Fitness & Strength Training Terms

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Fitness Terms


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Fitness Terms

AEROBIC 
Using oxygen.

AEROBIC ACTIVITIES
Activities using large muscle groups at moderate intensities that permit the body to use oxygen to supply energy to maintain a steady state for more than a few minutes. See steady state.

AEROBIC ENDURANCE
The ability to continue anaerobic activity over a period of time.

AEROBIC POWER
See maximal oxygen uptake.

AGONIST
A muscle which directly engages in an action around a joint which has another muscle that can provide an opposing action.

ANAEROBIC
Not using oxygen.

ANAEROBIC ACTIVITIES
Activities using muscle groups at high intensities that exceed the bodyís capacity to use oxygen to supply energy and create and oxygen debt by using energy produced without oxygen.

ANAEROBIC ENDURANCE
The ability to continue anaerobic activity over a period of time (much shorter time than with aerobic activity).

ANAEROBIC THRESHOLD
The point where increasing energy demands of exercise cannot be met by the use of oxygen, and an oxygen debt begins to be incurred.

ANTAGONIST
A muscle that can provide an opposing action to the action of another muscle (the agonist) around a joint.

ATROPHY
Reduction in size, or wasting away, of a body part, organ, tissue or cell.

BALLISTIC MOVEMENT
An exercise movement in which a part of the body is "thrown" against the resistance of antagonist muscles or against the limits of a joint. The latter, especially, is considered dangerous to the integrity of ligaments and tendons.

CARDIOVASCULAR
Pertaining to the heart and blood vessels.

CIRCUIT TRAINING
A series of exercises, performed one after the other, with little rest between. Resistance training in this manner increases strength while making some contribution to cardiovascular endurance as well. (It remains controversial as to whether a significant cardiovascular benefit will be achieved in the absence of very consistent motivation or close supervision of the sessions.)

CONCENTRIC ACTION
Muscle action in which the muscle is shortening under its own power. This action is commonly called "positive" work, or, redundantly, "concentric contraction."

COOL DOWN
A gradual reduction of the intensity of exercise to allow physiological processes to return to normal. Helps avoid blood pooling in the legs and may reduce muscular soreness.

DEHYDRATION
The condition resulting from the excessive loss of body water.

DURATION
The time spent in a single exercise session. Duration, along with frequency and intensity, are factors affection the effectiveness of exercise.

ECCENTRIC ACTION
Muscle action in which the muscle resists while it is forced to lengthen. This action is commonly called "negative" work, or "eccentric contraction," but, since the muscle is lengthening, the word "contraction" is misapplied.

ENDURANCE
The capacity to continue a physical performance over a period of time.

ENERGY
The capacity to produce work.

EXERCISE
Physical exertion of sufficient intensity, duration and frequency to achieve or maintain fitness, or other health or athletic objectives.

EXERCISE PRESCRIPTION
A recommendation for a course of exercise to meet desirable individual objectives for fitness. Includes activity types; duration, intensity, and frequency of exercise.

EXPIRATION
Breathing air out of the lungs.

EXTENSION
A movement which moves the two ends of a jointed body part away from each other, as in strengthening of the arm.

EXTENSOR
A muscle that extends a jointed body part.

FAST-TWITCH FIBERS
Muscle fiber type that contracts quickly and is used most in intensive, short-duration exercised, such as weightlifting or sprints.

FATIGUE
A loss of power to continue a given level of physical performance.

FITNESS
The state of well-being consisting of optimum levels of strength, flexibility, weight control, cardiovascular capacity and positive physical and mental health behaviors, that prepare a person to participate fully in life, to be free from controllable health-risk factors and to achieve physical objectives consistent with his/her potential.

FITNESS TESTING
Measuring the indicators of the various aspects of fitness.

FLEXIBILITY
The range of motion around a joint.

FLEXION
A movement which moves the two ends of a jointed body part closer to each other, as in bending the arm.

FREQUENCY
How often a person repeats a complete exercise session.

HAMSTRINGS
The group of muscles at the back of the thigh, and their tendons.

HEART RATE
Number of heartbeats per minute.

HEAT CRAMPS
Muscle twitching or painful cramping, usually following heavy exercise with profuse sweating. The legs, arms and abdominal muscles are the often affected.

HEAT EXHAUSTION
Caused by dehydration (and sometimes salt loss). Symptoms include a dry mouth, excessive thirst, loss of coordination, dizziness, headache, paleness, shakiness and cool and clammy skin.

HEAT STROKE
A life-threatening illness when the bodyís temperature-regulating mechanisms fail. Body temperature may rise to over 104 degrees F. skin appears red, dry and warm to the touch. The victim has chills, sometimes nausea and dizziness, and may be confused or irrational. Seizures and coma may follow unless temperature is brought down to 102 degrees within an hour.

ILLIAC CREST
The upper, wide portion of the hip bone.

INTENSITY
The rate of performing work; power. A function of energy output per unit of time.

INTERVAL TRAINING
An exercise session in which the intensity and duration of exercise are consciously alternated between harder and easier work. Often used to improve aerobic capacity and/or anaerobic endurance in exercisers who already have a base of endurance training.

ISOKINETIC CONTRACTION
A muscle contraction against a resistance that moves at a consistent velocity, so that the maximum force of which the muscle is capable throughout the range of motion to be applied.

ISOMETRIC ACTION
Muscle action in which the muscle attempts to contract against a fixed limit. This is also sometimes called "isometric contraction," although there is not appreciable shortening of the muscle.

ISOTONIC CONTRACTION
A muscle contraction against a constant resistance, as in lifting a weight.

LACTIC ACID
The end product of the metabolism of glucose for the anaerobic production of energy.

