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From AMRAP to EMOM, Your Fitness Glossary

Three sets of five, performed EMOM, moving into an AMRAP with a Death By… format stinger at an RPE of 9, followed by a HIIT finisher where you’ll be working with at least 2 RiR, throughout…

If you’ve ever encountered anything like the above and felt as though you need a masters degree in cryptography just to figure out which part of the gym you should even be in, you’re not alone.

Fitness has its own language, one that can appear enigmatic at best and completely indecipherable at worst. More often than not, it can leave the most experienced of trainees scratching their heads.

But you shan’t put off by this litany of acronyms, portmanteaus and technical chat any longer. We’ve put together a jargon-busting glossary of some of the most common terms you’re liable to hear in the fitness sphere, helping you to crack the training code. Which means you can crack on with that actual training.


‘High Intensity Interval Training’ or ‘High Intensity Training’, are terms which, although used pretty interchangeably in general, aren’t technically the same thing. However, this distinction only becomes important when pedlars of programmes are using science and studies to back up their claims.

It’s commonplace to see ‘HIIT’ used to indicate workouts performed in circuit style intervals, with your heart rate elevated pretty consistently throughout; whether that’s through the use of bodyweight circuits, intervals on cardio machinery or high rep, light weight efforts.

Although this is the context in which you’re most likely to hear the term used, any research that’s used to back up the calorie sapping, fat burning efficacy of HIIT training is actually referencing a very specific, very rigorous training protocol where participants were asked to perform ball-bustlingly hard sprint efforts, followed by lengthy bouts of recovery.

It’s unlikely that sit-ups, air squats and jumping jacks will ever be able to push your body quite this hard, so whilst the ‘HIIT’ style workout that we’ve become accustomed to can still be damned effective—beware the science-backed marketing…


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