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What is a workbout?





Peterssidan
A book I'm reading mentions "workbouts". I tried to look it up but Wikipedia and Wiktionary doesn't know the word and Google asks if I mean "workabout".

Is it really a word? Dialect, maybe? What does it mean?
Ankhanu
Could you supply quote context?
Peterssidan
Sure.
Quote:
I was amazed to discover that nearly everyone had his or her own understanding of what intervals were. Some said in an an interval workout, workbouts had to last at least two minutes. Others said if workbouts were longer than two minutes each, the session was no longer an interval workout in nature. Some said recovery intervals had to last until a particular heart rate was reached, whereas others claimed that the duration of the recovery depended on how long the preceding workbout lasted.

I was probably too quick to ask this question because on the next page he listed some terms that he use:
Quote:
workbouts ― to be identical in terms of stress and efficiency of movement, which require longer recoveries between workbouts than intervals do)

In another place he mentions "bouts" as a separate word so I looked it up.
Wiktionary wrote:
bout (plural bouts)
A period of something, usually painful or unpleasant
####a bout of drought.


What confused me at first was the similarity to the word "workout" and it seemed to have a similar meaning. Now I think when he says "workout" he means the whole exercise session. Maybe that's obvious to natives but not for me. And when he says "workbout" he means one of the runs you to in interval training. I still find his definition of the word confusing (and he's missing a left parenthesis) but the way he uses it in the text makes more sense I think.
Ankhanu
That was where I was leaning with the intended definition, a period of intense work (though not necessarily as relating to exercise). It is definitely a strange word, and it appears to be one that the author, or those near him, coined... it is not a standard term. Native speaker or not, it's a bit odd Wink
Peterssidan
Ankhanu wrote:
It is definitely a strange word, and it appears to be one that the author, or those near him, coined... it is not a standard term. Native speaker or not, it's a bit odd Wink

You're probably right. Thanks!
SonLight
It seems to me it would be a little more normal English if written as "work bout". I'm wondering if it's a technical term in the fitness industry, if so probably used there as a single word. I did find a proposal for an app to be called "workbout", for the purpose of encouraging people to share their workout experience with others. In several cases, workbout could have easily been a typo for workout. I suspect at least some of these are the same usage you found.

The word "bout" is itself a pretty unusual word, although I recognize it easily. An example that comes to mind is to have a bout of the flu -- an episode of the flu, a time of being sick with the flu.
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