
Quadriceps – The large set of muscles located at the front of the upper leg. They are often referred to as ‘quads’.
Reps – Short for ‘repetitions’, the word reps refers to the amount of times an exercise is repeated, and is commonly used during weight training. To build strength most athletes will complete heavy weights for only a few reps. To build endurance an athlete will lift lighter weights but for a much higher number of reps.
Resistance Training – Strength or weight training falls under the ‘ resistance training’ category and can include training with apparatus, free weights or resistance bands.
Rest – Refers to any time when you are not working out, either short breaks mid-training or days between sessions.
Resting Heart Rate (RHR) – The number of beats per minute when in a state of rest. Generally the lower your resting heart rate is, the fitter you are.
Sets – Refers to the amount of times a set number of reps are performed. Most people train between one and three sets of each exercise.
Smith Machine – This is a machine named after the gym owner who invented it and comprises of a barbell that moves up and down on a fixed vertical track. The fixed track ensures that the barbell only moves in a controlled path. It is often used to lift heavy weights when a ‘spot’ is not available.
Spot – This is when a fellow gym goer is asking you to assist in the event of exercise failure. When using free weights on exercises such as benchpress individuals may try to raise the weight. They would ask to be ‘spotted’ so that if they fail at any point to return the weight to the frame the ‘spotter’ can assist.
Stack – On cable based apparatus, the resistance is provided by what is referred to as the ‘stack’. This is usually a number of rectangular shaped plates that are stacked together. Resistance can be adjusted by using a pin that can be placed against the required weight.
Trapezius Muscles – No, it’s nothing to do with the circus! These muscles are located in the back and neck and are often referred to as ‘traps’.
V02 Max – Don’t be mistaken into thinking it’s the latest hair-care product! V02 Max Is the maximum amount of oxygen a person can use in a one minute work-out and is a standard measure of cardiovascular fitness. A high V02 Max is beneficial and makes the body more efficient for exercise and sporting activity.
Warm-up – Preparation time prior to a workout that allows the muscles and heart to ‘get into state’. A warm-up usually involves performing exercises with minimal resistance and gentle cardio such as a slow jog.