Anaerobic … plyometrics … heart-rate zones … HIIT. Whether you’re a fitness junkie or an exercise newbie, it’s important to keep up with fitness terms – not only to look savvy at the gym but to have options for getting fit.

This isn’t as difficult as it might sound because two experts in the exercise field clarify the specialized terminology.

Rebekah Tennis, an independent personal trainer at St. John Health Club in Tulsa and owner of Rebekah Tennis Fitness, says you’ve probably heard of the adjective aerobic – even if the last fitness class you took was Jazzercise in the 1990s – but anaerobic might be an unfamiliar term. Simply put, aerobic means with oxygen, and anaerobic means without oxygen.

“Any type of exercise that one does that increases their heart rate is going to increase their oxygen intake. That is an aerobic workout,” says Tennis, who offers running, walking briskly and bicycling as exercises that increase heart rate and burn fat. “[Anaerobic exercise] means that your body is working so hard at the state where … it’s shutting down your fat-burning process. You are now in this anaerobic state.”

People should train in the anaerobic state to gain endurance and become more fit, not to burn fat, she says. A great example of this is heavy weight training.

“[The anaerobic state] trains your heart to become stronger [and] your muscles to respond quicker,” Tennis says. “It’s the whole cardiovascular system.”

With any cardiovascular workout, heart-rate zones are important to understand.

“When heart-rate zone training is used correctly, you will know the exact [heart-rate] range to be in in order to achieve your desired weight loss, fat loss or peak performance results,” says Roderick Benman, a master trainer at A Plus Fitness in Oklahoma City

Some of these levels should be determined by a professional, but Benman says a basic equation for determining the maximum recommended heart rate is 220 minus your age. Then you choose the zone you’d like to work out in by multiplying with a percentage, typically between 55 and 85. Different zones produce different results.

High-intensity interval training (or HIIT) works on similar principles. This workout takes the participant through rapid intervals of peak exercise and rest.

Benman says HIIT is “interval training at its finest [and] can be performed in many ways, not just on the treadmill or track. HIIT can be used when biking, rowing, weight training and other [exercises].”

A bonus term to take your fitness vocabulary to the next level is plyometrics.

“Plyometric [exercise] is known as jump training,” Benman says. “You can use plyometrics with weights and your body weight to increase power, speed and strength.”

Now that you have the terms down, it’s time to hit the gym.

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