Glossary of Terms


  • Abduction

    Movement of a body part away from the midline of the body. It is the opposite of adduction.

  • Active Recovery

    Performing stretching exercises or exercising other body parts to help recovery after intense workouts. Allows for a more productive use of exercise time.

  • Adduction

    Movement of a body part toward the midline of the body. Opposite of abduction.

  • Adenosine triphosphate - ATP

    Phosphate Molecule needed to provide energy for celluar function. Stored in limited supply in muscle cells. Muscle cells can produce and replenish the ATP suppy.

    The better shape you are in, the quicker your cells will replenish ATP.

  • Aerobic Exercise

    Any continuous activity of large muscle groups that forces your heart and lungs to work harder. Aerobic means that your muscles are using oxygen. Examples include walking, swimming, stair climbing, and jumping rope.

  • Agonist muscle

    A muscle that is directly used in a contraction. The bicep is the agonist muscle in a bicep curl.

  • Anaerobic Exercise

    An activity such as weight training or sprinting that requires your body to perform at a great effort for a relatively short duration. In this type of exercise, your body relies heavily on stored energy that does not need oxygen to be released. Because these types of energy stores are limited, the duration of this type of exercise is also limited.

  • Anaerobic threshold

    The point during high intensity exercise when the blood can no longer supply muslces with needed oxygen. Very difficult to sustain energy in this state.

    An example of reaching the AT is when you are running and quicken the pace to a sprint. Your muscles begin to get sore and you cannot keep the increased pace much longer.

  • Antagonist muscle

    A muscle that acts in opposition to the muscle used in a contraction. The tricep is an antagonsit muscle in a bicep curl.

  • Antioxidants

    This usually refers to beta carotene and vitamins C and E, which protect the cells in your body from an unstable form of oxygen called a free radical. The antioxidant combines with the free radical to prevent it from attaching to and damaging the cells in your body.

  • Atrophy

    A decrease in the cross sectional size of a muscle. Your muscles get smaller due to a lack of activity from an injury or from sitting around all day and not exercising.

  • B

  • Basal Metabolic Rate

    Number of calories your body burns per day while at rest.

    This also signifies the minimum number of calories you need to sustain life. About 70 - 80% of your daily calories are burned here.

    Everyones BMR is different. You can find your BMR through clinical tests or find an estimate through fitness formulas.

  • Body Fat Percentage

    Amount of fat on your body compared to fat free lean mass, expressed as a percentage of total body weight.

  • Body Mass Index (BMI)

    A ratio between weight and height. It is a mathematical formula that is associated with body fat. BMI is a better predictor of disease risk than body weight alone, and it is a good measure to use in most adults. Certain people should not rely on the BMI to assess health risk. This group includes competitive athletes and body builders. These individuals have high BMIs due to muscle and not due to fat.

  • C

  • Calorie

    The amount of energy needed to raise one liter of water by one degree Celsius. In practical terms, a calorie is the unit we use to measure the amount of energy supplied by food and the amount burned by activity.

  • Calorie Balance

    Is the difference between how many calories you eat (calorie intake) and how many you burn (calorie expenditure). When the calories you eat equal the calories you burn, you maintain your weight. Eating more calories than you burn results in weight gain. Burning more calories than you eat results in weight loss.

  • Calorie Expenditure

    The amount of energy your body uses to do anything. For example, you burn calories when you walk, swim, sleep, read and breathe.

  • Calorie Balance

    The difference between how many calories you eat (calorie intake) and how many you burn (calorie expenditure). When the calories you eat equal the calories you burn, you maintain your weight. Eating more calories than you burn results
    in weight gain. Burning more calories than you eat results in weight loss.

  • Carbohydrate

    An ESSENTIAL nutrient needed for muscular performance, brain, and central nervous system (CNS) functions. Carbohydrates sre the main source of energy for working muscles.

  • Cardio training

    An exercise term of used for training and improving the cardiorespiratory system (heart and lungs).

    Also a training method commonly used for excess body fat loss.

    Any type of exercise that elevates your heart rate for a period of time can be considered cardio training.

  • Cardiorespiratory endurance

    The ability to perform large muscle(s) group movements over a sustained period of time. The capacity of the heart and lungs to deliver oxygen for sustained energy production.

    The longer you can continuously exercise, the better your cardio endurance.

  • Cardiovascular fitness

    The health of the heart, lungs and circulartory system.

    Also the capacity of the lungs to exchange oxygen and carbon monoxide with the blood along with the circulartory systems ability to transport blood and nutrients for sustained period of time while exercising without excess fatigue.

  • Cartilage

    A tissue that cushions bones and joints. Also found in various other parts of the body.

  • Circuit training

    A series of exercises usually performed back to back or with little rest in between.

    A circuit can use machines, free weights, bands , body resistance, etc., depending on your physical condition and fitness goals.

    Most circuits consist of 8-12 exercises.

  • Contraction

    Occurs when you shorten or 'tighten' your muscle. The upward movement in a bicep curl is an example on muscle contraction.

  • Creatine phosphate

    A high energy molecule stored in muscle cells. Can be used immediately to resynthesis ATP.

