Useful Gym Terminology Every Beginner Should Know

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The gym can be a scary place. Lots of intimidating equipment, a bunch of angry men growling for some odd reason and perhaps a personal trainer running after you trying to sell you his/her services. For the record, personal trainers can be great if you choose the right one. So no, I’m not hating on them. It’s safe to say that you are probably lost and confused and you’re still trying to figure out what bro science means and whether you’re allowed to eat it. Never fear because The Weight Training Goddesses is here! (see what I did there?). In this article, you will find your gym terminology survival guide. I have included some of the most common terms you would come across as a lifter to make your life as a newbie, a little easier.

The Gym Terminology

1. Rep

Rep is short for repetition. So a rep is one repetition of an exercise. For example, when you complete a squat that is a rep.

2. Set

A set is made up of a certain number of reps. For example, you could have a set of 6-8 reps which means you will perform the exercise 6-8 times to complete a set. So, when the workout says three sets of 6-8 that means you will do 6-8 reps, rest and repeat twice more.

3. Superset

Supersets are just regular sets with a cape. I’m sorry I had to( hides face in shame). A superset is two or more sets completed back to back with no rest in between. These will destroy you, use with caution.  

4. Time under tension

Time under tension means the amount of time your muscle is under strain.

5. Progressive overload

Progressive overload is essential if you are trying to grow your muscle. Which you should be if you want to lose weight and achieve the toned look. Progressive overload is when you gradually increase the amount of stress you place on your muscles during exercise. You can create progressive overload by adding extra weight or extra reps to each set.

6. Compound exercises

Compound movements are exercises that work more than one muscle/muscle group at a time — for example, squats and deadlifts.

7. Isolation exercises

Isolation exercises are movements that only work one muscle/joint at a time — for example, bicep curls.

8. HIIT Cardio

HIIT or high-intensity interval training is a bunch of exercises performed at a high intensity for a short period followed by a short rest period.

9. LISS Cardio

LISS stands for low-intensity steady state which as the name implies, is a low-intensity form of cardio. It involves doing cardio at a lower intensity for a longer period. A 30-minute walk on the treadmill is an example of LISS.

10. DOMS

DOMS is the acronym for delayed onset muscle soreness. It is the soreness you experience after a workout and is usually the most intense two days after the workout.

11. Bro science

Bro science is the polite way to describe the BS that is circulated in the bodybuilding community. Most of it is nonsense and has no scientific basis. If you have come across a concept that you think is bro science, don’t hesitate to ask me. I’ll happily do some research for you.

Hopefully, these gym terms make your life a little easier so you can spend less time on Google and more time training!  

Don’t forget to share this on Pinterest so other newbies have a fighting chance too;)