Skip Nav
Healthy Eating Tips
10 Healthy Reasons to Start Squeezing Lemons
Healthy Recipes
18 Whole30 Dinners You'll Make Well After Your Diet Ends
Healthy Recipes
These Hearty Green Soups Are as Healthy as They Are Beautiful

ABC's of Fitness

ABC's of Fitness

Feel the burn... Do three sets of 12 reps... Is this making sense to you? If not then you could use a little lesson in fitness terms. Some are weirder than others, but they're all real. So the next time you're with your trainer, you can wow her with bold statements like, "Would ya' look at that muscle head? He just went for his max and didn't even ask for a spot. What a dumbbell!" Actually I added that last part, but I thought it was cute.

Barbell - Weight used for exercise, consisting of a rigid handle 5-7' long, with detachable metal discs at each end.
Bulking Up - Gaining body weight by adding muscle, body fat or both.
Burn - As in "feel the burn" In endurance exercise, working muscles until lactic acid build-up causes burning sensation.
Circuit Training - Going quickly from one exercise apparatus to another and doing a prescribed number of exercises or time on each apparatus, keeps pulse rate high and promotes overall fitness, by generally working all muscle groups as well as heart and lungs.
Cool Down - Moderate then light activity, normally followed by stretching.
Crunches - Abdominal exercises Sit-ups done on the floor with legs on bench, hands behind the neck.
Dumbbell - Weight used for exercising consisting of rigid handles about 14" long with either detachable metal discs or fixed weights at each end.
Extension - Body part (i.e. hand, neck, trunk, etc.) going from a bent to a straight position, as in leg extension.
Flex - Bend or decrease angle of a joint; contract a muscle.
Free Style Training - Training all body parts in one workout.
Lift Off - Assistance in getting weight to proper starting position.
Max - Maximum effort for one repetition of an exercise.
Muscle Head - Slang for someone whose life is dominated by training.

To learn more terms like 'plyometrics' and 'sticking point', just

Plyometric Exercise - Where muscles are loaded suddenly and stretched, then quickly contracted to produce a movement. Athletes who must jump do these, i.e. jumping off bench to ground, quickly rebounding to another bench.
Pose Down - Bodybuilders performing their poses at the same time in a competition, trying to out pose one another.
Repetition/Rep - One complete movement of an exercise.
Rest Interval - Pause between sets of an exercise, which allows muscles to recover partially before beginning next set.
Set - Fixed number of repetitions. For example, 10 repetitions may comprise one set.
Spot - Assist if called upon by someone performing an exercise.
Sticking Point - Most difficult part of a movement.
Super Set - Alternating back and forth between two exercises until the prescribed number of sets is completed.
Tri Sets - Alternating back and forth between three exercises until a prescribed number of sets is completed.
Warm Up - Light gradual exercises performed to get the body ready for physical activity, normally a slower version of the activity to follow. For example a light jog before a run. Often followed by stretching of the body.

See even more terms at


Join The Conversation
From Our Partners
Latest Fitness
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds