|A Comprehensive Source of Training Terms
BodybuildingPro.com Training Database Training Dictionary: A Comprehensive Source of Training Terms
Go to: Nutrition Dictionary of Terms
Abduction: Movement of the straight legs, accomplished by
contraction of the leg abductor muscles (the sarorius, primarily),
from a fully abducted position back to one in which the legs are
again pressed together.
Advanced Trainee: An individual with at least one year of
steady, systematic resistance training experience.
Aerobic Exercise: Prolonged, moderate - intensity work that
uses up oxygen at or below the level at which your
cardiorespiratory system can replenish oxygen in the working
muscles. Aerobic literally means “with oxygen”, and the
only type of exercise that burns body fat to meet its energy needs.
Bodybuilders engage in aerobic workouts to develop additional heart
/ lung fitness, as well as to burn off excess body fat to achieve
peak contest muscularity. Common aerobic activities include
running, cycling, stair climbing, swimming, dancing, and walking.
Depending on how vigorously you play them, most racket sports can
also be aerobic exercise.
Anaerobic Exercise: Exercise of much higher intensity than
aerobic work, which uses up oxygen more quickly than the body can
replenish it in the working muscles. Anaerobic exercise eventually
builds up a significant oxygen debt that forces an athlete to
terminate the exercise session rather quickly. Anaerobic exercise
(the kind of exercise to which bodybuilding training belongs) burns
up glycogen (muscle sugar) to supply its energy needs. Fast
sprinting is a typical anaerobic form of exercise.
Ankle Collar: The ankle collar is a wide, leather ankle
bracelet which you clip to pulleys to perform exercises such as
left lifts, and leg curls. It is largely used for leg
Arm Blaster: Using an arm blaster is a very strict way to
perform barbell (or E - Z bar) curls. Using an arm blaster promotes
a similar effect as using a preacher bench. No elbow movement at
all, and strict isolation of the biceps.
Ballistic Stretch: This involves dynamic muscle action
where the muscles are stretched suddenly in a bouncing movement.
For example, a ballistic stretch for the hamstrings might involve
touching your toes repeatedly in rapid succession. The problem with
this stretching technique is that rapid stretches invoke a powerful
stretch receptor response that can result in injury. Further, after
you do these exercises, the stretch receptors are overactive. This
may lead to injury during an activity such as running or playing
Bar: 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.
Barbell: Normally measuring between four and six feet in
length, a barbell is the most basic piece of equipment used in
weight training and bodybuilding. You can train every major muscle
group using only a barbell. There are two major types of exercise
where barbells are used: adjustable sets (in which you add or
subtract plates to achieve the total weight desired), and fixed
barbells (in which the plates are either welded or bolted in place
and the total weight of the barbell is a set number). You may see
fixed weights arranged by poundage in various gyms. The total
weight of that barbell will likely be etched or painted on the
plates. Fixed weights will save you the time of adjusting the
weight in between sets. Adjustable weights are seen more commonly
in home gyms, because it is very cost efficient to buy a bar, with
several plates and clips to lock the weight in place.
Beginning Bodybuilder: An individual with less than six
months of bodybuilding experience.
Bench: A wide variety of exercise benches are available for
use in doing barbell and dumbbell exercises either lying or seated.
The most common type of bench, a flat exercise bench, can be used
for chest, shoulder, and arm movements. Incline and decline benches
(which are set at various angles, normally between 30 to 45
degrees) also allow movements for the chest, shoulders, and arms.
Adjustable benches are available for home gym use. They can be
adjusted to flat, incline or decline angles.
Belts: Belts are supposed to aid you in a lift by taking
pressure off the lower back when lifting very heavy weights. They
will certainly help you if your goal is to develop power, and you
attempt to achieve this through power lifting which consists of the
three basic compound movements, squats, bench press, and dead
lifting, all performed in a very low rep range. A weight belt will
stabilize the upper body by increasing pressure in the abdominal
cavity, and will reduce pressure in the lower back. Belts can offer
a feeling of security and the knowledge that the chances of injury
is lessened. However, belts are not necessary in all exercises.
