Lifter Lingo is a data bank packed with fitness and nutrition definitions that you can use to develop your understanding.
Aerobic Exercise - Any rhythmic activity that increases the body's need for oxygen by using large muscle groups continuously for at least 10 minutes. The term aerobic means “with oxygen.”
Anaerobic exercise- Short lasting, high intensity activity, where the demand for oxygen from the exercise exceeds the oxygen supply.
Body composition- Amount of fat vs. lean muscle tissue in the human body.
Body Mass Index (BMI)- Measure of the relationship between height and weight; calculated by dividing weight in kilograms by height in centimeters squared.
Caffeine- A stimulant found in coffee, tea, chocolate, and some soft drinks that increases heart contractions, oxygen consumption, metabolism, and urinary output.
Calisthenics- Exercising using one’s own body weight which helps develop muscular tone.
Cardiorespiratory fitness- Measure of the heart’s ability to pump oxygen-rich blood to the muscles. Also called cardiovascular or aerobic fitness.
Cardiovascular system- A complex system consisting of the heart and blood vessels; transports nutrients, oxygen, and enzymes throughout the body and regulates temperature, water levels of cells, and acidity levels of body components.
Circuit training- Takes the participant through a series of exercise stations (which could also include strength training), with relatively brief rest intervals between each station. The purpose is to keep the heart rate elevated near the aerobic level without dropping off. The number of stations may range from 4 to 10.
Concentric muscle action- Force produced while the muscle is shortening in length.
Cool down- Lowering of body temperature following vigorous exercise. The practice of cooling down after exercise involves slowing down your level of activity gradually.
Core- A muscle group comprised of the abdominals, lower back, obliques, and hips.
Cortisol- A hormone secreted by the adrenal gland that makes stored nutrients more readily available to meet energy demands. These hormone levels increase under stress, which can stimulate your appetite, leading to weight gain or difficulty losing weight.
DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness)- Muscle soreness or discomfort that appears 12 to 48 hours after exercise. It is most likely due to microscopic tears in the muscle tissue, and it usually requires a couple of days for the repair and rebuilding process to be completed. The muscle tissue grows back stronger, leading to increased muscle mass and strength.
Eccentric contraction- A lengthening of the muscle during its contraction; controls speed of movement caused by another force.
Electrolytes- Salts (ions) found in bodily fluids. Pertaining to exercise, your body loses electrolytes (sodium, potassium) when you sweat. These electrolytes need to be replaced to keep concentrations constant in the body, which is why many sports drinks include electrolytes.
EPOC (Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption)- This explains why your breathing rate remains heavy for a few minutes after finishing a workout. Your body needs more oxygen after a workout in order to restore the oxygen stores in the blood and tissues and to meet the oxygen requirements of the heart rate, which is still elevated.
Exercise metabolic rate (EMR)- The energy expenditure that occurs during exercise.
Fast twitch muscle fibers- Fibers that are better-suited for high-force, short duration activities because they contain more stores for anaerobic energy utilization.
Fixed resistance- Strength training exercises that provide a constant amount of resistance throughout the full range of motion. Examples include free weights and resistance bands.
Flexibility- The measure of the range of motion, or the amount of movement possible, at a particular joint.
Heat exhaustion- A heat stress illness caused by significant dehydration resulting from exercise in warm or hot conditions; frequent precursor to heat stroke.
Heat stroke- A deadly heat stress illness resulting from dehydration and overexertion in warm or hot conditions; can cause body core temperature to rise from normal to 100 or 105 degrees Fahrenheit in just a few minutes.
High impact- Activities that place more stress on the bones and joints, where your limbs are actually making contact with the ground or other surface with force. Examples include: walking, running, step aerobics, and sports that involve impact, like basketball or tennis.
Hypertrophy- An increase in cell size (girth), usually in reference to fat or muscle cells.
Interval training- Repeated intervals of exercise interspersed with intervals of relatively light exercise. This type of training provides a means of performing large amounts of high-intensity exercise in a short period of time.
Isometric exercise- Any activity in which the muscles exert force but do not visibly change in length. For example, pushing against a wall or carrying a bag of groceries.
Isotonic exercise- Any activity in which the muscles exert force and change in length as they lift and lower resistance. For example, bicep curls or leg extensions.
