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Fitness Glossary

Movement of a particular limb away from middle of body, i.e., bringing the arm to shoulder height from hanging-down position.
Slang for abdominal muscles.
Accommodating Resistance
Increasing or decreasing the resistance as the lifter's force changes through range of motion. Nautilus machines are said to provide accommodating resistance.
Adrenal Androgen
A hormone produced by the adrenal gland that is in the same general hormonal class as testosterone (another example of an adrenal androgen is DHEA).
an adrenal androgen (natural or synthetic).
Aerobic Exercise
Prolonged, moderate-intensity exercise that uses up oxygen at or below the level in which your cardio-respiratory (heart-lung) system can replenish oxygen in the working muscles. "Aerobic", meaning with oxygen, is the only type of exercise which burns body fat to meet its energy demands. Bodybuilders engage in aerobic exercise to develop additional cardio-respiratory fitness, as well as to eliminate excess body fat to achieve peak muscularity. Common aerobic activities are running, swimming, cycling, dancing, and walking.
AFWB (American Federation of Women Bodybuilders)
Group that administers women's amateur bodybuilding in America.
A muscle responsible for moving the body part that contracts or shortens.
An abbreviation for the Adult Minimum Daily Requirement of certain nutrients as established by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Amino Acids
A group of organic compounds identified by the presence of both an amino group(NH2) and a carboxyl group(COOH). They are the building blocks for protein and are essential to life. Although around 80 amino acids are found in nature, only 22 are needed for human metabolism. The ones that cannot be produced by the body, and must be supplied by food, are called essential amino acids . The essential amino acids are histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine , methionine, cysteine, phenylalanine, tyrosine , threonine ,tryptophan, and valine. The non- essential amino acids (which the body can manufacture itself), are alanine, aspartic acid, arginine, citrulline, glutamic acid, lycine, hydroxyl glutamic acid ,hydroxyproline, norleucine, praline and serine. Arginine can be essential in certain states or age groups because the body cannot make it fast enough to supply the demand.
The building up of proteins from simpler molecules in the body, (such as proteins forming from amino acids ). This generative process results in increased lean muscle mass, stronger bones, and a greater energy supply. Anabolic hormones include DHEA, testosterone, and growth hormone.
Anabolic Steroids
A class of natural and synthetic steroid hormones that promote cell growth and division, resulting in growth of muscle tissue and sometimes bone size and strength. Testosterone is the best known natural anabolic steroid, as well as the best known natural androgen. These drugs are not without hazardous side effects, however, and they are legally available only through a physician's prescription.
The process of building larger compounds and cellular matter from simpler compounds - such as in the building of muscle fiber from nutrients.
Anaerobic Exercise
Exercise without use of oxygen as an energy source. Short burst of vigorous activity, like weight lifting.
Generic term for any natural or synthetic compound, usually a steroid hormone, that stimulates or controls the development and maintenance of masculine characteristics. This also includes the activity of the male sex organs and development of male secondary sex characteristics.
Androgenic Drugs
Androgenics are drugs that simulate the effects of the male hormone testosterone in the human body.
Male sex hormones.
(Andro) a 19-carbon steroid hormone produced in the adrenal glands and the ovaries as an intermediate step in the biochemical pathway that produces the androgen testosterone and the estrogens estrone and estradiol. Some androstenedione is also secreted into the plasma, and may be converted in peripheral tissues to testosterone.
Muscle that acts against or in opposition to the agonist muscle, relaxing when the agonist contracts.
Substances which have an ability to inhibit muscle breakdown.
Certain vitamins and other substances that provide protection from the damage caused by free radicals, which are created as a result of oxygen reactions in living tissues.
American Physique Committee, Inc. Group that administers men's amateur bodybuilding in America.
Arginine (L-Arginine)
L-arginine required for the generation of urea, L-arginie is necessary for the removal of toxic ammonia from the body. L-arginine stimulates protein synthesis for optimal muscle building. It is also required for the synthesis of creatine and is a precursor of nitric oxide, which causes blood vessel relaxation (vasodilation).
Arm Blaster
Bicep and tricep training tool that allows maximum stability and isolation, by keeping elbows from moving.
An enzyme that converts androgens (testosterone) into estrogens. This enzyme complex is located in estrogen-producing cells found in ovaries, placenta, testicles, fat cells, and brain tissues.
Aromatase Inhibitor
Estrogen production-blocking agents that work by inhibiting the action of the enzyme aromatase which converts androgens into estrogens by a process called aromatization.
Ascorbic Acid
Also known as Vitamin C, it is essential for the development and maintenance of connective tissue . Vitamin C speeds the production of new cells in wound healing and it is an antioxidant that keeps free radicals from hooking up with other molecules to form damaging compounds that might attack tissue.
(ie.NutraSweet) consists of two amino acids, aspartic acid and phenylalanine. Foods containing this substance must be labeled so as to notify individuals with phenylketonuria, a rare disease that requires control of dietary phenylalanine. This sweetener is currently approved for use in a variety of products in the United States, Canada, and 22 other nations.
A condition that exists when too much cholesterol builds up in the blood and accumulates in the walls of the blood vessels.
Withering away - decrease in size and functional ability of tissue or organs. Loss of muscle fiber volume characterized by a visible decrease in muscle size.
Baby's Butt
Indentation between the two heads of biceps muscles of very muscular athlete.
Reducing the number of sets, repetitions or weight used during an exercise session.
The much sought after physique with competitive bodybuilders in which the total body is proportionate. All muscle groups are equally defined.
