English Vocabulary for EXERCISING at the GYM

English Vocabulary for EXERCISING at the GYM

Worried about that “spare tire” or “muffin top” people are pointing at? No, we don’t mean car parts or baked goods. It’s time to get in shape, so head to the gym! In this lesson I’ll help you get “shredded” without having to worry about English. You will learn some common words and expressions about exercising, fitness, and gym equipment. You will also learn how to explain your fitness goals to a personal trainer. Ready? Let’s get “jacked”.


Hi again. Welcome back to www.engvid.com. I’m Adam. Today’s lesson is about getting you in shape. What does that mean? It means going to the gym and exercising, and all the vocabulary you need to do that well. If you go to the gym and you need to speak to a personal trainer or a fitness coach, he or she will use these words to help you get a very nice body.

So let’s start with these. First of all, most people who go to the gym want to “get in shape”. It doesn’t mean they want to become square or a circle or a triangle. It means they want to have a good body, and also to feel healthy. They want to breathe easier, they want to be able to walk or run for a longer time, they want to be able to feel good about their physical condition.

Now, a lot of people also go to the gym because they want these things. They want to be “fit”. “Fit” basically means healthy. Some people want to get “toned”. They want some lines here and there; they don’t want to be round. They want more lines, a little bit more showing muscles; a little bit less showing fat.

Some people want to get “cut”. Now, “cut” means that you see all the lines where all the muscles are or should be, because you’ve worked out a lot. You have very little fat, more muscle. Now, some people want to get “shredded”. “Shredded” means like very, very, very cut. So if you think, for example, Brad Pitt, in the movie Fight Club, he was shredded. Very little fat, all muscle, and cut in all the right places.

Then if you say someone is “jacked”, then you think of Arnold Schwarzenegger. Before he was a politician, a little bit before he was an actor, he was a bodybuilder. He was “jacked”; he had huge muscles everywhere. “Ripped” and “shredded” basically mean the same thing. These are all slang words for “toned”, basically. And everybody wants like a “six-pack abs”. They want one, two, three, four, five, six. You have to work very hard for that. You have to get rid of a lot of fat to get all the muscles to show up. Keep in mind: all of these things, they’re more about a lifestyle than about exercising, but you have to exercise to get all these things.

Okay, so what can you do to exercise? You can “work out”. One thing you can do, you can walk around your house every day after dinner and, you know, work your digestive system. All the food you ate goes to the right places, everything okay. But you can also “work out”, means you go to the “gym” where they have all the weights, all the machines, you can exercise. “Work out”, exercise.

Why? Because you want to get rid of your “spare tire”. Now, this happens a lot more to men, but a spare tire. So, you know in your car if you have a flat tire, in the back, you have a spare tire? So imagine carrying that spare tire around your stomach. You’re skinny, skinny, skinny, fat, skinny, skinny, skinny, skinny. That’s your spare tire.

Now, men also have “love handles”, you can grab them on the side and you can play with them. I won’t explain too much where the “love handle” term comes from, but that’s what they’re called.

Women, on the other hand, it’s called a “muffin top”. Because you know when you have a muffin, there’s the paper, and then-whoop-it comes out? So if you’re wearing really tight jeans and then a little bit sticks out, that’s your muffin top. So, you go to the gym, you want to get rid of all these things.

Some people want to “bulk up”, means they want to get bigger. They want to “build muscle”. Muscle. Some people want to “slim down”, means they want to get thinner. They want to “burn fat”. So you build muscle, you burn fat. Ideally, you do both at the same time. And, of course, more important than all of this: diet. You have to stop eating McDonalds, you have to stop eating pizza, you have to stop eating bad food if you want to get any of these things.

Now, what can you do at the gym? You can do “weights”. “Weights” means like actual physical, heavy things that you lift, etc., you do all kinds of things with them. Or you could do “cardio”. “Cardio” is short for “cardiovascular”, it means working the lungs, working the inside, getting the body, the blood to flow properly, getting your air passages to open and close properly.

One thing you can do for cardio is “aerobics”, so you know, like jumping jacks, and all that stuff, and running, and all these things, exercises on the floor. You do only with your body and a lot of movement to get the inside to burn fat.


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