Advanced Vocabulary for Exercising at the Gym & Working Out in English


Hi, I’m Anne Marie with Speak Confident
English and welcome to your confident English lesson – the first lesson in 2018
happy new year if I haven’t already had the chance to tell you that. And what
would be better than starting the new year with a lesson on getting fit and
working out in English? It might be a total cliche but everyone thinks about
eating better, working out, and getting fit at the start of a new year. We can’t
help it. If you’re like me then over the holidays you probably indulged a little
bit too much so it makes sense right that we’d want to focus on how to be a
little bit more healthy and look good after the new year. So for today’s
Confident English lesson we’re going to focus on how English speakers talk about
getting fit: what are some of the key expressions or interesting language that
we use? And we’ll also look at some great conversation starters or questions that
you can use when you want to start a conversation with someone at the gym or
someone in your running club. Today we’re going to focus on how
English speakers talk about their fitness goals and how they crush them.
Now that’s a really fun expression – to crush something to crush something means
that you press something so hard that you destroy its shape or you break it.
For example if you crush a bottle of water or a can. Now if you do that, if
you’re going to crush a bottle of water and throw it away,
make sure you recycle it. Be good to the earth. But this is what it means to crush
something – to press it so hard that you destroy it. However we also use it in
another context with a much more positive meaning. If you are crushing
your goals or if you’re crushing your job at work it means that you are
dominating it, you are doing so well, beyond expectations, you’re performing at
a hundred and ten percent. At the beginning of a new year we all have a
lot of motivation and we’re ready to crush our new goals and our fitness. For
this lesson I’m going to look at three different common situations that happen
at the new year and we’ll use some advanced vocabulary to talk about them.
One of these situations just might be similar to what you are doing right now.
Situation number one: accidental marathon. It’s the new year and you’re feeling
like you ate too much, you drank too much so you and a friend decide on a whim – at
the last moment – to sign up for a marathon. Have you ever signed up
accidentally for a marathon? Maybe you weren’t thinking so much about it and in
your mind you think oh it’s so many months away, I have a lot of time to
train and prepare. It’ll be great. So you get online, you search Google for the
next marathon near you and boom! In April you’re signed up for a marathon.
So it’s January, your marathon is in April, you immediately go back to Google
and you search for marathon training programs. You find over a hundred
websites and you start reviewing all of the different training schedules
and you start to realize just what a huge commitment is to train for a
marathon. But the good news about all of those training schedules is they are
progressive training schedules. A progressive training schedule is
training that gets a little bit more challenging with every week or every
month, each week builds on the previous week. Now if it’s a good schedule it will
give you the right advice which is: if you are new to running you should
definitely not immediately go out and run a 10 miler. A 10 miler as we would
say in American English is simply a 10 mile run or about 16 kilometers. Instead
as a beginner to a marathon schedule you would have a combination of short and
long runs throughout the week and maybe your longest run that first week is a 5
miler or a 6 miler. As you continue each week those runs get much longer so
you’re probably going to create a playlist – a list of songs that you love
running to. Now if you’re not new to running, if this is your second or third
marathon, maybe you’re going to set a PR. A PR is a personal record and to set a
personal record means that your goal is to do better to run faster than your
previous marathon. Now maybe running isn’t your thing. If something isn’t your
thing it means you don’t like it you don’t enjoy it. So for you maybe your
fitness goal at the start of the new year is to hit the gym. In other words
you go to the gym or you go work out. Maybe you join classes, get a personal
trainer, or simply work out on your own. Now it may be instead of lots of cardio
like running and bicycling you prefer HIIT workouts. A HIIT workout is
high-intensity interval training. These are workouts with short bursts or short
time segments of intense cardio. You’re working as hard as you can and then you
combine that with strength training. Strength training is focusing on specific muscles and building your strength. Strength training can include
body weight movements where you only use the weight of your body to build
strength or weight lifting. A lot of body weight exercises are considered total
body moves. What that means is they work many different muscle groups in your
body at the same time. Or perhaps you prefer weight lifting where you focus on
one specific muscle and you lift a weight again and again focused on that
muscle group, whether it’s your biceps, your shoulders, your legs, something
specific. If you’re not into HIIT workouts or strength training, then maybe you
prefer something more like CrossFit, which has become hugely popular in the
last several years. CrossFit is also focused on effectively building muscles
and strength but through lifting heavy. To lift heavy means to lift really heavy
weights and when you do that you should always have a spotter. A spotter is
someone who is going to be there next to you making sure that you don’t injure
yourself and they can help you if you need it as you’re trying to lift those
weights or put them back down. But maybe you don’t love marathons and you don’t
love going to the gym for intense workouts so situation 3 is more your
style. Maybe you already work out regularly and now that the holidays are
over you’re ready to get back into your normal routine. And for you it’s all
about balance and cross-training. Cross-training means doing different exercises
and movements so that over a period of time, maybe over the period of a week, all
of your different muscle groups get used. You work on stretching and flexibility
and cardio. A common example of cross-training would be running or
bicycling a few times a week for cardio combined with maybe yoga or pilates for
flexibility and strength with a little bit of weight training as well. Every day
is something different which helps you avoid getting bored with your workouts
and it’s also great for preventing injuries. When you’re exercising, no
matter what you’re doing after the holidays, for most of us the goal is to
get fit. Now before we finish with today’s lesson on getting fit and using
advanced language to talk about it, let’s think about a few great questions for
conversation starters. If you’re going to the gym, or you join a running club, you
go to the same yoga class every day you’ll probably see the same people and
wouldn’t it be nice to start a conversation and get to know some of the
other people that you’re working out with? To help you do that here are a few
common questions that native speakers use all the time to just start a
conversation, have a little bit of small talk, and get to know someone. Number one:
have you taken a class with this instructor before? Number two: if you’re
into that weight lifting or CrossFit you might ask someone would you mind
spotting me or could you spot me? Remember a spotter is that person who
stands next to you to make sure that you don’t injure yourself so if you’re
asking someone to spot you you’re asking them to be that person next to you. Or
you could start a conversation with a compliment which is always super nice
for example you could say I really like your training shoes, are they comfortable?
And finally if you’re running with someone training for that marathon you
might want some recommendations for a playlist so you
could ask someone what are your favorite workout songs or what’s on your playlist?
And with that you have a lot of new advanced vocabulary to help you talk
about working out in English and starting conversations about fitness. As
always I do have some challenge questions for you today.
After you watch this video go to the online lesson and at the end I have a
few questions for you – you can share your thoughts, your ideas in the comment
section below. It’s a great place to get to know others in the Confident English
Community, learn from each other, and get feedback.
Whatever your fitness goals are for 2018 I hope you crush them and I hope that
you’re ready to talk about them more easily in English. Thank you so much for
joining me and I’ll see you next week for your Confident English lesson.

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