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Glossary of Gym Terms
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  Glossary of Gym Terms


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Abduction
Movement of a limb away from middle of body, such as bringing arms to shoulder height from hanging down position

Abductors
Muscles of the hip that pull your legs apart. Gluteus medius and minimus pull your legs outward. Inline skating, skiing and dance work these muscles.

Abs
Abbreviation for abdominal muscles.

Absolute Strength
The maximum amount a person can lift in one repetition.

AC Motor
Alternating current motor that operates with a power source where the voltage alternates or changes in magnitude and direction 60 times per second. The rate of change is expressed as 60 Hertz (Hz). In some countries, the motor changes 50 times per second

Accommodating Resistance
Increasing resistance as lifters force increases through range of motion. Nautilus machines are said to provide accommodating resistance.

Acquired Ageing
The acquisition of characteristics commonly associated with ageing but that are, in fact, caused by immobility or sedentary living.

Active Stretch
Muscles are stretched using the contraction of the opposing muscle, (antagonist). For an example stretching the triceps, requires the biceps to contract.

Adduction
Movement of a limb toward middle of body, such as bringing arms to side from extended position at shoulder.

Adductors
Muscles of the inner thigh that pull your legs together. They attach the pelvis and the femur (or thigh bone). You use these muscles when inline skating, skate skiing or swimming the breaststroke.

Adhesion
Fibrous patch holding muscles or other parts together that are normally separated.

ADP (Adenosine Diphospahate)
ADP is formed when ATP is broken down within the bodies cell furnace, (the mitochondria). This provides energy for muscular contraction.

Aerobic
With oxygen, or in the presence of oxygen.

Aerobic capacity
Another term for maximal oxygen uptake (VO2 Max)

Aerobic Exercise
A method of conditioning the cardiorespiratory system by performing an activity that uses large muscle groups, is rhythmic, elevates the heart rate for a period of time, and increases the intake of oxygen.

Agonist
Muscle directly engaged in contraction that is primarily responsible for movement of a body part.

Amino Acids
Twenty- two basic building blocks of the body that make up proteins.

Anaerobic Exercise
Short-term, high-intensity exercise (i.e., sprinting, weight lifting) that uses carbohydrates for energy.

Anaerobic Threshold
The point at which you begin working your muscles without oxygen, from an aerobic level, believed to be at about 87% of your Maximum Heart Rate.

Antioxidants
Vitamins A, C and E, along with various minerals, which are useful to protect the body from "free radicals". Free radicals are unstable cells, which react with each, naturally created in the body, and also caused by factors such as smoking and radiation

Atrophy
Decrease of a muscle caused by the decrease in the size of its cells because of inactivity.


 

Ballistic Stretching
A stretching technique that involves a bouncing or bobbing movement during the stretch. The final position is not held. This is not a recommended stretching technique.

Barbell
Weight used for exercise, consisting of a rigid handle 5-7' long, with detachable metal discs at each end.

Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)
The energy requirements necessary for maintenance of life processes such as heart beat, breathing and cell metabolic activities.

Bi-Angular Motion®
Born in the health club and brought home by Body-Solid, the Bi-Angular mechanism guides you through the optimum path of motion while applying resistance from two directions simultaneously. This smooth, fluid multi-directional resistance system automatically produces 25% more muscle interaction by eliminating the ability to rest the pecs. Thus, you increase the exercise intensity through a full range of safe, convergent, multi-joint, multi-plane motion.

Biomechanics
The study of the mechanics of a living body, especially of the forces exerted by muscles and gravity on the skeletal structure.

Burn - As in "going for the burn"
In endurance exercise, working muscles until lactic acid build-up causes burning sensation.


 

Calorie
The amount of energy necessary to raise the temperature of 1 liter of water 1° C. Also called a kilocalorie.

Carbohydrate
Organic compounds containing carbon, hydrogen and oxygen; when broken down, a major energy source for muscular work and one of the basic foodstuffs.

Cardiac
Pertaining to the heart.

Cardiovascular Training
Physical conditioning that strengthens heart and blood vessels, the result of which is an increase in the ability for your body muscles to utilize fuel more effectively resulting in a greater level of exercising.

Carotid Pulse
Pulse located on the carotid artery down from the corner of the eye, just under the jawbone; common site used for taking heart rate.

Cheating
Too much weight used on an exercise, therefore relying on surrounding muscle groups for assistance in the movement; or changing joint angles for more leverage, as in arching back in bench press.

