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hi i'm Tae!

dedicated student at Stanford.

lover of life.

fitness enthusiast.

aspiring surgeon.


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the fitionary: part one


Ahhh it's a beautiful new week to work toward our goals!

I wanted to write a quick post about common terminology used in the fitness world. A lot of times, when I'm explaining concepts and answering questions in my Instagram DMs, I find myself using a lot of terms and assuming that everyone knows what they mean!

So just in case you're new to fitness or if you're just unsure about the specifics of certain terms, I've compiled a "fitness dictionary" (fitionary cause i'm punny af) that you can use as a reference!

By the end of this post, you will be a PRO at using and understanding training and exercise lingo! So let's get started!


The Fitionary

part one: training

bulking: the process of working out in order to gain muscle mass; typically accompanied by some fat gain; achieved by eating a caloric surplus to promote muscle growth

cutting: the process of working out in order to lose fat; typically accompanied by some muscle loss; achieved by eating a caloric deficit to promote fat loss

delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS): pain and stiffness felt in muscles following muscle stimulation that your body is not used to; usually felt most strongly 24-72 hours after exercise

dropset: a lifting technique that allows you to continue an exercise past fatigue by using lower weight, less reps, or a similar exercise; typically performed in 3 rounds with no rest inbetween, ex: 1) 8-10 rep maximum 2) 8-10 reps at 80% of original weight 3) 8-10 reps at 50% of original weight

high intensity interval training (HIIT cardio): cardio in which one alternates between brief, very high intensity bursts of exercise and equal or longer periods of lower intensity exercise or rest; typically lasts 20 minutes or less; burns fat for hours after the workout is completed (blog post on HIIT here)

lean: refers to having very little excess fat

progressive overload: the act of increasing the amount of weight lifted over time for an exercise in order to gain muscle mass; in order for muscle to grow, the human body must be forced to adapt to a tension that is above what it has previously been accustomed to; requires a gradual increase in volume, intensity, frequency, or time

repetition (rep): one complete motion of an exercise

set: a group of consecutive reps

split routines: workout routines that are divided by muscle groups

superset: a set that includes two exercises back to back with little to no rest in-between

time under tension: the amount of time a muscle is under strain during a set; calculated by multiplying the number of repetitions by the time taken to perform each rep

triset: a set that includes three exercises back to back with little to no rest in-between


Alright! There ya have it! Now we're all in the know!!

These are the most common fitness terms thrown around when talking about different training styles and basic exercise routines. I'll definitely be doing another one of these quick posts for terms regarding nutrition, and I'll also probably do a more advanced post for some crazier training terms.

As always, let me know if you have any questions via Instagram DM!

Wishing you a happy and healthy week :)

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