Gym/Fitness Terminology explained
For those of you that have ever heard these phrases uttered on the gym floor, in article’s you have read, on health programs or talk shows, on fitness video’s or by trainers and thought, hmm what the hell does that mean….I want to be doing what that guy or girl is doing but I have no idea what they said. So let me divulge some of the terminology and explain some the acronyms used in the fitness world. The key to moving forward is knowledge and knowing how your body works so knowing how to train it correctly is KEY. I have highlighted one’s that i feel are important to know.
· ABDUCTION to draw away from or deviate from the midline of the body; opposite of adduction; side movement away from the midline of the body; example a side leg raise moving the leg away from the body’s center.
· Adduction – to bring toward the midline of the body; opposite of abduction; example, bringing the elbows together in the front of the body like a chest press working the pectoralis muscle.
· Aerobic exercise– Any rhythmic activity that increases the body’s need for oxygen by using large muscle groups continuously for at least 10 minutes. The term aerobic means “with oxygen.”
· Agility – The power of moving the limbs quickly and easily; nimbleness; activity; quickness of motion; as, strength and agility of body.
· Agonist muscle– A muscle that is very effective in causing a certain joint movement. Also called the prime mover. On a biceps curl, the biceps is the agonist muscle that flexes the elbow joint.
· Anaerobic exercise– Short lasting, high intensity activity, where the demand for oxygen from the exercise exceeds the oxygen supply.
· Antagonist muscle– A muscle that causes movement at a joint in a direction opposite to that of the joint’s agonist (prime mover).
· BarBell – These are weights attached to a long bar which requires both hands to pick up.
· Body composition– Amount of fat vs. lean muscle tissue in the human body.
· Burpee – full body exercise used in strength training and as aerobic exercise. It is performed in four steps, and was originally known as a “four-count Burpee”:
· Calisthenics– Exercising using one’s own body weight which helps develop muscular tone.
· Cardiorespiratory fitness– Measure of the heart’s ability to pump oxygen-rich blood to the muscles. Also called cardiovascular or aerobic fitness.
· Core– A muscle group comprised of the abdominals, lower back, oblique’s, and hips.
· Cortisol– A hormone secreted by the adrenal gland that makes stored nutrients more readily available to meet energy demands. These hormone levels increase under stress, which can stimulate your appetite, leading to weight gain or difficulty losing weight.
· Cross-training– An individualized combination of all aerobic-training methods, characterized by a variety of intensities and modes.
· Delts – slang term referring to the deltoid muscle – Shoulders (outer)
· Detraining (reverse) Principle– This principle says that once consistent exercise stops, you will eventually lose the strength that you built up. Without overload or maintenance, muscles will weaken in two weeks or less.
· DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness)– Muscle soreness or discomfort that appears 12 to 48 hours after exercise. It is most likely due to microscopic tears in the muscle tissue, and it usually requires a couple of days for the repair and rebuilding process to be completed. The muscle tissue grows back stronger, leading to increased muscle mass and strength.
· Eccentric contraction– A lengthening of the muscle during its contraction; controls speed of movement caused by another force.
· Ectomorph– A body shape characterized by a narrow chest, narrow shoulders and long, thin muscles.
· Electrolytes– Salts (ions) found in bodily fluids. Pertaining to exercise, your body loses electrolytes (sodium, potassium) when you sweat. These electrolytes need to be replaced to keep concentrations constant in the body, which is why many sports drinks include electrolytes.
· Empty Calories – calories obtained from foods high in sugar and fat without significant nutritional value
· Endomorph– A body shape characterized by a round face, short neck , wide hips, and heavy fat storage.
· Endorphins– Opiate-like hormones that are manufactured in the body and contribute to natural feelings of well-being.
· EPOC (Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption)– This explains why your breathing rate remains heavy for a few minutes after finishing a workout. Your body needs more oxygen after a workout in order to restore the oxygen stores in the blood and tissues, and to meet the oxygen requirements of the heart rate, which is still elevated.
· Epinephrine– Also called adrenaline, a hormone that stimulates body systems in response to stress.
· Eustress– “Good” stress that presents opportunities for personal growth. (Exercise is an example of this. It puts stress on the body and its systems, but the results of this stress are positive.)
· Fast twitch muscle fibers– Fibers that are better-suited for high-force, short duration activities because they contain more stores for anaerobic energy utilization.
· High-density lipoprotein (HDL)– Retrieves cholesterol from the body’s cells and returns it to the liver to be metabolized. Also referred to as “good” cholesterol.
· High impact– Activities that place more stress on the bones and joints, where your limbs are actually making contact with the ground or other surface with force. Examples include: walking, running, step aerobics, and sports that involve impact, like basketball or tennis.
· Hypertrophy– An increase in cell size (girth), usually in reference to fat or muscle cells. (Muscle building)
· Interval training– Repeated intervals of exercise interspersed with intervals of relatively light exercise. This type of training provides a means of performing large amounts of high-intensity exercise in a short period of time.
