I've been working out for a little while, and just started keeping a log of what I do at the gym. The hardest part has been trying to figure out what to log under "exercise". Sometimes, the coach will give me a name while telling me what I have to do, but other times he will just go "now you do this", while doing the motion I'm supposed to do.

Is there a place I can look up names for exercises and their variations, so I can write a proper log with correct names?

  • What kind of coach are you working with? Personal trainer, sports coach, spin class instructor? Aug 15, 2012 at 14:59
  • Does "gym owner" fit anywhere in that list?
    – mkaito
    Aug 15, 2012 at 15:25
  • It fits, but doesn't really describe the relationship between you and him. Is he working with you 1-on-1 for the whole workout? Does he give you a plan and have you go off and do it solo? Do you train in a group? Does he do the stuff alongside you? Aug 15, 2012 at 15:36
  • He designs my training plan, according to my goals and expectations, and to my physical condition. He will tell me what to do, and send me off to do it on my own. If I have no clue how to do something, he will show me, and correct my form for a while, until I seem to do it fine. If I ask him, he will show me again, and monitor me. If he finds me using bad form, he will discipline me. He will act as spotter if required too. So, we don't really work one on one, but he's nearby should I need him.
    – mkaito
    Aug 15, 2012 at 15:45
  • Why can't you ask him the name of the exercise? Aug 15, 2012 at 21:11

2 Answers 2



This is a fairly good catalogue of exercises, organized by body part, with animated gifs showing proper form.

You can also look up exercises by name on youtube, you'll usually find videos of people performing them (although not necessairly with good form).

  • Excellent site! That's exactly what I was looking for.
    – mkaito
    Aug 15, 2012 at 15:25

I would bring a notepad and pen to class, and ask the coach either during rest periods or after class. I might ask for a copy of his class plan, if he has one and it doesn't contain confidential information like students' conditions.

Failing that, exrx.net is the best source for finding the names for resistance training, followed by wandering around the web, describing the movement with as many synonyms as possible.

  • He has no written plan of any sort. I find this rather astounding, but he keeps the plans of each of his trainees in his head. I haven't got the slightest clue as to how he manages, but I guess 45 years in the business do help.
    – mkaito
    Aug 15, 2012 at 15:24

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