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Workout Lingo Decoded


Sometimes it can seem like the fitness world has its own language. Add in the ever-changing fads and trends and it can be close to impossible to keep up. That is – unless you’re like us here at Life Fitness. We live and breathe this world, and its language, so we’re here to help you stay on top of it all.

Aerobic/Anaerobic Exercise: Aerobic exercise refers to a workout powered with oxygen. Think long periods of running or biking. Anaerobic exercise is the opposite - powered without oxygen. Generally, that means weight lifting or resistance training performed for short periods of time. 

High Intensity Interval Training: HIIT is a form of interval training that combines short intervals of maximum intensity exercise separated by longer intervals of low to moderate intensity exercise. These workouts are short, but that doesn’t mean they’re easy.  

Circuit Training: Circuit Training is short sets of strength training or resistance workouts, followed immediately by another set working a different muscle group. There is very little rest between exercises. Many gyms have a set of circuit training machines to help you progress through this type of workout

Functional Training: Simply put, this trend is purposeful training. It focuses on training movements similar to those you would make in every day life, not individual muscles, and involves multiple joints on varied planes. Moves often occur with either the foot or hand in contact with the ground or another object. For example, a medicine ball squat with an overhead lift would work your arms, legs and back – all muscles you would need to lift a heavy box onto a tall shelf.

Target Heart Rate: Target heart rate refers to the percentage of your theoretical maximum heart rate (TMHR) that will maximize the benefits of your workout, without overworking your heart. If you're a beginning exerciser, try to work at about 50 to 60 percent of your TMHR. A moderately fit person should aim for 60 to 75 percent and an advanced exerciser should shoot for 70 to 85 percent. Use this target heart rate tool from Mayo Clinic to calculate yours.

VO2 Max: This is the maximum amount of oxygen the body can use during a period of intense exercise that largely depends on body weight and the strength of the lungs. It’s the point during an exercise where intensity level can continue to rise, but the amount of oxygen you’re taking in does not increase with it. VO2 max typically declines with age, but the better shape your in, the higher it can be.

Superset: Supersets involve doing two exercises, one after another, with no rest in between. The alternating exercises can be for the same muscle or two completely different parts of your body. For example, you could perform a set of deadlifts, alternating with a set of reverse lunges, 3-4 times for a superset that would work your lower body.

CrossFit: CrossFit is a new fitness trend that describes itself as the “sport of fitness.” CrossFit gyms focus on “constantly varied, high-intensity, functional movement.” They also believe that “no aspect of functional movements is more important than their capacity to move large loads over long distances, and to do so quickly.” Many CrossFit enthusiasts will post their workout results on the website and even compete against other at the CrossFit Games.

What other terms would you like explained? Leave a comment and let us know. 



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