Cholesterol
A fat lipid which has both good and bad implications within the human body. Good being known as HDL and bad being LDL. Bad cholesterol is associated with heart disease and stroke, whereas the body requires cholesterol for the production of many steroid

Circuit Training
Going quickly from one exercise apparatus to another and doing a prescribed number of exercises or time on each apparatus, keeps pulse rate high and promote overall fitness, by generally working all muscle groups as well as heart and lungs.

Concentric Muscle Action
The muscle shortens while contracting against resistance.

Continuous Duty Horsepower
The maximum hp the motor can produce continuously. Continuous duty ratings are based on motor temperature limitations.

Cool-Down
Rhythmic, low-intensity aerobic activities that provide a transition period between high-intensity aerobic work and less aerobically taxing calisthenics, stretching or the end of the workout.

Cross-Training
Engaging in a variety of physical activities and exercise modalities including both cardiovascular and strength training exercises; a training method that can be used to help minimize boredom, maintain motivation and prevent overuse syndrome.

Crunches - Abdominal exercises
Sit-ups done on the floor with legs on bench, hands behind the neck.

Curl Bar
Cambered bar designed for more comfortable grip and less forearm strain.


 

Dead Lift
One of three power lifting events (other two are squat and bench press). Weight is lifted off floor to approximately waist height. Lifter must stand erect, shoulders back.

Deficiency
A sub optimal level of either one or more nutrients, often resulting in poor health.

Dehydration
Excessive fluid loss from the body, normally from perspiration, urination, evaporation or being sick.

Delts
Abbreviation for deltoids, the large triangular muscles of the shoulder which raise the arm away from the body and perform other functions.

Dip Belt
Large heavy belt worn around hips with a chain at each end that can be attached to a barbell plate or dumbbell for additional resistance during certain exercises like dips.

Direct Current (DC) Motor
A motor with a power source that is constant in voltage and whose current travels in only one direction. A car battery is one of the most common forms of DC power.

Drive Train
The mechanical system that transmits power or torque from one place to another. The drive train includes the running belt, drive belt, rollers, and motor. A car's transmission is part of the drive train because it transfers engine power to the wheels. The

Dumbbell
Weight used for exercising consisting of rigid handles about 14" long with either detachable metal discs or fixed weights at each end.


 

Eccentric Muscle Action
The muscle lengthens while contracting against resistance.

Eddy Current
Resistance technology that works electromagnetically with a precision-balanced aluminum disk spinning freely between variable magnetic fields. Because it has few moving parts and no friction, eddy current resistance technology is extremely reliable and du

Empty Calories
A term used to denote food contributing calories that are void of significant food value and nutrients, i.e., alcohol, simple sugars.

Endurance
Ability to sustain a physical activity or continue exerting a force over time.

Ergonomics
The science of designing equipment to better fit the human body.

Exercise Intensity
The level of effort exerted during a workout as measured by the exerciser's heart rate. Since breathing rates and amount of sweat are highly individual, heart rate is the most reliable indicator of exercise intensity.

Extension
Body part (i.e. hand, neck, trunk, etc.) going from a bent to a straight position, as in leg extension.


 

Fat
Stored as adipose tissue in the body, it serves as a concentrated source of energy for muscular work; a compound containing glycerol and fatty acids.

Fatigue
A diminished capacity for work as a result of prolonged or excessive exertion or inadequate fuel.

Flex
Bend or decrease angle of a joint; contract a muscle.

Flexibility
The range of motion around a joint.

Footprint
The amount of floor space a machine requires.

Forced Repetitions
Assistance to perform additional repetitions of an exercise when muscles can no longer complete movement on their own.


 

Gluteals
Abbreviation for gluteus maximus, medius and minimus; the buttock muscles.

Guided Motion
This is the traditional pressing style of motion found on selectorized machines both at the club and at home. Pressing exercises are performed in a movement pattern predetermined by the structure of the machine to ensure proper form.


 

HDL
High-density lipoproteins ("good" cholesterol) that return unused fat to the liver for disposal; HDL levels are raised by aerobic exercise and are beneficial due to their "removal" effect on harmful LDL (low-density) lipoproteins.

Heart Rate
The number of times the heart beats in one minute.

