There’s a lot of complex jargon when it comes to diet and fitness.
It’s easy to get lost and confused by it, which is why we have provided simple explanations for some of the terms you’ll encounter working with Recking Crew.
We’ve broken this down by category so it makes a bit more sense.
Reps: (Short for ‘repetitions’) The number of times you consecutively perform a specific exercise.
Sets: The number of cycles of reps you complete with a rest between each.
Supersets: Two different exercise sets performed without a break. Supersetting is a highly effective way to achieve muscle overload and work opposing muscles in quick succession via pairs of exercises. It’s time-efficient as you don’t need to stop for long bouts of recovery between exercises. It works because it keeps the intensity high and as one side of the body works hard, the other rests.
Overloading: The underlying principle of any exercise program. Essentially it means that you are working your muscles outside of their comfort zone and pushing your body to new levels of exertion. As a consequence, your muscles are forced to work harder and to respond and adapt to the pressures placed upon them in a positive way.
Activation drills: A series of pre-workout exercises designed to fire up the secondary muscles that are so important in large movements.
Mobility drills: A series of pre-workout drills that aim to improve mobility all over the body. Most entail using foam rollers and other aids.
Compound training: A way of exercising that entails isolating specific muscles and then adding exercises for other supporting muscles as that primary muscle weakens.
Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS): The aching feeling you get 48-72 hours after a session. Some DOMS is to be expected, but if you increase your sets and reps too aggressively, you can almost guarantee that you will experience a high level of DOMS. There’s a fine line between acceptable and excessive DOMS that limits training intensity, frequency and athletic performance. The rule is not to progress too quickly.
Concentric movement: The phase when the muscle shortens in length, e.g. when lifting a weight.
Eccentric movement: The phase when the muscle lengthens, e.g. when you lower a weight back to the starting position.
Eccentric slow: Instruction to perform the eccentric phase of a movement slowly. This enhances hypertrophy, the ability to build lean muscle.
Load-bearing exercise: Exercise where your body supports its own weight, having to work against gravity, e.g. running, jumping, weight training, etc. This is good for improving bone strength.
Maximise reps: Instruction to push yourself as hard as possible for every rep, stopping just before the point when you feel your technique might falter, or you feel like you might fail on the next rep.
Maximum heart rate (MHR): The number of beats of your heart in 1 minute when working at maximum effort.
Resting heart rate (RHR): The number of beats of your heart in 1 minute when you are at complete rest, i.e. sitting or lying down.
Androgens: Male sex hormones
Anabolic: Relating to the building of molecules and muscle cells
Catabolic: Relating to the breakdown of molecules and muscle cells
Human growth hormone (HGH): The naturally occurring growth hormone in humans that stimulates growth, cell reproduction and cell regeneration.
Luteinising hormone: A hormone secreted by the anterior pituitary gland that stimulates the synthesis of androgen in men (and ovulation in females).
Male hypogonadism: A clinical condition where the body doesn’t produce enough testosterone and/or has an impaired ability to produce sperm.
Estrogen: A group of hormones known as ‘female hormones’ that stimulates the development and maintenance of female sexual characteristics. They are also present in the male body.
Testosterone: A steroid hormone that stimulates development of male sexual characteristics. Produced mainly in the testes, but also in the adrenal cortex. It is also present in the female body.
Telomeres: Area of DNA found at the ends of the chromosomes which protect against cell damage. Telomere length shortens with age.
Neurogenesis: The process by which new neurons are formed in the brain.
Microbiome (microbiota): The vast ecosystem of bacteria, fungi and viruses that inhabits the human body and specifically the gut. Your body is home to about 100 trillion bacteria and other microbes, collectively known as microbiota.
Insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1): A hormone that, along with human growth hormone (HGH), helps promote normal bone and tissue growth and development.
Hypertrophy: The growth and increase in size of muscle cells as a result of weight training and physical exercise.
Overtraining: Often the result of ‘overreaching’ in sessions and inadequate recovery between exercise sessions. Symptoms include disrupted sleep, more illness and injury and a plateau or drop in fitness.
Cryotherapy: The use of cold temperatures to accelerate muscle recovery and repair, e.g. ice baths used by elite athletes following a hard training session or event.
Creatine kinase: An important enzyme in muscle tissue that has a proven anti-ageing effect and is an indicator of muscle damage.
Heart Rate Variability (HRV): Measure of the variation in time between each heartbeat. A low HRV is linked to low mood, an increased risk of death and cardiovascular disease.
Glutes: The muscles in the buttocks and hip area that are used to move the legs backwards
Hip flexor: The muscles positioned at the top of the hip. They can become stiff and tight through chronic sitting and are important for movements such as bringing the knee towards the chest.
Lats (latissimus dorsi): The largest muscle of the back, used in any pulling motion.
Pecs: The pectoral muscles in the chest area, used for pushing movements.
Moobs (man boobs): Fatty deposits that appear in the chest area of men of and are due to an increase in the production of oestrogen in the body.
Core: Group of muscles that are responsible for the stabilisation of the spine. They lie deep within your torso and are attached to the spine and pelvis. They include the deeply embedded transversus abdominis that is hard to target with regular exercise, and the muscles of the pelvic floor as well as the muscles at the side of the waist – called the obliques.
Fascia: The dense, fibrous connective tissue around the body that surrounds all muscles and bones.
Branched Chain Amino acids (BCAAs): Three amino acids – leucine, isoleucine and valine – that promote muscle protein synthesis and increase muscle growth over time. They are obtained from protein-rich foods such as chicken, fish, eggs, beans, lentils, nuts and soy protein but can also be taken as a supplement.
Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA): An important neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. It can be taken as a supplement.
Glycaemic index: Rating system for foods containing carbohydrates, indicating how quickly it affects your blood sugar (glucose) level. Low GI foods tend to be higher in fibre and have a longer-lasting energy burst than those with a high GI.
L-glutamine: A conditionally essential amino acid. It can be taken as a supplement.
5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP): Compound made naturally in the body as a by-product of the amino acid L-tryptophan. It can be taken as a supplement.
Leucine: An amino acid that enhances male hormone production. Found in cheese, soybeans, beef, chicken, pork, nuts, seeds, fish and seafood, but can also be taken as a supplement.
D-Aspartic acid: An amino acid that plays a role in increasing testosterone production. Can be taken as a supplement.
Oyster body extract: The dried and powdered meat of an oyster, it is rich in zinc, known to be essential for testosterone production. It can be taken as a supplement.