· Isokinetic exercise- Exercise in which the rate of movement is constantly maintained through a specific range of motion even though maximal force is exerted.
· Isometric exercise– Any activity in which the muscles exert force but do not visibly change in length. For example, pushing against a wall or carrying a bag of groceries
· Isotonic exercise– Any activity in which the muscles exert force and change in length as they lift and lower resistance. For example, bicep curls or leg extensions.
· Ketosis-A condition in which the body adapts to prolonged fasting or carbohydrate deprivation by converting body fat to ketones, which can be used as fuel for some brain activity. The real danger in ketosis is that ketones are acidic, and high levels of ketones make the blood abnormally acid.
· Lactic acid– Once thought of as a waste substance that builds up in the muscles when they are not getting enough oxygen, leading to muscle fatigue and soreness. Now, experts believe that lactic acid is beneficial to the body, acting as a “fuel” to help people continue high-intensity (anaerobic) exercise even when oxygen consumption is low.
· Lactic threshold– The point at which the level of lactic acid in the blood suddenly increases (during exercise). This is a good indication of the highest sustainable work rate. Also known as anaerobic threshold.
· Lean mass– Total weight of your muscle, bone, and all other body organs. (Everything in the body besides fat.)
· Low-density lipoprotein (LDL)- Transports cholesterol and triglycerides from the liver to be used in various cellular processes. Also referred to as “bad” cholesterol.
· Max VO 2– (V02 Max) Highest amount of oxygen one can consume during exercise. The higher this number, the more you are cardiovascularly fit and capable of increased levels of intensity.
· Mesomorph– A body shape characterized by a large chest, long torso, solid muscle structure and significant strength.
· MET– An expression of the energy it takes to sit quietly. It is frequently used as a measure of intensity on cardiovascular machines (treadmill, stationary bike, etc.) For example, moderate intensity activities are those that get you moving fast enough or strenuously enough to burn off three to six times as much energy per minute as you do when you are sitting quietly, measured as 3-6 METs.
· One-Rep Max (1 RM)– The amount of weight/resistance that can be lifted or moved once, but not twice; a common measure of strength.
· Opposing muscles– Muscles that work in opposition to the ones you are training. For example, the bicep is the opposing muscle to the triceps; the hamstring is the opposing muscle to the quadriceps.
· Overload Principle– This principle says that in order to train muscles, they must work harder than they are accustomed to. This “overload” will result in increased strength as the body adapts to the stress placed upon it.
· Physical fitness– The ability to perform regular to vigorous physical activity without great fatigue.
· Pilates– Exercise programs that combine dynamic stretching with movement against resistance.
· Plank – an isometric exercise for the abdominal muscles
· Plateau– Point in an exercise program where no additional progress is being made (gains in strength, weight loss, increased endurance, etc). One way to break through a plateau is to change the kind of activity you are doing or something about your current activity- adding hills, increasing speed, increasing distance, etc.
· PNF stretching– Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) stretching is a static stretch of a muscle immediately after maximally contracting it.
· Pronation-To turn or rotate (the foot) so that the inner edge of the sole bears the body’s weight.
· Plyometric training– Exercises that enable a muscle to reach maximal force production in as short a time as possible. For example, jumping from a 3 ft. stool to the ground and immediately springing back up to another stool.
· Rate of perceived exertion (RPE)– Scale of 1-10 that rates how you are feeling (both physically and mentally) as it relates to exercise fatigue.
· Shin splint– Generic term used to describe pain in the lower leg, either on the medial (inside) or lateral side (outside) of the shin bone.
· Skinfold caliper test- A method of determining body fat whereby folds of skin and fat at various points on the body are grasped between thumb and forefinger and measured with calipers.
· Slow twitch muscle fibers- Fibers that are better-suited for low-force, long duration activities because they possess more endurance enzymes.
· Specificity of Training Principle– This principle says that only the muscle or muscle group you exercise will respond to the demands placed upon it. By regularly doing curls, for example, the muscles involved (biceps) will become larger and stronger, but curls will have no effect on the muscles that are not being trained. Therefore, when strength training, it is important to strengthen all of the major muscles.
· Static stretching- A low force, high-duration stretch where the muscle is held at the greatest possible length for up to 30 seconds.
· Superset – A superset is performed when two exercises are performed in a row without stopping.
· Tapering- The process athletes use to reduce their training load for several days prior to competition.
· Traps – Trapezius Muscle – Upper part of your back, runs along both sides of your spine and run along tips of your shoulders.
· Waist to hip ratio– A calculation of the proportion of fat stored on your body around your waist and hips. Formula: waist measurement divided by hip measurement. Women should have a ratio of 0.8 or less; men should have a ratio of .95 or less.
· Yoga- A variety of Indian traditions geared toward self-discipline and the realization of unity; includes forms of exercise widely practiced in the West today that promote balance, coordination, flexibility, and meditation.
If there are some that I have not mentioned but you would like explained just ask me. J .