New guide helps to workout what gym jargon means

“GUNS”. “Duracell”. “Getting caked”. It is not only the machines that can be incomprehensible at the modern gym but the jargon.

Bulking  adding muscle mass through strength training and nutrition  is one of the terms explained to gym newbies in a 
new guide to jargon Picture: Getty Images
Bulking  adding muscle mass through strength training and nutrition  is one of the terms explained to gym newbies in a new guide to jargon Picture: Getty Images

While January is the most popular month for joining a gym, as people attempt to shake off the extra pounds put on over Christmas, a new report has found that 70 per cent of people are intimidated by the language, with few aware that guns refer to a muscular upper arm while a duracell is a female gym user with a fondness for the running machine. Getting caked describes anything involving ­intense effort.


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However, a new urban dictionary, The Guide to Gym Jargon has been released to enlighten gym “newbies”, as new members are known, that “miring” for example is admiring oneself post work-out, usually prior to taking a sweat-sheened selfie.

A new report has found that novice gym members are being baffled by equipment that looks like it was built by Nasa, and jargon that is as comprehensible as a foreign language. Research has found that more than half were afraid they didn’t fit in and stood out like a sore thumb, and 58 per cent were unsure how to use the equipment, while 60 per cent of respondents said that they found it hard to understand the terms used in the gym.

In order to tackle the growing lack of comprehension among gym users, the company USN, which makes health supplements, has created a pocket booklet which contains more than 100 words and phrases to get people through those first few gym visits.

The Guide to Gym Jargon contains popular gym words which are broken down with an additional list of alternative phrases, as well as a descriptive sentence demonstrating how they might be used in a conversation at the gym.

For example, when a gym user overhears someone saying “This guy is beasting it up”, it relates to intensity training and anything involving intense effort physically and mentally. Other words for beasting it up include “2 da max”, “extreme”, and “getting caked”.

Words used to describe those who look good include “shredded”, “sliced” and the curious “Judy Dench”.

While the Oscar-nominated actress is not the most obvious name to be connected to the gym, her name is in fact a slang term for “hench”, as in hench-man, a strong-looking person.

Among the other terms are “bro science” which is a mixture of gym legend and lore passed off as hard facts such as: “Bro, you must take 50g of protein within ten minutes of finishing your workout or it’ll be wasted.”

A “cardio bunny” is a female gym user who spends her entire workout on cardio equipment, while “bulking” is the process of adding muscle mass to one’s body through strength training and nutrition.


Iron maiden: A woman who is not afraid to lift heavy weights and compete with male gym users.

Stacking: Adding more weights to your workout in order to set a personal best, build strength and increase muscle mass.

Boulders: Shoulders that are as solid as rock.

Swollen: Having large, well-developed muscles.

Prepping: The process of dieting and training to get “shredded” for a competition.


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