The steel shaft that forms the basic part of a barbell or dumbbell. These bars are normally about one inch thick, and they are often encased in a revolving metal sleeve.
Weight used for exercise, consisting of a rigid handle 5-7' long, with detachable metal discs at each end.
Basic Exercise
Training exercises using the largest muscle groups of your body (e.g., the thighs, back, and/or chest), often in combination with smaller muscles. Heavy weights are typically used for basic exercises in order to build great muscle mass and physical power. Some of the more common basic exercises include squats, bench presses, and dead-lifts.
A padded bench used for support during various lifting exercises.
Bench Press
An exercise in weight lifting in which the lifter lies on his back on a bench, raising and lowering the bar directly above the chest. It is intended for the development of the chest, or pectoral, muscles. It is properly performed while laying on your back with your shoulder blades pinched together on a specially designed bench with a weighted barbell suspended on a rack over your chest.
A term for a variety of exercises for use in doing barbell and dumbbell exercises either lying or seated on a bench.
Nutrient that functions as an antioxidants and free radical 'hunters' which has been found to strengthen the immune system, destroy carcinogens (cancer-causing substances), guard against heart disease and stroke and lower cholesterol levels . The body converts Beta-Carotene to vitamin A, which is necessary for healthy skin and mucous membranes (the body's first line of defense against invading micro-organisms).
Study of the function of the body in relation to movement; especially important for repetitive movement sports like running and weight lifting. Poor biomechanics can lead to injury.
Blind (Single Or Double) Study
In a single blind study, the subjects or the researchers do not know whether they are receiving an experimental treatment or a placebo. In a double blind study, neither the researchers nor the participants are aware of which subjects receive the treatment - until after the study is completed.
BMR (Basal Metabolism Rate)
The level of energy needed to keep involuntary body processes going. These processes include heartbeat, breathing, generating body heat, perspiring to keep cool, and transmitting messages to the brain . For a sedentary person, BMR accounts for about 60-70 percent of daily energy expenditure; the remaining 30-40 percent is from physical activity and from body heat produced after a meal. Physical activity is responsible for as much as 50-60 percent of the total energy expenditure in people who include frequent aerobic activity into their lifestyles.
Body Composition
The ratio of lean body mass (structural and functional elements in cells, body water, muscle, bone, heart, liver, kidneys, etc.) to body fat (essential and storage) mass.
Body Mass Index (BMI)
Method use for determining overweight and obesity in adults. BMI is a calculation that divides a person's weight in kilograms by height in meters squared (BMI = [kg/m"]. The general guideline currently recommended by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention is that individuals with a BMI of 25 to 29.9 are considered overweight and those individuals with a BMI greater than 30 are considered obese.
Bodybuilding is the sport of developing muscles through the combination of weight training, increased caloric intake, and rest.
Classified as an herb, bromelain is a sulfur-containing proteolytic digestive enzyme that is extracted from the stem and the fruit of the pineapple plant ( Ananas comosus, family Bromeliaceae) . When taken with meals, bromelain is believed to assist in the digestion of proteins. When taken on an empty stomach, it is believed to act medicinally as an anti-inflammatory agent..
A slang used to describe optimum muscle size and definition.
Bulking Up
Gaining body weight by adding muscle, body fat or both.
A burning sensation in a muscle that is being worked. This sensation is caused by a rapid buildup of fatigue toxins in the muscle and is a good indication that you are optimally working a muscle group.
A unit of energy that measures the energy content of food. The body needs calories as "fuel" to perform all of its functions, such as breathing, circulating the blood, and physical activity. Also known as a kilocalories (kcal).
Carb Load
Same as carb up.
Carb Up
A term used to describe the amount of carbohydrate consumption for the purpose achieving full muscle glycogen stores.
Components of food that give us energy . They are made of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. Carbohydrates are found in fruits, vegetables, sugary, and starchy foods.
Slang for carbohydrates.
Cancer producing substances such as chemicals, ultraviolet radiation, free radicals, or viruses.
Slang for cardiovascular training.
Pertaining to or affecting both the heart and the lungs and their functions.
Cardiovascular Training
Physical conditioning that strengthens heart and blood vessels. Aerobic exercise is a good example of cardiovascular exercise.
Muscle tissue which is broken down and converted to energy in order to keep the body fueled when dieting or over training.
A type of chemical compound found in tea which provides the health benefits of neutralizing free radicals and possibly reducing the risk of cancer.
Catecholamines are chemical compounds derived from the amino acid Tyrosine that act as hormones or neurotransmitters. Catecholamines include dopamine , noradrenaline and adrenaline.
The Canadian BodyBuilding Federation. The CBBF is Canada's federally recognized governing body for amateur bodybuilding and fitness competition. This is the only Canadian organization that qualifies competitors for the prestigious IFBB World Championships, and the only one that awards the privilege of IFBB Pro Card status.
Chalk Powder
Used on hands for secure grip.
A term commonly associated with the use of steroids in sports.
A fat-like substance that is found in certain foods and is also produced in the body. Cholesterol travels through the bloodstream in different packages called lipoproteins. Low-density lipoproteins (LDL or "bad" cholesterol) deliver cholesterol to the body, while high-density lipoproteins (HDL or "good" cholesterol) take cholesterol out of the bloodstream. There is a correlation between high blood-cholesterol levels and heart disease.
Circuit Training
A series of exercise machines set up in sequence. The exercises are performed one after the other, each stressing a different muscle group.
The movement of raising selected weights in one smooth motion. To properly execute a clean movement, full muscle control must be utilized in total coordination.
