A Guide to Training and Fitness Terminology

You’d be surprised at how much fitness lingo people don’t really understand. They’re be at the gym and will act like they know what an instructor, trainer or other member is talking about, when the reality is they have no idea.

Do you know what the real definition of toning, plateau, super sets, drop sets, cutting, bulking, raw lifting, ROM, BPM, RMR, spotting and tapering are? If you don’t, read up for a quick homework session. Chances are, you’ll improve your training technique if you understand correct fitness and training terminology.

Toning – This common term is often misused. It actually refers to the process where body fat is lost in a certain area and muscle mass is gained; resulting in a toned appearance.

Bulking – Refers to consuming a caloric intake that is significantly higher than a person’s daily requirements in a bid to gain weight. It’s a term used frequently by body builders.

Cutting – Refers to consuming a reduced caloric intake in a bid to lower one’s body fat levels. In other words, stripping fat, so muscle underneath appears to be more “cut” and defined in appearance.

Spotting – When a workout buddy watching your technique and form for safety reasons, especially while lifting weights.

Tapering – When one reduces their training intensity prior to a major competition so the body is given enough time to recover and prepare to reach peak performance.

Raw Lifting – When one lifts weights without the assistance of a compression shirt, strap or belt.

Plateau – When one stops achieving results or any progress from the same workout regime.

Super Sets – When one performs a set of particular exercises back to back with little or no rest. Great for fat loss and muscle conditioning.

Drop Sets – A training style where one performs a set with a heavier weight, then immediately performs the same set using a light weight.

Endurance – The human body’s ability to exercise with minimal fatigue

BPM – Beats per minute; the unit to measure heart rate.

RMR – Resting metabolic rate; the body’s rate of energy use after a full eight hour sleep.

ROM – Range of motion; the range of flexion and extension a joint can be moved.

Fitness-themed Christmas gift ideas

You can tell Christmas is literally around the corner when everyone is flurrying at the local shopping centre to buy up all their gifts in time. Instead of being run-of-the-mill and grabbing chocolate or T-shirts for your loved ones, why don’t you them with fitness-themed presents? There’s plenty of them out there and health enthusiasts will appreciate it!

New trainer shoes – Buying a pair of shoes is a great present, given that you get the person’s size right. Everyone loves to have the latest fashion, so the person you’re buying for will look good and can sport a new pair of comfortable trainers that are both stylish and functional. They’ll want to wear them more and therefore increase their daily exercise.

A football – A humble football is ideal for young boys or teens who love a good game. They will have fun passing it around at Christmas lunch and it will encourage them to get off the couch, stop playing Xbox and actually get moving.

A swimsuit – Swimsuits are perfect presents for girls, since the swim suit fashion is forever changing each summer. New styles and colours are in, while the old are out. So Christmas is a great time to buy a young girl or teen a swimwear update.

Pedometer – If you know a person is an avid walker, why not buy them a small device to monitor their calories and number of steps taken during a training session?

Healthy Cook Book – More people than just your mother like to cook in the kitchen. So instead of promoting fatty desert books and cakes, buy a healthier cook book instead. It might be low-carbs, low-fat or cooking raw. Their heart will thank you for it and they’ll enjoy the challenge.


MP3 Player – A simple iPod can make a workout out or weight session so much more enjoyable and less strenuous. Music relaxes the mind and can inspire fitness fanatics to run harder and workout longer.


Gym membership – The reality is some people just cannot afford to sign up for the gym or fear it. So why not give them a positive push with a gym membership? It doesn’t have to be an annual pass; many gyms offer 10 visit cards or three month passes which can be cheap and effective.

Sunglasses – A cool pair of high-performance sunglasses can really enhance a workout. Many provide UV protection, are polarised, lightweight, anti-fog and anti-slip, protecting any fitness enthusiast during an outdoor workout such as cycling or running.

Fitness book – In our fast-paced world, many Australians need to kill time while commuting to work. And a fitness book can inspire them with new tips to improve their health.

Shin splint causes and remedies

Get back to your game or workout in no time with these beneficial home-remedies for shin splints

Shin splints are a very common problem for runners, gymnasts and people who regularly participate in contact sports with constant stops and starts; such as football, netball, basketball to name a few. You’ll know if you experience the condition when you’re deep into your game, workout or walk and a sharp stabbing pain instantly hits the front of your lower legs.

In medical terms, shin splints are referred to as Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome (MTSS) and usually occur when people overdo exercise. The condition develops when the muscles attached to your two leg bones (tibia and fibula) become inflamed which catalyses the intense and unbearable pain. But if you can understand shin splints and how to prevent and treat them, they will no longer take over your life.