Stabilizing your upper body is simply not crucial for some lifts,
and sporting a belt in those circumstances will not help you to
achieve your goal to any greater degree. I recommend wearing a belt
for big lifts, especially compound movements, done with heavy
Biceps Machines: Biceps machines offer a variety of
advantages to biceps training, and are advantageous to include in
your workouts. With biceps machines, you can do heavy forced
negatives. Your workout partner can press down on the weight as you
resist during the downward part of the movement. You can get a
longer range of motion, giving your more stretch and total
Biomechanics: The scientific study of body positions, or
form, in sport. In bodybuilding, kinesiology studies body form when
exercising with weights. When you have good biomechanics in a
bodybuilding exercise, you will be safely placing maximum
beneficial stress on your working muscles.
Bodybuilder’s High: Similarly to a runner’s
high, a pump can, according to some experts, cause a wide variety
of hormonal responses, including the release of endorphins and
enkephalins, which are natural painkillers produced in the body.
Not to get into too much physiology or psychology, the pump can
also elicit a pleasurable response in the pleasure center of the
brain, which occurs overtime through the association of
bodybuilding activity and the satisfying pump felt afterwards. The
difference between being pumped up after a workout while in the
gym, and waking up the next morning may be so significant that some
people are shocked at the way they look when pumped up. Like any
other positive outcome of bodybuilding, the pump will only occur if
a number of other training factors are in place, such as proper
nutrition and rest. One very easy way to determine if you are
overtraining is if you notice you are no longer achieving the pump
after your workouts. This can easily be noticed if you are familiar
with the feeling associate with the pump. See also, Pump
Bodybuilding: A type of weight
training applied in conjunction with sound nutritional practices to
alter the shape or form of one’s body. Bodybuilding is a
competitive sport nationally and internationally in both amateur
and professional categories for men, women, and mixed pairs.
However, a majority of individuals use bodybuilding methods merely
to lose excess body fat or build up a thin body.
Cambered Curling Bar: See E - Z Curl Bar
Cardiorespiratory Fitness: Physical fitness of the heart,
circulatory system, and lungs indicative of good aerobic
Cheating: A method of
pushing a muscle to keep it working far past the point of temporary
muscular failure. In cheating, you will use a self - administered
body swing, jerk, or otherwise poor form once you have reached
temporary muscular failure to take some pressure off the muscles
being used primarily in the movement and allow them to continue for
a few more reps. Word of advice: Save cheating for the last set of
Chinning Bar: A horizontal bar attached high on the wall or
gym ceiling on which you can do chins, hanging leg raises, and
other movements for your upper body.
Circuit Training: A special form of bodybuilding through
which you can simultaneously increase aerobic conditioning, muscle
mass, and strength. In circuit training you will plan a series of
10 to 20 exercises in a circuit around the gym. The exercises
chosen should stress all parts of the body. These movements are
performed with an absolute minimum of rest between exercises. At
the end of a circuit a rest interval of two to five minutes is
taken before going through the circuit again. Three to give
circuits would constitute a circuit - training program.
Clip: The clamp used to hold plates securely in place on a
barbell or dumbbell bar. The cylindrical metal clamps are held in
place on the bar by means of a set screw threaded through the
collar and tightened securely against the bar. Inside collars keep
the plates from sliding inward and injuring your hands, while
outside collars keep plates from sliding off the barbell in the
middle of an exercise.
Collar: See Clip
Cool Down: If you’ve done a fast - paced workout,
complete the workout with five minutes of slow aerobic activity.
This cool down will give your pulse, blood pressure and breathing a
chance to slow down. You can also end a weight training session
with an easy set using a light weight, or some light
Concentric Contraction: When a muscle fiber develops
sufficient tension to overcome a resistance so that the muscle
visibly shortens and moves a body part against a resistance, it is
said to be in concentric contraction. When you curl a dumbbell, the
biceps muscle contracts concentrically. The resistance is the
combined weight of the forearm and the dumbbell, and the source of
resistance is the gravitational pull.
Cross Training: The participation in two or more sports
that can improve performance in each and help achieve a higher
level of fitness. For example, weight training and football.
Curved Short Bar: Some of these are U - shaped and some are
V - shaped. Both of them are used frequently for triceps exercises,
but other exercises are also possible with them.
