Fitness Jargon Buster

The health and fitness industry is full of buzzwords that are not always easy to understand. We use these terms because sometimes (but not all) of the acronyms are quicker to say or take up less space when writing a program!

Fitness and health is for everyone so here’s a jargon buster guide.

I want your input so if you have any more to add then please let me know. Whether it’s one that you know the meaning of or one that you’ve heard someone say and are thinking to yourself what the heck does that mean? I’ll keep coming back to update this list.

1RM1 Rep MaximumThe maximum weight that a person is able to lift on a particular exercise for just 1 repetition
AMRAPAs Many Rounds As PossibleA [mainly] Crossfit term, a type of workout, a circuit that has a fixed time and structure. You have to try and complete circuit as many times as you can before the time is up – Beware of letting your form slip as your competitive spirit takes over!
BCAAsBranch Chain Amino AcidsThese are amino acids that benefit muscle growth
BMIBody Mass IndexA measure of a person’s body fat based on their weight in relation to their height. The formula is: weight in kilograms divided by height in metres squared. NHS BMI calculator
BMRBasal Metabolic RateThe amount of energy used while at rest (not doing anything)
BPBlood PressureThe pressure of the blood within the circulatory system, it’s a good indicator of heart health
BPMBeats per MinuteUsed in terms of measuring heart rate (as well as music). Sometimes, matching your pace to the beats of music can improve performance!
CarbsCarbohydratesAn essential macronutrient, often demonised in the media – a fantastic source of fuel for the body
ConcentricThe part of the exercise when the muscle is shortening eg: curling your arm up in a bicep curl. Opposite of Eccentric
DOMSDelayed Onset Muscle SorenessThe feeling of aching/soreness you get a day or 2 (or 3!) after a workout
Dynamic stretchA stretch that you don’t hold for more than a couple of seconds – best used BEFORE a workout
EccentricThe part of the exercise when the muscle is lengthening eg: straightening your arm in a bicep curl. Opposite of Concentric
EPOCExcess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption, sometimes called after-burnThe increased intake of oxygen following strenuous activity (leads to increased calorie burn)
Fartlek“Speed play”A Swedish term used to describe a form of interval training which does not have set times of distances, the person just “plays” with their speed during their workout as they see fit
Fat burning zoneA hotly contested phrase relating to working out at 55% to 70% of your maximum heartrate. This is supposedly the level of heartrate which is more conducive to a person using up fat stores rather that carbohydrates as fuel
FormThe way a person executes a certain exercise. There can be good and bad form, if in doubt, ask a trainer to have a look for you to reduce chance of injury
HIITHigh Intensity Interval TrainingA type of interval training that relies on mixing bursts of high effort with recovery/rest time
HRHeart RateThe number of times your heart beats, usually measured as beats per minute – a way of measuring workout intensity
IFIntermittent FastingA diet protocol based on not eating or restricting calories for certain amounts of time
IsometricThe part of an exercise or stretch where the muscle is engaged but not changing in length e.g. holding a plank
Ladder workoutWhere you perform one or more exercises with an ascending and descending repetition pattern. For example, 1 squat then rest, 2 squats then rest, 3 squats then rest up to 10 squats and then back down, 9 squats, 8 squats etc.
LISSLow Intensity Steady StateA type of cardio exercise where you maintain a low intensity over a set period of time
MacrosMacronutientsThe main nutrients that make up a healthy diet. Broadly broken into 3 categories; Carbohydrates, proteins and fats.
MicronutrientsVitamins and minerals
NEATNon-Exercise Activity ThermogenesisThe energy we use when not doing “exercise”, eating or sleeping
PBPersonal BestA result achieved by an individual that beats any of their past performances. “Tony beat his previous Personal Best”
PRsPersonal RecordsSame as PB
RDARecommended Daily Allowance/Recommended Dietary AllowanceA quantity of a particular nutrient (or calorie) per day required for the maintenance of good health
RepRepetitionThe number of moves you perform in order to complete a set
ROMRange of Motion/MovementThe extent to which a joint(s) move during each repetition of an exercise
RPERate of Perceived ExertionA scale of 0-10 rating how tired you are when completing an exercise. It is a way of assessing effort without the need for heart rate monitors. 0 represents no exertion and 10 represents maximum effort
SetThe number of times you perform a number of repetitions in a row
Static stretchA stretch that you hold in position for 10+ seconds – best used AFTER a workout
TabataA workout timing principle. 4 minute workout with 20 seconds effort and 10 seconds rest, repeated 8 times
TempoThe speed at which you perform an exercise
TRXTotal Body Resistance ExerciseA piece of suspension training equipment, TRX is actually a brand, other suspension trainers are available.
TUTTime under tensionThe amount of time your muscle is actively engaged during an exercise
Weekend warriorSomeone who only participates in exercise/an activity in their spare time, usually at weekends
WODWorkout of the DayA term used to describe a particular workout that will be being completed that day – often used in Crossfit gyms