Shin Splint Causes

Muscle and Tendon Overload – If a person performs excessive running and weight bearing activities, the sudden shock force of repeated landings will take its toll on your lower legs. Exercising on hard surfaces, uneven ground, excessive uphill or downhill running, wearing the wrong shoes and increasing exercise intensity too quickly are also contributing factors.

Biomechanical Form – Flat feet and over-pronation occurs when the foot and ankle continuously roll excessively inward. This added pressure causes the tibia to twist and therefore over stretches the lower leg muscles. So poor running techniques including excessive forward and backwards lean, running with outward toes and landing on the balls of your feet all take their toll on your lower leg causing shin splints.

Prevention and Remedies

Your best bet for preventing shin splints is to choose high-quality footwear that suits your foot type; whether you roll-in, roll-out or have flat feet. It’s also important to update your shoes and refrain from using old, worn-out pairs that offer no protection and support. Athletic shoe insoles will also help.

Don’t forget warming and stretching your lower legs and feet is an essential before you commence physical activity. It’s also worthwhile to do specific Achilles tendon strengthening exercises to condition the muscles of the lower leg. If at any time you experience sharp pains when exercising, consult a podiatrist to learn more about your foot structure.

If shin splints are a recurring problem, then its best to stop exercising and rest to allow the injury to heal. Apply an ice pack when the pain becomes too intense in a bid to reduce pain and inflammation. It’s also wise to wear shock absorbing insoles in your shoes to reduce the amount of shock on your lower leg and prevent further injury.

Sometimes a podiatrist will tape your shin to alleviate added pressure on attached muscles. But if things aren’t too bad, you can maintain fitness by doing non-weight bearing excises such as swimming or cycling.

Staying in shape while travelling

Check out these exercises you can do to maintain fitness and physique while you’re jetsetting.

It’s not worth letting your fitness and physique slip just because you’re jet setting around the country – or the world. Whether you travel frequently, are posted abroad for work or are on a road trip and your local gym is out of the question, there are many exercise tips you can try in order to stay in shape. And it doesn’t matter what kind of exerciser you are either!

Go for a run
Why don’t you start your day with a crisp early morning run? It’s the best way to prepare your mind and physique and stay fit, too. Consider running to a nearby beach, through iconic parks or whatever else attractions are on offer that are scenic and encouraging.

Exercise in your room
If you forgot to pack your favourite workout DVD or resistance bands in your luggage, it’s always possible to achieve a great workout in your room thanks to bodyweight training exercises. Begin with a few sets of sit-ups, push-ups and planking. You can also keep it creative and use your bed to perform triceps dips, a wall for wall squats. or even hold a water bottle in each hand to substitute weights while lunging or squatting.

Find a local gym
If your hotel accommodation doesn’t offer an in-house gym facility with basic equipment, your next bet is to locate a fitness centre nearby. Sometimes you may even find that your gym pass back home has locations in the area you’ll be travelling to, so it’s worth paying attention.

Sight see on foot
If your keen on seeing the city or area you’re staying in, then why not explore it on foot? Walking everywhere is a lot more healthier then hopping on trains or busses for a few stops. And driving hire cars and taking taxis can be expensive anyway.

Hire a bike
Bike riding is just as effective as opting to stay on foot. Except with biking, you’re burning a lot more calories. It’s a cheap alternative to using public transport or driving to explore a city. And let’s face it: There are many cities in the world that are made to be seen by bike. Think of Paris and Berlin.

Keep your abs
All of your basic abdominal workouts can still be performed anywhere, since leg raises, crunches and sit-ups do not necessarily need weights to still be effective. If you really want to up the intensity, run up a set of stairs between sets in order to keep your heart rate up.

Fancy ab gadgets exposed

The ab blaster, ab rocker, ab pro and all those other fancy television abdominal gadgets being sold on daytime talk shows and during the wee hours of the morning may be dangerous. They’re a bought by people looking for a quick fix and the result is a bad posture and lower back pain; not to mention a misaligned spine.

So if you have ever been sucked into buying a useless infomercial ab gadget, then you ought to listen up. There are safer, healthier, more effective ways to lose belly fat and develop a six pack. The only ripping off you will experience is a ripped torso; with hard work of course.

In a nutshell, ab gadgets, machines, belts and rockers do virtually nothing to burn fat off the abdominal area which is absolutely essential for abs. You could have the strongest ab muscles underneath a small layer of fat and the sad thing is they will not be seen if you’ve even got an inch of fat on top. Abs truly require a disciplined approached and ab gadgets and expensive pills are pure marketing gimmicks.

In order to achieve washboard abs, or even visible abs, it’s essential to lose the body fat that is covering up your abs. This means a well-balanced diet combined with regular cardiovascular training. And you’re going to get optimum results when you focus on engaging an array of muscles to build lean muscle faster and develop strength.

