Glossary of Fitness and Training Terms

Learning about the world of physical fitness can feel like people are speaking a completely different language. This can be intimidating for people who want to get involved in the world of health and fitness but don’t know where to start. Things like functional training, plyometrics, HIIT, or EMOM could mean nothing to someone new to working out. But it doesn’t take too much time to learn what these terms mean.

Aerobic Exercise: Aerobic exercise is any type of physical activity that increases your breathing and heart rate. It is also known as cardio, and it can include activities such as running, jogging, swimming, biking, or walking.

Aerobic Capacity: This is the measure of how much oxygen your body can use while exercising. Someone’s aerobic capacity is often used as a measure of their fitness level.

Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR): The number of calories your body needs to maintain normal function while you are at rest is your basal metabolic rate. Knowing your BMR can help you determine how many calories you need to consume each day to reach your fitness goals.

Circuit Training: When you do multiple exercises back to back without stopping, this is known as circuit training. It can be used to work toward a variety of fitness goals, including increasing aerobic capacity and strength. You can supplement circuit training with weights, machines, or body-weight exercises.

Compound Movement: A compound movement requires you to use multiple muscle groups. Examples of exercises that use compound movements include squats, dead lifts, pull-ups, and bench presses.

Endurance: Endurance is the ability to withstand physical and/or mental strain over a long period of time. It can be improved with regular aerobic training, such as running or cycling.

EMOM (Every Minute on the Minute): This type of workout structure requires you to complete a certain number of repetitions or rounds within one minute and then rest for the remainder of that minute. Then, you repeat the cycle again for a predetermined number of minutes. This technique can be used to improve strength, aerobic capacity, and muscular endurance.

Functional Training: Functional training focuses on movements and exercises that mimic everyday activities. Examples include lunges, squats, push-ups, and planks. The goal is to improve strength and stability for everyday life tasks.

HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training): This is a type of exercise that alternates between intense bursts of activity and periods of rest. It can be used to increase aerobic capacity, burn fat, and improve overall fitness. A pre-workout warm-up is especially important if you plan on doing HIIT.

Interval Training: Similar to HIIT training, interval training focuses on alternating between periods of activity and periods of rest, and it’s used to improve aerobic capacity, endurance, and overall fitness. For example, a runner might sprint for one minute and then jog for two minutes.

Muscular Endurance: This is the ability of your muscles to keep working without getting tired. It can be improved with regular strength training exercises such as push-ups, pull-ups, and squats. When you are able to complete more reps without getting tired, you are improving your muscular endurance.

Plyometrics: Plyometric movements are explosive movements that require strength and power. Examples include box jumps, medicine ball throws, or jump squats. Plyometrics can be used to improve power, speed, and agility. You can also adapt these movements to fitness level; for instance, if you are just starting out, you can use a lower box or bench for box jumps.

Recovery: The time your body needs to rest and restore itself after a workout is recovery time. You can promote recovery with things like stretching, foam rolling, or taking an ice bath. Recovery plays an important role in helping you reach your fitness goals.

Tabata: Tabata is a type of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) that consists of eight rounds of exercises that last for 20 seconds each and are followed by 10-second rest periods. Tabata can be used to improve overall fitness, burn fat, and increase aerobic capacity.

Strength Training: Strength training is any type of body training that focuses on building muscle and strength. It can include lifting weights, using resistance bands, or doing body-weight exercises like push-ups and pull-ups.

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