(762) 233-7208 laurie@the8020life.com

Fitness Terms Explained

Fitness, just like anything else,  has its own vocabulary, with acronyms and abbreviations. Learning these terms will be helpful as you move forward in your fitness journey.

80/20 your kitchen Instant Pot

AMRAP – stands for “As many reps as possible” and indicates that the movement should be repeated until it can no longer be safely completed.

Anaerobic and Aerobic Exercise – Aerobic exercise, requiring oxygen, such as cardiovascular activities. Anaerobic exercise is any activity that involves explosive, short, powerful movements that you cannot perform for an extended length of time.

Cardio – Any type of physical activity that engages the cardiovascular system. Examples of cardio exercise are running, swimming, rowing, and using the elliptical machine.

Circuit – A type of workout where you move quickly from one exercise to another with minimal rest. The goal is to keep the heart rate elevated during the entire workout.

DOMS – stands for “Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness”, that sore, achy feeling you get a day or two after lifting weights.

EMOM – stands for “Every Minute on the Minute” and refers to a workout where a movement is performed starting at the top of every minute and then the remainder of that minute is used to rest.

HIIT – stands for “High intensity Interval training”. This type of workout alternates periods of high intensity activity with periods of minimal activity or rest.

Macro(short for ‘Macronutrients’) – this term refers to the 3 main components of the human diet. They are protein, carbohydrates, and fat.

Major Muscle Groups – The largest muscle groups in the body, referring to Chest, Legs, and Back

Metabolism – The rate at which your body burns energy to maintain itself

MIC – abbreviation for ‘medium intensity cardio’, the level of exertion gets your heart rate elevated but you can still carry on a conversation. Most longer cardio sessions are done at medium intensity.

Plyometrics – a type of workout based on explosive movements like jumping. Plyometric workouts are a great complement to regular cardio and strength training workouts.

Progression – The act of making an exercise more difficult in order to gain strength, mobility, flexibility, muscle size. Progression of an exercise can be accomplished by increasing the weight used, the number of reps performed, the total set volume, and increasing difficulty of the movement.

Recovery/ Active Recovery – The time between your workouts when you allow your muscles to rest. Active recovery refers to the act of resting but still engaging in activities that do not strain the muscles that were previously worked

RPE – Rate of perceived exertion, on a scale of 1 – 10, how difficult you perceive your physical activity to be at any point in time.

Reps – the number of times an exercises is performed in a row

Resistance Training – Exercise that focuses on engaging your muscles and increasing strength such as lifting weights and  bodyweight exercises

Rest – How long of a break to take between sets

Sets – The number of reps performed of an exercise at one time

Tempo – the speed at which an exercise is performed, composed of 4 pieces – concentric motion, pause, eccentric motion, rest

Toning – another word for ‘building muscle’, generally used by those who are afraid lifting muscles will make them bulky


Do you have a favorite that I didn’t mention?

Let me know!

Want more fitness tips in your inbox?

Enter your email below!

We respect your privacy. Your info will never be shared.

If you enjoyed this post you might also like…

  • Pinterest
  • Twitter
  • facebook
  • instagram


Want more 80/20 in YOUR life?

Enter your email address to get the goods sent straight to your inbox every week.

You have successfully subscribed!

Sign up to get more 80/20 in YOUR life!

Sign up to get more 80/20 in YOUR life!

You have Successfully Subscribed!