Weight Room Jargon 101

It's hard enough getting technique right in the gym! It helps to know your weight room terminology to ask for help and generally to enhance your gym experience.

I'll go through some terms you will most likely encounter on a daily basis in the gym

Let's get started!

CARDIO- This stands for cardiovascular training / conditioning. This is the treadmill, elliptical, bike etc. This is the heart workout, fat burning, sweaty stuff.

RESISTANCE TRAINING-Also called strength and weight training. This is moving your muscles against an opposing force. The opposing force is the machine, dumbbells etc. This is the muscle building, body toning, hard work stuff.

REP- Stands for repetition. Lifting the weight from starting position, back to the starting position = 1 rep. Usually a fitness program has anywhere from 4-15 reps depending on your goals.

SET- A set is the group of reps you preform before rest. 10 reps / rest + 10 reps / rest = 2 sets. Most routines have anywhere from 1-6 sets, depending on your goals. 1-2 is good for beginners.

REST- In between every set to recover, so you can preform your next set at full potential. Rest as long as you need. Most people require 1-3 minutes. The more you are lifting, the more rest is needed between sets.

PLATES- Round, circular weights with a hole in the center. These are put on different types of barbells and machines to add the resistance you need for your exercise.

BARBELL- This is the long, straight bar that you add weight plates to. They slide on and off the ends and are secured with a collar.

EZ CURL BAR- This is the barbell that is curved in where you grab, and usually has some kind of tread so your hands stay put. This bar is great, especially for bicep curls as it's much easier on the wrists and offers a more natural position than the straight barbell.

DUMBBELL- Short hand-held bars that either allow you to add weight plates or come in one unit with the weight pre-set.

FREE WEIGHTS-These are all exercises that do not involve weight machines. Free weights require more safety and technique. They are considered more advanced. Free weights are beneficial because they require the use of other muscles to act as "stabilizers" for balance and control.

WEIGHT MACHINES- These are the big machines in the gym that are used to isolate certain muscles. Usually they have a pin for choosing the weight you want to lift, and a knob around the seat to adjust the machine for your height. These machines are great for beginners because they force you in to proper technique and prepare you for more complex exercises and free weights in the future.

COLLARS- Also called safety "clips" or "clamps." These are the things you use to secure the weight plates on to the dumbbells and machines so they do not slide off and scare the crap out of everyone in the gym if you lose your balance. Although I recommend not using them if you are working out alone. That way if you get stuck with a weighted barbell on your chest you can slide the weight off a side at a time and avoid suffocation.

Know your weight room terminology, practice technique and stay consistent with your training for a great body and a positive fitness experience!