Dip: Word used to refer to the negative motion of a bench
press exercise (intentional or otherwise). When an individual
reaches the point of temporary muscular failure, the bar may "dip"
(drop unintentionally) until the time at which the spotter realizes
assistance is needed and helps the trainee raise the bar to the
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. Some gyms have
dipping bars that are angled inward at one end; these can be used
when changing your grip width on dips.
Dips: Dips are performed on an apparatus resembling two
parallel bars, 3 to 4 feet high. This exercise is great for the
chest and triceps.
Dorsiflexion: Moving the top of the foot upward and toward
Dumbbell: A dumbbell is a short handed barbell (usually 10
to 12 inches in length) intended primarily for use with one in each
hand. Dumbbells are especially valuable when training the arms and
shoulders but can be used to build up almost any muscle.
Eccentric Contraction: When a given resistance overcomes
the muscle tension so that the muscle actually lengthens the muscle
is said to be in eccentric contraction. Although the contracting
muscle develops tension, it is overpowered by resistance. When you
slowly lower a curled weight from the shoulder, the biceps muscle
contracts eccentrically. If the biceps was relaxed, gravity would
extend the elbow joint and lower the weight with considerable
speed. Slowing the movement against resistance provides an
additional muscle - developing factor.
Exercise: Each individual movement (example, a seated
pulley row, barbell curl, or seated calf raise) that you perform in
your bodybuilding workouts.
E - Z Curl Bar: A special type of barbell used in many arm
exercises, but particularly for standing E - Z bar curls wherein it
removes from your wrists strain that might be present when doing
the movement with a straight bar. An E - Z curl bar is occasionally
called a cambered curling bar.
Failure: See Temporary Muscular Failure (TMF)
Fast-Twitch Muscle Fibers: White muscle fibers which
contract quickly and powerfully, but not with great endurance. Fast
- twitch fibers are developed by heavy, low - rep, explosive weight
Flexibility: A uppleness of joints, muscle masses, and
connective tissues which lets you move your limbs over an
exaggerated range of motion. A valuable quality in bodybuilding
training, it promotes optimum physical development. Flexibility can
only be attained through systematic stretching training, which
should form a cornerstorne of your overall bodybuilding
Form: Form is expressed in terms of the quality of each
repetition throughout the full range of motion. With good form, one
should be able to reach the point of temporary muscular failure.
Form involves moving the specified muscles involved in a particular
Free Weights: Barbells,
dumbbells, and related equipment. Serious bodybuilders use a
combination of free weights and such nautilus exercise machines
such as the smith machine to incorporate a balanced training
regime. Free weights are generally preferred, because they allow
the stabilizer muscles to be used.
Giant Sets: Series of four to
six exercises done with little to no rest between movements and a
rest interval of two to three minutes between sets. You can perform
giant sets for either two antagonistic muscle groups or a single
Gloves: Many bodybuilders have used gloves to improve their
grip in certain exercise, as well as prevent callusing from
occurring. Another method is chalk, which, when put on your hands,
can also improve grip considerably. If you have sensitive skin, or
for any other reason feel you would benefit from the use of gloves,
then by all means invest in a pair, which should not run you any
more than 10 dollars. If you do develop calluses, this will also
toughen up your hands, and make the use of gloves non
Holistic Workouts: Sessions in which a broad spectrum of
weight - rep combinations, ranging from heavy / low - rep work to
light / high - rep training is followed.
Horse Shoe: The horse shoe is an individual hand grip you
can use to perform exercises such as one - handed cable curls, and
one - handed triceps pressdowns. This can also be used for other
body parts, such as back (one - handed cable rows), and shoulders
(cable lateral raises).
Hypertrophy: The scientific term denoting an increase in
muscle mass and an improvement in relative muscular strength.
Hypertrophy is induced by placing an "overload" on the working
muscles with various techniques during a bodybuilding workout.
Intensity: The relative degree of effort 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. The most basic methods of increasing intensity are to
use heavier weights in good form on each exercise, do more reps
with a set weight, or perform a consistent number of sets and reps
with a particular weight in a movement, but progressively reducing
the length of the rest interval between each set.
Intermediate Bodybuilder: A bodybuilder with six to 12
months of bodybuilding experience.