Heart Rate Zone TrainingT
A Heart Rate Zone Training program does more than just calculate the user's heart rate, it automatically and continuously controls resistance or elevation levels on the equipment to keep users in their optimal heart rate training zone, providing safer, mo

Horsepower (hp)
A measure of power calculated by multiplying torque times speed and dividing by a constant based on the unit of measure used. At the same torque, or pull on the belt, a reduction of speed results in a proportional reduction in hp.

Hypertrophy
Enlargement of a muscle caused by an increase in the size of its cells in response to weight training.


 

Inertia
The tendency of a body at rest to remain at rest or a body in motion to remain in motion unless disturbed by an external force.

Intensity
Degree of resistance, energy or difficulty as related to a workout.

Interval Training
Deliberately alternating between brief periods of lower and higher intensity levels during a workout; a method used to maximize cardiovascular endurance.

Iso-Flex Motion®
Iso-FlexT independent press arms with 3D MotionT give you unilateral or bilateral three dimensional movement exactly like a dumbbell workout. You have the freedom to change exercises on the fly because you define your movement. Incredibly smooth and consistent resistance is delivered to each independent Iso-FlexT press arm. Perform pressing or pulling motions independently or simultaneously. You will feel steady weight, from start to finish, through your full range of motion.

Isokinetic
Contraction in which the tension developed by the muscle while shortening at constant speed is consistent over the full range of motion.

Isometric
Contraction against an immovable force; static; a muscle contraction in which the tension increases, but muscle length remains the same.

Isotonic
Movement against a movable force; dynamic; a muscle contraction in which the tension increases while the muscle length changes (concentric: muscle shortens; eccentric: muscle lengthens).


 

Kinesiology
Study of muscles and their movements.

Knee Wraps
Elastic strips about 3 1/2" wide used to wrap knees for better support when performing squats, dead lifts, etc.


 

Lactic Acid
A substance caused by anaerobic training of the muscles, a build up prevents continuation of exercise, and a good example is 400 meter runners. Watch how they slow down during the last 100 meters of the race.

Lat's
Abbreviation for Latissimus dorsi, the large muscles of the back that move the arms downward, backward and in internal rotation.

Lean Body Mass
Everything in the body except for fat, including bone, organs, skin, nails and all body tissue including muscle. Approximately 50-60% of lean body mass is water.

Lift Off
Assistance in getting weight to proper starting position.

Ligament
Strong, fibrous band of connecting tissue connecting two or more bones or cartilage or supporting a muscle, fascia or organ.

Load
The amount of electrical or mechanical power required to operate a machine; usually the power required to hold you up while climbing or move you on the treadmill while running.

Lock Out
Partial repetition of an exercise by pushing the weight through only last few inches of movement.Lower Abs

Lumbar
Lower region of you spine, vertebrates L1 to L5. Used for bending and extending the body forward and back, with the aid of the abdominal and erector spinae muscles.


 

Max
Maximum effort for one repetition of an exercise.

Maximum Heart Rate
Theoretical maximum heart rate that one can achieve during his or her greatest effort in exercise, estimated to be 220 minus your age.

MET
The expression of the rate of work (power output) for the human body at rest, or a metabolic equivalent. One MET is approximately equal to a person's metabolism when seated and relaxed.

Metabolism
The sum total of the chemical reactions in the body at rest or during exercise.

Midsection
Muscles of abdominal area, including upper and lower abdominal's, oblique's and rectus abdominis muscles.

Military Press
Pressing a barbell from upper chest upward in a standing or sitting position.

Muscle
Tissue consisting of fibres organized into bands or bundles that contract to cause bodily movement. Muscle fibres run in the same direction as the action they perform.

Muscle Fatigue
Fatigue is when you can't possibly do another rep without sacrificing form.

Muscle Head
Slang for someone whose life is dominated by training.

Muscle Spasm
Sudden, involuntary contraction of muscle or muscle group.

Muscle Tone
Condition in which muscle is in a constant yet slight state of contraction and appears firm.

Muscularity
Another term for definition, denoting a fully delineated muscles and absence of fat.


 

Negative Reps
One or two partners help you lift a weight up to 50% heavier than you would normally lift to finish point of movement. Then you slowly lower weight on your own.

Non-Locks
Performing an exercise without going through complete range of motion. For example, doing squat without coming to full lockout position of knees or pressing a barbell without locking out elbows.

Nutrients
Substance obtained from food and utilized by the body to provide energy and promote growth, maintenance and/or repair (for example, carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, minerals and water). They are necessary for all bodily functions.


 

Oblique's
Abbreviation for external oblique's, the muscles to either side of abdominal's that rotate and flex the trunk.

