The Gym Dictionary

Whilst reading fitness related articles there will often be some jargon you might not quite understand. (Or even when chatting at the gym and someone uses a word that has no meaning to you what-so-ever). Don’t get us wrong here, we use some jargon to which we try our best to not do as we like to keep our content simplified so our readers can easily understand exercises or concepts. This is a part of our aim and overall goal which you can read here.

So below we will compile a list of phrases simplified down :

Concentric : This is the part of the movement that your muscle contracts (e.g. The up movement in a bicep curl)

Eccentric : This is the part of the movement that your muscle lengthens and essentially relaxes (e.g. the down movement in the bicep curl)

Isometric : This is when the muscle is contracted but held at a fixed point. (e.g. Your abs do this in the plank)

Resistance training : This is where the muscle is working against resistance of a certain weight and is typically done using machines in the gym.

BCAAs : These are Branched Chain Amino Acids (leucine, isoleucine and valine) often supplemented into the diet through a powder to help reduce muscle breakdown and fatigue.

1RM : This stands for 1 rep max. So this is essentially your maximum weight you can do on a particular exercise.

RDLs : These are Romanian Deadlifts. This is basically where you stop lowering at the shins when performing the deadlift.

Bis and Tris : These are referring to your Biceps and Triceps (the muscles on the front and back of your upper arm).

Aerobic : This is exercise where the supply of oxygen is sufficient and used. (e.g. jogging on the treadmill)

Anaerobic : As you may have guessed this is without the sufficient amount of oxygen present (e.g. more for powerful, explosive movements such as sprinting).

Reps : This is how many times you are repeating a movement. (e.g. 8 reps of bicep curls means you are repeating the movement 8 times in one go)

Sets : This is how many times you are going to perform your designated reps per exercise. (e.g. 3 sets of 8 reps of bicep curls means you’ll perform 24 reps technically but with rest every 8 reps)

PB/PR : This is your personal best or record. So the best weight you have ever lifted on an exercise. Often linking back to the 1RM but can be in reference to times for runs and so on.

HIIT : This is High Intensity Interval Training. This is basically shorter bursts of anaerobic exercise with short periods of rest in between.

Shake : A protein shake, typically a powdered protein form with milk or water.

Cheat day : This is a day dedicated to binge eating with a massive caloric surplus compared to the usual daily diet. This is normally used for people to excuse bad eating. (but that’s a discussion for another time).

Plyometrics : Exercise using maximal force to increase strength and or speed.

Calisthenics : Exercise using minimal equipment and large muscle groups (mainly just bodyweight exercises)

Intra-workout : Usually a supplement you take during your workout

TUT/Time Under Tension : Length of time your muscle is being worked during an exercise

Compound : This is an exercise using multiple joints and multiple muscle groups

Isolation : This is an exercise using one joint and fewer muscle groups

Big 3 : The typically main 3 lifts focused on : Squat, Bench, Deadlift

Accessory lifts : The exercises that are in the same groups as the main lift used on that day.

The Pump : When your muscle becomes filled with blood [excessively] and swells usually given a slight feeling of euphoria.

Progressive overload : Small amounts of increase in stress on the body resulting in the body adapting and improving – getting : stronger muscles , bigger muscles or better muscular endurance. The increase in stress can be more weight, reps or sets.

We aim to update this whenever we notice a new term that needs to be explained simply so check back whenever for future use. Be sure to tell us any we may have missed and we’ll do our best to explain them simply!

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