Lactic acid- Once thought of as a waste substance that builds up in the muscles when they are not getting enough oxygen, leading to muscle fatigue and soreness. Now, experts believe that lactic acid is beneficial to the body, acting as a "fuel" to help people continue high-intensity (anaerobic) exercise even when oxygen consumption is low.
Lean mass- Total weight of your muscle, bone, and all other body organs. (Everything in the body besides fat.)
Low impact- Activities that place less stress on the bones and joints. These are better for people with joint pain, and overweight individuals whose weight can hurt their joints. Examples include: swimming, elliptical, cycling, and other activities where your feet (or other body parts) aren’t touching the ground with force or where you are somehow supported.
MET- An expression of the energy it takes to sit quietly. It is frequently used as a measure of intensity on cardiovascular machines (treadmill, stationary bike, etc.) For example, moderate intensity activities are those that get you moving fast enough or strenuously enough to burn off three to six times as much energy per minute as you do when you are sitting quietly, measured as 3-6 METs.
Moderate intensity- Activities that range from 40-60% of max heart rate. These activities cause a slightly increased rate of breathing, and feel light to somewhat-hard. Individuals doing activity at this intensity can easily carry on a conversation.
Muscle fibers- Individual muscle cells that are the functional components of muscles.
Muscular endurance- The ability of the muscle to perform repetitive contractions over a prolonged period of time.
Muscular strength- The ability of the muscle to generate the maximum amount of force.
Obesity- A weight disorder generally defined as an accumulation of fat beyond that considered normal for a person based on age, sex, and body type.
One-Rep Max (1 RM)- The amount of weight/resistance that can be lifted or moved once, but not twice; a common measure of strength.
Overload Principle- This principle says that in order to train muscles, they must work harder than they are accustomed to. This “overload” will result in increased strength as the body adapts to the stress placed upon it.
Physical fitness- The ability to perform regular to vigorous physical activity without great fatigue.
Plateau- Point in an exercise program where no additional progress is being made (gains in strength, weight loss, increased endurance, etc). One way to break through a plateau is to change the kind of activity you are doing or something about your current activity- adding hills, increasing speed, increasing distance, etc.
Primary prevention- Actions designed to stop problems before they start.
Plyometric training- Exercises that enable a muscle to reach maximal force production in as short a time as possible. For example, jumping from a 3 ft. stool to the ground and immediately springing back up to another stool.
Repetition- The number of times an exercise is repeated within a single exercise “set.”
Resting HR- Rate at which your heart beats at rest (while sitting or being inactive). Low resting heart rates are a good measure of health and fitness.
Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR)- Number of calories expended to maintain the body during resting conditions. Also referred to as basal metabolic rate.
Set- A basic unit of a workout containing the number of times (repetitions) a specific exercise is done (e.g. do 3 sets of 5 repetitions with 100 pounds).
Skinfold caliper test- A method of determining body fat whereby folds of skin and fat at various points on the body are grasped between thumb and forefinger and measured with calipers.
Slow twitch muscle fibers- Fibers that are better-suited for low-force, long duration activities because they possess more endurance enzymes.
Static stretching- A low force, high-duration stretch where the muscle is held at the greatest possible length for up to 30 seconds.
Strength training (resistance training)- The process of exercising with progressively heavier resistance for the purpose of strengthening the musculoskeletal system.
Talk test- Method to ensure you are working out at a level where you can answer a question but not comfortably carry on a conversation. This is a good intensity level for weight loss and improved physical fitness.
Target heart rate (THR)- The recommended range is 60-85% of your maximum heart rate. It represents a pace that ensures you are training aerobically and can reasonably be maintained.
Variable resistance- Strength training exercises that change the amount of resistance throughout the full range of motion.
Vigorous intensity- Activities above 60% of max heart rate. These activities cause an increased rate of breathing, sweating, and feel somewhat-hard to hard.
Waist to hip ratio- A calculation of the proportion of fat stored on your body around your waist and hips. Formula: waist measurement divided by hip measurement. Women should have a ratio of 0.8 or less; men should have a ratio of .95 or less.
Warm up- To prepare for an athletic event (whether a game or a workout session) by exercising, stretching, or practicing for a short time beforehand.