Clean And Jerk
An Olympic weight lift maneuver in which the barbell is lifted to shoulder height and then jerked overhead.
Clean And Snatch
One of 2 Olympic lifts where weight is raised from floor to overhead at arms' length in one motion.
Clinical Trial
A research study designed to answer specific questions about new therapies or treatments. Clinical trials (also called medical research and clinical studies) are used to determine whether new drugs or treatments are both safe and effective..
The clamp that is used to hold plates securely in place on a barbell or dumbbell bar.
Compulsory Pose
Mandatory poses in bodybuilding competitions, which consist of front double biceps, front lat spread, side chest, side triceps, back double biceps, back lat spread and abdominals and thighs.
The lifting phase of an exercise, when the muscle shortens or contracts, by means of the positive part of the repetition, when you raise the weight.
Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)
A type of fatty acid found in cheeses and some meat products and also supplements which may provide the health benefits of improving body composition and decreasing the risk of certain cancers.
Control Group
The group of subjects in a study to whom a comparison is made in order to determine whether an observation or treatment has an effect. In an experimental study it is the group that does not receive a treatment. Subjects are as similar as possible to those in the test or treatment group.
Controlled Cheating
A means of increasing intensity to get one or two more reps out of a set after reaching positive failure.
Controlled Study
In this type of research, study subjects (whether animal or human) are selected according to relevant characteristics, and then randomly assigned to either an experimental group, or a control group. Random assignment ensures that factors known as variables, which may affect the outcome of the study, are distributed equally among the groups and therefore could not lead to differences in the effect of the treatment under study. The experimental group is then given a treatment (sometimes called an intervention), and the results are compared to the control group, which does not receive treatment. A placebo, or false treatment, may be administered to the control group. With all other variables controlled, differences between the experimental and control groups may be attributed to the treatment under study.
A natural steroid that comes from the cortex or adrenal gland, or a synthetic version. Corticosteroids can reduce swelling, pain, and other manifestations of inflammation. Includes cortisol and cortisone which regulate the use of nutrients in the body.
A steroid hormone secreted by the adrenal cortex as part of the body's response to stress that promotes the synthesis and storage of glucose. Cortisol is the primary glucocorticoid and regulates glucose metabolism and the body's response to stress. During times of stress, cortisol levels increase and accelerate the breakdown of proteins to provide the fuel to maintain body functions. This tearing-down needs to be balanced with periods of rebuilding to maintain good health.
Couples' Competition
A bodybuilding competition in which man and woman teams compete against others with particularly appealing posing routines featuring dance movements and lifts. Also referred to as "Mixed Pairs Competition," this event is held in both amateur and professional World Championships.
Creatine, or creatine monohydrate is a naturally occurring amino acid that helps to supply energy to muscle cells.
Repetitive abdominal exercises where the knees are brought to the elbows from a laying flat on the back position.
Bended bar designed for more comfortable grip and less forearm strain.
Cut Up (Cut)
A term used to denote a bodybuilder who has an extremely high degree of muscular definition due to a low degree of body fat.
Dead Lift
One of three power-lifting events (other two are squat and bench press). High intensity weight lifting exercise where a high amount of weight is lifted off floor to approximately waist height. Lifter must stand erect, shoulders back.
An inadequacy or shortage of substances essential to growth and development, often resulting in disease or injury.
The absence of fat over clearly delineated muscular movement. Definition is often referred to as "muscularity," and a highly defined bodybuilder has so little body fat that very fine grooves of muscularity called "striations" will be clearly visible over each major muscle group.
Abbreviation for deltoids, the large triangular muscles of the shoulder that raise the arm away from the body and perform other functions.
Refers to the strength, health and tightness of the muscles. Combination of muscle mass and muscle density is highly prized among all competitive bodybuilders.
(Dehydroepiandrosterone) is a natural steroid prohormone produced from cholesterol by the adrenal glands, the gonads, adipose tissue, brain and in the skin (by an autocrine mechanism)]. DHEA is the precursor of androstenedione, testosterone and estrogen.
Food and drink regularly consumed by a person, often according to specific guidelines to improve physical condition.
Dip Belt
Large heavy belt worn around hips with chain at each end that can be attached to a barbell plate or dumbbell for additional resistance during certain exercises like dips.
Dipping Bars
Parallel bars set high enough above the floor to allow you to do dips between them, leg raises for your abdominals, and a variety of other exercises.
Sometimes called "water pills," these are drugs and herbal preparations that help increase the flow of urine from the body. They also decrease the extracellular fluid volume, and are primarily used to produce a negative extracellular fluid balance. Bodybuilders rely heavily on diuretics when preparing for a contest for the purpose of lowering subcutaneous water concentrations in efforts to achieve optimum muscular definition.
Dopamine is a catecholamine neurotransmitter (a chemical used to transmit impulses between cells), mainly in the brain and a hormone. It is also a precursor of adrenalin and noradrenaline. Catecholamines are chemically-similar small molecules that are derived from the amino acid Tyrosine. The major catecholamines are dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine (adrenalin).Dopamine is present in regions of the brain that regulate movement, emotion, motivation and feelings of pleasure.
Double (Split Training) Routine
Working out twice a day to allow for shorter, more intense workouts.
Double Blind Clinical Study
Double-blinded means that neither the patient nor the researcher knows if the patient is receiving the treatment or the placebo to help determine the actual effect of the tested ingredient.
Drying Out
Encouraging loss of body fluids by limiting liquid intake, eliminating salt, sweating heavily and/or using diuretics .
