Glossary of terms
Abduction – Movement of a limb away
from the middle of your body.
E.g. lifting your arms up (Extension at
the shoulder) as if you were imitating an airplane!
Adduction – movement of a limb towards the middle of your body. E.g. bringing your arms back down (Flexion at the shoulder) to your sides.
Absolute Strength – the biggest load a person can lift
in one repetition.
Aerobic Exercise – Activity in which the body supplies oxygen to working muscles for a period of time i.e. marathon running, cross country skiing.
Anaerobic Exercise – Activity which requires more oxygen than the body can supply (without oxygen). Results in the buildup of Lactic Acid. Used for short sharp bursts i.e. sprints, long jump.
Barbell – A long bar in which weights are placed on either end and used for exercise.
Basal Metabolic Rate – the amount of energy your body uses at rest to perform basic bodily functions. It changes depending on weight, height, age, gender, diet and exercise.
Body composition – The breakdown of your body’s makeup, proportions of fat, lean muscle, water and water.
Clean - Weightlifting exercise where weight is lifted
from floor to shoulder in one movement.
Snatch - Weightlifting exercise where
weight is lifted from floor to overhead in one movement.
Clean and Jerk – Weightlifting exercise where weight is lifted from floor to overhead in two movements.
Concentric Contraction – muscle shortens whilst being used
Deadlift - Weightlifting exercise where weight is lifted from floor to waist height, with back straight.
Dumbbell – Weights about 14” long with load at either end.
Eccentric Contraction – Muscle lengthens whilst being used.
Endurance – The ability to sustain an exercise for a prolonged length of time, can be either anaerobic
endurance or aerobic endurance.
Fartlek Training – A type of interval training, varying the speed or intensity during exercise. Places stress on aerobic and anaerobic systems.
Extension – A body part going from a
bent position to a straight position
Flexion – A body part going from a
straight position to a bent position.
Fast Twitch – Muscle fibre type that fires quickly, good for sprinting and power lifting.
Glycogen – The energy fuel that carbohydrate is stored as in the body.
Heart Rate training Zones – Classifying training zones dependent upon physiological changes during exercise. E.g. knowing what heart rate (or % HR max) the lactate Threshold occurs and what heart rate corresponds with maximal oxygen uptake.
Hypertrophy – The growth/getting bigger of muscle.
Isometric Exercise – Muscle contraction where the muscle stays at the same length and the joint does not move. i.e. pushing against a wall.
Isotonic Exercise – A form of exercise that results in the muscles lengthening or shortening but the tension remaining the same. Lifting free weights is a classic isotonic exercise.
Lactic acid – Produced during anaerobic
exercise, contributes to fatigue.
Lactate Threshold – The intensity at which you can sustain an exercise at before lactic acid is produced.
Maximal Oxygen uptake – The maximal amount of oxygen that the body can utilise and supply to working muscles. Also known as VO2 max and aerobic capacity.
Overtraining – A state at which you are underperforming due to too much training and not enough recovery time. It is a physical and psychological problem.
Power – Strength + Speed.
Repetition Maximum (1RP) – Similar to absolute strength, the maximum you can lift in one go.
Slow Twitch – Muscle cells that contract slowly and are resistant to fatigue. Good for long distance running or swimming.
Super set – Alternating back and forth between two or more exercises until a number of sets are completed.