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ABC’s for the Gym Illiterate

Gym Lower
Written by: Holly Fry | The Lazy Girl

Lazy Girl's Guide to Fitness | Vol. 2

Before we really get into fitness, I think we all need to learn a little more about the subject. A to Z, tips and definitions, this list will at least give some insight into fitness for us #lazypeople. Buckle up, it’s a ride. 

A.  Aerobics

It all boils down to this. Aerobic exercise is cardio. Running, walking, moving. Congrats, every time you leave your bed, I’m going to count it as cardio. I mean you can count it as cardio, I won’t be there…Anyway, the suggested amount per day is 20 minutes, which could be hard to track, but I’ve heard there’s an app for that

B. Bulking

No need to ‘Hulk out’, but bulking is more inclined for people who have an “off season,” and I don’t think I realized working out had seasons. This strategy is mostly used in the winter when it’s more socially acceptable to not have a beach body. To successfully bulk, you eat a lot more calories and work on their muscle growth. Hmm… maybe this is for us.  

C. Cutting

Lean-green bean fighting machine. This is in the “on-season” where dedicated gym members cut down on their muscle building, and amp up more of the muscle definition. With both bulking and cutting, and health in general, it’s not about the number on the scale, it’s about the fat and muscle on your body. Muscle is denser than fat btw. 

D. Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) 

You know those pains when you were motivated for a day and tried to breathe fresh air rather than the thick stuff in your room, then a couple hours later you start to feel like you’ve been wrung through an old woman’s hands drying a towel, because she doesn’t believe in an electric dryer? Yeah, this is that. 

E. Exercise

Say it with me: ek-ser-sahyz. (Yes, that’s phonetically correct) Noun: activity requiring physical effort (carried out specially to sustain or improve health or fitness) We don’t need to think about it that way if we actually want it to get done though. I know we try to avoid this word at all costs and while I would like to count the walk from the couch to the kitchen, in this instance we might need to do it twice for it to count. 

F. Form

So apparently there is a right way and a wrong way to lift weights and run. To aid your fight against social anxiety (i.e. feeling embarrassed at the gym to ask for help) you can look easily online to see the “correct way” to not injure yourself.  Also, DON’T injure yourself on purpose just to stay in bed!   

G. Gains

This subculture of people who work out, typically do it for the Gains, capital G. I’m sure this one’s not too hard, as I’m sure you’ve seen the hashtag on that one guy from high school who posts on Instagram with the weekly shirtless pics.   

H. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) 

Have you ever been victimized by wind-sprints during a gym class? Then you have been participating in the HIIT craze. You run at 100 percent, walk a bit, run again, and repeat till you are ready to go home, no matter how soon that is. This is preferable as you can do it anywhere and it’s quick, so that means you can finish it sooner rather than later.  You just have to do it two or three times a week so it’s quick easy and painless. 

I. Isolation

Don’t worry I’m not telling you to be alone at the gym. Isolation is a common practice in dance and at the gym, because by separating your workouts to each individual muscle group, you can personalize your workout. Want a 6 pack? Isolate your abs. Want bigger arms? Isolate your biceps and triceps. How? There’s a website for that.

J. Juice

Juicing could either relate to steroids or a juice cleanse. Not judging, whatever floats your boat, but I have heard through the grapevine that steroids are illegal, plus without the work behind it, things could get very weird. But with a juice cleanse, some people think just drinking juice can help lose weight and release toxins. This might work, but I’d personally stick with the juices plus food. 

K. Kinetic Energy

So, I bet you didn’t think you’d be doing science as well as working out did you? This sometimes refers to a type of stretching called Kinetic Stretches like lunges or squats. They’re strength building but still stretch out your muscles. It’s all about the moves, which I’m sure you all have plenty of.

L. Lower Abs

The dreaded area of the body that I always wonder how anyone can have muscles show up. Rest assured they’re under there, I promise. Even if you don’t get the results you want, you should still work on your core strength, so you can bring in all the groceries in one trip or balance a tub of chicken in one hand and a pint of ice cream in the other.

M. Metabolism

If you’re like me, you’re probably riding on a slightly above average metabolism (where your body burns off fat at a rate high enough that it doesn’t cause too much weight gain) but you’re starting to get worried about the future. But obviously not enough to stop eating your Strawberry Milkshake Poptarts. The weather’s getting nicer, so just go outside and walk a bit to feel better, alright? 

