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Gym Glossary


In other words a gym dictionary that will tell you the meaning of certain words or phrases that are common in the gym but might have no meaning to those who aren't used to them.


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Aerobic: This is low intensity exercise that maximises oxygen use to increase heart rate. The longer duration of this exercise means its used to burn calories and lose fat.


Anaerobic: High intensity, shorter duration exercise. Weightlifting is considered anaerobic exercise.


Barbell: A barbell is a six or seven-foot bar that holds weightlifting plates of different sizes and weights.


Bench: People in the gym often will ask how much do you bench, this means what is the heaviest weight you can bench press for one rep maximum. It is used a a way to measure strength between gym bodybuilders and gym goers.


Bi's: Your bi's are short for biceps which is the muscle in your arm that lifts your forearm up towards your shoulder.


Biceps: The large muscle at the front of the upper arm. Also referred to as biceps brachii.


Caps: Caps is in reference to your deltoids or shoulder muscles.


Cardio: Aerobic exercise mostly intended to expend calories and burn fat, and of course, strengthen the heart.


Compound Movement: This is an exercise that uses multiple muscles in its operation.

Unlike isolation exercises which target only one muscle at a time, the compound movement is used to lift heavier weights because it uses more muscles to complete the lift.

The best known compound movements are; the squat, the bench press and the dumbbell shoulder press.


Cycle: This is a technique performed by bodybuilders to vary their workouts or food intake over a period of days or weeks to gain different results.


Decline: The decline movement refers to lowering the angle of a bench to below flat in order to perform exercises such as decline bench press.


Definition: This is in reference to a body that has well built muscles that stand out against a layer of low body fat.


Delts: Your delts are in reference to your deltoids, which are the three muscles that make up your shoulders. These consist of the front deltoid, the side deltoid and the rear deltoid. They are separate muscles and need both compound movements and isolation movements to promote growth.


Dumbbell: This is a shorter bar that is held with one hand in order to perform exercises such as dumbbell presses.

Most gyms have dumbbells with a fixed weight on them but you can get ones where you can change the weight plates on the ends.


Forced Reps: Forced extra repetitions at the end of a set with the help of a spotter.


Glutes: The muscles of the buttocks.


Guns: The word guns in a gym has a different meaning, it simply is slang for big arms on a bodybuilder.


Hams: This in reference to your hamstrings which are the muscles at the back of your thighs.


Incline: The incline movement refers to lifting the angle of a bench to an angle above flat in order to perform exercises such as incline bench press.


Intensity: A loose term used to describe the level of effort a person puts into their workout bases on length, dedication and amount of weight used.


Isolation Movement: An isolation movement is an exercise that only targets one muscle. It is best used when aiming to bring up that particular muscle. For example the dumbbell chest fly, the biceps curl and the shoulder front raises are all isolation exercises.


Lactic Acid: This is the build up of waste glucose and glycogen metabolism that is produced in the muscles during intense exercise. Causes pain at the site of the build-up.


Lats: This is slang for your latissimus dorsi muscles which lie either side of your back from under your shoulders to your waist. Highly developed lats give a bodybuilder that "V-shaped torso".


Negative: Also called "Eccentric Contraction" The term means lowering the weight slowly under tension to the start position, performing negative reps help to work a particular muscle more than simply lifting and lowering.


One Rep Max (1RM): This is the heaviest weight a person can use in a particular exercise to perform one rep with that weight without assistance. For example a persons 1RM for the bench press could be 250lbs i.e. 250lbs is the heaviest that person can press for one rep.


Overhand: This term refers to holding a dumbbell or barbell with your palms generally facing your body when the weight is held at your waist.


Pecs: Your pecs are the large muscle of your chest, short for pectorals major.


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