This gym word list or, in other words, gym dictionary will tell you the meaning of certain words or phrases that are common in the gym but might have no sense to those who aren’t used to them.
Aerobic: This is a low-intensity exercise that maximizes oxygen use to increase heart rate. The longer duration of this exercise means it’s used to burn calories and lose fat.
Anaerobic: High intensity, shorter duration exercise. Weightlifting is considered anaerobic exercise.
Barbell: A barbell is a six or seven-foot bar that holds weightlifting plates of different sizes and weights.
Bench: People in the gym often will ask how much do you bench. It means what the heaviest weight you can bench press for one rep maximum is. It is used as a way to measure strength between gym bodybuilders and gym-goers.
Bi’s: Your bi’s are short for biceps, which is the muscle in your arm that lifts your forearm up towards your shoulder.
Biceps: The large muscle at the front of the upper arm. Also referred to as biceps brachii.
Caps: Caps is in reference to your deltoids or shoulder muscles.
Cardio: Aerobic exercise is mostly intended to expend calories and burn fat, and of course, strengthen the heart.
Compound Movement: This is an exercise that uses multiple muscles in its operation. Unlike isolation exercises which target only one muscle at a time, compound movement is used to lift heavier weights because it uses more muscles to complete the lift. The best-known compound movements are; the squat, the bench press, and the dumbbell shoulder press.
Cycle: This is a technique performed by bodybuilders to vary their workouts or food intake for days or weeks to gain different results.
Decline: The decline movement refers to lowering the angle of a bench to below flat to perform exercises such as decline bench press.
Definition: This refers to a body with well-built muscles that stand out against a layer of low body fat.
Delts: Your delts are about your deltoids, which are the three muscles that make up your shoulders. These consist of the front deltoid, the side deltoid, and the rear deltoid. They are separate muscles and need both compound movements and isolation movements to promote growth.
Dumbbell: This is a shorter bar held with one hand to perform exercises such as dumbbell presses. Most gyms have dumbbells with a fixed weight on them, but you can get ones where you can change the weight plates on the ends.
Forced Reps: Forced extra repetitions at the end of a set with the help of a spotter.
Glutes: The muscles of the buttocks.
Guns: The word guns in a gym have a different meaning. It simply is slang for big arms on a bodybuilder.
Hams: This is about your hamstrings which are the muscles at the back of your thighs.
Incline: The incline movement refers to lifting the angle of a bench to an angle above flat to perform exercises such as incline bench press.
Intensity: A loose term used to describe a person’s level of effort into their workout based on length, dedication, and amount of weight used.
Isolation Movement: An isolation movement is an exercise that only targets one muscle. It is best used when aiming to bring up that particular muscle. For example, the dumbbell chest fly, the biceps curl, and the shoulder front raises are all isolation exercises.
Lactic Acid: This is the build-up of waste glucose and glycogen metabolism produced in the muscles during intense exercise. Causes pain at the site of the build-up.
Lats: This is slang for your latissimus dorsi muscles, which lie on either side of your back from under your shoulders to your waist. Highly developed lats give a bodybuilder that “V-shaped torso.”
Negative: Also called “Eccentric Contraction,” – the term means lowering the weight slowly under tension to the start position; performing negative reps helps to work a particular muscle more than simply lifting and lowering.
One Rep Max (1RM): This is the heaviest weight a person can use in a particular exercise to perform one rep with that weight without assistance. For example, a person’s 1RM for the bench press could be 250lbs, i.e. 250lbs is the heaviest that person can press for one rep.
Overhand: This term refers to holding a dumbbell or barbell with your palms generally facing your body when the weight is held at your waist.
Pecs: Your pecs are the large muscle of your chest, short for pectorals major.
Positive: This is also referred to as the concentric contraction. The contraction of a muscle against gravity. For example, pushing a barbell upwards during a bench press or pulling a dumbbell upwards during a dumbbell row.
Pump: The largeness of your muscles when they are engorged with blood after intense exercise.
Pyramiding refers to an advanced technique in which you progressively increase the weight on your bar and decrease the rep range for each successive set of an exercise.
Quads: Quads are slang for quadriceps, which is that large muscle group on the front of your leg, this muscle extends your legs to the straight position.
Range of Motion (ROM): Refers to the full limit of motion that a certain limb can extend.
Reps: Reps are short for repetitions, which is how many exercises you can perform through a full range of motion in a single set. For example, you can complete 10 reps of a bench press, which means you lower and push the weight up again 10 times or 10 reps.
Ripped: Ripped is another term for “Definition.”
Sets: A set is the completed rep movement of an exercise. That is where you complete the full amount of reps in a movement. To perform 4 sets of 10 reps of an exercise means you perform 10 reps, rest, and do that again for a further 3 times, thus completing that particular exercise for that muscle group.
Smith Machine: This machine holds a bar in place on vertical poles where it can slide up and down smoothly. Uses safety stop positions at different intervals.
Split: A workout split is dividing your body parts up into different days to work them.
Spotting: Spotting is where you have another person standing near you when you are lifting weights to ensure you can get the weight up or make sure you don’t crush yourself under a too heavy load. The spotter can also help you perform extra reps for an exercise that you wouldn’t be able to do on your own, thus helping fatigue your muscles further.
Superset: Supersets are two exercises performed back to back with no rest in between.
Traps: Your traps are your trapezius muscle, a triangular muscle that runs from under your neck to your middle back. Often a source of strain when bent overwork for long periods, well-developed trap muscles, and a good massage once in a while will help get rid of annoying neck pain.
Tri’s: Your tri’s refer to your triceps, which are the muscle that runs underneath your arm from your shoulder to your forearm, they help extend the arm to the straight position.
Volume: Term uses to describe the amount of exercise done over some time.
Wheels: Like guns, wheels are slang for a highly developed body part. In this case, it refers to your legs.
Workout: A combination of exercises performed in succession with brief rest periods between them.