Common Gym Terms You May Not Know
Have you just started a new workout routine and are unsure of all these ‘gym’ terms being thrown around? I have put together a list of must-know gym terms that will help any newbie become a fitness pro in no time! Even if you have been working out for a while, you may be surprised that the meaning of some of these words are actually different to what you originally thought.
Gym terminology you should know
These are the must-know terms that you might hear at the gym and what they actually mean.
What is a ‘rep’?
'Rep’ is simply an abbreviation for ‘repetition’. Reps define the number of times you perform an exercise. For example, if you do 15 push-ups then stop, that is considered 15 reps. Super easy to remember!
What is a ‘set’?
A set goes hand in hand with a rep. Sets refer to the number of times you will repeat your desired reps. For example, if you do 15 push-ups then have a rest, and complete another 15 push-ups followed by a rest, and a further 15, then you have completed 3 sets.
What does ‘low GI’ mean?
GI (glycemic index) is a ranking given to food to describe how quickly the carbohydrate in that food is broken down and absorbed into the bloodstream. The GI scale ranges from 0 to 100 and the lower the number, the lower the GI in food. If a food has a higher GI, it is generally broken down and absorbed quickly, which can produce a rapid spike in blood sugar levels followed by a rapid decline. Lower GI foods, on the other hand, are broken down and absorbed more slowly, which means that they tend to provide us with more sustained energy.
However, it is important to remember that GI values are based on eating particular foods alone, which does not always reflect how they are actually eaten in real life. For example, rice (depending on the type) is a moderate to high GI food, however, most people don’t actually just eat a big bowl of rice for dinner! Rice is normally eaten with other foods, such as vegetables or protein, which can affect how quickly your body processes the carbohydrate. I recommend selecting unrefined carbohydrates, such as wholegrain breads and pastas, quinoa, and brown rice. While these foods generally release energy more slowly than highly processed carbohydrates, they can also provide your body with more nutrients, particularly fibre.
Can I ‘spot reduce’ fat?
This is a question I see and hear ALL the time and it is time to set the story straight! Firstly, the term ‘spot reduce’ refers to being able to tone or lose fat from a particular part of your body. For example, I always hear girls saying they want smaller thighs or toned tummies and they are only interested in finding exercises targeting those areas in the hope that they will become smaller. I hate to break it to you girls, but it is NOT possible to spot reduce. This is because, in order to achieve a toned tummy or leaner legs, you need to lose body fat and gain muscle overall. Your body works as a whole, and just as we can’t pick and choose where the fat goes, we can’t pick and choose where it comes off from either. Some girls may notice that certain areas of their body tend to lose weight quicker, however, this all depends on the individual as opposed to what exercises that they complete.
What is LISS?
For all the girls who have completed my BBG program, you may be familiar with this term. For everyone else who always hears me talking about LISS, but have no idea what I mean, let me explain. LISS stands for Low-Intensity Steady State and is exactly what it sounds like. LISS simply involves doing exercise at a low but consistent intensity over a period of time. Some great examples of LISS are walking, cycling or swimming. Without going into detail, the idea behind LISS is that by doing low-intensity exercise for 30-45 minutes a few times a week, your body is encouraged to use fat stores for energy.
What is HIIT?
In addition to LISS, I also recommend doing HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) in my guides. This is basically the opposite of LISS in the sense that instead of training at a low intensity, you give your absolute maximum amount of effort for a certain period of time. An example of a HIIT workout is sprinting as fast as you can for 30 seconds, followed by 30 seconds of rest and repeating these intervals for 10-15 minutes. The point of doing this type of workout is that it encourages the ‘afterburn’ effect, which essentially means your body continues to burn calories (which can be fat), even after you have finished exercising. The afterburn effect relies on the fact that your body needs large amounts of oxygen when completing HIIT, and when there is an oxygen shortage, your body will increase its intake of oxygen during recovery.
What is Interval training?
Interval training is a style of training which involves alternating between bursts of intense activity and bursts of lighter activity. For example, if you were to do a 60-minute yoga class, it generally isn’t counted as interval training because you are maintaining a similar intensity (or effort) during the entire class. On the opposite end of the spectrum, an interval workout could have you walking for 1 minute followed by a 1-minute sprint. It could also involve completing 15 burpees followed by 30 regular squats. The reason interval training is so great is because it can help you to burn more calories in a shorter amount of time as well as improve your fitness levels.
What does circuit training mean?
Circuit training is exactly what my BBG program is based on. It means that you do a particular exercise for a certain number of reps or amount of time before moving on to the next exercise. Unlike traditional weight training, circuit training is not necessarily based on how many reps you can do in total, but more so how many reps you can do in a certain amount of time. Each workout in my guide is 28 minutes long and involves alternating between four 7 minute circuits. Each of these circuits is comprised of four exercises each. Circuit training is great because it is an intense form of exercise that can help boost your fitness and can easily be completed with little to no equipment.
What is Plyometric Training?
Plyometric training or ‘plyo’ is another style of training used in my BBG program. Plyometrics or ‘jump training’ involves stretching a muscle (or group of muscles), which is then followed by maximal contraction in as short a time as possible. This combination of stretching and contracting helps to increase both power and speed, and can easily be done using your bodyweight as resistance. Some examples of plyo exercises are jump squats, jump lunges, bench jumps, burpees and the like.
Hope this quick recap has helped clear up any confusion as to what some of these common gym terms mean. Do you have any funny stories about not knowing what gym terms meant? Comment below, I would love to hear them!
* Results may vary. Strict adherence to the nutrition and exercise guide are required for best results.