Easy Set
Exercise not close to maximum effort, as in a warm-up.
The lowering phase of an exercise, when the muscle lengthens. For example, lowering the weight to your chest during the bench press is the eccentric, or "negative," portion of the exercise.
The act of sustaining prolonged stressful effort.
Energy is a term used by humans to describe intangible, but perceptible, variations in emotional and physical stamina and motivation.
Increasing the capacity for muscular performance.
Essential Fatty Acids (EFAS)
Necessary fats needed for proper growth, maintenance, and functioning of the body. EFAs include linoleic and linolenic acid and are necessary for the normal functioning of the reproductive and endocrine systems and the breaking up of cholesterol deposits on arterial walls.
The female sex hormones produced by the ovaries which are responsible for the development of female sex characteristics. A small amount of these hormones are also produced in the male when testosterone is converted to estrogen in fat cells.
A term referring to an exercise in which a body part goes from a bent to a straight position.
That point in an exercise at which you have so fully fatigued your working muscles that they can no longer complete an additional repetition of a movement.
A sheet or thin band of fibrous tissue that covers muscles and some organs of the body.
Refers to muscle cells that fire quickly and are utilized in anaerobic activities like sprinting and powerlifting.
One of the macronutrients. Fat contains nine calories per gram; it has the most calories of MI the macronutrients. There are two types of fat-saturated "bad" fat and unsaturated "good" fat.
Fat Free Mass (FFM)
Another term for lean body mass. FFM refers to muscle, bones, organs, and connective tissue. The three compartments of the body are fat free mass, fat mass, and water.
Dietary fiber generally refers to parts of fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts and legumes that can't be digested by humans. Meats and dairy products do not contain fiber. Studies indicate that high-fiber diets can reduce the risks of heart disease and certain types of cancer. There are two basic types of fiber - insoluble and soluble. Soluble fiber in cereals, oatmeal, beans and other foods has been found to lower blood cholesterol. Insoluble fiber in cauliflower, cabbage and other vegetables and fruits helps move foods through the stomach and intestine, thereby decreasing the risk of cancers of the colon and rectum.
Contract a muscle.
The range of movement of a specific joint or a group of joints, influenced by the associated bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments.
Movement which brings body or limbs into a bent position.
Increasing the blood supply to the muscle . A common flush is the "niacin flush", and temporary harmless reaction, in which the skin may become tingly and red.
Forced Reps
Forced reps are a frequently used method of extending a set past the point of failure to induce greater gains in muscle mass and quality. With forced reps, a training partner pulls upward on the bar just enough for you to grind out two or three reps past the failure thresh-old.
A term to indicate the biomechanics used during the performance of any bodybuilding or weight-training movement.
Free Radicals
Highly reactive and unstable oxygen molecules, generated in the body, which can damage cells, leading to heart disease, cancer, and other ailments. Antioxidants help minimize free-radical damage.
Free Style Training
Training all body parts in one workout.
Free Weights
Barbells, dumbbells, and related equipment that is not connected to a machine.
Free-Form Amino Acids
Free form amino's are those that have not chained together to form peptides or proteins; they are singular entities. Peptides can have as few as three or up to 80 amino acids chained together, while proteins can be thousands of chain links long. Free form amino acids are immediately absorbed through the epithelial cells of the duodenum, and as such do not have to be fully digested.
Frequent Feeding
Eating often throughout the day to work with your body, not against it in order to keep your metabolism elevated and energy levels stable.
A simple carbohydrate widely distributed in organism, plants, and animals. It can be found in fruit juices, honey, and sugarcane. Fructose in the body may be changed into glucose by the liver and intestines. As glucose it is used by the body in several ways, including as a source of energy. Fructose is the sweetest of sugars. It is used therapeutically as a fluid and nutrient replenisher.
Functional Foods
Foods containing compounds with beneficial health effects beyond those provided by the basic nutrients, minerals and vitamins.
Giant Sets
Series of 4-6 exercises done with little or no rest between movements and a rest interval of 3-4 minutes between giant sets. You can perform giant sets for either two antagonistic muscle groups or a single body part.
Corticosteroid substances (drugs or hormones) that are involved in carbohydrate metabolism by promoting gluconeogenesis and the formation of glycogen at the expense of lipid and protein synthesis. They are steroid based and possess anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive properties. Glucocorticoids are also produced normally by the adrenal cortex and provide for the response to stress.
The process of making glucose (sugar) from its own breakdown products or from the breakdown products of lipids (fats) or proteins (amino acids ).
The simplest sugar molecule. It's also the main sugar found in blood and is used as a basic fuel for the body.
A water-soluble antioxidant compound (a peptide) made in the body and provided by the diet. The reduced form, (L-Glutathione) functions as an important antioxidant and as a co-substrate for antioxidant enzymes, such as Glutathione . Grape seed extract - Grape Seed Extract is an excellent source of biologically active flavonoids (polyphenols), which are natural compounds present in plant foods that may contribute significantly to the health and well-being of humans.
Abbreviation for gluteus maximus, medius and minimus; the buttocks muscles.
The principal stored form of carbohydrate energy (glucose), which is reserved in muscles and liver. When your muscles are full of glycogen, they look and feel full.
This refers to eating large amounts of food at one meal, then waiting for many hours, maybe a full day, before eating again. This is also known as bingeing.
Gras (Generally Recognized As Safe)
GRAS is the regulatory status of food ingredients not evaluated by the FDA prescribed testing procedure. It also includes common food ingredients that were already in use when the 1959 Food Additives Amendment to the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act was enacted.
