Some people speak gym fluently and others need a translator.

Learning some of this gym slang will not only help you feel more comfortable, but it will help you learn how to maximize your workouts.


Repetitions (commonly called “reps”) - The number of times one repeats a movement. 10 reps is simply moving the weights or doing and exercise 10 times.

Muscle - The contractile unit responsible for moving your bones.


Tendon - The non-contractile unit that transmits the force of the muscle to the bone. Tendons connect muscles to bones.


Ligament - The soft tissues that hold two or more bones together.

Cartilage - Connective tissue that covers the ends of bones and acts as a cushion to absorb shock and a smooth surface to decrease friction between two or more bones in a moving joint.

Aerobic Exercise - The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) defines aerobic exercise as “any activity that uses large muscle groups, can be maintained continuously, and is rhythmic in nature.” Aerobic means in the presence of oxygen. In other words, your body is burning its fuel (glucose) in the presence of oxygen. It is performed at less than 85% of your maximum heart rate. An aerobically fit individual can work longer, more vigorously and achieve a quicker recovery at the end of the aerobic session. Jogging, cycling, swimming, aerobics classes, and rowing are examples of aerobic exercise.

Anaerobic Exercise - Working at higher than 85% of your maximum heart rate. It involves short bursts of exertion followed by periods of rest. Anaerobic mean in the absence of oxygen. In other words, it is the burning of glucose, by the body, without the use of oxygen. Weight training and sprinting are examples of anaerobic exercise.



Plyometrics - Exercises characterized by the application of a quick muscle stretch followed y rapid muscle shortening enabling muscle(s) to achieve maximal rates of force development. They are intended to improve reactive/explosive muscle performance.

Circuit Training - Selected weight training exercises performed one after another in an exercise sequence, usually using lighter weights and short periods of rest.

Periodization - According to the American College of Sports Medicine, periodized training is planned variation in the total amount of exercise performed in a given period of time (intensity and volume of exercise). All periodization terminology describes either a certain type of training, a certain portion of a training cycle, or a certain length of time within a training cycle.

Maximum Heart Rate - The fastest your heart can beat. It is found by taking 220 and subtracting your age. (Max HR = 220 – age)


Target Heart Rate - Your target heart rate is a range you exercise in and should be 60-85% of your maximum heart rate. - (220 – age) x 60% = bottom end of Target Heart Range - (220 – age) x 85% = top end of Target.


Heart Range - Exercise is considered aerobic if performed within this range.

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