LIGAMENT
The fibrous, connective tissue that connects bone to bone, or bone to cartilage, to hold together and support joints.

LUMBAR
Pertaining to the lower back, defined by the five lumbar vertebrae, just above the sacrum.

MAXIMAL HEART RATE
The highest heart rate of which an individual is capable. A broad rule of thumb for estimating maximal heart rate is 220 (beats per minute) minus the personís age.

METABOLISM
The total of all the chemical and physical processes by which the body builds and maintains itself and by which it breaks down its substances for the production of energy.

NUTRIENTS
Food and its specific elements and compounds that can be used by the body to build and maintain itself and to produce energy.

NUTRITION
The processes involved in taking in and using food substances.

OBESITY
Excessive accumulation of body fat.

ONE REPETITION MAXIMUM, 1 RM
The maximum resistance with which a person can execute one repetition of an exercise movement. See repetition.

MUSCLE GROUP
Specific muscles that act together at the same joint to produce a movement.

OVERLOAD
Subjecting a part of the body to efforts greater than it is accustomed to, in order to elicit a training response. Increases may be in intensity or duration.

OVERUSE
Excessive repeated exertion or shock which results in injuries such as stress fractures of bones or inflammation of muscles and tendons.

OXYGEN DEBT
The oxygen required to restore the capacity for anaerobic work after an effort has used those reserves. Measured by the extra oxygen that is consumed during the recovery from the work.

PEAK HEART RATE
The highest heart rate reached during a work session.

PHYSICAL CONDITIONING
A program of regular, sustained exercise to increase or maintain levels of strength, flexibility, aerobic capacity and body composition consistent with health, fitness or athletic objectives.

PHYSICAL FITNESS
The physiological contribution to wellness through exercise and nutrition behaviors that maintain high aerobic capacity, balance body composition and adequate strength and flexibility to minimize risk of chronic health problems and to enhance the enjoyment of life.

PLYOMETRIC
A type of exercise that suddenly preloads and forces the stretching of a muscle an instant prior to its concentric action.

PNF STRETCH
See proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation stretch.

POWER
Work performed per unit of time. Measured by the formula: work equal force times distance divided by time. A combination of strength and speed.

PRIME MOVER
The muscle or muscle group that is causing the movement around a joint.

PROGRESSIVE RESISTANCE EXERCISE
Exercise in which the amount of resistance is increased to further stress the muscle after it has become accustomed to handling a lesser resistance.

PRONATION
Assuming a face-down position. Of the hand, turning the palm backward or downward. O the foot, lowering the inner side of the foot so as to flatten the arch. The opposite of supination.

PROPRIOCEPTIVE NEUROMUSCULAR FACILITATION, 
PNF STRETCH
Muscle stretches that use the proprioceptors (muscle spindles) to send inhibiting messages to the muscle that is to be stretched.

QUADRICEPS
A muscle group at the front of the thigh connected to a common tendon that surrounds the kneecap and attaches to the tibia (lower leg bone). The individual muscles are the rectus femoris, vastus intermedius, vastus lateralis and vastus medialis. Acts to extend the lower leg.

RADIAL PULSE
The pulse at the wrist.

REPETITION
An individual completed exercise movement. Repetitions are usually done in multiples.

RESISTANCE
The force which a muscle is required to work against.

RESPIRATION
Exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide between the atmosphere and the cells of the body.

SET
A group of repetitions of an exercise movement done consecutively, without rest, until a given number, or momentary exhaustion, is reached.

SHIN SPLINTS
Pain in the front of the lower leg from inflammation of muscle and tendon tissue caused by overuse.

SLOW-TWITCH FIBERS
Muscle fiber type that contracts slowly and is used most in moderate-intensity, endurance exercises, such as distance running.

SPECIFICITY
The principle that the body adapts very specifically to the training stimuli it is required to deal with. The body will perform best at the specific speed, type of contraction, muscle-group usage and energy source usage it has become accustomed to in training.

SPOT REDUCING
An effort to reduce fat at one location on the body by concentrating exercise, manipulation, wraps, ect. on that location.

SPRAIN
A stretching or tearing of ligaments.

STATIC CONTRACTION
See isometric action.

STRAIN
A stretching or tearing of a musculotendinous unit.

STRENGTH
The amount of muscular force that can be exerted.

STRESS
The general physical and psychological response of an individual to any real or perceived adverse stimulus, internal or external, that tends to disturb the individual's homeostasis. Stress that is excessive or reacted to inappropriately, may cause disorders.

STRETCHING
Lengthening a muscle to its maximum extension; moving a joint to the limits of extension.

SUB MAXIMAL
Less than maximum. Sub maximal exercise requires less than ones maximum oxygen uptake, heart rate or anaerobic power.

SUPINATION
Assuming a horizontal position facing upward. In the case of the hand, it also means turning the palm to face forward. The opposite of pronation.

TARGET HEART RATE (THR)
The heart rate at which one aims to exercise.

TENDON
The fibrous connective tissue that connects muscle to bone.

TENDONITIS
Inflammation of a tendon.

TESTOSTERONE
The sex hormone that predominates in the male, is responsible for the development of male secondary sex characteristics and is involved in the hypertrophy of muscle.

TRAINING ZONE
See target heart rate.

WARM-UP
A gradual increase in the intensity of exercise to allow physiological processes to prepare for greater energy outputs.

WORK
Force times distance. Measured in foot-pounds and similar units.

WORKOUT
A complete exercise session, ideally consisting of warm-up, intense aerobic and/or strength exercises, and cool down.
The ProgressionTeaching/Setting up the ClassTesting 1RM
EnduranceStrengthPower
IndividualizedPeaking Cycle
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