If you regularly visit the gym or work out at home, you are probably familiar with the terms used in the fitness industry. The French language also has its own workout lingo.
Now, let me tell you that you can learn French words and phrases related to fitness as you exercise. Combining fitness and learning French by yourself or with a language partner can prove to be highly beneficial.
The main aspect of this combination technique is to incorporate language learning into your daily routine. This ensures that learning is more efficient and that you can learn at your own pace. You can also pick up a few French slangs used by native speakers.
This article provides the 20 most common words which might come in handy in the fitness world. There are also additional phrases to use to practice your oral skills while you are working out. This method is one of the ways where you can teach yourself French.
How To Use French Words In Your Workout
Incorporating French into your workout routine seems fun, and rightly so. But let us not get ahead of ourselves. There are a few simple guidelines to follow to make the process even more enjoyable and educational.
First of all, you should start with the basics. Don’t be afraid to learn the words from scratch and then build your way up to the top.
Head, shoulders, knees, and toes.
Learning to say body parts in French is a good starting point. Memorize them by thinking about the body parts in French as you are engaging them in a particular type of exercise.
For example, when you do lunges, you can think of the word for the leg in French. The key is to be practical in your memorization for better retention.
Similarly, you can memorize other French body parts as you do different sets of exercises. It will be quite difficult to stay focused at the beginning, but you will most certainly improve as you go on. There are different strategies that you can use to learn French.
Working out is also a great way to learn how to count in French. Given that you will most probably use numbers up to 15 in your reps, you can start learning those.
Start with only a few numbers, say up to 5, and use them repeatedly as you count your reps. Once you are familiar with these numbers, you can add a few more to your vocabulary.
Trust me, the amount of progress you will notice in only a few rounds of exercise will baffle you. Now that you know the body parts and the numbers in French, you can move on to specific words pertaining to certain equipment or exercise. You must focus on the most simple words that you can find and gradually progress towards more complicated ones.
Remember, it is not a race. Learning French will come naturally as you continue to apply this technique. These simple and short words make up more than 80% of the fitness jargon. Memorize them and you will be an A grade student. Moreover, one surefire method to speed up the memorization process is to use the Loci Technique. This technique tells you to associate what you are trying to remember with a specific image and place.
What better way than to do that at the gym? You can use the gym space as a mental picture to help you memorize better. However, it might take a week or two to master a handful of words. Give it some time. Once you are familiar enough with the simple words, you can move on to the phrases. Your language partner can help you by making simple conversations.
That’s it! Now you are ready to learn French while working those muscles out.
20 Workout Words You Need To Know In French
While French shares the same Greek and Latin roots as English, French words can sometimes be tricky to pronounce for a non-native speaker. Here is a list of words you can use as you exercise:
- Breathe: Respirer
- To exercise: S’exercer
- Sweat: Transpirer
- To train: S’entraîner
- To relax: Se relaxer
- Body: Le corps
- Jogging: Le jogging
- To stretch: Étirer
- Health: La santé
Exercises and equipment
- Warm-up: Échauffement
- Barbell and Dumbbell: L'haltère
- Plank: La planche
- Push up: Des pompes
- Sit up: Les Redressements assis
- Squat: La flexion des jambes
- Yoga mat: Le tapis de yoga
- Treadmill: Le tapis roulant
- Strength training: L'entraînement en force
- Weight training: La musculation
- Breathing exercises: Les exercices de respiration
Another tip is to listen to the pronunciation and intonation of the words when you learn them for the first time and to say them out loud as you practice. This way, you will learn the words a hundred times faster and retain them for a longer period of time before you have to review them.
When you are doing your workout, you can repeat one word over and over in one rep, and do the same for another word in the next rep. For this, you have to prepare a list of words that you want to learn in a week and spread them out over your various workout sessions.
Top 10 Workout Phrases In French
Words are not enough to learn a language. You have to use them in phrases. Don’t worry, we got your back! Below is a list of phrases that you will often use or hear when you are working out.
Can you help me?: Pouvez-vous m'aider?
How many days do you exercise a week?: Combien de jours faites-vous de l'exercice par semaine?
Are you using this? (referring to equipment): Utilisez-vous cela?
Enjoy your workout!: Profitez de votre entraînement!
Come on! You can do it: Allez! Tu peux le faire.
How many reps are you doing?: Tu fais combien de répétitions?
You must do a proper warm-up: Vous devez faire un bon échauffement.
How much do you lift?: Combien soulevez-vous?
This exercise will help you get toned: Cet exercice vous aidera à vous tonifier.
That’s enough for today!: C'est assez pour aujourd'hui!
Benefits Of Combining French Language In Your Workout
It is a general fact that exercising builds physical strength and endurance. It is also a very tiring task in itself. Why top it up with French then? This is because exercise helps you learn better.
According to Harvard Medical School, regular exercise improves memory. Scientists postulate that workout sessions change the biological structure of the brain. This renders the brain more apt to receive, process, and store new information.
This is what we often call neuroplasticity. The brain can change as a result of experiences. When learning a second language, memorizing rules of grammar and words is primordial. Therefore, combining French into your workout will help you to acquire the language faster and easier.
In other words, while you are sweating yourself off you are also subjecting your brain to life-changing training. Moreover, indulging in some sort of cognitive game while you are working out helps develop mental resilience. You will feel more motivated to hit the gym and lift those weights.
Most athletes will tell you that mental training makes up over half of their training program. Psyching yourself up to do some exercises becomes easier once you associate it with a high-value reward. In this case, learning a new language.
On a side note, learning French while doing your exercises is an incredible way of making the most of your time and abilities. No need to sit in a monotonous language classroom where you will only learn a fraction of what is being taught. Combining French language learning and workout makes both learning and exercising much more enjoyable. These small habits will significantly help you in understanding French.
A Recap On French Numbers
One of the first few things that you might have learned when starting to learn French is how to count. Let us go back to some numbers that you might use frequently.
Usually, learning numbers 1 to 10 is enough to help you practice while doing a workout. Practice counting in French as you do your reps and notice how the numbers seem to magically stick in your memory.
Train Your Mind And Body To Learn French
It might be a little hard at the beginning to juggle both the rigorous physical exercise and overcoming mental obstacles to learn the French language. However, the key is to never give up.
Once you start, it will be an avalanche effect. Learning French will become easier as your muscles grow bigger.
Having a well-structured plan from the get-go will prevent you from being demotivated along the way. This plan should include details about your workout and what you intend to learn during a particular session.
Tracking your progress is also a good idea. This will renew your commitment to learning French and exercising. A simple planner or checklist will do the trick.
In a similar way, you can incorporate French in other areas of your life to widen your vocabulary and increase your mastery of the language. Whether you're cooking or baking, driving to work, or following your morning routine, you can fit it in anywhere.
The possibilities are endless.