  • Cross training

    A method of training that uses two or more modes of exercise. Lifting weights and then running is a good example of cross training.

  • D

  • Dehydration

    The condition that occurs from a loss in body water. The main cause of dehydration during activity is an increase in sweat production without adequate fluid intake. The greatest risk for dehydration occurs when you exercise in the heat. To learn more about fluid replacement, visit the Nutrition Center.

  • Delayed onset muscle sorness

    Temporary soreness or discomfort in muscles after training.

    It is believed to be caused by microscopic tears in muscle or connective tissue.

    A few days off from training may be needed to repair.

  • Dynamic constant resistance

    Strength training exercise and machines that provide a constant resistance throughout the exercise movement/ Most machines in gyms are dynamic resistance.

  • Dynamic variable resistance

    Strength trainingexercise and machines that automatically vary the resistance throughout the exercise movement.

  • E

  • Endorphins

    Hormones released during exercise. They are normally produced in the pituitary gland to help reduce pain, anxiety and stress.

    Ever hear someone say they feel 'high' or elated after exercise? Part of that feeling is endorphins. (Part of that feeling is also a sense of success and accomplisshment).

  • Essential Amino Acids

    8 of the 20 different amino acids needed to make proteins. They cannot be made by the body. Therefore, they must be obtained through diet.

  • F

  • Fartlek Training

    Similiar to interval training, without a measured period of rest. Exercise stops and continues, determined by how you feel. Great for beginners and deconditioned persons.

  • Fast twitch fiber

    One of the two types of muscle fibers in the body. (Slow twitch being the other).

    A large muscle fiber, it has a fast speed of contraction and high capacity for anaerobic glycolysis.

    Also known as typeII muscle fibers. Everyone has fast and slow twitch muscle fibers. However, the percentages we all have are different.

    A higher percentage of fast twitch fibers will benefit a sprinter. A higher percentage of slow twitch fibers would benifit a marathon or long distance runner.

  • Fat

    An essential nutrient providing energy and energy storage for your body. You do need fat in your diet. How much and what kind is key.

  • Fitness

    A general term with many meanings. In general, physical fitness is the ability to do daily activities without feeling overly tired. Physical fitness has four parts. Cardiovascular and respiratory fitness reflects the condition of your heart and lungs, and the ability of your body to deliver oxygen throughout the body. Muscular fitness means the strength and endurance of your muscles. Flexibility is the ability to move your joints freely and without pain. Body Mass Index is associated with the amount of fat in your body.

  • Flexability

    Possible range of motion of a joint.

  • Food Guide Pyramid

    Published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, it is a guide intended to help the public with their daily food choices for healthy dietary goals.

  • G

  • Glucose

    The form in which all carbohydrates are used as the bodys main energy source; a simple sugar.

  • H

  • Heart Rate Reserve

    Working heart rate between your maximim heart rate and resting heart rate. Can be expressed as a percentage.

  • Heat Exhaustion

    Most common heat related illness. Symtoms are drop in blood pressure, nauseam, feeling faint, feeling light headed and vomitting.

    Can, and usually is, caused by (relative intense) exercise in (relative intense) heat and/or humididty.

  • Heat Stroke

    This is a medical emergency. Serious form of heat illness due to heat overlaod and the bodys non ablity to dissapate heat. Characterized by high body temperature (105 degrees F or more), dry, red skin, seizures, coma,and possibly death.

  • Hernia

    A protrusion of the abdominal contents into the groin or through the abdominal wall. Be careful when exercising with a hernia. Be sure to inhale and exhalke slowy and ina rhytymic pattern.

    Do not hold your breath while exercising. Ask your doctor for other precautionary measures before beggining an exrcise program wiht a hernia.

  • Herniated disc

    Condition where the disc between to vertabrae of the spine bulges backwards. Can compress a nerve root and comprise its function sometimes causing pain and/or numb feeling.

  • Hydration

    The amount of fluid in your body. Since your body is about 40% - 60% water, it is very important that you drink 8 to 10 eight-ounce glasses of water each day. Also, you should replace any fluid your body loses during physical activity. For more information on water guidelines, visit the Nutrition Center.

  • Hyperextension

    Over extension of a joint.

  • Hyperglycemia

    Abnormally high content of glucose in blood.

  • Hyperhydration

    A procedure that introduces extra fluid in the body before activity to prevent dehydration. Hyperhydration can be especially helpful when you work out in the heat.

  • Hypertension

    High blood pressure. 140/90 is said to be high blood pressure.

  • Hypertrophy

    An increase in the cross-sectional size of your muscle due to progressive resistance in strength training.

    When you get bigger muscles due to a training program.

  • Hyperventalation

    A quicker rate of breathing.

    May cause dizziness or even fainting due to abnormal loss of carbon dioxide from the blood.

  • Hypoglycemia

    A defeciency in blood sugar caused by too much insulin, too little glucoes, or over exercise in an insulin dependent diabetic.

  • I

  • Intensity

    How hard your body works during an activity. In general, the higher your heart rate (that is, the faster your heart beats) the more intense the activity.

