From macros to DOMS, new research suggests these are the fitness terms Brits are most baffled by.

When we first went into lockdown back in March, a home fitness revolution was born. But without the guidance of a PT or the ability to copy the bloke on the bench over, Brits had to take exercise instruction into their own hands.

According to SEMrush data, these were the most searched fitness terms in 2020 – and PT and My Vital Metrics founder Owen Hutchins is on hand to explain them.

Four of the Most Searched Fitness Terms Explained | Men's Fitness UK

Term: Macro
Monthly Search Volume:
32,050

Macro is simply an abbreviation of macronutrient. “The three main macronutrients are carbohydrates, proteins and fats,” says Hutchins, “and they’re called macros because unlike vitamins and minerals which occur in tiny amounts (micronutrients), they are found in larger quantities.

If someone asks you about your macros, they are asking what percentage of your food comes from each of these groups, e.g. 40 per cent carbs, 30 per cent protein and 30 per cent fat.”

Term: HIIT
Monthly Search Volume:
29, 610

HIIT, for anyone who’s been living in a cave for the last ten years, stands for high-intensity interval training.

“It’s a style of training where, after an appropriate warm-up, you exercise for short intervals of maximum effort followed by a (usually) longer rest period,” says Hutchins. “One example of this would be 30 seconds ‘on’, then one minute ‘off’.

“If you train with intervals of higher intensity but not absolute pedal to the metal intensity, then you are using Interval training, not HIIT. HIIT needs to be maximal effort.

“Due to its intensity, HIIT sessions usually last no longer than 20-30 minutes.”

Term: DOMS
Monthly Search Volume:
29,010

Standing for delayed-onset muscle soreness, DOMS, says Hutchins, “is the feeling you get in a muscle usually 24-48 hours after a weight training session.

“With this style of training it is the result of micro-tears made in the muscle and is usually a good sign that you’ve trained hard enough to create a bodily response. When the body repairs muscle after these micro-tears, it usually repairs it slightly stronger.”

Term: Lactic acidosis
Monthly Search Volume:
22,460

“When we exercise,” says Hutchins, “our body needs to generate energy in the cells and part of this process creates a product: lactic acid.

“Lactic acid is used in another metabolic process to create more energy, but when exercising very intensely the body can produce more lactic acid than it can use in this second process. Lactic acidosis is the result of this lactic acid build-up in the blood, making the working muscle feel like it’s burning.

“Usually this just means we need to lower the intensity to allow the body to flush out and use the remaining lactic acid. This is also temporary and should not be confused with the genetic metabolic disorder of the same name.”

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