N. Nutrition

Speaking of food, nutrition really can affect your progress at the gym. You’ve probably heard of the food pyramid in middle school, so you know the basics, fruits and veggies but you’re really holding onto the part of the pyramid where it said you could have sugar. A good substitute is fruit! Pineapple and mangos are sweet so if you need that sugar, you can feel better by eating those instead. You could even blend them into a smoothie.

O. Olympian

After watching these winter Olympics, everyone wants to be an Olympian because they make everything look so easy. But beware, things are not what they seem. Some forms of weightlifting are actually called Olympic because there are competitions to see who can lift the most. Whether you are ready to prepare for intense workouts to lift up a bar with hundreds of pounds on them or not, it’s kind of fun to hear the grunts and yells from these lifters. This is probably the only time people won’t yell at you for dropping weights so if you want to let out some anger, this is for you.

P. Pose

Even if you’re not competing at bodybuilding competitions, we’ve all struck a pose in the bathroom mirror. Little did I know, that they use these poses to look better for the competitions and fitness bloggers even do it on Instagram. So even if you’re not seeing results, you can learn to fake it until you do. They specify different ones for men and for women, but you can mix and match as well.

Q. Quads

Your quadriceps are one the most important muscles in your body, second to the heart. They hold you up, help you walk and basically are always engaged. So, you need to have strong ones to ensure any progress on your fitness journey is happening. A lot of people worry about a thigh gap, which targets your adductors, but really everyone’s hips are so close that the bones prevent a gap in even the strongest of thighs. Thick thighs are there for cupholders and since they’re touching, you’re one step closer to becoming a mermaid.  

R. Repetition

Doing reps at the gym is what helps you from getting burnt out. If you don’t do enough, you’re not challenging yourself, and if you do too much you could hurt yourself not be able to finish your workout, making you look like you skipped leg day. If it’s too much at once you can always take a break and come back to it later.

S. Spotter

Your spotter is someone you trust to not let a heavy bar fall on your face, leaving you with two chipped teeth and the only work you can get is selling tin cans out of the back of a van. It should be a good friend or your gym buddy if you make one. You really only need a spotter if your doing heavy weights, but you can bring some one over to the elliptical and have them sit on the ground by you, call them your spotter and then when you switch, you have 20 minutes of relaxation. Just don’t sprawl all over the ground, it’s gross.

T. Triceps

These are the muscles at the back of your arms, or where your saggy bits fall. You can work these along with your biceps, the tops on your arms, and do some dips. The dips, while not chocolate covered, are just as easy as sliding off your couch, and using your arms to raise and lower yourself off the ground. 

U. Unsaturated fats

These are your “healthy fats”, but I wouldn’t recommend saying “Hey there, you unsaturated fat,” to anyone. These are in foods that are better for you to eat since your body does require some fats. Plus, you can feel fuller longer so don’t be tempted by your fridge filled with leftover pizza.

V. V-line

These lines are coveted by men and women alike, forming an arrow on your lower stomach. They’re hard to form as it’s where two muscles meet, your lower abs and obliques. They’re not necessary to be fit, but every time I see someone with them, I know I get jealous. 

W. Warm up

Typically, I warm up my Chinese food in the microwave, but you’re also supposed to warm up your body before you work out. I know, your exercise is longer now, but a warm up can be slow. Walk around, touch your toes, just enough so your ligaments don’t rip away from the bone and your tendons don’t tear.

X. eXtreme Fitness

For those diehards, who just want to show off their body, extreme fitness is exactly like the name. You do your workouts in very obscure ways, so it looks way cooler than it is, but there are way simpler ways to work the same exact muscles.

Y. Yoga

The calmest form of exercising that works muscles you didn’t know you had. This type of exercise focuses more on flexibility and balance, which mixed with your normal routine will help you overall. Also, there’s a pose where you literally just lay on the ground. This is definitely the workout for me.

Z. Zipper

Because there are very little words starting with z revolving around fitness, here’s a workout routine called the Zipper. Trainer Danielle Chevalier from AXFIT has a boot camp where they do a full body workout using weights and your own sweat as hydration. While I don’t recommend it, just try something new if you’re feeling adventurous. 

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