Health & Fitness ‘Lingo’ - What does it all mean?
Picture the scene… You are having a conversation over coffee with your gym buddy and during the chat they suddenly throw in a word, or a phrase or two that they ‘assume’ you know, but you really don’t…?
This happens a lot in the Fitness industry, so for any of you who are new to the lingo and want to be armed and ready for that gym buddy, here is your quick guide on what the most common words and phrases really mean.
‘Weight Loss' is a term used by many as it appears easy to understand and is a common goal for many people. Don’t be fooled… this is not ‘Fat Loss’ as it is commonly misunderstood to be. When your scales show a reduction in weight, this is generally down to a combination of factors - water loss, muscle loss or the simple process of just having been to the toilet! When you want to lose weight, what you’re really after is a change in your body appearance which is associated with ‘Fat Loss’ - weight fluctuates daily, fat loss does not!
Your ‘Metabolism’ is the sum of all chemical processes that go on continuously inside your body to keep you alive, as well as your organs functioning normally - such as breathing, repairing cells and digesting food. Body size, age and gender, together with genes, all play a role in the speed of your metabolism. Muscle cells require more energy to maintain than fat cells, so people with more muscle than fat tend to have a faster metabolism. So don’t be afraid to pick up some weights and increase your muscle! If you are female and consider yourself ‘bulky’ from lifting weights, I urge you to email me with this scientific breakthrough!! All joking aside, let me reassure you that the great majority of women simply do not have the testosterone levels to become ‘bulky’!
A ‘Calorie’ is the amount of heat needed to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water by 1 degree Celsius. Calories in food provide energy in the form of heat so that our bodies can function, and our bodies store and "burn" calories as fuel. Many dieters count calories and try to decrease caloric intake to lose weight and it is a fact that altering your calorie intake is the most common and effective way to lose or gain weight.
‘Macronutrients’ are the 3 major food groups we consume - carbohydrates, protein and fat. These food groups have their own specific roles and functions in the body and supply us with calories (energy). Unlike protein and fats, carbohydrates are not ‘essential’ nutrients and you can technically survive without them; however, they are considered essential for maximising performance when exercising. The main function for protein is to maintain, build and replace muscle, bone, hair, nails, skin, connective tissue and hormones. The main role of fat is to provide an energy source. 1 gram of fat provides 9 calories of energy whereas carbohydrates and protein provide 4 calories of energy.
When working out at the gym or exercising at home, you generally perform ‘Reps’ of an exercise, which is short for repetitions. Reps refers to the number of times you perform an exercise within a ‘Set'. A ‘Set’ refers to the total amount of repetitions you do before stopping. For example, 3 sets of 12 repetitions is a common resistance training set up.
There are many forms of exercise and a common one associated with weight loss is ‘HIIT’ (high intensity interval training). HIIT is defined as short, intense, unsustainable bursts of physical activity, paired with intervals of quick rests. One example of this could be 20 second sprints followed by 30 second walks for 5 rounds. A real sweat-inducer!
As always, If you need any help with your exercise programme, as well as 1-2-1 and group Personal Training, I also offer bespoke exercise programmes, so please do get in touch for more details at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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