As you begin your personal fitness revolution -whether you’re following a weight loss plan or just want to tone up – you might read some confusing advice. Or, you might overhear a few fellow gym-goers discussing their workout regimens, and wonder what exactly they’re talking about. As with any endeavor, understanding the lexicon of of the fitness world is necessary in order to truly reap full rewards from any information you receive. You’re likely to encounter the following ten common fitness terms, so make sure you know what they mean.
Bodyweight exercise. These moves utilize your own body weight as resistance, as opposed to free weights, barbells, and so on. We’re talking about squats, pull-ups, push-ups, lunges, and so on. Of course, as you get in shape you might want to add resistance bands or another form of weight to these exercises. Then they’re not truly “bodyweight” exercises anymore, but they’re still simple moves that you can perform just about anywhere.
Cardio (short for cardiovascular exercise). This type of exercise raises your heart rate and breathing into the “calorie burn” zone. Think of jogging, biking, jumping rope, or using an elliptical machine. Cardio is good for your heart.
Target heart rate. This is the rate at which your heart is working heard enough to receive maximum benefits, without dangerously overworking itself. This rate is different for each person, and depends upon your age, health, and fitness level. Ask a personal trainer to help you calculate your target heart rate, then try to keep your heart working at that capacity throughout cardio exercise.
Circuit. A series of exercises designed to target your goals. After you move through your entire series of moves, you have performed one “circuit”.
Interval training. This just means that you alternate periods of exercise with periods of rest. For example, you might perform one minute of crunches, then rest for one minute, then perform another set of crunches, and so on as you move through your circuit.
HIIT. Short for high intensity interval training, HIIT combines several different high-intensity exercises with only short rest periods in between.
Repetitions. Often shortened to “reps”, this is the number of times you perform a specific exercise. For example, you might do 10 reps of bicep curls.
Set. This is one series of repetitions. So, you might perform 10 bicep curls, rest, then perform ten more. So, you did two sets of ten.
Spot. If you’re using free weights (as opposed to a machine) make sure you ask a friend to “spot” you. This means they help you out in the event that you push yourself a bit too hard, and need a little help to complete an exercise. Spotting is an absolute necessity for your safety, if you’re using very heavy weights for moves such as a bench press.
“Work in”. If someone asks to “work in” with you, they’re asking to share the equipment during each other’s rest periods.
Remember that we’re always here to help you with your fitness or weight loss plan. Schedule an appointment with us, and we can help you set attainable goals, offer nutritional advice, and help support you on your journey.