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July 1 2009 12:00 AM

For beginners, stepping into the gym can feel a lot like entering a foreign country. Learning its language can be enough to break a sweat even before you explore the facility’s string of machines, weights, balls and bands.
The experts at Life Fitness compiled this list of common fitness phrases to aid in your education:
Circuit Training: This combination of aerobic and strength-training exercises is completed one after another in rapid succession. Circuit programs are designed to provide an easy-to-follow, full-body workout for those short on time.
Core: Not unlike your favorite apple, the body’s core is the source of our stability and includes the muscles from which all our movement originates: every muscle from your pelvis to your shoulders
Functional Fitness: The difference between lifting a dumbbell and lifting a bag of groceries, functional fitness helps the body perform better in real-life situations such as walking, jumping, lifting, pushing, pulling, bending, twisting, turning, climbing and lunging.
Isometric: This is a fancy way of describing exercises that use static positions (Yoga Warrior pose) to strengthen rather than a range of motion (Bench press). Holding a sit up, where the muscle’s become exhausted from holding the trunk in a lifted position, is a good example of isometric exercise.
Reps: Otherwise known as repetitions, it calls out the number of times a motion should be completed to achieve the desired results. Reps are usually done in a group of “sets” such as three sets of 12 squats, curls or presses.
For more gym jargon, visit the Life Fitness glossary to learn your resting heart rate from your recovery heart rate.
Fit Tips are provided by Life Fitness, the leader in designing and manufacturing high-quality exercise equipment for fitness facilities and homes worldwide. For more information Fit Tips and other fitness advice and expertise or follow us on Twitter at


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