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When it comes to Gym terminology, how much do you really know and how much are you guessing? Have you ever heard a term or phrase in the gym and weren’t sure what it meant? Or maybe you felt silly asking? Fear not!

ION Training Director and Performance Specialist, Rhys Pritchard has compiled a list of 25 of the most commonly used training terms and their explanations. From the basics to the head scratchers, you’ll be armed with the knowledge and abbreviations to get you through your next session!

Here’s what you need to know…
  1. PB: An acronym for “Personal Best”. This can be your all-time personal best, or the best for that day.
  2. Reps: Short for ‘repetitions’. A rep refers to the number of times you perform an exercise within a set.
  3. Set: This is a group of repetitions. eg 3 sets of 10 reps (30 reps total).
  4. Intensity: Refers to how heavy toe weight is relative to your repetition maximum. The heavier the weight, the more intense the lift.
  5. Volume: How much work sets x reps you have completed per workout.
  6. Rest: This is a strategic break between exercise(s). Rest is essential and conducive to an effective workout.
  7. Barbell: A long metal bar to which weight plates are attached. The weight of the barbell varies depending on the style and should be taken into consideration when lifting.
  8. Dumbbell: A short bar with a weight attached at each end. Theses are typically used in pairs (one for each limb).
  9. Weight Plates: This refers to the round plates that live on the end of a barbell. These weights are generally colour coded according to weight which commonly varies from 0.25kg to 25kg.
  10. Spotter: This is someone who can aid/give strategic assistance when lifting.
  11. Compound Exercises: Exercises that engage multiple muscle groups which generally give the most “bang for your buck”.
  12. Frequency: How often? Nice and simple.
  13. Duration: How long an exercise or workout lasts.
  14. Density: Refers to the amount of work completed in a set time.
  15. RPE: This is a measurement from 1-10 on how an exercise feels. This is a personal measure.
  16. Periodisation: This is the systematic planning of physical training.
  17. Fitness: The condition of being physically fit and healthy.
  18. Strength: The quality or state of being physically strong.
  19. Power: Strength displayed quickly.
  20. Muscular Endurance: This is the ability of your muscle or muscle groups to withstand repeated contractions for an extended period.
  21. Cardiovascular Fitness: Cardiovascular endurance is how efficiently your heart, blood vessels, and lungs supply oxygen-rich blood to working muscles during physical activity.
  22. Concentric Contraction: This is the shortening of a muscle.
  23. Eccentric Contraction: This is the lengthening of a muscle.
  24. Isometric Contraction: And this is the contraction of a muscle without movement.
  25. Warm-Up: Preparation for physical exertion, or a performance, by exercising or practicing gently beforehand.

We hope this helps. But if you have any terms that you’re unsure of, jot a comment below or email us. We are here to coach you every step of the way in your health and fitness journey.

Rhys Pritchard, Training Director, Performance Specialist

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