Gym Slang and Phrases Fitness Terminology Explained

Gym Slang and Phrases – Fitness Terminology Explained

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As weird and as wonderful as the fitness industry can be, sometimes it can also get quite confusing. Now, if you’re a seasoned gym regular, you’ll likely be familiar with the slang and the terminology used in the fitness industry. If not, though, and you’re new to the world of the gym and fitness in general, you likely wouldn’t know your gym rats from your bro science. After reading this article on some common gym slang terminology and phrases used in the fitness biz, however, you’ll hopefully have much more of an idea of what other gym users are talking about. Here’s a look at some common gym slang terms and phrases explained.

Bro science

bro science

If you ever hear anybody talking about bro science, they are basically talking about sports and exercise science which has absolutely zero scientific credibility behind it. Basically, bro science is a term used to describe ‘knowledge’ or rather, ‘opinion’ which is passed off as being factual. One common piece of bro science for example, is that you shouldn’t eat carbs after 7pm if you want to lose weight. Weight loss boils down to calories in versus calories out. If you’re creating a caloric deficit, it doesn’t matter what time you eat your carbs, or anything else, you’ll lose weight.


If a bodybuilder says that he or she is bulking, this is basically a term used to describe a process whereby the bodybuilder in question is looking to bulk up in size and gain weight, hopefully in the form of muscle. When bulking, the idea is to train hard and increase your calories and protein intakes so that you gain weight.


If a bodybuilder says that he or she is cutting, this is a term used to describe a process whereby the bodybuilder is losing body fat and preserving as much lean muscle mass as possible. During a cut, the idea is to create a minor caloric deficit and to slowly lose body fat for several months, in order to give yourself a leaner, more ripped and defined physique.


If you hear a gym-goer complaining about having ‘bad leg DOMS’ they are referring to soreness in the legs caused as a result of training their legs before. DOMS stands for Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness.



A lot of the time, you’ll hear gym-goers talking about their ‘gains’. Gains is a term which is used to describe newly acquired muscle on their physiques. It is known as ‘gains’ because you have gained muscle.


If you hear a gym-user talking about their guns, it’s unlikely they’re referring to firearms, but instead, their arms, and especially the biceps and triceps. When somebody is showing off their guns, they are actually showing off their biceps and triceps.

Maxing out

If you are maxing out on the bench press for example, you would basically lift as heavy a weight as possible, which would allow you to do one rep only. Sometimes this is known as a one rep max.