Our A-B-C of F-I-T

We can all be left a bit puzzled by gym-jargon and fancy fitness terms, so we've compiled a simple list that you may have come across before. Take five minutes to read through, you might end up learning something new!

Aerobic Exercise/Cardio

Terms used for cardiovascular exercise, Aerobic exercise increases your breathing rate and heart rate for a sustained period of time, to allow your body to perform. It helps your cardiorespiratory system run efficiently, examples of this include running and swimming.


This stands for "as many reps/rounds as possible" and is quite simple once you are aware, it basically means as many rounds as possible of a series of exercise movements in a specific time frame. Although this doesn't have to be intense - cater the rounds, movements and rest period to suit you. 

Anaerobic Exercise

Anaerobic exercises involve quick bursts of energy and are performed at maximum effort for a short time. Examples of this include jumping, sprinting, or heavy weight lifting.


This is a form of strength training that uses a person's body weight with exercises such as squats, lunges, crunches and press-ups. This can be a great place to start for beginners as it is not too intense but is still effective when aiming to improve strength, flexibility and control.

Compound Exercises

These are exercise movements that engage multiple muscle groups at the same time, a good example of this is squats as this engages the quads, glutes, calves and core. 


"Delayed onset muscle soreness" is the stiffness that can occur after physical activity, this is caused by inflamed muscle and connective tissues. If you change your exercise routine, increase the intensity or duration this may result in DOMS.


'Feel good' chemicals are released by the body in response to exercise. Endorphins are thought to help reduce stress and can have a positive effect on mood.

Endurance Training

A training programme which aims to improve a person's maximum exercise capacity in terms of stamina and endurance. An example of someone who would benefit from this is someone training for a marathon, as they will be aiming to increase the length of time/distance that they can run for. 


Having proper form means completing an exercise movement with the correct posture, positioning and movements to avoid injury. 

Free Weights

A form of strength training defined as "resistance exercises" (see terms under 'R'). They are weights which you can use freely, this includes dumbbells, barbells and kettlebells etc.

Functional Training

These are exercises that help to strengthen you for everyday activities like walking to improve strength and stamina. Examples of this include lunges, push-ups, bodyweight squats and jumping jacks. 

High-Impact Exercise

Activity in which the weight of the body lands on the joints, for example running or jumping. These exercises are preferred by those who don't suffer from joint problems and want to burn lots of calories through intense exercise. High-impact exercise is not recommended for those who suffer from joint problems or those recovering from injury.


This stands for 'high-intensity interval training' and involves a combination of high-intensity movements followed by a small rest period, then this is repeated a set number of times over around 20 minutes. These are great for making the most of your time in the gym for an effective workout. 

Isolated Exercises

Are the opposite of compound exercises, as isolated exercises are focused on one muscle group, for example, shoulder press, ab crunches and sit-ups. 

Low-Impact Exercise

Activity where the joints don't bear the full weight of the body, examples of this include swimming, cycling and Yoga. 


Short for macronutrients, macros are the three main categories of nutrient - protein, carbohydrates and fat. "Counting macros" or "tracking macros" is a way of counting the grams consumed of each nutrient to ensure that you're adequately fuelling your body for exercising. In principle, this is similar to counting calories, but it can be more flexible.


Someone's "PB" is their "personal best", which can be in relation to time, sets, repetitions or weights.


Reps is short for repetitions - the number of times you perform an exercise within a set. 

Resistance Training 

Also can be known as strength training, this is where the participant works against resistance equipment to help build muscle and increase strength. Resistance training can include free weights, resistance bands or specific resistance machines in the gym such as a Leg Press.


This refers to how many times a number of repetitions of the same exercise will be performed before having a short rest period and then changing exercise. 


Those that do weight training or resistance exercises may require a partner to "spot" them. The partner/spotter is able to help the participant safely lift a weight and ensure that the exercise is carried out correctly. Also, if the participant starts to struggle with heavier weights, the spotter can intervene.

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