Fitness Glossary

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Fitness Glossary

Not down with the lingo? Our fitness glossary was designed to be a one-stop-shop for clarification on general fitness terms. We frequently link to our fitness glossary throughout the site, rather than defining the terms on each page. This way, we won’t insult anyone’s inteligence and for them to read it up front.

You’ll find the general terms listed and defined in alphabetical order.


Circuit Training (Weightlifting Circuit Training) A weightlifting circuit is performing just one set of each exercise on a list with generally little to no downtime between each exercise. Circuit training differs from traditional weightlifting because traditional lifting generally consists of doing 3-4 sets of an exercise, with a rest period between each set, then moving on to another exercise. Circuit weight training is more condusive to weight loss and perfect for weight loss workouts because it allows you to keep your heart rate elevated. You don’t have to rest between each exercise because circuit training generally alternates upper and lower body exercises.

Compound Exercises- Compound Exercises are exercises in weight training that involve more than one joint and muscle group. These exercises are effective both in building muscle as well as losing weight for many reasons.

First, they allow you to lift heavier weights than isolation exercises and work more than one muscle group at a time. Working more than one muscle group at a time is ideal for burning calories, but also building muscle as doing so fires on thousands of muscle fibers and triggers the release of muscle building testosterone and growth hormone. If food is fuel for muscle growth, then these natural chemicals are the nitrous oxide.

Second, because compound exercises work several muscle groups at once, they allow you to hit all your targeted muscles and limit your time in the gym.

Lastly, compound exercises give you functional strength applicable to everyday use. When was the last time you lifted something outside of a gym that truly isolated one muscle?

Examples include bench press, squats, deadlift, cleans, and many more.

Interval Cardio Training- Interval training is cardiovascular exercise characterized by altering levels of intensity between “sprint” and rest periods. A sprint period is done at almost full intensity, hence the term sprint, whereas a rest period’s intensity is equivalent to a brisk walk. In general, a sprint will last 20-30 seconds while a rest period lasts 40-60 seconds. Interval cardio is becoming more and more popular because it increases endurance and burns more calories and fat then traditional cardio.

Repetition (Rep)- A repetition or “rep” is executing an exercise one time. A number of consecutive reps without rest makes up a set. If you were doing two sets of ten reps of pushups, you would do ten pushups in a row (ten reps), take a rest, and then do another ten pushups.

Set- A set is a series of consecutive repetitions without pause. If you were doing two sets of ten reps of pushups, you would do ten pushups in a row (ten reps), take a rest, and then do another ten pushups.

Spotting (Spot)- Spotting is the act of supporting another person during a particular exercise, allowing the lifter to safely attempt to lift more weight or do more repetitions than he or she might normally be able to do. Many lifters will as for a “spot” if they are not sure if they will be able to complete a number of repetitions on their own and would like you to help them if they hit a wall.

Superset- A group of two or more exercises performed one after another that usually, but not always, work opposite muscle groups. Supersets can be effectively utilized to build muscle or lose fat, depending on the exercises that comprise the superset and the amount of rest between each exercise.


So, there you have it. Now that you’ve mastered all of our fitness glossary terms you can speak the gym language. Quit the studying and spring into action: leave our fitness glossary and get started on one of our Fat Loss Workouts or our Muscle Building Workouts.

Also, make sure to view these related pages if you haven’t already:

  • Beginner Workout Routines
  • Abs Exercises
  • Tips to Lose Weight
  • Muscle Building Tips
  • Weight Loss Myths

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