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From Deadlift To Gym Rat – Do You Know These Common Workout Phrases?

Happy friends having fun in fitness centre

The New Year is typically a very popular time for people to join the gym and embark on a fitness journey – but there are many aspects of this that can seem pretty daunting.

One of those concerns could be the fear of not being equipped with the right lingo, making it more difficult for you to ask for help and encouragement. 

With this in mind, the language learning experts at Preply have compiled a list of the most commonly used gym slang words, to prepare you for your first session.

From ‘rep’, to ‘set’, to ‘bulking’, after learning this list, you should feel confident enough to hit the ground running. 

1. Deadlift 

This phrase sounds fairly intimidating – and for good reason. Deadlifting refers to lifting weights without the use of a bench, and from a standing position, making them only suitable for people who know what they are doing.

Make sure you start off small, building your strength before attempting any kind of deadlift. 

2. Bulking 

Bulking refers to a period of time where you work to gain muscle, by consuming far more calories than you would ordinarily.

A bulking period typically lasts up to 6 months at a time and will involve a lot of strength training in order to build up extra muscle and body fat.

Bulking is the opposite of ‘cutting’, where a person will intake far fewer calories to become as lean as possible. 

3. Rep 

One of the most important gym slang words, arguably, is that of a ‘rep’, which refers to repeating an exercise until it is time for a break.

For example, one sit-up would be one rep, while five-star jumps would be five reps – and so on. 

4. Set 

A ‘set’ goes hand-in-hand with a rep, as people will typically discuss doing a certain amount of reps within a set.

For example, if you were planning on doing thirty-star jumps, you might find it easier to break the exercises down into three sets of ten reps – making the goal more achievable. 

5. Pump 

You may have heard people discussing getting a ‘pump’ on in the gym, and this simply refers to the look of ‘pumped up’ muscles after doing a hardcore weight lifting set.

It may sound strange, but muscles slightly swell up and expand during intense exercise, leaving them looking larger than usual for a short period of time. 

6. Gym rat 

Thankfully, this phrase does not refer to actual rodents in the gym, but to somebody who spends a lot of time working out.

Someone will refer to themselves as a gym rat if attending the gym is a big part of their life, as well as if they do particularly lengthy sessions.

Essentially, if you see this phrase on somebody’s Tinder profile, your dates may involve more protein bars than meals out. 

7. Gains 

The clue is in the name here, as this refers to the amount of progress you see after regularly hitting the gym.

Gains can refer to any kind of goal a gym goer may have, such as muscle mass increase, fat loss, strength increase, and much more.

It is also worth remembering that gains can depend on a lot of factors, and genetics, age, and general ability can all make a difference, so never compare yours to someone else’s! 

8. Spot 

Finally, ‘spotting’ someone means helping somebody while they weight lift. Weight lifting can be dangerous, especially when the weights are extremely heavy.

Due to this, having a spot can ensure safety and the correct form, as they stand behind the lifter to assist them.

Spots can also provide moral support and encouragement, as well as prevent any kind of injury.

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