The perils of group “boot camp” classes

Sometimes boot camp exercise classes are really group injury classes.

The dangers of injuries associated with fitness boot camp classes are increasingly becoming more apparent. The popularity surrounding such classes is progressing at an exponential rate and so has the amount of exercise induced injuries I have been seeing. And I don’t believe it is a coincidence. There is an intimate link between boot camp classes and soaring injury levels.

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Are you really ready to get results?

While there are more fitness facilities, information resources, health professionals and low fat foods available to us than ever before, our society continues to get fatter and unhealthier. Overweight and obesity rates are climbing at epidemic proportions, which if not stopped, will place enormous economic and health burdens on our future generations.

If you are concerned about your own health or your family’s health and want to lead a long-term healthy lifestyle, this book is for you.

Send an email to admin@visionpt.com.au to order a copy or go pick up a copy at your local Vision Personal Training studio.

Are you wearing the right running shoes?

Nothing beats the feeling of wearing a perfectly fit running shoe.

When it’s time to buy a new pair of running shoes, brand, style and colour all matter. But what’s even more important is the actual fit of the shoe. Forget about price. If you focus on bagging a bargain runner on the discount table, then it will most likely lead to an injury. You need to buy the right shoe for your individual foot, regardless if it’s the most expensive or the cheapest as long as support is there.

I don’t blame you if you feel somewhat confused when entering sports stores looking for your ideal shoe. There are so many special high-tech features each running shoe claims to have that you’re left questioning if the feature has any benefit in your life. But if you stick to a few of the following tips, locating your perfect runner will be a much easier task.

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Weight Training is mandatory for Weight Loss

If your goal is to lose weight, look more toned and improve your health, then weight lifting should be incorporated into your exercise regime. The funny thing is people, mainly women, fear doing weights because they have an assumption that they are going to bulk up and look bigger than they are. They couldn’t be any more wrong!

Weight training is an essential for cutting down on body fat and keeping it off. By doing weights, your body’s metabolism increases throughout the day, so you’re actually continuing to burn off more calories and unwanted fat. It’s also one of the best exercise methods to strengthen ligaments, joints, muscles, tendons and also increase bone density.

Not only will you have a body with low fat composition, but your heart will work efficiently for many years. You will feel healthier, look better and be in a better mood because weights release endorphins. You will even experience stronger sleeping patterns and develop more confidence.

Sure, many of us spend hours a day in front of our computers, driving to work or doing other activities which promote a sedentary lifestyle. We’re feeling overworked, underpaid and ultimately too tired by the time clock off arrives. The thing is, doing weights will give you more energy and prevent you from feeling like this.

If you refrain from moving around, you’re only increasing the risk of heart defects, sexual problems, getting exerted after a little bit of physical activity like walking and you will also exhibit muscle development that is anything but proportioned.

You don’t have to be a professional athlete, bodybuilder or gym junkie to reap the benefits of a weight workout because the average person can do it. It’s important that you are educated, have great form and technique so you don’t do damage to your body with an injury.

Lifting weights incorrectly can lead to fractures, sprains, strains, tears and other painful injuries that can hinder your exercising endeavours. So if you’re not sure about how to get started or what you should be doing, then seek the advice of a personal trainer or fitness specialist who can demonstrate the correct technique and make any adjustments to your work out.

At the end of the day, the most effective way to lose weight is to combine cardio exercise and a balanced diet with weight training. The three disciplines when implemented will work together to achieve optimal results. And unless you eat a certain diet and take a different weight training approach, than you won’t bulk up! Muscle building is an intense process that’s slow for men and even slower for women.

Just where do you begin?

Ok, so you want to get fit. Well, here’s the good news – you don’t have to run a marathon every week to do so, you don’t have to torture yourself each and every day until your body aches and you don’t have to starve yourself until it hurts. A lot of people are confused over how they should start their new health and fitness plan and it’s this confusion which is stopping them in the first place.

The first step is making a change, no matter how small, purely to motivate yourself into wanting to do more, and to see more results. It’s a rather simple process that people tend to over complicate in the beginning stages.

There’s a certain simplicity to being healthy – firstly, it’s as easy as moving. You just have to get your body moving, that’s it. Move a little more each day and you’ll burn more than normal. Secondly, it’s about having an all-round healthy attitude which influences all aspects of your life – not the belief that if you can do one painful session in the gym, then act as you please for the next week.

 In an episode of A Current Affair last week, a 250kg man does just this. At first he was barely able to walk down the street, and barely wanted to. However, when training in a pool, his attitude changed. The fact that his body weight was somewhat supported by the water made this beginning process a lot easier for him. He didn’t feel as self-conscious and spent 20 minutes exercising in the pool. An amazing start to what will eventually be 100kg loss.