Top 50 Fitness and Gym jargon to get the lingo right!

So, you’re eager to start your new career in fitness! Exciting times are ahead. Getting started with any new job can feel a bit intimidating at times. A lot of people find this especially true when the industry is full of specific lingo that goes straight over your head. Instead of worrying, take the first step by brushing up on your knowledge of fitness jargon before you start studying.

That way you’ll understand what they’re talking about in class and be able to professionally speak the language of your clients. To help you do this, we’ve put together a list of the top 50 fitness jargon hacks designed to get you used to the most common industry terms.

Download the cheat sheet here or keep reading below:

Specific Exercise Jargon

  • SQ – Squat
  • BSQ or BS – Back squat
  • FSQ or FSFront squat
  • DL – Deadlift
  • BP Bench press
  • SPShoulder press
  • MP – Military or strict press
  • PP – Push press
  • CU – Chin up
  • PU – Pull up or a push-up
  • C2B or CTB – Chest to bar pull-ups
  • HRPU – Hand release push up
  • HSPU – Handstand push up
  • CLN – Clean
  • PC – Power clean
  • C&J – Clean and jerk
  • SJ – Split jerk
  • SN – Snatch
  • T2B or TTB – Toes to bar. An abdominal exercise where the feet are pulled up to the hands when hanging from a bar.
  • K2E – Knees to elbows. An easier version of T2B.
  • DU’s – Double unders. A type of skipping where the rope passes under the feet twice per jump.
  • GHR – Glute hamstring raise
  • MU – Muscle-up
  • OH – Short for overhead. Often used as an add-on to other movements e.g. OH SQ, OHS or overhead squat or OH lunge where weight is held above the head with straight arms while squatting.
  • TGUTurkish get-up
  • HP – High pull. Often used in combination with other movements e.g. SDHP = sumo deadlift high pull or CLNHP = clean high pull.
  • Kipping – A fluid style of completing movements such as pull-ups and muscle-ups that involves using a controlled swinging motion to create momentum to propel the body over the bar.
  • Thruster – An exercise that fluidly links the movements of a front squat and an overhead press.
  • Wall balls – An exercise that involves throwing a weighted ball at a target on a wall, catching it and repeating.
  • Pistols – A squat variation that involves only one leg.
  • Good mornings – An exercise that involves bending at the waist while keeping the back flat. It can be done with or without weights.
  • Hollow rock – A gymnastics style abdominal exercise that involves holding the abs tight with the arms and legs extended straight while gently rocking back and forth.

Jargon You’ll Hear in the Gym

  • Globo gym – A term that’s often used by CrossFitters to describe large, commercial gyms.
  • Newbie – Someone who’s new to exercise. The term may also be used in the context of ‘newbie gains’ whereby faster gains are often made when starting out.
  • Ripped – Used to describe someone with very low body fat and defined muscles.
  • Cut – Refers to the sharp lines that create muscular definition in someone with low body fat.
  • Bulking – The practice of trying to build muscle mass that’s often done without worrying about also gaining excess body fat.
  • Cutting – The practice of trying to reduce body fat, usually after a period of muscle building.
  • Jacked – Used to describe people who have a lot of muscle.
  • Juice – Slang word for steroids e.g. “they’re on the juice”.
  • Pump – This term describes what happens when muscles fill with glycogen and water and is usually from resistance training. It makes the muscles look larger than normal and feel tight to touch.
  • Spot – A spot is someone who assists another person to complete an exercise safely by being prepared to lift some of the weight if the exerciser is unable to do so due to fatigue.

CrossFit Jargon

  • CF – CrossFit
  • CrossFitter – Someone who trains using the CrossFit methodology.
  • Box – A CrossFit gym that’s named as such because it’s often an almost empty room containing just the basic amount of equipment and pull up bars.
  • AMRAP – As many repetitions or rounds as possible. Typically given with a set time frame to complete the work.
  • The girls – A set of standardised benchmark CrossFit workouts that are used to universally measure an athlete’s performance and/or progress over time.
  • Hero workout – A benchmark workout that’s usually longer in duration and named after a fallen military member of first-responder in honour of their memory.
  • RX – As prescribed. Refers to the suggested parameters of an exercise e.g. non-scaled movements and/or a recommended weight to be used.
  • Bonus CrossFit Jargons
  • The games – Refers to the CrossFit Games, an annual international competition.
  • Paleo – The Palaeolithic diet that’s often recommended within the CrossFit community. It involves eating the whole foods that were presumably eaten by our early ancestors.
  • The Zone – A diet that’s often recommended within the CrossFit community. It involves eating a ratio of 40% carbs to 30% protein and 30% fat with each meal.
  • Pood (PD) – The original unit used to measure the weight of kettlebells. 1 pood is equal to 35 pounds.
  • Pukie – A cartoon clown that’s pushed so hard he’s thrown up during a workout. Also often used to refer to a bucket kept in most CrossFit gyms in case of vomiting.

With knowledge of these top 50 fitness jargon hacks, you should be feeling more confident about hitting the books and training your first few clients.  We have prepared this comprehensive guide to fitness industry jargon that includes over 130 fitness jargons.

If you enjoyed this article , try reading the importance of Olympic Lifting for Personal Trainers, or are deep squats bad for your knees?

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