Glossary

A few of the more commonly used terms, and their fitness equipment related definitions.

Abs – The abbreviate term for the abdominal (stomach) muscles
AC Motor – A motor using Alternating Current instead of Direct Current. See ‘Ask the Prof’ for more information
Adaptability – How well the unit can effectively ‘grow’ or upgrade if required
Aerobic – Any lower intensity / longer duration activity that is primarily fueled by oxygen, carbohydrates, and fat
Aesthetics – The level of artistic or visual appeal
Anaerobic – Any high intensity / shorter duration activity that is primarily fueled by using carbs
Ballistic stretching – Old fashioned stretching technique that incorporated bouncing. No longer used to its poor results and potential risk of injury
Barbell – A long bar (typically 5′, 6′ or 7′ in length) that allows weight plates to be attached at either end. Barbells are typically lifted with both hands at the same time
Biomechanics – The mechanics of a body, especially when forces (resistance) are applied
Bis – The abbreviated term for the Bicep muscles. The Biceps are approximate 1/3 of the upper arm
Body Mass Index (BMI): A mathematical formula designed to calculate a person’s level of health and fitness based on weight and height. Viewed by many as useful but inaccurate
Calorie – The unit of energy needed to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water by 1°C at 1 atmosphere pressure
Capacity – The amount of resistance the unit can safely withstand
Carbs – The abbreviated term for carbohydrates which are sugars of various types and complexities. Contrary to some popular diet plans, without carbs, the body cannot function properly
Cardio – The abbreviated term for Cardiovascular (i.e.: heart, lungs, circulatory system). Usually used in context with aerobic activities / equipment
Comfort – The level of proper support and reduction of impact while exercising
Construction – See ‘Quality of Construction’ below
Continuous Duty Horsepower – The horsepower a motor can produce under load over a continuous period of time
Cool-down – A controlled reduction in exercise intensity allowing the body to return to a normal temperature and heart rate
Cross Trainer – A cardiovascular machine that allows for completely different motions to be performed on the same machine and/or allow different body parts to be incorporated together or individually.
Cross Training – Participating in a variety of different activities to stimulate the body
Crowned Rollers – Rollers that have a thicker center and tapered ends. Designed to help track the moving belt centered
DC Motor – A motor using Direct Current instead of Alternating Current. See ‘Ask the Prof’ for more information
Dehydration – The depletion of body fluids. Excessive dehydration can lead to serious health concerns, including death, and should not be taken lightly
Delts – The abbreviated term for the Deltoids (shoulder) muscles
Dependent Step – Both step pedals move together. As one rises, the other lowers. Less intense / easier to use than an independent step
Dumbbell – A short bar that allows weight plates to be attached at either end. Usually used in pairs; one in each hand
Ease of Use – The level of effort required to operate the equipment and or programming software
Eddy Current – A method of applying resistance, by use of an electromagnetic, commonly found in exercise equipment
Elliptical – A cardiovascular machine that offers a motion similar in shape to an ellipse or oval. Certain models allow the ellipse to be stretched or tilted to offer additional variety
Ergonomics – The science of designing equipment based around the structure of the human body. The truly ergonomic machine will maximize results and minimize fatigue, discomfort or injury
Flexibility – The amount of motion around a joint. Poor flexibility is a common source of many injuries
Free weights – A general term for various barbells and dumbbells.
Functional Trainer – A cable driven strength machine that can be used with an exercise ball, weight bench or nothing at all.The pulley positions can be adjusted vertically and or horizontally allowing for a wider range of exercises.
Heart Rate – The number of times the heart pulses in a given period of time
Home Gym – A unit that allows for a high number of strength exercises to be performed on one unit and generally from one seated position.Also commonly referred to as a Multi Gym
Horsepower (HP) – A measure of power based on a mathematical formula. HP = T (torque) x RPM (speed) / 5252
Hydration – The amount of fluid in the body
Independent Step – Both step pedals move independently of one another. Both pedals can lower together which forces the user to both raise and lower each leg separately. More challenging than a Dependent Step
Intensity – The level of difficulty of exertion required to perform
Intervals – A term that describes alternating between high and lower levels of intensity during the same workout
Lats – An abbreviated term for the Latissimus Dorsi (low/mid back) muscles
Lifting – An abbreviated term for Weight Lifting
Motivation – How well the machine entices the user to exercise
Multi Gym – A unit that allows for a high number of strength exercises to be performed on one unit and generally from one seated position.Also commonly referred to as a Home Gym
Pecs – An abbreviated term for the Pectoral (chest) muscles
Phenolic – A plastic resin used on treadmill decks that help decrease the friction and wear between the belt and deck surfaces
Power – The unit’s ability to operate with becoming overheated or strained
Quads – An abbreviated term for the Quadriceps or front thigh muscles
Quality of Construction – The level of workmanship, materials used and overall ‘fit and finish’
R.I.C.E. – A common method of treating an injury; Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation
Recovery Heart Rate – The amount of time it takes after exercise for the body to return to its natural heart rate
Recumbent – A term to describe a reclined exercise position allowing for back support and less stress on the cardiovascular system. Typically the legs will be extended more forward than down
Rehydration – A term to describe the replenishing of lost fluids after and activity
Reps – An abbreviated term for repetition. A repetition is a complete movement, from full extension to full contraction
Resistance – The amount of tension or poundage the unit is capable of supplying
Resistance Training – Any exercise that incorporates barbells, dumbbells, or other resistance equipment (also known as lifting, weight lifting, and strength training). A must to help strength and or build muscles and bones
Resting Heart Rate – The number of times the heart pulses in a given period of time at rest
Safety Clip – A tethered clip that acts as a safety device on treadmills. When tethered, if the key is removed from the machine, the machine will shut down. An excellent tool especially for those who are unsteady on their feet or in environments where use of the machine must be controlled
Set – A term describing the total number of repetitions performed consecutively
Smoothness – How well the unit operates without hesitating, stuttering, etc
Space Efficiency – The amount of space required to operate
Spot Reduction – The inaccurate concept that exercising a specific area, such as the abs, will remove the fat in the same area
Static Stretch – Stretching to point of tension and maintaining that position for a short period of time without movement or bouncing
Strength Training – Any exercise that incorporates barbells, dumbbells, or other resistance equipment (also known as lifting, weight lifting, and resistance training). A must to help strength and or build muscles and bones
Target Heart Rate – A specific heart rate based on the user’s workout goal and physical condition
Traps – An abbreviated term for the Trapezius or neck muscles
Tris – The abbreviated term for the Tricep muscles. The Triceps are approximate 2/3 of the upper arm
Versatility – The variety of preset workout programs, exercises, etc
VO2 max – The largest volume of oxygen your body can take in and use
Warm-up – A controlled increase in exercise intensity allowing the body to raise its temperature and heart rate to exercise levels
Warranty – The length the manufacturer is willing to stand behind their product and what is required of the customer if service is required
Weight Lifting – Any exercise that incorporates barbells, dumbbells, or other resistance equipment (also known as lifting, resistance or strength training). A must to help strength and or build muscles and bones
Weight-bearing Exercise – Exercise in which you support your weight or lift weight
Whole Body Vibration (WBV) – Although the concept of subjecting the body to vibration dates back as far as ancient Greece, the concept has been studied for use on astronauts and high caliber athletes. The vibrations are believed to help stimulate the body and elicit a positive adaptive response which may include improved performance, blood flow, as well as the strengthening of muscle and bone
Yoga – A system of controlled poses meant to help improve flexibility, strength as well as relaxation and stress reduction


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