A to Z of the Gym

Entering the gym for the first time can be pretty intimidating, especially if you don’t understand the lingo.

Luckily our fitness gurus at the new Simply Gym in Cwmbran have put together an ‘A to Z of the Gym’, to help you get to grips with what’s involved…

A: Abdomen; also known as abs, the abdomen are your stomach muscles. Strong abs provide support and play a key role in exercises such as sit-ups. Toned abs can result in a six-pack!

B: Bulking; adding muscle mass to your body through nutrition (see ‘N’) and strength training.

C: Cardio; any exercise that increases your heart rate. It has many benefits, like strengthening your heart, weight loss and stress relief.

D: DOMS; Delayed Onset of Muscular Soreness is the pain and stiffness felt in your muscles a few days after a workout.

E: Exercise Bikes; resemble normal bicycles, but remain stationary as you peddle. Great for cardiovascular exercise and have little impact on your joints.
Exercise bikes

F: Failure; repeating an exercise movement to the point where you cannot perform one more. Favoured by serious weightlifters as failure works muscles to maximum capacity.

G: Gains; putting on muscle through the correct training and dieting.

H: Headphones; essential gym equipment, providing the soundtrack to many a workout.

I: Induction; a welcome session typically provided when you sign up to the gym. Likely involves a short medical examination, tour of the facilities and planning with a specialist.

J: Jacked; an individual who has a lot of defined muscle.

K: Kettlebell; a large cast-iron ball-shaped weight with a single handle, used in a variety of exercises and in classes
Kettle bells

L: LBT; specific exercises that workout your Legs, Bums and Tums — areas that are usually hard to reach.

M: Medicine Ball; a weighted ball that is approximately the size of a basketball. Medicine balls are often used for rehabilitation and strength training.

N: Nutrition; eating the right foods at the right times plays a large part in building muscle mass or losing weight. For example, protein can help post-workout recovery.


O: Obliques; the muscles that run down the side of your abdominals. Strengthening your ‘core’ increases support when bending and twisting, and can also make you look slimmer.

P: Pectorals; the thick muscles on the upper chest. Also known as ‘pecs’, these muscles build the bulk of your chest.

Q: Quadriceps; also known as quads, these are the muscles on the front of the thighs. Quads can be targeted through squats and lunges.

R: Reps; the term given to a single exercise movement, such as a lift, which is repeated a certain number of times. Blocks of reps are referred to as sets. So you could do one set of ten reps.

S: Spotter; somebody who supports you during a particular exercise. A spotter could allow you to lift or push more than you could individually.

T: Treadmills; a moving belt that you walk or run on so that you stay in the same place but cover a lot of ground. They are said to burn the most calories out of the range of cardiovascular machines available.

U: Unsaturated Fats; healthy fats that benefit your health, energy levels, recovery, and strength. Sources include olive oil, nuts, eggs and certain meats.

V: Variable Resistance Training (VRT); applying varied degrees of resistance to a muscle whilst working out, in order to build strength.

W: Weights; equipment used for strength training. Common weights include dumbbells, short bars with weights at both ends and barbells, long bars with weights attached on either end.

X: X-Training; or Cross-Training, works various parts of the body through a combination of exercises.

Y: Yoga; exercise that works the mind and body through a focus on controlled breathing, flexibility and posture.

Z: Zumba; a fitness programme inspired by Latin American dance and music that carries aerobic and cardiovascular benefits.

Simply Gym go out of their way to make new members feel comfortable. We organise a welcome, with a complimentary personal training session, to help you get to grips with the equipment and establish a routine.

Our specialists can help you build a tailored plan, including advice on nutrition and diet. We guarantee you will see results in your first six weeks, or your money back!

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to email us at

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