Olympic Lifts
Two movements used in national and international Olympic competitions: the SNATCH and the CLEAN and JERK.

Olympic Set
High quality, precision made set of weights used for competition. The bar is approximately 7' long. All moving parts have either brass bushings or bearings. Plates are machined for accurate weight.

Overload Principle
Applying a greater load than normal to a muscle to increase its capability.


 

Partial Reps
Performing an exercise without going through a complete range of motion either at the beginning or end of a rep.

Peak Contraction
Exercising a muscle until it cramps by using shortened movements.

Pec's
Abbreviation for pectoral muscles of the chest.

Perceived Exertion
A self-selected subjective measurement of an exerciser's overall level of intensity, usually described on a scale of 1 to 10 (very, very easy to extremely hard).

Performance benefit
Improvements in physical fitness as a result of exercise.

Physical Fitness
An overall measure of physical attributes including cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength and endurance, body composition and flexibility.

Plyometric Exercise
A technique that includes specific exercises which encompass a rapid stretch of a muscle eccentrically, followed immediately by a rapid concentric contraction of that muscle for the purpose of facilitating and developing a forceful explosive movement over a short period of time. Examples of these are using medicine balls for upper extremity and depth jumping for lower extremeity.

Power
Quick movement where the body is propelled either upward or outward; explosive strength; performance of work accomplished per unit of time.

Power Lifts
Three movements used in power lifting competition; the squat, bench press and dead lift.

Power Training
System of weight training using low repetitions, heavy weights.

Progressive Resistance
Method of training where weight is increased as muscles gain strength and endurance. The backbone of all weight training.

Proper Form
Focus on the proper motion of the exercise and concentrate on the specific muscles being used. Do not sacrifice proper form to lift heavier weight or to perform more repetitions. Proper form also means lifting in a smooth, fluid motion. If you feel strain elsewhere, you should re-evaluate the amount of weight you are lifting or have a qualified professional critique your exercise motion.

Proper Posture
Maintaining proper posture will greatly reduce chances of injury and maximize exercise benefit. When standing always keep your feet shoulder-width apart. Do not lock your knees. Locking your knees can put unnecessary strain on them. Keep your back flat and straight, making sure not to twist or arch it in order to complete a repetition.

Proper Technique
To get the most out of strength training and to reduce the chance of injury, use proper weight training techniques. These include working your muscles through their full range of motion (but not locking any joints), lifting at a speed at which you can control the weight and stop easily if necessary.

Protein
A compound composed of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen arranged into amino acids linked in a chain, responsible for building and repair of tissue, hormone production and enzyme function.

Pumped
Slang meaning the muscles have been made large by increasing blood supply to them through exercise.


 

Quads
Abbreviation for quadriceps femoris muscles, muscles on top of the legs, which consist of four parts (heads).


 

Range of Motion
Moving through a complete range of motion (ROM) allows the muscles to stretch before contraction and increases the number of muscle fibers being recruited. This produces maximum contraction and force. By working the full ROM, flexibility will be maintained and possibly increased.

Recommended Daily Allowances (RDA)
Percent or amount of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals that should be included in the daily diet. The estimated amount of all nutrients needed daily to maintain optimal health. These estimates vary for different conditions, ages and dis

Recovery Heart Rate
Heart rate taken at the end of exercise after cool-down and stretch. The amount of time it takes to recover to pre-exercise heart rate is an indication of cardiovascular health.

Recumbent
Descriptive of a cycle position; the rider is sitting with legs extended in front. Recumbent cycling works all the muscles of the thighs and buttocks. It is an excellent exercise for people with high blood pressure since the elevated leg position facilita

Rep Out
Repeat the same movement over and over until you are unable to do anymore.

Repetition
One complete movement of an exercise.

Repitition Maximum (RM)
This is the maximum number of repetitions per set that can be performed at a given resistance with proper lifting technique. Thus, a set at a certain RM implies the set is performed to momentary voluntary fatigue. 1RM is the heaviest resistance that can be used for one compete repetition of an exercise. 10 RM is a lighter resistance that allows completion of 10 (but not 11) repetitions with proper exercise technique.

Reps
Abbreviation for REPETITIONS

Rest Interval
Pause between sets of an exercise, which allows muscles to recover partially before beginning next set.

Rest Pause Training
Training method where you press out one difficult repetition, then replace bar in stands, then after 10-20 second rest, do another rep, etc.

