Burpees, HIITs, and WODs: Fitness Jargon Decoded

Bi’s, tri’s, and glutes, oh my! If you’re unsure of what these terms mean, you’re not alone. It’s not uncommon for gym-goers to be confused by certain “gym lingo.” If someone asked you right now to do 2 sets of 20 reps of burpees, would you know how?

Luckily, we’ve created a mini-dictionary for fitness buzzwords like these that’ll have you talking the talk the next time you’re in the gym.

Gym Jargon Definitions

Rep: Short for repetition, refers to how many times you complete the exercise at hand.

Set: Is a group of repetitions. Example: You could do 3 sets of 12 reps, which would translate into 36 total reps. Usually, you’d take a break between sets, unless you’re completing sets for time.

Bi’s: Stands for biceps. Biceps are the “two-headed” on the front part of the upper arm.

Tri’s: Triceps. Triceps are the “three-headed” muscle located on back of the upper arm.

Glutes: Refers to the gluteus group of muscles that make up your butt.

Lactic Acid: What is produced when your body breaks down carbohydrates for energy. Without getting too complicated, it’s responsible for the “burning” feeling you experience when exercising intensely.

Burpee: Also known as a “squat thrust,” this is a full body exercise that incorporates a plank, pushup, squat, and jump. Watch this video to learn how.

BOSU: That blue half-ball you see around the gym. Stands for BOth Sides Utilized. It’s great for incorporating balance into any exercise.

WOD: Short for “Workout of the Day.” It refers to a set of exercises that you are to complete during the day. This term is most commonly associated with CrossFit, but can be applied to many different training programs found across the web.

Cardio: Short for cardiovascular, it’s usually used in reference to running, cycling, swimming, elliptical, etc. True cardio is any form of activity that consistently elevates your heart rate for a minimum of 5 minutes.

HIIT: Stands for High Intensity Interval Training. HIIT workouts are performed in a shorter amount of time than regular exercise (usually 7-30 minutes), but at a higher intensity. The original protocol set a 2:1 ratio of work to recovery periods. For example, 4 minutes of running and 2 minutes of walking for a total of 5 cycles is a 30-minute HIIT workout.

Tabata: A time interval method that you can apply to almost any exercise, as you see fit. It’s broken down into 20 seconds of exercise, 10 seconds rest, repeated 8 times. This is ideal for someone who wants to maximize calorie burn in minimal time.

Plyo: Short for plyometrics, also known as “jump training.” This training style uses maximum force in a short time period, with the goal of increasing both speed and power. Trust me, when the zombies take over, you’ll wish you had incorporated it into your fitness routine!

Functional: Is the practice of training the body for everyday activities. It’s commonly done using only one’s body weight for resistance. According to ACE, functional strength training is performing work so that an individual’s activities of daily living are easier to perform.

Pump: Refers to the “pumped up” feeling your muscles get when working really hard. Did a hard set of 20 reps on the squat press leave your legs feeling “swollen” to the point where crouching down is impossible? That’s your body recognizing the hard work you just did and sending more blood to that specific area. Increased blood flow delivers more nutrients and oxygen as well.

Bonus Anytime Fitness Buzzwords

h2i: Stands for “hired to inspire.” These are managers of your local Anytime Fitness.

o2i: Stands for “owner to inspire.” These are the owners of your local Anytime Fitness.

CEO2i: You guessed it — it’s short for “CEO to inspire.” You’ll find it in the email signature of Chuck Runyon, our fearless leader!

I hope this cleared up some confusion. Look for another volume of gym jargon soon!

What fitness terms do you want defined?

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Josh is a massive weight loser. A journey that started when he was very young and battling depression, eating disorders, and bullies. His life’s mission is to always have an arm outstretched to those who are looking for a helping hand. He leads with the most important tools he has: heart and soul.