Whilst our centres are temporarily closed – we thought you might want to brush up on your fitness jargon!

The leisure industry is renowned for using ‘jargon’ and so for many fitness first-timers, the gym/centre/class can be an intimidating place! Aside from getting to grips with the rules of gym etiquette and knowing how to use some scary looking machines (we can definitely help you with that!), there’s the subject of gym vocabulary.

Gym jargon & home workout terminology may sound like a whole new language and many of us pretend to understand it, when the truth is, we haven’t a clue what it means…and don’t feel guilty, even our staff need refreshers from time to time!

So hopefully our simple A-Z of fitness speak, will inform and enlighten you.

Active Recovery
Fitness terminology for ‘rest’ day activities. Incorporating gentle movement and low-intensity activity to encourage circulation and help your body recover and rebuild your muscles after working out. This might be something as simple as a walk.

The art of changing direction quickly. Helped along by working on exercises that make you more flexible, and getting your heart rate pumping.

An acronym that stands for ‘As Many Reps As Possible’. A type of high intensity workout where you aim to complete the maximum number of repetitions of an exercise within a set time.

Body Mass Index is calculated by looking at your height and body weight to come up with a sum that indicates how well your health is doing. An ideal BMI is between 18.9 and 24.

Increasing the amount of calories you take in, in order to gain muscle mass. (healthy calories are best)

Burpee (yuck I hear you say)
This exercise will work the whole body. How to do it properly…

Start bent over with your back arched, hands on the ground in front of you, feet behind you. Jump backwards, and immediately back to your original spot. Then jump into the air with arms above your head. Repeat and repeat and repeat…If you hear ‘full burpess’ this entails jumping backwards and getting your chest/whole body completely flat on the floor before jumping back up again to start position.

Exercises you can do using no added weight, commonly referred to as body-weight training such as push ups and pull-ups.

Short for cardiovascular. Any exercise that gets the heart pumping. Think, running, cross-training, aerobics classes, circuits and rowing.

Put simply? A set of exercises. The sequence of exercises can be timed, doing as many reps within a time frame, or you can complete a set number of rounds of each exercise.

Clean Eating
Eating natural, unprocessed foods such as vegetables, fruits, grains, pulses and anything in it’s natural state. No sugars, processed carbs or manufactured foods. (or at least keep those to a minimum)

Compound Exercise
An exercise that targets multiple muscle groups (e.g. lunges) as opposed to isolated exercises (e.g. bicep curl).

Cool Down
Performing exercises at the end of your workout to gradually lower your heart rate and bring your body back to a resting state.

A deadlift involves lifting a weight from the floor whilst standing, great for strengthening the lower back, toning ‘glutes’ and improving the strength of your hamstrings.

That agonising muscle soreness that creeps on two days after a workout.

Downward Dog (or Down Dog)
Named after the way dogs naturally stretch, the downward dog is a yoga pose, intended to stretch through the spine and limbs. A great way to have a good stretch! For real yogis its Adho Mukha Svanasana!

Drop Sets
Completing an exercise multiple times, but reducing the weight each time, with no rest in between. For example, 10 reps of 20kg, 10 reps of 10kg, 10 reps of 5kg.

Free Weights
Weights that stand free, unfixed from a piece of equipment – such as dumbbells, barbells and kettle bells

Functional Training
Exercise techniques that help with every day tasks by making you more ‘functional’.

Stands for ‘High Intensity Interval Training’. Quick, intense bursts of exercise with very short recovery time, burning high calories during and after your workout.

A cast-iron weight which looks like a bowling ball with a handle. Used for a number of exercises that combine cardiovascular, strength and flexibility training.

Lactic Acid
Lactic Acid is the stuff that’s produced by the body when you work muscles hard. A build up of lactic acid is what causes your muscles to fatigue during a workout.

Maintaining Form (or good form)
Ensuring you’re keeping the correct technique when performing an exercise.

Mountain Climbers
A press up where you bring each knee as close to the chest as possible.

Lie flat and hold your body, back straight, with your weight on your toes and elbows for as long as possible.

An exercise that involves rapid and repeated stretching and contracting of the muscles. Great for burning fat, toning the whole body and Try our Plyo studio class, crafted by fitness legends, Les Mills. Often used for rehabiitation exercises too.

Power Lift
Three movements used in a power lifting competition; the squat, bench press and dead lift.

Good bacteria. You’ll find it in some yoghurts, certain protein shakes and can take them as supplements if your gut needs a boost of the good stuff.

Short for repetition – ie. Perform 10 reps of this exercise

A specified number of reps of one exercise type, usually used within strength training. Usually you would complete between 6-15 reps as part of one set. The weight used will impact the number of reps you can do within one set.

An indoor cycling fitness class, great for improving cardiovascular fitness, burning calories and perfect for those that love to cycle in a group.

A friend that watches as you lift to make sure you’re safe and lifting with the right technique. (i.e. can you spot for me please?)

Squat (everyone’s favourite)
It is what it is… a squat. Stand straight, feet hip-width apart, and bend the knees into a squatting position with a nice straight back. Great for toning the butt!

Super Set
A combination of two exercises back to back with a short rest period in between. Super sets can be used to push a certain muscle group to exhaustion (e.g. goblet squats and sumo squats) or to work two opposing muscles (e.g. chest press and row).

A type of high-intensity interval training consisting of 20 seconds at maximum effort, followed by 10 seconds of rest. Repeat for a given number of exercises and sets.

Hope you’ve found this useful – and don’t forget, when the centres are open again – our staff are there, always, to help and advise…don’t be scared to use them if you’re unsure of anything.