3.06 Exercise Terminology

Lets now go through some terms that you may have heard just to be sure you can have a clear understanding of the concepts that you need to know throughout your lifelong plan to stay physically active.

Reps: Short for “repetitions”, the number of reps that you do is simply how many times you repeat a task. For example, when lifting weights it is frequently recommended to do 8-12 reps at a time. So you would physically lift a weight and bring it back down 8-12 times and call it 8-12 reps that you performed.

Sets: A set is a group of exercises that you do with periods of rest in between. Each set frequently contains a certain number of “reps”. For example, you can lift a weight 8-12 times (reps), then rest, do it again, then rest, then do it a 3rd time. You have then done 3 “sets” of 8-12 “reps”.

Warm Up: A “warm-up” is a group of exercises that is done to prepare yourself for a workout, or athletic event. Warm-ups can be low intensity or high intensity. They can be “static”, meaning done in place, or “dynamic”, meaning done while moving around.

Cool Down: A “cool down” is the period of time after exercise when you lower the intensity to allow the body to slowly recover. This helps to avoid abruptly stopping your activity which can sometimes cause problems.

Calisthenics: Performing “calisthenics” is exercising using your own body weight as resistance. For example, sit-ups, pull-ups, push-ups, squatting, jumping jacks and lunges.

Circuit Training: Doing circuit training simply takes someone through a series of different exercises back to back with relatively brief periods of rest in between allowing the heart rate to stay elevated the whole time. Usually, 5-10 different exercises are performed during a circuit.

Interval Training: Alternating low level aerobic exercise with high intensity exercise in varying time intervals (usually 2-3 minutes). For example, walking at 2.0 mph on the treadmill for 2 minutes then jogging at 5.0 mph on the treadmill for 2 minutes and repeating this multiple times.

Target Heart Rate: The heart rate at which you are aiming for to achieve your exercise goal. Usually, it is recommended to get to 50-80% of your age-predicted maximum heart rate. You can find your maximum heart rate by subtracting your age from 220 as below:

Maximum heart rate = 220 – age

Once you know your maximum, multiply it by 0.5 to find 50% of your maximum, then multiple it by 0.80 to find 80% of your maximum. This will get you are target heart rate for aerobic exercise.

Rating of Perceived Exertion: A scale to help determine how intense your exercise is at any one point in time. This is a scale from 1-10 with 1 being minimal activity and 10 being very intense exercise.

Rating of Perceived Exertion

Core: Your core muscles include abdominal muscles, oblique muscles, lower back muscles and hip muscles. Having a strong core is key to balance, posture, performing daily activities and preventing injury.

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness: Also known as “DOMS”, delayed onset muscle soreness happens 12-48 hours after you use a muscle group at a moderate to high intensity for the first time in a long time. This results from microscopic tears in the muscle cells that are repairing itself. Soreness is not an injury and will resolve after the muscle rebuilds. After using a certain muscle group repeatedly, at a similar intensity, muscle soreness will no longer occur.

Plateau: The point during an exercise program where no further progress is being made in regards to increasing intensity, duration, strength or weight loss. Getting past plateaus can be achieved by changing a workout, increasing intensity or increasing duration.

Those are the basic terms that you will hear throughout the HeartStrong.com Heart Health Program.

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