Your ultimate fitness dictionary
The fitness lingo to brush up on before you get back to the floor.
SHAVASANA Also known as the best yoga pose in the whole entire world. Because you totally just lie on your back with your arms and legs spread out, eyes closed, deep breathing on. Like we said, the best move ever invented.
REFORMER The reformer machine is an awesome bed you can nap on during Pilates. Jokes! It looks like a bed, but this machine creates resistance with springs, straps and a footbar for a bunch more moves than mat Pilates offers up.
SUPERSET A superset teams up two exercises (usually using weights) with no rest between sets. Yeah, we know, there’s actually nothing super about it…
FUNCTIONAL This style of training targets the muscles and movements that your body does in your daily life, like squats, push-ups, pull-ups, running and carrying weights. The theory is that by training functionally you’ll be able tackle your everyday activities a little easier (like carrying all your groceries inside in one trip).
METABOLIC When you’re talking about basic metabolic rate, that’s how fast your body burns kilojoules when you’re resting. Metabolic training is high intensity exercise that ups how much you’re burnin’ during and after a session.
AEROBIC/ANAEROBIC Aerobic (meaning ‘with oxygen’) exercise is any activity that uses your whole body to move, like jogging, cycling and swimming. Anaerobic (‘without oxygen’) exercise targets certain muscles, like push-ups or weight lifting.
KILOJOULES Just because we like being different (hello there, courgettes/zucchinis), in Australia energy is measured in kilojoules as opposed to calories (there are 4.184 kilojoules to a calorie). Why do we care about the measure of energy? Well, if you’re trying to maintain a healthy weight you’ll want to strike a balance between energy intake (what you’re eating) and energy output (how much exercise you do).
DYNAMIC As in, dynamic stretches. They’re not your average reach-your-arm-across-your-chest kinda holds. Instead, you’re moving as you warm-up, so it might include a lunge with a twist to mimic movements you’re about to do. There are more benefits of this style opposed to static (held) stretching, such as improved range of motion and balance.
VO2 MAX This is how much oxygen you use during high-level exercise. It can be tested with the bleep test and the results show your level of fitness and cardiovascular endurance. A high score means you’re able to work out a bit longer.
COMPRESSION Get your high-tech tights on, kids, ’cause compression wear (form-fitting sports gear) is where it’s at if you want to improve blood circulation, performance and recovery. There’s also evidence that it helps control muscle cramps and aches.
HIIT That’s high-intensity interval training. A fast-paced sesh with short bursts of as-hard-as-you-can-go exercise and recovery periods, HIIT can be hell on earth or a most excellent way to boost your metabolism and burn a bazillion kilojoules… depends on your mood.
WOD You’ll hear the CrossFit kids throw this word around – it stands for workout of the day. The structure and exercises of a WOD change daily.
TABATA Sounds cute but it’s, er, the opposite. Tabata is a tough HIIT circuit, typically completed in four minutes. It goes like this: 20 seconds of intense work and 10 seconds rest, for a total of eight rounds.
GAINS You’ve probably overheard Mr Beef at the gym brag about his massive ‘gains’ (all that muscle he’s put on) a lot. Here at WF we like to drop the G-bomb when we’ve dominated a workout and reaped all of its rewards.
This story appeared in the February 2017 issue of Women’s Fitness.