Resting Heart Rate
The number of times the heart beats in one minute while the body is at rest. This is best calculated by measuring your pulse for one minute in the morning before getting out of bed. Record this number for five consecutive days and take the average to dete


 

Self-powered alternator
Select pieces of cardiovascular equipment feature a self-powered alternator that does not require the unit to be plugged into a wall outlet. This allows you to put your machine virtually anywhere without worying where it will be plugged in.

Sets
A group of reps; as in one set of 12 reps.

Shin Splint
A term that applies to any pain in the front portion of the lower leg. May be caused by overuse, inflammation of muscles and tendons or small muscle tears.

Small Muscle Group Exercise
Single joint movement and isolation exercises (i.e. bicep curls, tricep pressdowns and leg extensions).

Speed of Movement
Strength training movements should be slow and controlled. Do not use momentum to complete an exercise movement. Momentum puts unnecessary stress on tendons, ligaments and joints. Using momentum in your exercise movements does not develop increased strength.

Spot
Assist if called upon by someone performing an exercise.

Spot Reducing
A popular but false assumption that an individual can "burn" fat only in desired areas. Fat is not reduced selectively from exercised areas, but rather from total fat stored throughout the body.

Spotter
Person who watches a person closely to see if any help is needed during a specific exercise.

Sprain
Often the result of sudden forceful movement, injury that damages ligaments as well as joints.

Static Stretch
Stretching/elongating a muscle and holding a steady point without bouncing for a period of 20 seconds.

Straight Sets
Groups of repetitions (SETS) interrupted by only brief pauses, (30-90) seconds.

Strain
Muscle pull; a stretch, tear or rip of the muscle or adjacent connective tissue, such as fascia or muscle tendon. Usually occurs from an excessive effort.

Strength
Amount of force a muscle or muscle group can exert against resistance.

Strength Training
Working the muscles against external resistance to increase muscular strength, muscular endurance or muscular power.

Super Set
Alternating back and forth between two exercises until the prescribed number of sets is completed.


 

Target Heart Rate Zone
The number of heartbeats per minute reflecting the exercise intensity that gains the maximum training benefits from an aerobic workout. The formula for obtaining a target heart rate equals 220 minus your age x 60% - 85%, depending on the individual's fitn

Telemetry
A wireless telemetry system consists of a wireless chest strap that transmits heart rate information, and a receiver located in each cardio machine. The transmitted information is used to accurately display the users heart rate, and control one of many in

Tendon
A band or cord of strong, fibrous tissue that connects muscle to the bone.

Torque
The twisting force at the motor shaft that drives the rollers on a treadmill and pulls the belt. The amount of torque is one of the variables used to calculate the amount of horsepower required.

Total Body Workout
Total body workouts, like on Life Fitness total-body elliptical cross-trainers, involve exercising all the body's major muscle groups at once in order to derive a variety of benefits. These benefits include increases muscle tone in the upper and lower bod

Tracking
An adjustment or design consideration that is intended to keep the belt centered on the treadmill. Some manufacturers use belt "keepers" or metal rods on the underside of the frame to keep the belt centered. A disadvantage of this design is that keepers

Training Straps
Cotton or leather straps around wrists, then under and over a bar held by clenched hands to aid in certain lifts (rowing, chin-ups, shrugs, dead lifts, cleans, etc.) where you might lose your grip before working muscle to desired capacity.

Training to Failure
Continuing a set until it is impossible to complete another rep without assistance.

Traps
Abbreviation for trapezius muscles, the largest muscles of the back and neck that draw head backward and rotate scapula.


 

Universal Machine
One of several types of machines where weights are on tracks or rails and lifted by levers or pulleys.

Upper Abs
Abbreviation for abdominal muscles above the navel.


 

Variable Resistance
Strength training equipment where the machine varies amount of weight being lifted to match strength curve for a particular exercise - usually with a cam, lever arm or hydraulic cylinder. Also referred to as "ACCOMMODATING RESISTANCE."

Vascularity
Increase in size and number of observable veins. Highly desirable in bodybuilding.


 

Warm-Up
A balanced combination of increasingly intense aerobic exercises and stretches that prepare the body and the mind for more vigorous exercise.

Watts
The expression of the mechanical rate of work (power output) for a device, such as a cardiovascular machine.

Weight Training Belt
Thick leather belt used to support lower back. Used while doing squats, military presses, dead lifts, bent rowing, etc.

 
 
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