Most commonly used gym slangs

  • Bodybuilders and weight lifters all have their gym jargon and slang.
  • Unlike the gym newbie, most slang is used for a particular exercise or routine.
  • Reps and sets are some of the gym slangs that are commonly used among gym-goers.
  • Cutting and gains are also gym slangs that are often misunderstood.
  • Gym slangs are exciting and essential to know if you want to ace your workout game. 

For many newcomers to the gym, understanding a professional trainer can get complicated at times.

People who visit the gym regularly may have their gym slang, which may be confusing to newcomers.

Have you ever found yourself wondering what is meant by cutting or gains?

You may believe that they are referring to losing weight, but in many cases, cutting is used for the dehydrating process in bodybuilding. 

Many terms are commonly used in most gyms.

Fortunately, you don’t have to worry about learning them all.

We’ve compiled only the most common gym slang that you’ll need.

This way, you won’t get caught in the dark next time you speak with an experienced gym-goer.

Gym slang urban dictionary.

To learn the most common gym slang, you should have your own.

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Here are the fitness terms a-z of that you should know today: 

  1. Gym Rat 

Gym rat is a common term used for someone obsessed with being in the gym.

They are often the first to come and the last to leave.

A gym rat will always be obsessed with their conditioning and workouts.

The phrase “he lives in the gym” is also used as slang for a gym rat. 

  1. Weekend Warrior 

Weekend warriors are those people who may be too busy to work out during the week but crush it on Saturday and Sunday.

Every gym will have a fair amount of them.

  1. Personal Trainer

Personal trainers help their clients in the gym develop the type of strength and look they desire.

Most gyms have their trainers available, but you will often see personal trainers as well. 

  1. Newbie

Newbies are precisely what the name suggests.

They are easily recognizable, as they are always trying out all the equipment without actually knowing how to use them. 

  1. HIIT

HIIT, or High-Intensity Interval Training, is training where you go from one exercise to another quickly and without taking a break.

These are usually for those people who are serious about their fitness. 

  1. Cardio.

Cardio is a conditioning workout where you are pushing the endurance of your lungs and heart. 

Examples of cardio are running, swimming, cycling, burpees, etc.

  1. Lifting

Lifting is just short for weight lifting of any kind, whether it is with weights or dumbbells.

These exercises are usually done to increase muscle around specific areas.

Lifting requires patience and experience to be done correctly.

  1. Powerlifter

Powerlifters are people who train with the primary purpose of increasing their strength and their muscles.

They aren’t worried about their stamina or conditioning because they are probably competing in some way. 

  1. Calisthenics

Calisthenics is all about developing your strength by only doing exercises that use the body weight.

Exercises like push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups and planks, all come under calisthenics.

Any physical activity that doesn’t involve the use of equipment can be called calisthenics. 

  1. Cutting.

Cutting means cutting weight through a diet of low-calorie intake.

This low-calorie intake diet reduces the fat in one’s body, giving you a leaner, slimmer look. 

  1. Gains

“Gains” can be used in multiple ways. It can refer to an increase in muscle size or just lifting more weight (though the two usually go together).

The result of hard work and dedication – gains deserve high-fives.

  1. Bulking

Bulking is the opposite of cutting. With bulking, you have a high-protein intake diet and lots of strength training. The goal is usually to increase one’s muscle mass.

Bulking is usually recommended to those people who do not already have much muscle mass, although not exclusively for them.

  1. Dumbbell

Dumbbells are weights that you can lift with either hand, and they come with eights ranging from 500 grams up to 5 kgs.

Dumbbells are an essential piece of equipment for any gym.

  1. Kettlebell

A kettlebell is a round weight with a handle on the top, capable of sitting flat on the ground.

They can be easily gripped by one or both hands and are usually used for dynamic, athletic-type movements (like kettlebell swings).

  1. Power rack

A power rack is a four-pillar cage that’s made of steel or iron.

It supports the weight of a weighted barbell and helps lifters perform their lifts with ease. 

  1. Plates

Plates are the different weighted flat, heavy objects, usually cast iron that go onto barbells.

These weights range from 1kg to 25 kgs each. 

  1. Free weights

Free weights are weights that you can lift and put down of your own will.

Examples of free weights are Dumbbells, Barbells, and kettlebells, etc.

You can even consider a tire as a free weight.

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  1. Sets and Reps

A set is a cycle. You will perform several reps for each set, and you will complete several sets for each exercise.

For example, You do three sets of 10 reps for push-ups.

  1. Split

A workout split is a way of dividing your training sessions into different body regions.

Workout splits are typically used in weight lifting, but they can be used in bodyweight training too.

  1. Leg day

Leg day is just a day in the week that a person chooses only to do exercises for their legs.

These exercises include leg strengthening as well as endurance exercises.

  1. Max out

Your maximum lift usually refers to your one-rep-max, or how much weight you could lift for a single rep if you gave 100% effort.

It isn’t generally good to max out while training as it is very strenuous and can be dangerous.

  1. Bro Science

Bro, science is what you call all the questionable advice you get from bulked guys around the Gym.

Most of the advice you get from them is false and should not be followed.

  1. Prepping

This is the term usually used to describe when a bodybuilder is undergoing intense training and dieting. It’s usually to prepare for an event or contest.

The goal is to get as shredded as possible. 

  1. Muscle pump

A muscle pump happens when your muscles seemingly grow before your eyes.

