Fitness Jargon Debunked: 10 Terms to Know at the Gym
Gym jargon can be intimidating…but it shouldn’t keep you from looking and feeling your best! Whether you normally exercise at home using your FitnessMat (we're sure do!) or you enjoy stepping out of the house and into your local gym, understanding a bit of fitness terminology can make exercising seem a whole lot more attainable and a lot less of a mystery. Here are 10 fitness terms worth knowing:
A Calorie is a unit of energy. 1 Calorie is the amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of 1 kilogram (1000 grams) of water by 1 degree (Celsius). The body can either use or “burn” the energy gained from Calories (in the form of heat, electrical, or sound energy) or the body can store the unused energy in the form of fat and/or muscle. The simple formula for weight-loss is to consume less calories per day than you burn.
RICE is an acronym for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation–the four steps involved in treating an injury from muscle strain and/or sprain. The first step, Rest, is to refrain from exercising + straining the muscle further. The second step is to apply ice (which reduces inflammation), then compression (with the use of an elastic bandage to help reduce swelling), then elevate the muscle to enhance blood circulation and reduce pain.
3. Maximum Heart Rate:
This depends on your age, and is the maximum heart rate you can have while strenuously exercising. For a moderate work out, your heart rate should be around 50-70% of your maximum heart rate. Calculate your maximum heart rate by subtracting your age from 220.
BMI stands for Body Mass Index–the percentage of body fat one has in proportion to everything making up lean body mass (including bone, muscle, organs, blood and tissues). BMI is calculated using height and weight. Healthy BMI ranges from 18.5 to 24.9. Anything under the range is considered underweight, and a BMI over the range is considered overweight. A BMI of 30 or higher is considered obese.
5. Lactic Acid
Lactic Acid accumulates in muscles when deprived of oxygen. This is what leads to feeling fatigued and sore. While some think of lactic acid as “waste” others think of it as “fuel” that allows continuous exercise even while in need of oxygen.
Just an abbreviation for repetition–the number of times you complete one full exercise motion (one lift, squat, crunch, pull-up, one full lap around the track, or whatever it may be).
A cluster or repetition of reps, like doing 5 sets of 10 reps (or 10 crunches) with short breaks in between sets.
This is a method of exercise that involves 8 sets of 20-second exercises with a 10-second rest in between each. This usually results in burning a high number of calories in little time.
A string of different exercises done one after another with minimal (or no) rest in between. A good way to keep your workout interesting!
DOMS is an acronym for Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness…which in regular terms means sore. DOMS is the pain you might feel 12-72 hours after completing a strenuous workout. Delayed soreness is the result of damaged or torn muscles repairing and strengthening and is very normal. Stretching helps prevent and alleviate soreness, but the pain will usually subside after around a week.