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Fitness jargon buster - talking the workout talk

April 06 2022 6 min read

Arriving at the gym can sometimes feel like walking into a different country, where everyone’s speaking a language you don’t understand. We understand how easy it is to confuse your PB with your PT, so we asked some of our experts to explain some of the most common gym terminology.



Rep is short for repetition. A rep is the number of times you perform an exercise. For example, one squat would be one rep.


This is the total number of reps performed of a particular exercise without rest. There are usually about 10-12 reps in a set.


‘Two different exercises performed back to back to work the muscles for longer, and targeting different muscles – for example, biceps and triceps or hamstrings and quads.’

– Mitch Price, Fitness First Fitness Consultant and Personal Trainer

Drop sets

A technique of exercising with a large weight until you are no longer able, and then continuing with a smaller weight. For example, if your muscles are exhausted after 10 bicep curls with a 12kg weight, rather than stopping you would swap to a 10kg weight and carry on exercising. Continue downsizing the weights until you feel you need to stop. It’s a great tool for muscle gain.

Tri sets

Tri sets is a technique of performing three different exercises that all target the same muscle group without a break or pause between the reps.


DMT – Dynamic Movement Training

This system of training makes use of the body’s natural movement pattern through a series of three-dimensional exercises. DMT works the entire body and improves strength and flexibility as well as cardiovascular fitness. DMT exercise can come in many forms, including cycling and HIIT, and the more dynamically you move, the better you’ll feel and perform.

HIIT – High-Intensity Interval Training

This kind of cardiovascular exercise involves alternating short bursts of intense exercise – brief, high-intensity activity such as sprinting, jumping and weightlifting – with periods of rest or lower-intensity exercises to recover.

‘This is a method used for fat burning and weight loss. If you train in intense bursts over a 20-30 minute period, you can get greater results than if you run on a treadmill for 45 minutes at a steady pace. Intervals usually consist of doing an exercise to your maximum ability for around 40 seconds and then resting for 20 seconds. Of course, the timings can be changed depending on the goal for the session.’

– Tally Rye, Fitness First Personal Trainer<!--newcol-->


This is a tool for suspension training, a system of exercise using ropes, webbing and a person’s body weight to build muscle strength and power.


Also known as ‘jump training’ or ‘plyo’, this incorporates jumping or hopping into your exercise routine. Plyo activities come in a variety of intensity levels, but the fast-paced repetition of stretching and contracting muscles means the majority are high intensity and burn fat quickly. 


Calisthenics is the practice of exercising without equipment like weights or machines, instead using your own bodyweight to build muscle. Squats, pull-ups, press-ups and planks are all calisthenics exercises and can be done at home or outside as well as in the gym.

‘This used to be mainly practised by gymnasts, but it’s becoming more and more popular, partly because gymnasts’ physiques are seen as the best.’

– James Crew, Fitness First General Manager


DOMS – Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness

This aching pain caused by a particularly intense or strenuous workout is also known as muscle fever, and can sometimes kick in up to two days after exercise. Don’t worry though, DOMS is usually just a sign that you’ve been working hard.

Macros – macronutrients

It’s important to fuel yourself appropriately for exercise, and monitoring your macros can be a great way to ensure you’re giving your body what it needs. To ‘macro’ is to track the amount of carbohydrates, proteins and fats you’re eating, so you can tailor your diet to suit whatever it is you’re training for.

‘This enables you to see the percentage intake of each of these and how this can be manipulated to achieve the best results.’

– Mitch Price, Fitness First Fitness Consultant and Personal Trainer


PB – personal best

PT – personal trainer

GX – group exercise classes

Tekkers – good technique

CV – cardiovascular

BMI – body mass index