What happens is that fluids accumulate in that muscle area during training.

This is usually due to increased blood flow and inflammation.

  1. Form

The form is a specific way of performing an exercise, often a strength training exercise. The goal is to avoid injury, prevent cheating, and increase strength.

Good form is not only appreciated but will also ensure that you are getting the maximum benefit from your exercise. 

  1. Pre-workout

A pre-workout is usually a drink of your choice that you take before going to the gym.

These drinks contain a good amount of caffeine and/or protein.

This pre-workout drink helps improve your performance as well as reducing fatigue.

  1. Cooldown

Cooling down (also known as limbering down or warming down) is an easy exercise after more intense activity.

It allows the body to transition to a resting or near-resting state gradually. 

  1. Lifting plateau

A lifting plateau is a certain weight that a person has lifted but cannot seem to lift more than that.

That weight is called the lifting plateau for that individual.

Usually, after a few weeks of staying on that plateau, you will see some improvement. 

  1. PR (Personal Record)

A personal record in gym terms means that a person has broken the previous record of the most weight that they have ever lifted.

PRs are very popular and are a sense of pride for many people. 

  1. Rest

Rest. This is less like a nap and more like a strategic break.

In between each set, you rest for a short period.

Depending on the intensity of the exercise, you might take 1-3 minutes of rest between each set.

  1. Bench press

This is an exercise where you lay on something called a bench.

You then lower a weighted barbell to your chest and push upwards with your chest and biceps. 

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  1. Deadlift

The deadlift is a weight training exercise. 

It involves lifting a loaded barbell or bar off the ground to the level of the hips.

The torso is square to the floor before the barbell is being placed back on the ground.

  1. Squats

Squats are elementary strength exercises in which a person lowers their hips from a standing position to a sitting position and then back up to an upright position again.

This exercise trains mainly the lower body and can be done anywhere.

  1. Dips

Dips are an upper-body strength exercise that involves a person holding onto two planks about an arm’s width apart.

The trainee then has to pull themself up and down without having their feet on the ground. 

  1. Burpees

Burpees are yet another simple exercise that only involves two basic movements.

It is you doing a push-up and then simultaneously jumping from that position.

It is an anaerobic exercise, and it works most of the muscles in your body. 

  1. Push-ups

Push-ups are one of the best exercises for your whole body.

As well as building strength in your upper body and core, it gives you a sense of balance in your body.

There are many different forms of push-ups for other muscle groups. 

  1. Pull-ups

A pull-up is an upper-body strength exercise.

The pull-up is a closed-chain movement where the hands suspend the body and pull up.

Pull-ups are very effective in muscle-building and are used in army training around the world.

  1. Treadmill

A treadmill is a machine available in most gyms around the world, and it is used to run on.

There are different settings on the machine that you could choose from to increase or decrease speed.

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  1. Spotter

Spotting in weight or resistance training is the act of supporting another person during a particular exercise. The goal is to allow the participant to lift or push more than they could normally do safely.

  1. Weight rack

 A  rack for weights is similar to what a draw is for clothes.

It is usually made of metal and allows people to take weights and arrange them back into place more easily.

  1. Forced reps

When you have a spotter with you, you may be able to push yourself beyond what you usually do. This is called forced reps.

You should be careful not to do it alone, as you could end up hurting yourself.

  1. Cheap reps

Cheat reps are all about really overloading the muscles you intend to train.

When you do perfect reps, you’re generally isolating and focusing on the muscles you’re training. This way, you are not letting other muscles assist with the lift.

  1. Muscle confusion

The idea behind muscle confusion is that you change your training at specific intervals to avoid plateaus.

This will help you not to get stuck at one stage of your workout. 

  1. V-taper

The V shape in bodybuilding refers to the shape of the torso resembling the letter V. This shape involves broad shoulders and lats down to a narrow waist.

Most people desire to have that form of physique, but it requires immense physical training.

This is another example of gym terms for body parts. 

  1. Shredded

You are shredded means that people know that you work out and lift a lot at the gym because of your physique.

Having a well-defined pack of abs etc. is a sign of being shredded.

  1. Skullcrusher

Skullcrusher is a term used to define the poor form of upper body workouts. 

  1. Snapped up

One wrong word, and you’ll end up in a situation that escalates quicker.

That’s what snapped up means in gym terms.

  1. Wipe down

It is common courtesy around the gym to wipe down the equipment you use to remove off your sweat before the next person uses it. 

  1. Work in

When someone requests to use the same free weights or machine as you.

During your rest period, the person will take his turn lifting, and vice versa. 

  1. Boulders

Boulders are shoulders that are so strong, and it feels as if they are made of steel.

You may often hear the expression: “His shoulders are boulders.” 

The next time you hear these gym slang terms, you won’t have to be confused. Once you get to know the gym’s atmosphere better, you will be more comfortable using them. 


What is funny gym slang? 

Gym slang may be funny to the newcomer. For example, cutting is often used in the context of a knife, but using it for a workout program might be hilarious. 

What is the standard bodybuilding terms slang? 

Everyday bodybuilding slang includes powerlifter, cutting, bulking, and exercises like squats, bench press, or deadlift. 

Can gym words be used as motivation? 

Gym slang is usually used as a routine, but it can be used for motivation as well. If someone calls you a newbie, you might get more motivated. Some people use other gym slang motivation, but it all depends on what drives you. 

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