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33 Fitness Definitions To Help You Understand Your Personal Trainer

Updated: Mar 3

I've spent several years training civilian and military clients in various settings toward various fitness goals. I try to empower my clients with the language they need to understand and describe what's happening in the body. Still, not everyone is comfortable with the language of exercise science, anatomy, physiology, nutrition, personal trainer terminology and various fitness definitions. Some clients find fitness jargon intimidating, discouraging, and exclusionary.

What is the Definition of Fitness?

Fitness can be defined in various ways depending on the context, but broadly speaking, it refers to the state of being physically fit and healthy.

My training philosophy includes educating and empowering my clients with the tools they need to continue their fitness journeys indefinitely, with or without a trainer. That's why I've created this short list of training-related terms, exercise terms and definitions of fitness to guide you through your fitness journey.

Here are a few perspectives on the definition of fitness:

1. Biological/Physiological Definition:

Fitness can be defined as the ability of an organism to survive and reproduce in a given environment. From a physiological standpoint, fitness encompasses factors such as cardiovascular health, muscular strength, flexibility, and body composition.

2. Physical Fitness:

This refers to the capacity of an individual to perform physical activities and tasks effectively and efficiently. Physical fitness can be assessed through various parameters such as endurance, strength, agility, and coordination.

3. Health-Related Fitness

This fitness aspect focuses on components associated with overall health and well-being. These components often include cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, flexibility, and body composition. Improving health-related fitness is often a goal in many exercise and wellness programs.

4. Performance-Based Fitness

In some contexts, fitness is defined as specific performance goals or objectives, such as athletic performance or achieving particular physical feats. This may include speed, power, agility, and skill proficiency.

5. Adaptation to Stress

Fitness can also be seen as the body's ability to adapt and respond effectively to physical stressors, such as exercise or challenging environments. The body can become more resilient and better equipped to handle future challenges through repeated exposure to such stressors.

6. Subjective Perception

Fitness can also be perceived subjectively, with individuals assessing their own level of fitness based on how they feel and their ability to engage in various activities without undue fatigue or discomfort.

What other words, fitness or nutrition words have you heard that you want to know more about? Leave a comment below!

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  • Aerobic Exercise:

  • Anaerobic Exercise:

  • Body Weight:

  • Circuit Training:

  • Compound Movements or Compound Lifts:

  • Concentric Motion:

  • Dynamic Warmup:

  • Eccentric Motion:

  • Explosive Exercises:

  • Fitness Assessment:

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  • HIIT Training:

  • Isometric Exercises:

  • Joint Action:

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  • Muscle Failure:

  • Muscle Hypertrophy:

  • Muscle Tone:

  • Overload Principle: The overload principle is a principle of exercise physiology that explains the adaptive change within the body that results from constantly challenging the body. This implies that in order to grow, you need to add resistance, time, or intensity to your training to prevent growth stagnation.

  • Proper Form:

  • Range of Motion:

  • Repetitions, or "reps":

  • Repetition range:

  • Rest Periods or Rest Intervals:

  • Rest Days:

  • Resistance Training:

  • RPE:

  • RIR:

  • Sets:

  • Strength Gains:

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  • Static Stretching:

  • Strength Training:

  • Training Goals:

  • Training Program:

  • Training Volume:

What are some terms that your trainer uses that we missed? Let us know in the comments!

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