A high energy source (fatigue fighter ); The seeds of the Gurana plant are a source of caffeine and are widely used for their stimulating effect. It is a central nervous system stimulant and is considered the least likely of all caffeine plants to cause anxiety.
Hand Off
Assistance in getting a weight to starting position for an exercise.
Hard Set
Perform a prescribed number of repetitions of an exercise using maximum effort.
Hcl (Hydrochloride)
Salts resulting from the reaction of hydrochloric acid with an organic base (mostly amines). HCL supplements are considered synthetic opposed to natural. Converting otherwise insoluble amines into their hydrochlorides is a common way to make them water- and acid-soluble. Many supplements used are prepared as hydrochlorides so that they may be quickly absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract.
An agent that contributes to the widening of the blood channels that lead to skeletal muscles through the mechanism of amplified blood flow.
High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL)
A protein in the blood plasma (the "good" cholesterol) that promotes breakdown and removal of cholesterol from the body. You may be able to raise your HDL cholesterol levels by ingesting quality unsaturated fats like flaxseed oil . Exercise has also been shown to increase HDL levels. HDL under 35 puts you at risk for heart disease. Higher is better!
Broken down into smaller molecules. High quality whey protein is commonly hydrolyzed. This facilitates the protein absorption by the body, rapidly delivering crucial nutrients.
The scientific term meaning an increase in muscle size but not by an increase in the number of constituent cells. Hypertrophy occur as a result of working muscles with various training techniques during a bodybuilding workout.
International Federation of Bodybuilders, founded in 1946 - The IFBB controls both the amateur and professional divisions, and counts among its sport disciplines men's, women's, juniors, masters and mixed-pairs bodybuilding; women's fitness and body fitness; and men's fitness.
Insulin Spike
A response that's initiated when blood glucose levels are increased rapidly causing a strong response from the pancreas, releasing a surge of insulin to deal with the high glucose, hence, an insulin spike. An insulin spike is beneficial after an intense workout because it allows more nutrients such as carbs, Creatine and amino acids to enter the cells, thus assisting with recovery.
The relative degree of effort that you put into each set of every exercise in a bodybuilding workout. The more intensity you place on a working muscle, the more quickly it will increase in hypertrophy.
Isokinetic Exercise
Form of active resistive exercise in which the speed of limb movement is controlled by a pre-set limiting machine, such as Cybex or Biodex.
Isolation Exercise
Isolation movement stresses a single muscle group (or sometimes just part of a single muscle) in relative isolation from the remainder of the body.
Isometric Exercise
Isometric exercise is a form of physical exercise in which the muscles flex and hold a stationary position. No movement of a load or joint angle takes place, and the exercises require little in the way of equipment. An example of an isometric exercise is placing the palms of the hands against each other and pushing. Isometric exercises are primarily used in physiotherapy and injury rehabilitation because the intensity can be rapidly and precisely adjusted, which makes them very safe.
Isotonic Exercise
Exercise in which opposing muscles contract and there is controlled movement (tension is constant while the lengths of the muscles change). The classic isotonic exercise is lifting free weights.
Judging Rounds
In the judging phase of bodybuilding contests, bodybuilders are evaluated in three different aspects of evaluation, ending with a "grand finale" of final pose downs for only the top five competitors. In Round One, the competitors are viewed in groups and individually in seven well-defined compulsory poses; in Round Two, they are viewed semi-relaxed from the front, both sides, and back; and in Round Three, they perform their own uniquely personal free-posing routines to their own choice of music.
A slang term for anabolic steroids, e.g., being "on the juice."
Substances produced when the body uses fat for energy. Ketones are excreted by the kidneys, and thus, can be measured in the urine.
Study of muscles and their movements. Applied kinesiology uses muscle testing procedures, in conjunction with standard methods of diagnosis, to gain information about a patient's state of health. Practitioners analyze muscle function, posture, gait and other structural factors in addition to inquiring about lifestyle factors.
Knee Wraps
Elastic strips about 3" wide used to wrap knees for better support when performing squats, dead lifts, etc.
Lactose is the sugar is naturally found in the milk of all mammals, but is not found anywhere else in nature. Our body cannot absorb lactose because the molecule is too large to pass through the small intestinal wall and enter our blood stream. The lactose molecule must first be split into two smaller molecules (glucose and galactose) that we can absorb. This is done by an enzyme located in the intestinal wall called lactase. As we age, some of us lose significant amounts of this enzyme, and we can no longer digest milk sugar. Whey is a dairy protein that is a by-product of the cheese making process. In its raw state, whey contains substantial amounts of fat and lactose (milk sugar). You wouldn't want to eat raw whey. That's why it is filtered and processed: to remove most of the lactose and fat. If you've ever heard of "microfiltration" or "ion exchange," those are simply methods of separating the fat and lactose from the protein. The end result is a more concentrated protein.
Abbreviation for latissimus dorsi, the large muscles of the back that move the arms downward, backward and in internal rotation.
A one or two week break from bodybuilding training.
This stands for "low-density lipoprotein" and is a subcategory of cholesterol, typically thought of as the "bad" cholesterol. Levels of LDL cholesterol can be elevated by ingestion of saturated fats and a lack of exercise.
Lean Body Mass
Everything in the body except fat, including bone , organs, skin, nails and all body tissue including muscle. Approximately 50-60% of lean body mass is water.
Strong, fibrous band of connecting tissue connecting 2 or more bones or cartilages or supporting a muscle, fascia or organ.
