Commonly Used Fitness Terminology

Aerobic Exercise

Physical exercise of low to moderate intensity that can be sustained for sustainable period of time. Examples are running, swimming, walking hiking, kickboxing.

Anaerobic Exercise

High intensity exercises in short intervals that focus on dramatically increasing your heart rate. Examples are sprinting, HIIT training, and heavy weight lifting.

Circuit Routines

A series or round of exercises with minimum rest in-between each exercise.

Compound Exercises

A compound exercise is a move that incorporates multiple muscle groups. Examples are lunges, deadlifts, squats, and bench press.


Performed at the end of the workout with the goal of bringing your body back to its resting state, slowing down your heart rate.

Cross Training

Cross training involves mixing different workouts and training methods rather than focusing on an individual workout. Examples are combining strength and yoga while preparing for a race.


DOMS stands for delayed onset muscle soreness which is the soreness that is felt a day or two after a workout. This is caused from the repairing of the damaged muscle fibres caused by exercising (This is a good thing).

Dynamic Warm-Up

This type of warm up involves moving through stretches and light exercises without stopping to increase mobility and range of motion during the main workout. Promotes increased mobility and reduces risk of injuries.

Functional Exercises

These exercises focus on mimicking the way individuals move outside of the gym. For example squats use the same muscles that are used when crouching to tie your shoes.

Heart Rate Zones

Heart rate refers to how many beats per minute your heart rate is pumping (BPM). This can help you determine if you are working at the right intensity.


HIIT stands for high-intensity interval training. These types of exercises involves intense bursts of exercise followed by short recovery periods. This workout is great for fat burning.

Interval Training

Interval training involves a set period of activity followed by a period of rest. Although this is often associated with HIIT workouts, you can do it with any workout. Examples are 30 seconds of work followed by 15 seconds of rest.

Isometric Exercises

Isometric exercises involve holding a position under tension while maintaining that position for a set period of time. This helps build strength and stability. Examples are planks or wall sits.

Plyometric Exercises

Plyometrics involve exerting maximum force in short intervals of time with the goal of increasing power. Examples are squat jumps, burpees, or clap pushups.


This is shorthanded for repetitions which means the amount of times your are performing an exercise.


Resistance focuses on the amount of weight your muscles are working against during an exercise. This could be your own body weight to a 50lb barbell.


Sets refers to how many times you will be repeating a given number of reps for an exercise. For example, one set would be 12 reps of squats. When repeating for three sets you will be doing three exercises of 12 squats.

Strength Training

Strength training involves using resistance to work your muscles. The goal is to increase the resistance for the same exercise over time.

Super Set

Super setting involves pairing two exercises and performing them back to back without a rest in-between. For example performing 12 reps of squats immediately followed by 12 reps of pushups.

Variable Resistance

Variable resistance exercises are strength training exercises that change the amount of resistance throughout the range of motion the exercise. Examples are using an elastic band while lunging or a chain while squatting.

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