Fitness and Exercise Glossary

Here is a list of the most used terms in fitness, exercise, dieting, etc. If you think any should be added, please let me know and I will add it.

A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M - N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z


  • Adipose Tissue - Fat tissue

  • Aerobic - Using oxygen 

  • Aerobic Exercise - Exercise which uses oxygen as part of the energy process. Example, long distance running, cycling, etc.

  • Agonist - A muscle that causes the prime movement of a joint. The muscle that produces the opposite movement is the antagonist. For example, in the bicep curl, the biceps are the agonist and the triceps are the antagonist.

  • Amino Acids - The building blocks of protein

  • Anabolic - The building of body proteins (such as muscle) from amino acids

  • Anabolism - The metabolic process of building up of amino acids which lead to more body proteins, such as muscle mass

  • Anaerobic - Without oxygen

  • Anaerobic Exercise - Exercises that do not require do not use oxygen to perform muscle movement. Examples, weight lifting, sprinting, etc.

  • Antagonist - The opposing muscle that produces the opposing muscle action.

  • Atrophy - The loss of bodily tissues (such as muscle), usually the result of disuse.

  • ATP - The organic compound used to produce muscle energy. 

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  • Barbell - The bar used when lifting weights, such as when doing bench press.

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  • Catabolism - The breaking down of larger substances to simpler substances. For example. the breakdown of protein to amino acids which are then used for fuel.

  • Concentric Contraction - A muscle contraction in which the muscle is shortened. For example the raising of the bar during the bicep curl.

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  • Diuretic - Any agent that increases urine flow

  • Dumbbell - A small bar used for lifting weights. You hold one in each hand and perform different exercises. 

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  • Eccentric Action  - The lengthening of a muscle. For example, when performing the bicep curls, the lowering portion of the movement is the eccentric muscle action. The opposite of concentric muscle contraction.

  • Electrolytes - Minerals such as chloride, sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium.

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  • Fitness - This definition varies depending on who you ask or where you look.

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  • Glucose > - Blood sugar

  • Glycogen - The storage form of carbohydrate, which is used in the muscles for the production of energy

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  • Hypertrophy (muscle) - The enlargement of muscle size due to adaptation to exercise or other forms of stress. In other words, an increase in muscle size.

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  • Intensity - The rate of performing work; power. Usually measured by the percentage of 1 rep max. For example, 90% of a 1 rep max is more intense then 50% of a 1 rep max.

  • Isometric action - A muscle action where you try to contract a muscle against an immovable object. Where there is muscle tension but no movement of the limb. Also called a static contraction.

  • Isotonic contraction - A concentric muscle contraction in which the load remains constant but the tension varies with the joint angle. This is the type of contraction that most people use when training with weights.

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  • Ketosis - An elevated level of ketone bodies in the tissues. 

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  • Lactate - Lactic Acid

  • Lactic Acid - A By-product of glucose and glycogen metabolism in anaerobic energetic's.

  • Ligament - Connective tissue that holds bones to bone, or bone to cartilage, or hold together and support joints.

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  • Max - Maximum effort for one repetition of a weight training exercise. Also expressed as 1 RM or 1 repetition max.

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  • Nitrogen Balance -  An estimate of the difference between nitrogen intake and output in the body to measure protein sufficiency. Protein in VS. Protein out.

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  • Obesity - Excessive accumulation of fat.

  • Origin (Muscle) - The attachment of the muscle closest to the center of the body.

  • Overload - Subjecting the body to a stress that it is not used to in order to elicit a training response.

  • Overtraining - Training to frequently which leads to injury, sickness, and other ailments.

  • Overuse -  Excessive use of a muscle or group of muscles that lead to injuries.

  • Oxidative Sports - Sports such as long distance running which oxygen must be present for the movement to continue.

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