Linoleic Acid
An essential fatty acid and, more precise an omega-6 poly-unsaturated fatty acid. It is found in high concentrations in flaxseed oil.
Transporters of fatty substances in the blood.
Lock Out
Partial repetition of an exercise by pushing the weight through only last few inches of movement.
Lower Abs
Abbreviation for abdominal muscles below the navel.
A carotenoid related to the better known beta-carotene. Lycopene gives tomatoes and some other fruits and vegetables their distinctive red color. Nutritionally, it functions as an antioxidant.
Foods that contain calories and can therefore generate hormonal responses. Proteins, fats, and carbohydrates are macronutrients.
The relative size of each muscle group, or of the entire physique. As long as you also have a high degree of muscularity and good balance of physical proportions, muscle mass is a highly prized quality among competitive bodybuilders.
MCT's (Medium Chain Triglycerides)
A special class of fatty acids . Normal fats and oils contain long-chain fatty acids (LCTs). Compared to these fatty acids, MCTs are much shorter in length. Therefore, they resemble carbohydrates more than fat. As a result, they are more easily absorbed, digested, and utilized as energy than LCTs. Some studies have shown that MCT's can help in the process of excess calorie burning and weight loss.
Food that's eaten at one time. Each meal should contain a portion (which is the size of the palm of your hand or your clenched fist) of protein and a portion of carbohydrates.
Medium Chain Triglycerides
MTC's are a special class of fatty acids . Normal fats and oils contain long-chain fatty acids (LCTs). Compared to these fatty acids, MCTs are much shorter in length. Therefore, they resemble carbohydrates more than fat. As a result, they are more easily absorbed, digested, and utilized as energy than LCTs. Some studies have shown that MCT's can help in the process of excess calorie burning and weight loss.
Metabolic Rate
The rate you convert energy stores into working energy in your body usually expressed as kcal/day. The metabolic rate is controlled by a number of factors, including: muscle mass (the greater your muscle mass, the greater your metabolic rate), calorie intake, and exercise.
The use of nutrients by the body. It's the process by which substances come into the body and the rate at which they are used.
Muscles of abdominal area, including upper and lower abdominals, obliques and rectus abdominis muscles.
Military Press
Pressing a barbell from upper chest upward in standing or sitting position.
Naturally occurring, inorganic substances which are essential for human life, which play a role in many vital metabolic processes.
Mixed Pairs Competition
Couples' competition, a form of bodybuilding competition in which man-woman teams compete against others with particularly appealing posing routines and dance movements.
A molecule containing one amine group. An amine is an organic compound containing nitrogen. The so-called "biogenic monoamines" are natural, biologically active compounds that often function as neurotransmitters , including dopamine, serotonin, noradrenaline, and epinephrine.
Tissue consisting of fibers organized into bands or bundles that contract to cause bodily movement. Muscle fibers run in the same direction as the action they perform.
Muscle Head
Slang for someone whose life is dominated by training.
Muscle Spasm
Sudden, involuntary contraction of muscle or muscle group.
Muscle Tone
Muscle tone is the resting tautness or laxity of a muscle, ideally somewhere in the middle of the range between total contraction and total relaxation. Tone is important for good function of the body. Good coordination, joint function and stability, and general muscle function are all dependent on proper muscle tone.
An alternative term for "definition".
Muscular soreness due to inflammation that often occurs 1-2 days after unaccustomed exercise.
Exercise machine, which attempts to match resistance with user's force.
Negative Reps
One or two partners help you lift a weight up to 50% heavier than you would normally lift to finish point of movement. Then you slowly lower weight on your own.
Nitric Oxide
In the body, nitric oxide is involved in dilation of blood vessels, oxygen transport to the tissues, the transmission of nerve impulses, and other physiological activities.
Performing an exercise without going through complete range of motion. Preventing joints from full locking extension.
The National Physique Committee, Inc., which administers men's and women's amateur bodybuilding competitions in the United States. The NPC National Champions in each weight division are annually sent abroad to compete in the IFBB World Championships.
Components of food that help nourish the body: that is, they provide energy or serve as "building materials." These nutrients include carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals, water, etc.
The applied science of eating to foster greater health, fitness, and muscular gains. Through correct application of nutritional practices, you can selectively add muscle mass to your physique, or reduce body fat among achieving optimum health.
Muscles to either side of abdominals that rotate and flex the trunk.
A term reserved for use when referring only to a bodybuilder who has competed in the Mr. Olympia or Ms. Olympia competitions.
Olympic Barbell
A special type of barbell used in weightlifting and power-lifting competitions, but also used by bodybuilders in heavy basic exercises such as squats, bench presses, barbell bent rows, standing barbell curls, standing barbell presses, and dead-lifts. An Olympic barbell sans collars weighs 45 pounds, and each collar weighs five pounds.
Olympic Lifting
The type of weightlifting competition contested at the Olympic Games every four years, as well as at national and international competitions each year.
Onion Skin
Slang referring to skin with very low percentage of subcutaneous fat which helps accentuate muscularity.
Overload Principle
Applying a greater load than normal to a muscle to increase its capability.
Peripheral Heart Action; a system of training where you go from one exercise to another, with little or no rest, preferably alternating upper body and lower body exercises. Designed for cardiovascular training and to develop muscle mass.
Partial Reps
Performing an exercise without going through a complete range of motion either at the beginning or end of a rep.
