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10 Workout Words You Need To Know To Improve Your Fitness Vocabulary

10 Workout Words You Need To Know To Improve Your Fitness Vocabulary

June 08, 2020 / Patrick Zavorskas

Within the fitness world, there are multiple words that are often thrown around during a workout that many people, including myself, have probably never heard before. The thing is, unless you are a constant fitness junkie, you'll probably never use these words in general. But whether you are at the gym, at the yoga studio, or trying to master your new fitness goals, having these words in the back of your mind may be beneficial to ensure you understand and make the most of your workout. If you are looking to boost up your knowledge of your gym logo or simply just want to improve your workout terminology, here is a mini guide of 10 workout words you need to know to improve your fitness vocabulary:

Active Recovery

An active recovery is one way to spend your rest day. Instead of lounging on the couch all day and catching up on your new Netflix or Hulu show, active recovery believes in using the day to schedule low-intensity activity such as walking or light or gentle yoga. Many fitness gurus recommend doing an active recovery within your workout routine as it can help improve circulation, ease soreness, and reduce muscle fatigue. It is important to remember that with any active recovery, your body needs to take time to rest - as when you work out, your muscle fibers breakdown and needs the rest to make your muscles recover and become stronger.

Aerobic Exercise

Aerobic exercise is often misused or misinterpreted as cardio, but aerobic exercise actually uses a completely different energy system that is being used than with cardio. An energy system is how your body produces enough oxygen needed to perform certain activities over a long period of time, such as taking long walks, hikes, or a bike ride. Aerobic exercises often are said to increase the efficiency of your body's oxygen intake, while also helping to develop and improve endurance over time. 

Anaerobic Exercise

On the contrast to aerobic exercises, anaerobic exercises involve doing high-intensity workout to spike your heart rate. Anaerobic exercises are short spurts of activity that is often said to improve speed and power of the body. During these activities, your muscles break down glucose within your body in which to use for energy, as your body cannot provide enough oxygen to sustain its energy. 

High Intensity Interval Workout

High Intensity Interval Workouts, also known as HIIT, involve a workout that is focused on quick and intense bursts of exercises. Each exercise is usually followed by a short resting period, used for recovery, but the point of the exercises are to keep your heart rate up. These exercises are great for wanting to burn fat and calories as the intense intervals of the workout help to switch on your body's post-exercise oxygen consumption, which helps to burn calories even after your workout. High Intensity Interval Workouts are also important in wanting to boost your endurance, increase your metabolism, and regulate your insulin levels. 

Isometric Exercise 

Isometric Exercises, simply put, are exercises in which your muscles are engaged but without any movement. The most common exercise that is performed are planks, in which you are engaging your core to hold the position for a long period of time. Within the exercises, you are applying pressure and restraint on the muscle to hold the position, while also building stability and strength. Within isometric exercises, your muscles remain the same in length, while remaining active. The resistant put on the muscle is equal to that as to which the muscle is actually producing. 

Isotonic Exercise

Isotonic Exercises, in contrast to isometric exercises, involve exercises in which your muscles are moving and being active. Within isotonic exercises, the tension on the muscles remain the same, but the muscles change shape, length, and forms within its fiber. During isotonic exercises, your muscles go through two phases - the eccentric and concentric phases. The force placed on the muscle is greater than the force generated by the muscle is the eccentric phase and the concentric phase relies on the force generated by the muscle is greater than the force placed on it. 


Plyometrics involve exercises in which you are increasing muscle power, usually in the legs, through rapid repeated stretching and contracting of the muscles. Plyometrics usually use explosive jumps vertically or jumps over objects, which is often usually called, "jumping training." Examples of these exercises are burpees, squat jumping, box jumps, broad jumps, and more. One of the main purposes of these exercises is to increase power, which your muscle fibers are working faster and more effectively. Plyometrics is a great way to burn calories or boosting up your heart rate. 

Heart Rate Zones

Your heart rate refers to how many times your heart beats per minute, and when it comes to your heart rate and working out, knowing your heart rate can help you make sure you are making the most out of your workout. During your workout, you have "targeted" heart zones, in which are often expressed by percentages. If you are going for a low-intensity cardio workout, you would want to aim for anywhere from 60-70% of your max heart rate, while if you are doing high-intensity workouts, you would want to aim for 85% or above.  


Tabata is an insane but very popular high intensity interval workout in which the workout maximizes the benefits of interval training in a short amount of time. Tabata requires you to workout to the absolute max, in which you are doing 20 seconds of all out intensity exercises followed by 10 seconds of rest. You repeat this 8 times for a total of 4 minutes. Tabata takes high intensity interval workouts to the next level, meaning that because you are working out harder, the more your body needs to recovery during post-workout (meaning more calories burned). 


DOMS, or delayed onset muscle soreness, is the soreness you feel after two days of harder workout. The soreness is caused when you are working out and damaging your muscle fibers (which is actually a good thing!). The muscles will repair and rebuild themselves, being able to become stronger. The soreness you feel from DOMS is caused from an offset of pain receptors within your body during the recovering process. The soreness may last anywhere from 24-48 hours after your workout. 

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