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What does that fitness catchphrase mean?

This week I’m celebrating 12 years of being in business and it turns out I have a few catchphrases that have developed over the years! “It’s definitely not burning, it’s strengthening” comes up a lot! And I also try and make sure we always make it to “shoulder bridge o’clock” before the end of a Pilates class! Although sometimes, there’s no translation for the rubbish that comes out of my mouth, there are some terms that we talk about reguarly. I always try and steer clear of the fitness world jargon, but some phrases are good to know. Whether you’ve been exercising for years or are new here, here are some of things that you might hear me talk about: Cardio This is short for cardiorespiratory or cardiovascular exercise. It’s where we push the heart rate up so that oxygen-rich blood is pumped around the body to the muscles we’re working. Cardio exercise can involve running, cycling, dance or anything that gets us out of breath. Cool down We include a cool down section in every workout at Gemma Pearce Fitness. After working hard, we need to gradually bring the heart rate and breathing back down to a resting state. We use lighter movements and gentle stretches for this. Core The core is not just our tummy muscles but all the muscles around our trunk – our back and sides too. Keeping our core strong helps us with balance and reduces backache and posture issues. We need our core to bend, lift, walk and sit. DOMS This is Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. It’s what we feel on the days after a good workout. When we use our muscles, we damage the fibres (in a good way!) and as the muscles repair, they get stronger. DOMS tends to last from 24 for 72 hours. Endorphins We love these hormones that whizz around the body during and after exercise, making us feel good and full of satisfaction. The feeling can be quite addictive, which keeps us coming back for more exercise. Flexibility Training This is NOT Cirque de Soleil training where you learn how to do the splits! Flexibility training is stretching, which is one of the 3 essential components of fitness (alongside cardiovascular exercise and strength training). High/low impact High impact exercises require us to leave the ground and land with impact, like jumping and running and tennis. This can have an impact on our joints so it’s possible to adapt exercises to be low impact. Low impact exercise, like swimming, cycling and Pilates, is no less strenuous. HIIT Stands for High Intensity Interval Training. It’s a quick burst of intense exercise followed by a short recovery period. I like this a lot because of the huge benefits it gives us in a shorter space of time. HIIT is great for calorie burning. Interval training A bit like HIIT, this is great when you’re getting back into exercise or trying something for the first time. You can do interval training even when you're out for a walk. Take it up to a brisk pace for 3 minutes and then slow down for 1 minute. Resistance Resistance is the amount of weight your muscles are working against to complete a movement. So you can use your own body weight or use extra weights in the form of light handweights or a kettlebell. We sometimes use a towel or rubber resistance band to utilise our own body parts to create resistance. Strength Training It’s really important that alongside cardio exercise we build up the strength in our bodies to help keep our bones healthy and prevent falls as we get older. We use light handweights to increase muscle mass and strength in our online LIFT classes. Toning Toning our muscles is different to building up muscles. To achieve a toned appearance, the muscles are worked with no weights or light weights with lots of movement repetition so that body fat is reduced for a smooth, toned shape. I promise to keep the annoying fitness-speak to a minimum in my classes! And if you come across a term you don’t know, please just ask! Check out for a jargon-busting, fun time!


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By participating in this exercise or exercise programme, you are declaring yourself to be physically sound and suffering from no impairment, disease or infirmity or other illness that would prevent your participation in live streamed fitness classes or activities. You should understand that when participating in any exercise or exercise program, there is the possibility of physical injury. If you are unsure about your suitability for this exercise, please refer to your GP. You hereby assume all responsibility for your participation and activities.

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