PCT (Post Cycle Therapy)
A drug/diet regimen used by anabolic steroid users to counteract and minimize post-steroid hypogonadism. The goal is to restore normal endogenous sex hormone production (typically testosterone) after steroid use is discontinued, thereby preserving the muscle and strength gains made during steroid use and minimizing side effects such as decreased libido and depression. Due to the harsh nature of some anabolic steroids on the liver (particularly oral, methylated steroids), PCT is also used to help cleanse the liver and ultimately prepare it for handling another cycle.
Peak Contraction
Exercise a muscle until it cramps using shortened movements.
Abbreviation for pectoral muscles of the chest.
Ph Cycle (Prohormone Cycle)
Most commonly a 2 to 8 week regamin depending on substance and dosage, followed by a recovery phase of equal or greater time. During this PH cycle, calories are increased and training intesities are decreased to facilitate recovery. After most PH cycles, certain substances are used to accelerate recovery of natural testosterone production. The most common tools used are anti-estrogens. These serve the dual purpose of decreasing estrogen levels that are commonly elevated after a cycle and signalling the body to produce more testosterone.
Naturally occurring compounds found in plants and plant products, that are structurally and/or functionally related to natural estrogens or that produce estrogenic effects.
A pill, topical, or injection made to appear exactly like a medication, but without any of its active ingredients. Often used in double-blinded clinical trials so that researchers can eliminate the so-called placebo effect from the true effects of the drug being tested.
The flat discs placed on the ends of barbell and dumbbell bars to increase the weight of the apparatus.
Plyometric Exercise
Refers to those activities that enable a muscle to reach maximal force in the shortest possible of time.
The amount of carbohydrates or protein one should eat with each meal. A portion is roughly the size of the palm of your hand or your clenched fist.
Each individual stance that a bodybuilder does onstage in order to highlight his muscular development.
Pose Down
Bodybuilders performing their poses at the same time in a competition, trying to out pose one another.
Power Training
System of weight training using low repetitions, heavy weights.
Powerlifting is a strength sport consisting of three events: the squat, the bench press, and the deadlift. The maximum weight lifted in each event is totaled for a final score. Lifters compete in bodyweight classes.
A substance that is converted into or used to form an active compound, such as vitamin, hormone or enzyme.
The act of gradually adding to the amount of resistance that you use in each exercise. Without consistent progression in your workouts, you won't overload your muscles sufficiently to promote optimum increases in hypertrophy.
Progressive Resistance
Method of training where weight is increased or the workout altered in a manner to elicit continued adaptations, the backbone of all weight training.
A chemical compounds that are precursors to a hormone , usually with minimal hormonal effect by itself. The conversion process from prohormone to hormone is typically a single step, and a location for regulatory control.
Proteins are the building blocks of muscle, enzymes, and hormones. They are made up of amino acids and are essential for growth and repair in the body. A gram of protein contains four calories. Those from animal sources contain the essential amino acids. Those from vegetable sources contain some but not all of the essential amino acids. Proteins are broken up by the body to produce amino acids.
The tight, blood-congested feeling in a muscle after it has been intensely trained. Muscle pump is caused by a rapid influx of blood into the muscles to remove fatigue toxins. and replace supplies of fuel and oxygen. A good muscle pump indicates that you have optimally worked a muscle group.
Slang meaning the muscles have been made large by increasing blood supply to them through exercise.
Pumping Iron
Phrase that has been in use since the 1950s, meaning lifting weights.
Abbreviation for quadriceps, a large group of four muscles that cover the entire front and side of each thigh. One connects the pelvis to the knee; the others stretch from the thighbone to the knee and the top of the lower leg.
Quality Training
Training just before bodybuilding competition where intervals between sets are drastically reduced to enhance muscle mass and density, and low-calorie diet is followed to reduce body fat.
Range Of Motion (Rom)
The degree of movement that occurs at a joint.
Recommended Daily Allowance, a nutritional guideline proposed by the government on the appropriate doses of different vitamins and minerals required for good health.
Rep Out
Repeat the same exercise over and over until you are unable to do any more.
Repetition (Reps)
The number of times you lift and lower a weight in one set of an exercise. For example, if you lift and lower a weight 10 times before set-ting the weight down, you have completed 10 "reps" in one set.
Resistance Exercise
Working out with weights or using your body to resist some other force. This includes a wide spectrum of motion, from push-ups to dumbbell curls.
Rest Interval
Pause between sets of an exercise, which allows muscles to recover partially before beginning next set.
Rest Pause Training
Training technique in which you press out one difficult repetition, then replace bar in stands, then after a 10-20 second rest, do another rep, etc.
Rest Period
The amount of time you allow between sets and exercises.
Slang meaning extreme muscularity, minimum body fat .
Also called a training schedule or program, a routine is the total list of exercises, sets, and reps (and sometimes weights) used in one training session.
Saturated Fats
They are called saturated because they contain no open spots on their carbon skeletons and are generally solid at room temperature. Sources of these fats include animal foods and hydrogenated vegetable oils, such as butter and margarine.
Group of reps (lifting and lowering a weight) of an exercise after which you take a brief rest period. For example, if you complete 10 reps, set the weight down, complete eight more reps, set the weight down again, and repeat for six more reps, you have completed three sets of the exercise.
The hollow metal tube fit over the bar on most exercise barbell and dumbbell sets. This sleeve makes it easier for the bar to rotate in your hands as you do an exercise.
Olympic lift where weight is lifted from floor to overhead, (with arms extended) in one continuous movement.
SOD (Superoxide Dismutase)
An enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of superoxide into hydrogen peroxide and oxygen.SOD has particular value as an antioxidant that can help to protect against cell destruction. It has the distinct ability to neutralize superoxide, one of the most damaging free radical substances in nature. Like so many other protective compounds which naturally occur in the body, it decreases with age, making cells much more vulnerable to the oxidants which cause aging and disease. It occurs naturally in broccoli, Brussels's sprouts, wheat grass and in the majority of green plants. SOD is also marketed as a nutritional supplement.
