Have you ever been behind someone in a coffee shop whilst they’ve ordered a “tall, skinny, frappe latte with cocoa froth, chia seeds and a milky air” and wondered what the hell they’re talking about? Well, exercise classes can be a little bit like that. From A –Z, there’s bound to be a few phrases and words you don’t know but, don’t worry, you’re in good company. Truth is, no-one knows everything and even the most savvy instructor or class goer will occasionally get the “Huh?!” moment. So, to make life a little easier for you, we’ve compiled a brief jargon buster to help you get to grips with that pesky exercise lingo.
BPM: this one is probably more likely heard in indoor cycling / spin classes. It simply means beats per minute, referencing how many beats are in a piece of music every 60 seconds. This is important for instructors to know so they can choreograph their routines around the music; the faster the tune, the faster the feet.
Cardio: short for cardiovascular, so any exercises that increases your heart rate to give you a healthier ticker.
CV: as above, just for those acronym lovers out there!
DOMS: delayed onset of muscular soreness. You know that moment when you finish working out and feel great and go to bed and wake up the next day aching all over? Yeah, that’s DOMS.
Gains: this refers to how well you’re doing within your work out regime. Often this is term associated with gaining muscle through weight training, but it is not limited to this; gaining can be a simple as losing weight, achieving a new personal best or losing a couple of inches. Gains are like goals. We like gains.
GX or GEX: this is just a short term for group exercise.
Functional training: exercises that help with everyday living, such as bending, stretching and lifting.
HIIT: high intensity interval training. This means your work out is split into smaller sections that provide a massive work out in a short space of time. An example could be a circuit class, where you work hard on one exercise for 30-45 seconds, rest for 15 seconds and then repeat until you’re told to stop. It’s a great work out but not necessarily for beginners so know your limitations before attending.
Juice: slang term for steroids. If someone offers you juice, avoid like the plague.
Kettlebell: sometimes used as doorsteps, these heavy metals come in various shapes, sizes and weights to give a whole body work out. If you’ve never used one before, put it down immediately and seek assistance from a qualified personal trainer or fitness professional.
Plyo or plyometrics: these exercises focus on increasing speed and explosive movements, meaning muscles work at almost full capacity for a very short amount of time. Examples could be box jumps or squat jumps.
Reps and sets: this is mainly used as a weightlifting term, so you may come across it in strength training classes like BODYPUMP™. A set is how many times you will perform a certain exercise. A rep (repetition) is one single time you do the exercise within a set before resting. So, on chest press for example, you may do three sets of ten reps, resting between each set.
Spinning: not a dance move. This is an indoor cycling class on static bikes. Some venues simulate outdoor terrain with movements and projection screens. Expect loud music, shouting, sweat and fun.
Tekkers: this means technique. If someone says you have “good tekkers”, that is most certainly a compliment.
TRX: not to be confused with an awesome dinosaur, TRX is a suspension based training that involves ropes. It uses a person’s own body weight to perform a variety of exercises, building muscle and improving strength.
Yogi: this term refers to a person who is a yoga aficionado and pretty good. They’ll attend classes regularly and love what they do. Not to be confused with the bear.
That’s just a little selection of the lingo you may come across. The list is nowhere near exhaustive but we’ll update it as we go. So, next time someone comments on your tekkers, suggests spinning or talks juice, you’ll know the correct response… and no frappe latte foams in sight.