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Ever have a hard time understanding fitness terms thrown around at the gym or on the web? We’ve compiled a list of top fitness terms that you need to know to take your workouts to the next level.
The term that describes what happens when your muscle is physically incapable of lifting weight through a full contraction. Often, this term is included in training plan descriptions. For example: “Lift 3 sets of 5 reps to failure”.
The point at which lactate removal fails to keep up with the rate of lactate production is lactate threshold. Lactate is a natural by-product of anaerobic metabolism. By working out at your lactate threshold twice a week, you will increase your power and endurance. High intensity interval training increases your lactate threshold.
Stands for Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. This is the soreness and stiffness that you feel 24 to 48 hours after exercise. Light stretching, massage, and topical cooling ointments can help alleviate DOMS.
Glycogen is the storage form of glucose in the liver and muscles that is processed as part of the energy producing cycle. Glycogen is converted into glucose in the body as energy is needed. A post-workout recovery meal that includes a 50/50 mix of carbohydrates and protein helps the body replace depleted glycogen.
Fast Twitch / Slow Twitch
Muscles have two types of fibers: fast twitch and slow twitch. Fast twitch fibers are used for short busts of powerful work like weight lifting, jumping, etc. Slow twitch fibers are used for longer, lower intensity work like long distance running and slow lap swimming.
Negative sets area group of exercises that include eccentric contractions. Instead of lifting a weight and slowly releasing (called concentric contractions because the power is employed during the shortening of the muscle), negatives are completed by starting with a heavier weight at the top of the lift, and then slowly lowering the weight. This allows power to be employed during the lengthening of the muscle. Negatives are great for increasing strength fast.
The term that describes an increase of muscle size.
This stands for one rep max. Your one rep max is the max weight one can lift in a single rep for a given exercise.
Stands for maximum heart rate.
The term for three lifts the make up the sport of powerlifting: squat, bench press, and deadlift.
Stands for rating of perceived exertion, and is often represented as a scale. This scale is a common method for determining exercise intensity levels.
Stands for branched chain amino acids. BCAAs are critical amino acids that make up 35% of muscle tissue. They are also used for energy during high intensity exercise, and at the end of a strenuous endurance event.
Stands for basal metabolic rate. Your BMR is the minimum amount of energy required for your body to survive in a rested state. In other words, your BMR is the amount of calories that you burn in 24 hours in a reclined position. Calories burned for life functions like breathing, digestion, etc are included in BMR.
Recovery is a term that described the process that your body goes through when repairing muscle tissue and refilling energy stores as a result of strenuous exercise. Trainers recommend scheduling recovery days that include rest, relaxation, and high nutrient meals.
Are there other terms that confuse you? Comment and let us know! We’ll define them for you!
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