Gym Slang Dictionary aka FitCtionary
Gym Slang Dictionary
When I first started exercising at the gym, I had to learn a completely new dictionary… the FitCtionary!! Have you ever been in the gym and heard a term/phrase that you were unsure of? If so, I have compiled a list for you to read and revise so you can hold a ‘Gym Chat’
Standard Gym Words/Phrases:
Rep. One complete movement of one exercise (i.e., a single push up).
Set. The number of repetitions in a group (i.e., one set of 8 reps).
Free weights. Standalone weights that aren’t part of a machine. These include dumbbells, weight plates, etc.
Strength training/resistance training. Any type of training that builds muscle by working against a form of resistance – usually weights, machines or resistance bands.
Cardio- Short for cardiovascular exercise. It’s any type of exercise that gets your heart rate elevated (i.e., treadmill, elliptical, swimming, etc.)
Circuit training. A workout technique in which the individual performs one set of each exercise with little rest. It provides some muscle gain and cardiovascular benefits.
Core- Term for the muscles in the trunk of you body. Includes abdominal muscles and some back muscles.
Bulking up. Slang for adding muscle mass to one’s body through strength training and nutrition.
Cutting up. Slang term for decreasing the amount of body fat on one’s body to better showcase musculature.
Intervals- Very effective technique that involves cycling between varying levels of intensity during cardiovascular exercise. For example, when doing 15 minutes of interval training on the treadmill, I jog for 90 seconds and then sprint for 60 seconds. It burns more calories and fat than running at a steady pace.
Definition. Low body fat coupled with developed musculature. Also called ripped, cut, or shredded.
Pecs- Short for pectorals, this slang term refers to a man’s chest muscles.
Glutes- A common abbreviation for the gluteus maximus – the largest of the muscles that forms the buttocks.
Lean body mass- The mass of your body minus the amount of fat. There are a number of equations and methods for calculating or determining lean body mass.
Barbell- Used in weightlifting, a long metal bar to which weight plates can be affixed.
Dumbbell- Used in weightlifting, a short metal bar with weights at either end.
Plates- Standalone weights that can be added to a barbell in weightlifting.
Innovative Gym Words/Phrases
GymCess- Lifter Sophia, a Fit girl who lifts (Created by Lifter Ashy)
GymCe– Lifter Ashy, a GymCess’s fit boyf
AshThetics- Appreciation of beauty and perfectly proportioned physique.
Iron Brother- A fellow Lifter
Hammies- Short for hamstrings — the muscles on the back of the thigh, as in “I’m going to go stretch my hammies.”
Gun show– Muscular arms
Mirror Muscles -Muscles you see when you look in the mirror, namely pecs (chest muscles), deltoids, and biceps ]
Muscle Erections– Swole/Pumped Striations in a muscle area eg Lats- Look at those muscle erections.
Swole- Extremely muscular or buff
Newbie- Someone new to the sport, or to the gym
Powerhouse- Core and sometimes core plus a booty squeeze
Resolutionaries– Folks that join the gym on New Year’s Day and stick around for about a month
Spin head– Folks that wear full biking gear to spin class
Yogatude- Yogis with a competitive attitude about their spiritual practice
Jacked- Refers to a guy or girl who has a lot of muscle (like this guy). i.e.: “That guy is jacked!”
Juice– If you hear someone say they are on “juice” they aren’t talking about juicing fruits and vegetables, they’re talking about steroids.
Curls For The Girls– This does not need an explanation
Pump– This is when your muscle is so full of glycogen and water from training it, it actually will feel like it has been pumped up like a bicycle tire. It will feel tight to the touch and temporarily look swollen (in a good way).
Bro-Science – Ignorance cloaked as “science” is bro-science, mostly because it’s tossed around by guys at the gym who failed chemistry and biology in high school, but picked up a few science-y sounding words in the last issue of Muscular Development. Bro-science is more anecdotal than scientific. It’s born in the gym, not in the lab. Even so, bro-science can occasionally be useful. Our advice: Take any sentence that begins, “Hey, bro,” with a grain of salt.
‘Mirin- As in, “admiring.” Since bodybuilding is guided by aesthetics, bodybuilders constantly ask themselves, and everyone else, if they are admiring their physique. It’s also the title of our popular photo motivation feature, We ‘Mirin. Indeed we are.
Work In- As in, “Hey, brah, can I work in?” The guy just wants to use the machine you’re on. If your rest periods are long enough, let him in. If not, ask him to wait. If he stomps around like a crybaby, look him in the eye and ask, “You ‘mirin, bro?”
Hardbody- Women who are so toned, so good looking, with excellent physique. Top of the line fitness competitors
Muscle Confusion- A technique to counteract the cessation of growth that occurs when muscles adapt to the training demands placed upon them. To keep the body growing and getting stronger, a bodybuilder needs to vary his/her sets, reps, rest, weight used and exercise angles during each workout.
GAINS- It’s what it’s all about, dieting and training correctly to give you all kinds of gains!!
Spot- To ‘stand guard’ while someone performs a set with heavy weights. A ‘spotters’ main duty is to prevent injury in case someone cannot finish a rep. If the guy looks like his blood vessels over his temples are about to pop.. this is the time you spot/step in)
Ass To Grass- Refers to squats that should be performed with full Range Of Motion; where the gastrocnemius should touch your hamstrings giving the illusion that your squat is so low, it would make your ass touch some grass
DOMS– Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness is the pain and stiffness felt in muscles several hours to days after unaccustomed or strenuous exercise. The soreness is felt most strongly 24 to 72 hours after the exercise. To treat DOMS, increases blood flow to the muscle with low-intensity work, massage or hot baths. Increased water and protein can also help repair muscles. Staying still can make it worse.
Negatives– Negative training is when the muscle lengthens during an exercise, called an eccentric contraction. For instance, on a bicep curl, the negative movement is when you are bringing the weight back down. Concentric contraction is what we think of when we flex our muscle, or shorten the muscle (like the beginning of a bicep curl). The negative movement is believed