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Be Well.

A health and wellness blogazine for Auburn University Students. 

13 Fitness Terms Every Gym Rat Should Know

13 Fitness Terms Every Gym Rat Should Know

Need to brush up on your gym jargon? Brooklyn is one step ahead!

Have you ever wanted to try a workout routine you found online, but you couldn’t understand half the words in the exercise explanation? Ever overheard a conversation in the gym that only vaguely sounded like English? Well, it probably was. The language of fitness, if you’re unfamiliar with it, can seem overwhelming. Most people learn it eventually, but until then, here’s a cheat sheet of some of the most frequently used and (most often misunderstood) gym jargon every fitness fanatic should know.

Class Pass

Campus Rec offers tons of group fitness classes each week, and students can purchase a "class pass" online which gets them access to unlimited classes. Formats include Yoga, Athletic Conditioning, Barre Essentials and more. Passes are sold monthly ($15), by semester ($50) or for the entire year ($100). See options here.

DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness)

Remember those times when you worked out for the first time in a while and you couldn't walk the next 2 days? That phenomenon is delayed onset muscle soreness, and it occurs up to several days following an exercise session and is primarily caused by the body’s inflammatory response to exercise. Other causes include athletic conditioning, age, the skeletal muscular system and structural damage to muscle tissue and tendons.

“Feel the Burn!”

A saying meant to motivate you to push yourself until you feel a tingling (or burning) sensation. This sensation is a goal for most lifters and is a result of the lactic acid your body produces when your muscles fatigue.


Originally used in regards to muscular gains, the word now refers to any progress someone makes in their training, physique or dieting regimen as well as other everyday activities.

Gym Rat

Someone who spends all their free time at the gym or participating in some form of physical activity such as playing sports, swimming or biking.

Maxing Out (Max)

When someone is trying to reach her optimal level of energy output in the gym. This training technique is usually done in sets of one with multiple warm-up reps beforehand. Basically, you're pushing your limits by seeing how much you can lift.

PR (Personal Record)

The best time, highest weight or most reps a person achieves on an exercise. This beats a previous time, weight or rep amount. For example, Jane Doe’s highest squat weight was 150 pounds in September, but then she squatted 175 pounds in October. Jane Doe increased her PR by 25 pounds.

PT (Personal Trainer)

A fitness professional who offers advice, feedback and accountability to clients in the fitness industry. PTs also offer fitness assessments and measure their clients' strengths and weaknesses.

Rep (Repetition)

The number of times you perform a specific exercise in a set. Example: You pick something heavy up and put it down 12 times before taking a break.


The number of cycles of reps that you complete for a specific exercise in your workout. Example: After that first break in the previous example, you pick the heavy thing back up 12 times, take one more break, and then do it again for a total of 3 sets of 12 reps.

Skull Crusher

An exercise meant for isolating the triceps. You can find a complete guide to skull crushers here, but essentially you're lying on a bench with your elbows straight up while your hands grip a small bar or other weighted implement. Your upper arms should be at a 90 degree angle from the floor. You then carefully lower the weight down toward your face and then raise it back up, engaging your triceps.

Super Set

To incorporate two different exercises into one set without a rest in between.

WOD (Workout of the Day)

Typically used in CrossFit classes, the acronym refers to the workout of the day. This could be a combination of leg exercises, arm exercises or cardio.

Know of a word that we've missed? Please feel free to leave it, along with a definition, in the comments below.

Be well, Auburn.


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