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Woman shrugs her shoulders with a confused expression on her face. She is surrounded by words in white text, all gym terms like "Hip Extension" and "Supersets".

Gym Slang you Should Know

blog Jun 19, 2024

 Gym Slang you Should Know

Navigating the world of fitness can be overwhelming, especially when you encounter unfamiliar terms and slang. In this blog post, we'll break down some common fitness jargon to help you understand and use them confidently in your workouts.

  • Sets and Reps

Sets and reps are fundamental concepts in strength training. When you see something like "3x10" in your workout plan, it means you'll perform three sets of ten repetitions of a specific exercise.

  • Load

The term "load" refers to the amount of weight you're using for an exercise. It could be the weight on a barbell, dumbbell, cable machine, or any other resistance.

  • 1RM

1RM stands for "one rep max," which is the maximum weight you can lift for a single repetition of a specific movement.

  • Pump

Feeling a "pump" means experiencing tightness and increased blood flow in the muscles during exercise, leading to a sensation of fullness and increased size.

  • Supersets

Supersets involve performing two exercises back-to-back without rest. They can either target the same muscle group (agonist supersets) or opposing muscle groups (antagonist supersets).

  • Shoulder Flexion and Extension

Shoulder flexion is the movement of raising your arm overhead, while shoulder extension involves moving your arm backward behind you.

  • Supination and Pronation

Supination is when your palms face up, and pronation is when your palms face down.

  • Abduction and Adduction 

Abduction is the movement of spreading your legs apart, while adduction is bringing them together. 

  • Hip Dominant vs. Knee Dominant

Hip-dominant exercises primarily target the glutes and hamstrings, involving hip flexion and extension. Knee-dominant exercises focus on the quadriceps and involve bending and extending the knee. 

  • Unilateral and Bilateral

Unilateral exercises work one arm or leg at a time, while bilateral exercises involve both arms or legs simultaneously.

  • Resistance Profile

The resistance profile refers to where an exercise is most challenging or where you feel the most tension in your muscles.

  • Concentric and Eccentric

Concentric refers to the contraction or shortening phase of an exercise, while eccentric refers to the lengthening or lowering phase.

  • Tempo

Tempo refers to the speed at which you perform each repetition and can be expressed as four numbers, indicating the duration of the eccentric, pause, concentric, and pause phases.

  • Trisets and Giant Sets

Trisets involve performing three exercises back-to-back, while giant sets involve performing multiple exercises in succession.

  • RIR and RPE

RIR stands for "reps in reserve," indicating how many reps you have left before reaching failure. RPE stands for "rate of perceived exertion," gauging how hard you perceive the effort during a lift. 

  • Drop Sets 

Drop sets are intensification techniques that involve reducing the weight or changing the position to continue a set beyond failure. 


Understanding these fitness terms and slang will empower you to communicate effectively with trainers and fellow fitness enthusiasts. Feel confident as you embark on your fitness journey, and remember to seek clarity on any other unfamiliar terms you come across. Happy training!

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