  • Interval Training

    High, intense, short periods of exercise, followed by less intense, or even rest periods.

  • K

  • Kinesiology

    The study of anatomy and body movement in humans.

  • L

  • Lactic Acid

    A waste by product of anaerobic ATP production. At high levels it inhibits contraction of muscle(s). It is known to cause localized muscle fatigue.

  • Ligament

    Tissue that connects bone to bone.

  • M

  • Maximal Oxygen Uptake or VO2max

    The maximum amount of oxygen that you can take in during an activity of high intensity. Trained individuals have a higher VO2max than untrained individuals. They can therefore exercise at greater speeds and higher intensities. You can increase your VO2max through aerobic activity.

  • Maximum Heart Rate (MHR)

    The fastest that your heart can beat when doing activity. Rather than actually measuring the peak rate that your heart can beat, it is easier to predict what that rate is. We can do this by using a simple formula: 220 - age = maximum heart rate.

  • MET

    A system for classifying physical activities.

  • MHR - Maximum Hear Rate

    Highest heart rate your body can safely attain.

  • Mode

    Type of exercise(s) chosen to attain desired goal.

  • Monounsaturated Fats

    Monounsaturated fats are currently viewed as being "healthier" than other dietary fats used for cooking and eating.

    Monounsaturated fats are found in natural foods like nuts and avocados.

  • O

  • Obesity

    An excessive amount of body fat. Usually 25% and higher for men and 35% and higher for women.

  • One Rep Max

    Maximum amount of weight moved in specific exercise for only one repetition before temporary muscle failure.

  • P

  • Pilates

    An exercise program involving a series of controlled movements that focus on the core postural muscles. These muscles help keep the body balanced and are essential to providing support for the spine.

  • Post Exercise Energy Consumption

    The continued elevated (above resting) amounts of calories being burned due to recovery from exercise. During recovery, calories are burned during muscle and tissue repair and oxygen replacement in muscles.

  • Protein

    Essential nutrient made up of 20 amino acids. Primary job is to help build and repair muscles, ligaments and tendons.

  • R

    Range of Motion

    Degree that a joint will move.

  • Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE)

    The level of effort you feel you are putting into an activity. The Borg scale is a rating scale that helps you describe how hard you feel you are working in terms of a number from 6 to 20. Lower numbers on the scale are used to describe a lower level of effort, and higher numbers mean you are working harder.

  • Resistance Training

    Popular training technique using a set force against muscles. Resistance Training could be weights, machines, your on body weight, bands etc.

    Used to increase muscle fiber size, muscle, tendon and bone strength, aid balance, much more.

  • Resting Heart Rate (RHR)

    The amount of times your heart beats per minute while you are at rest. For most accurate results, the RHR should be taken in the morning before getting out of bed.

  • Resting Metabolic Rate

    The number of calories your body expends while at rest.

  • RHR

    Resting Heart Rate. Number of times your heart beats in one minute while your body is at rest. Best reading are taken just after you get up from the nights sleep and with little stress or distractions.

  • RMR

    Resting Metabolic Rate - The number of calories your body expends while at rest.

  • ROM

    Range of Motion. Degree that a joint will move.

  • RPE

    A scale from 1-20, sometimes from 1-10, designed to evaluate a person’s perceived rate of exertion during a physical activity. 1 is lowest and 20 (10) is highest.

  • S

  • Spot Reduction

    The removal of stored fat from specific areas in the body. No activity or exercise can remove fat from a specific area.

  • Spotter

    A person(s) who stand near by while and exercise is being performed to assist or prevent injury.

    Usually when training with very heavy wait or balance or extremely difficult exercise to perform.

  • Sprain

    A stretching or tearing of connective tissue, usually a ligament. Causes discolor, swelling and pain.

  • Static Stretch

    A passive stretch that holds the muscle at its safest longest length possible. Should be held 15-30 seconds.

  • Strain

    A muscle injury from over use or overexertion.

  • Strain

    A stretching or tearing of connective tissue, usually a ligament. Causes discolor, swelling and pain.

  • Strength Training

    Activities specifically designed to build muscle and increase strength. Strength training also helps to maintain the amount of bone in your body and can help maintain weight. Also known as weight training or resistance training.

  • T

  • Target Heart Rate (THR)

    An estimate of how fast your heart should beat during exercise to improve the workings of your heart and lungs.

  • Tendon

    Connective tissue that attaches muscle to bone.

  • THR - Target Heart Rate

    Heart Rate per minute that signifies the appropriate level for your desired goals, conditioning, and exercise level.

  • Trans Fat

    A type of processed fat that does not occur in nature.

    Found in baked goods, snack foods like potato chips, and cookies, many other processed foods like margarine and salad dressings.

    Very popular in fast foods.Also called hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fat/oil.


  • Unsaturated fat

    A fat derived from plant and some animal sources, especially fish.

    Intake of foods containing more unsaturated fats than saturated fats may contribute to reduced blood cholesterol levels.

  • W

  • Weight Lifting

    Another term for strength training.

  • Y


    A system or routine of specific exercises practiced to promote control of the body and mind. Helpful in balance, flex ability, detoxification, and more.