Going to the gym is a complicated business. Aside from knowing how to get the most out of it and being made to feel inadequate by man mountains with arms the size of your head, there’s also the minefield of gym jargon to get through. Our handy guide will give you all the vocab you need to mix it with – or actively avoid – regular lifters that make you feel like a barely overdeveloped 16 year old.

Beast Mode
• Intense training that requires huge effort. Requires lots of shouting, grunting and chest beating to be effective.
Example: “Mate, I’m about to go full beast mode for this gym sesh.”

Bulking
• The process of adding mass to one’s body through weight training and nutrition. An excuse used by fat people overeating.
Example: “I think I’ll have another steak, I’m bulking at the moment.”

Cutting
• The process of losing body fat by eating less calories to achieve a more toned or ‘ripped’ physique. Kiss goodbye to beer and fun.
Example: “No carbs for me I’m afraid, I’m cutting before my beach holiday in Magaluf with the boys.”

Form
• The ability to perform exercises with the correct or incorrect technique. Not to be confused with the overpriced gym membership form you fill out after deciding to waste more of your disposable income.
Example: “That guy’s form on the bench press is awful!”

Gains
• Achieving more muscle mass. Obviously the only reason anyone is in a gym. The holy grail of weight lifting.
Example: “I’ve been smashing it in the gym for the last few months. Look at my gains.”

Guns
• A person’s arms, specifically the biceps and triceps. If big enough, you may have to purchase tickets to see ‘the gun show’.
Example: “Check out these guns.”

Gym buddy
• A person you will go to the gym and train with. A commitment greater than marriage or giving someone your Netflix password.
Example: “Dave has been my gym buddy for two weeks now. It’s early days but I’m hoping it’s the start of something special.”

Gym rat
• People who spend more time in the gym than out of it. Much like actual rats, complete vermin. Call the exterminator.
Example: “Ryan’s on the weights all the time. What a gym rat!”

Hench
• Referring to someone’s impressive muscular appearance. Also occasionally used to mock a new gym-goer who’s had two workouts in a week and thinks they’re Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Example: “Dude, you’re looking hench!”

Iron maiden
• A woman who lifts weights.
Example: “Look at that iron maiden smashing it with the deadlifts! I would ask her out, but what if my overdeveloped deltoids can’t hide the fact I don’t have a personality?”

Isolation
• A technique that focuses on an individual muscle without other muscle groups being involved. Good for providing maximum muscle definition. Bad if you’re so puny you haven’t actually got any individual muscles to target.
Example: “Time to isolate the biceps… hello seated dumbbell concentration curls!”

Maxing out
• Lifting a heavy weight for one rep. Much like your credit score after maxing out your credit card, there’s going to be a lot of hurt.
Example: “I’m going to be maxing out today on squats. I hope I can still climb stairs afterwards.”

Plateau
• When you stop making progress at the gym. One of the gym goer’s greatest fears, along with missing their metabolic window or forgetting to post a photo of themselves on their Instagram page pumping iron (side note: a workout doesn’t count if you don’t tell people about it).
Example: “Bro, my weight’s been stuck on 100kgs for ages. I’ve hit a plateau!”

Roid Rage
• Anger or aggression from someone who is taking anabolic steroids. More savage than an Alex Ferguson temper tantrum while sitting in an oven.
Example: “Pete forgot his headphones before his workout. After all those steroids he’s been taking, brace yourself for some roid rage.”

Spotting
• The act of supporting another person during an exercise, ensuring they can perform the exercise safely. This involves knowing when to intervene and assist with a lift, as well as spewing out inspirational quotes from YouTube videos to the person you’re spotting and passing them off as your own.
Example: “I’m going to be spotting Chris in a minute. He’s going big with this set.”

Superset
• When one set of an exercise is performed directly after a set of a different exercise without rest between them. A vile experience.
Example: “I need to work on my endurance. Let’s superset this workout!”

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