Stand by to assist in lifting exercises.
Training partner who stands by to act as safety helpers when you perform heavy lifting exercises.
Prescription drugs similar in action to the male sex hormone, testosterone. Some athletes use these drugs trying to build muscle strength and endurance. Prescription steroid use can have dangerous short-term and long-term effects on health.
Sticking Point
A stalling out of bodybuilding progress.
Straight Sets
Groups of repetitions (SETS) interrupted by 30-90 second pauses.
The ability of a muscle to produce maximum amount of force.
Strength Training
Using resistance weight training to build maximum muscle force.
Stretch Marks
These marks in the skin are caused by rapidly growing tissue.
A type of exercise program in which you assume exaggerated postures that stretch muscles, joints, and connective tissues, hold these positions for several seconds, relax and then repeat the postures. Regular stretching exercise promotes body flexibility.
Grooves or ridge marks seen under the skin, the ultimate degree of muscle definition. .
Super Set
Alternating back and forth between two exercises until the prescribed number of sets is complete.
This is a term used to describe a preparation such as a tablet, pill, or powder that contains nutrients. Supplements are used to help you achieve optimal nutrient intake.
The way in which muscle groups compliment one another, creating a proportional physique.
A band or cord of strong, fibrous tissue that connects muscles to bone .
The male hormone primarily responsible for the maintenance of muscle mass and strength induced by heavy training. Testosterone is secondarily responsible for developing such secondary male sex characteristics as a deep voice, body hair, and male pattern baldness.
Thick Skin
Smooth skin caused by too much fatty tissue between the layers of muscle and beneath skin.
A term referring to a muscular physique with relatively low body fat .
Training Effect
Increase in functional capacity of muscles as result of increased (overload) placed upon them.
Training Straps
Cotton or leather straps wrapped around wrists, then under and over a bar held by clenched hands to aid in certain lifts (rowing, chin-ups, shrugs, dead lifts, cleans, etc.) where you might lose your grip before working muscle to desired capacity-
Training To Failure
Continuing a set until it is impossible to compete another rep without assistance.
Abbreviation for trapezius muscles, the two flat triangular muscles of the shoulder and upper back that are involved in moving the shoulders and arms.
Tri Sets
Alternating back and forth between 3 exercises until designated number of sets are completed.
Triglycerides are fats that provide energy for your muscles. Like cholesterol, they are delivered to your body's cells by lipoproteins in the blood. If you eat foods with a lot of saturated fat or carbohydrates, you will raise your triglyceride levels.
Universal Machine
One of several types of machines where weights are on a track or rails and are lifted by levers or pulleys.
Unsaturated Fat
The healthiest kind of fat . It generally comes from plants and contributes to cardiovascular health by lowering LDL and raising HDL.
Upper Abs
Abbreviation for abdominal muscles above navel.
Variable Resistance
Strength training equipment where the machine varies amount of weight being lifted to match strength curve for a particular exercise-usually with a cam, lever arm or hydraulic cylinder.
The condition of being vascular . The size and number of observable veins.
An agent that causes blood vessels to temporarily expand and increase blood flow .
Vitamins are organic compounds that are nutritionally essential in small amounts to control metabolic processes and cannot be synthesized by the body. Vitamins are usually classified by their solubility, which to some degree determines their stability; occurrence in foodstuffs; distribution in body fluids, and tissue storage capacity. Each of the fat-soluble vitamins A , D , E and K has a distinct and separate physiologic role. Several have antioxidant properties to depress the effects of metabolic byproducts called free radicals, which are thought to cause degenerative changes related to aging. Most of the water-soluble vitamins are components of essential enzyme systems. Many are involved in the reactions supporting energy metabolism. These vitamins are not normally stored in the body in appreciable amounts and are normally excreted in the urine. Thus, a daily supply is desirable to avoid depletion and interruption of normal physiologic functions.
The 10-15-minute session of light calisthenics, aerobic exercise, and stretching taken prior to handling heavy bodybuilding training movements. A sufficient warm-up helps to prevent injuries and increases endurance.
The same as Poundage or Resistance.
Weight Class (Weight Division)
In order for bodybuilders to compete against men of similar size, the IFBB has instituted weight classes for all amateur competition: a. Bantamweight: Up to and incl 65 Kg. b. Lightweight: Up to and incl 70 Kg. c. Welterweight: Up to and incl 75 Kg. d. Light-Middleweight: Up to and incl 80 Kg. e. Middleweight Up to and incl 85 Kg. f. Light-heavyweight: Up to and incl 90 Kg. g. Heavyweight: Over 90 Kg. Women's Professional Bodybuilding, all competitions shall have two (2) weight categories as follows: a. Lightweight: up to & including 135 lbs [61.364 kg] b. Heavyweight: Over 135 lbs [61.364 kg]
Weight Training Belt
Thick belt used to support lower back. Used while doing squats, military presses, dead lifts, bent rowing, etc.
Weightlifting is a sport where competitors attempt to lift heavy weights mounted on steel bars. Olympic lifting and power lifting are the two types of weightlifting competition.
Exercise: the activity of exerting your muscles in various ways to keep fit.
An herb derived from the bark of the yohimbe tree used for its effects in dilation of blood vessels and stimulation of blood flow. Primarily used in weightloss and sexual enhancement products.

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