The Fitionary: A Fitness Dictionary (Part 1)

Ever find yourself scrolling through Instagram and Pintrest, or watching a YouTube video of a workout you want to try, but then realize you have no idea what they’re talking about? What the heck is a superset? Did she say she was cutting? Cutting what? I don’t see any scissors. 🤦🏽‍♀️

It’s okay, this post will help you understand some of the basic fitness terminology, so the next time you come across it in a video or post, you’ll have an understanding of what they’re talking about. Let’s get started!

Training Terminology



Cardiovascular Training

  • Commonly known as “cardio;” this type of training is meant to raise your heart rate and increase blood circulation. If you’re wondering what type of exercises are classified as cardio, it’s literally just anything that raises your heart rate significantly. The more common types include walking, running, jogging, the Stair Master, cycling, etcetera.
  • There are many benefits to cardiovascular training like improving heart health, reducing stress, boosting your mood, helping you sleep, burning a lot of calories in a shorter amount of time (which is really helpful if you’re wanting to lose weight), and it can also reduce the amount of work your lungs need to do during the exercise.

Strength Training

  • This type of training is also called resistance training. It is used to gradually increase strength. This can be done with bodyweight exercises, the use of free weights, weighted & cable machines, as well as resistance bands.
  • Benefits of strength training include getting stronger (obviously), losing body fat while increasing muscle mass, mood improvment and much more!

Rest Days

  • As the name implies, these are days that you just relax and take a break from training. These days are just as important as your training days. Your body needs time to rejuvenate, and alloting this time to your body is extremely important for seeing those results you want!


  • More commonly called “reps,” this is the amount of times you perform an exercise before a break. So, you may perform 10 bicep curls back to back before you take a break; this means you did 10 reps within that set.


  • A set is a group of reps. Going back to the bicep curls example, those 10 reps you did completed one set. You may decide that you want to do 10 reps of bicep curls in 3 different groups. This would be 3 sets of 10 reps. You would not start the next set until you’ve given yourself a break.

Nutrition Terminology

bowl of vegetable salad and fruits
Photo by Trang Doan on


  • These are exactly as name implies. Supplements are 100% NOT necessary, BUT they can help us along our fitness journey. They are not meant to replace the daily food/nutrients that you need.
  • For example, protein powder/shakes are supplements. Just because you drink a protein shake, doesn’t mean you don’t need to eat anymore protein throughout the day. These are helpful if you notice that you’re not getting the necessary amount of protein your body requires on a daily basis.


  • Also know as “macros,” these are our energy-yielding nutrients. More specifically these are our Carbs, Fat, and Protein. All 3 of these are important and you shouldn’t completely cut out any of them (unless medically advised)!
  • Training is only half of the equation during your fitness journey. The other half comes from nutrition. Many people track their macros to help ensure they are eating according to their fitness goals.


  • Cutting refers to being in a caloric deficit. This means that you need to be eating less calories than you burn in order to lose weight.


  • Bulking refers to being in a caloric surplus. This means that you need to be eating more calories than you burn in order to put on more weight.


Why do we care about all of those other definitions? Because they help us get those gains!!! When you hear people talk about gains, they are refering to hypertrophy, which just means muscle growth. In order to acheive this you must be consistent with both your training AND your nutrition!

If you have any questions or if you just enjoyed this post, feel free to leave a comment down below! Thanks!

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