Workout Speak: Gym Terms and Acronyms 101
Mar 25, 2015   •   Alexis Betia
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Mar 25, 2015   •   Alexis Betia
We all have our reasons for going to the gym. Personally, I go because I am a highly motivated person who places great importance on my holistic well-being. Well, that and there are cute boys (hey baby, care to spot me? *wink). Attractive specimens of the opposite gender and questionable sexual preference aside, I have more than once fallen apart in the middle of a workout because I had no idea what the coach was asking me to do. Pffft goes my credibility as a Girl Who Squats.
Fret not, fellow faker! Here’s a quick list of terms and acronyms that you’re sure to encounter.
W.O.D. stands for Workout of the Day. Pretty basic, but sounds like alienspeak to the uninitiated. Warmth of Doggies? Weapon of Doom? What, Open Door?
No one’s calling you fat, so quit being so defensive! Tabata is a form of workout protocol (??) where you alternate movements for 20 seconds and rest for ten within a four minute time limit. For example, sprinting for 20 seconds, then enjoying your chest burn for ten seconds before doing sprints again. What fun.
We all have gym rat friends on social media. You know the type –
sometimes they post photos of steaks, hamburgers, ribs, etc. with the caption “Gains.” They even comment on each other’s food posts with “Gainz, bruh.” But what does this have to do with working out? According to my very serious and in-depth research, Gains is a lifestyle. Making gains basically means someone is bulking up, getting stronger, or starting to get definition. And here we were hoping thought they were getting fat.
Sure, it sounds funny, but it’s actually a pretty intense weight-lifting move. Clean and Jerks are usually done with a barbell–the lifter cleans it off the floor, jerks it up with a little hop that lands in a lunge, then takes a step forward holding the weights victoriously over his head. Sounds pretty hardcore? It should be–it’s an Olympic weightlifting event!
Nope, not Kettleballs, which, we admit, sounds like a pretty good name for a cat. Kettlebells are typically round iron weights that have a handle on top, like little cannonball purses. They’re commonly used for swings, squats, and dropping on your enemy’s toes.
Yet another potential name for a pet! Kipping is a type of pull-up (mostly employed by CrossFitters) where you swing your legs to get momentum and pull your chest up to the bar. Our theory is that whoever invented this move probably had a slice of pizza dangling over the pull-up bar to motivate themselves, and that’s why they were in such a hurry to “get after it”.
A.M.R.A.P. stands for As Many Repetitions as Possible. If you’re working out somewhere that does reps for time, you’ve definitely heard this before. Circuit training gyms will usually ask you to do push-ups AMRAP, then jumping jacks, etc. How to apply this knowledge to your life? “Hey girl, AM cRAP at ice breakers. My name is _____, what’s yours?” Bewm!
Don’t let the name fool you – the Burpee is an evil, evil exercise that lures you into thinking it’s a harmless kitten when it’s a beast that deserves to be slain. It starts out unimposing enough: a little hop, then it rears its ugly head – you then drop down into a push up, pull your knees to your chest, and hop up again. Sounds simple? Try doing fifteen, no, try doing ten in a row and see if you don’t know what I mean. If you’re in denial about how “fit” you really are, try this movement out at home, and see if you don’t enroll in a gym the next day.
Got any other gym terms that confuse the hell out of you? Leave them in the comments, and we’ll spot you!
Alexis is a freelance copy-creative for screen and events. When she isn’t busy with work and motherhood, you can find her on the internet beefing up her reservoir of useless information, or scream-crying about the latest K-pop comeback.
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