Amna Al Haddad
Sports Pioneer from the Middle East

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Published on November 9th, 2010 | by Amna Al Haddad


Lesson 1: Your Gym Jargon Vocab – ABC

When you have to take up a new lifestyle and starting using a gym, not only you have to deal with the motivation and consistency, but you also have to learn a new language. Kind of like learning Arabic then Chinese. Yikes, right? So if you are overwhelmed with all the seemingly improper words at the gym and avoid conversations which include words like hammies & lats….Well 999-Fitness is here for the rescue with your first gym jargon class: ABC. 

Before we hit the dictionary, lets know a little about our 123’s.

1RM: is your one-repetition maximum, which means the maximum amount of weight you can lift in a given exercise in a single repetition.

Aerobic exercise: Steady-paced training that uses up oxygen and increase your overall fitness levels by strengthening your heart and lungs. Exercises include: jogging or biking.

Anaerobic training (my favorite): It involves exercises at a high intensity but in short bouts of time. The body usually uses carbohydrates and fat instead of oxygen. Exercises include: heavy weight lifting & sprinting.

BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate): BMR is simply the amount of calories your burn while at rest, while sleeping, sitting, etc. Your BMR also changes with the amount of muscle you have.

She says: So far, mine is 1,200. Hence, for me to stay alive and for my heart & lung to function the MINIMUM I should eat is 1,200 if I were a couch potato, since I am not & want to gain muscles, I eat up to 2,000 calories a day.

Barbell: Straight or a curved bar in which could weigh 15kgs(usually for women) or 20kgs (usually for men) on its own and you can add weighted plates on each side. Mostly used for bench press, military press, deadlift, squats, and barbell curls (for biceps) among others.

Today I’m training my bi’s: Bi’s simply refers to biceps, also known as guns.

Feel the “burn”: The burn is a feeling you get when you’ve exhausted your muscles while training for failure. 

Cutting: No! Not that kind of suicidal cutting, but more like shedding the fat. Bodybuilders often time go on a bulking up phase; where they gain muscles and fat and after a certain period of time they go into a cutting-phase in which they reduce their body fat while maintaining max. amount of muscles.

So, if you like & learnt something new, do let 999-Fitness know so she care prepare your DEF lessons for you ASAP.

Yours truly,
GymFreak at 999-Fitness

Have you come across any words in the gym you didn’t know & wondered what they meant? Do you feel intimated going to the gym because of the jargon?

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  • L u D a

    How do u do the calorie counting here? as in home food, or do u not have home food? Any charts etc you use?

  • ASA

    Generally speaking, a lot of times if you spend a bit of time researching any food you eat, most of it, you’ll find available on the internet (, or calorieking…etc.)

    However, there are ways to control your eating through “portion sizes” which do have charts. For example if you want to eat meat in one meal and get 1 serving size (which you should per meal), you compare the meat/chicken size to the size of deck cards, which approx gives you about 15-25g or protein, and no more than 80-120 calories!

  • L u D a

    ^^ i guess that is the case .. when it is not fried, right :P?

    How often do you recommend exercising per week for an endomorph – memsmoporh middle MALE. and what sort of exercises do you recommend, first to lose fat and second to shape the muscle.

    AND WHY ON EARTH DO I BECOME even BIGGER once i leave the gym for a month or two. =/

  • ASA

    Definitely not fried. A rule is to simply stick to grilled meats/chicken…etc. & ask the resturant (some won’t mind) to replace the french fries with boiled veggies.

    I have to say I am not an expert in the field, but I do a lot of research on my own – and if I know something well enough I will share it. I do plan to write a piece soon on what foods to eat for different body types and exercise type as well.

    But as a general rule, it is always recommended that you first build some muscle (as you need to eat more) for say at least 3 months, then you can go on a “cutting! phase in which you sart to lose the fat. I am unaware of your fitness level, hence I cannot give you a direct program. however, start easy with the cardio until you built a solid foundation (ie, 30min walk 3x a week as a starter) & lift somewhat light-moderate weight, 8-15 reps range/ exercise.

    Because the moment you stop exercising your metabolism slows down a bit, and if you’re not active you expend less calories and if you’re eating more than you expende, you weight gain (almost the non-desirable kind).

    Hope that helps.

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