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Fitness Lingo Explained

July 14, 2016 by HealthyFamiliesBC

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Fitness Lingo Explained

When talking fitness, it’s no secret that there are a lot of terms and slang. Be it something you heard at the gym, a word you saw in an article, or something you heard at a race, it can become confusing. Hopefully this will clear things up!

Here are a few basic terms to get started:

  • Physical Activity: Any movement done by your body’s muscles that requires the use of energy.
  • Exercise: Physical activity that is done with the purpose of improving fitness. For example, going for a walk on 5 days per week.
  • Sport: A form of exercise with set rules, usually a governing body, and done for fun or competition. For example, the game of soccer would be considered a sport.

Here are a few terms you might of heard in the gym:

  • Reps or repetitions: How many times you do a specific movement. Lifting a weight to shoulder-level and lowering it back down to your side would be one rep. Do that motion five times and you’ll have done five reps.
  • Sets: A group of reps or repetitions. Do five reps, take a break, then another five reps and you’ll have done two sets. Most people do two-three sets of a given exercise.
  • Spot or spotter: Someone who helps you safely lift a weight in case you have difficulties.
  • Superset: When you do a set of repetitions for one muscle group and, instead of resting, do a set of repetitions for another muscle group.
  • WOD: Acronym for “workout of the day”, often used by Crossfit participants.

Here are a few terms you might of heard on the running path:

  • Tempo: A pace that is somewhat hard but you’re able to keep it up. It would be considered in between moderate and vigorous intensity
  • Bonking: Feeling really tired and low energy because of depleted energy stores when you’ve been exercising for long periods of time. Proper nutrition will prevent this.
  • PB: Short for personal best. Usually in reference to your best time for an event.

Heard a term you don’t know that’s not explained here? Or any of these you’d like clarified? Comment below or give the Physical Activity Line a call at 8-1-1.

Related blogs

Top 5 fitness Myths
3 Misunderstood Facts About Fitness

Recommended resources

Physical Activity Line
Public Health Agency of Canada: Tips To Get Active

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