Inversion: Turning the bottom of the foot toward the
inside. For calf raises this hits the inner head of the
Isolation Exercise: In contrast to a basic exercise, an
isolation movement stresses a single muscle group (or sometimes
just part of a single muscle) in relative isolation from the
remainder of the body. Isolation exercises are good for shaping and
defining various muscle groups. For your thighs, squats would be a
typical basic movement, while leg extensions would be the
equivalent isolation exercise.
Isokinetic Contraction: Isokinetic contractions can refer
to either a concentric or eccentric contraction. Isokinetic
contraction occurs at a set speed against a force of maximal
resistance produced at all points in the range of motion. This
contraction type is performed under controlled same - speed
Isometric Contraction: Isometric contraction is a muscular
contraction not accompanied by movement of the joint. The muscle is
neither lengthened nor shortened but tension changes can be
measured. Due to the lack of visible muscle shortening, there is no
movement of the actins. The term “dynamic tension” was
used by Charles Atlas to refer to this term.
Isotonic Contraction: In an isotonic contraction, the
tension within the muscle remains the same throughout the motion,
which is to say the force of the contraction remains constant. This
is also called the positive portion of an exercise movement. There
are two aspects of isotonic contraction, concentric, and eccentric.
Concentric contraction occurs when the muscle fibers shorten as
tension develops. At the onset of the movement, the actin and
myosin filaments have tremendous pulling force. Thus you will be
stronger in the initial phase of most movements. Toward the end or
near the peak of contraction, the ability of the filaments to slide
toward each other reaches a limit and strength weakens. An
eccentric contraction is the type of muscle contraction that
involves lengthening the muscle fibers, such as when a weight is
lowered through a range of motion. The muscle yields to the
resistance, allowing itself to be stretched. Here the actin and
myosin slide away from each other. The level of force generated is
much higher in the eccentric phase as opposed to the concentric
phase. This is due to the added friction in the eccentric portion.
Concentric aspect is a form of muscle contraction that occurs when
muscle fibers shorten as tension develops. Eccentric aspect is a
contraction that involves lengthening the muscle fibers, such as
when a weight is lowered through a range of motion. The muscle
yields to the resistance, allowing itself to be stretched. This is
the age of the focused eccentric contraction. Too often
bodybuilders focus their attention only on the positive motion
(concentratric) and pay little attention to the negative motion
(eccentric). It is a matter of common sense to perform the lowering
of resistance with at least as much focus and effort given to
lifting the same weight.
Layoff: Most bodybuilders take a one to two week layoff
from bodybuilding training from time to time. During this time, no
exercise is done whatsoever. A layoff after a period of intense
precompetition training is particularly benegicial as a means of
allowing the body to completely rest, recuperate, and heal any
minor training injuries that might have cropped up during the
Log: See Weight Training Log
Long Bar: These bars are commonly used in exercises for the
back, such as lat pulldowns. The advantage of the long bar is that
you can adjust the width depending on how you would like to work
Mass: 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.
Muscle Contraction: Any of five types of movement caused by
muscular work. See: Isometric Contraction, Concentric
Contraction, Eccentric Contraction, Isotonic
Contraction, and Isokinetic Contraction.
Muscle Atrophy: See Atrophy
Muscle Hypertrophy: See Hypertrophy
Nautilus: A brand of exercise machin in common use in large
gyms. Used when bodybuilders want to add variety to their workouts.
For example, doing front squats on a Nautilus squat machine as
oppsed to free weight squats for a workout.
Negative (Rep): The downward half of a repetition, also
known as the eccentric contraction. By placing resistance on the
negative half of the movement, you can induce a high degree of
NPC: 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 class
are annually sent abroad to compete in the IFBB World
Olympian: A term reserved for
use when regerring only to a bodybuilder who has competed in the
Mr. Olympia or Ms. Olympia competitions. Not to be confused with
the more common meaning of the term, which refers to those athletes
who have competed in the Olympic games.
Olympic Barbell: A special type of barbell used in weight -
lifting and power - lifting competitions, but also used by
bodybuilders in heavy basic exercises such as bench press, squat
and deadlifting (the three basic powerlifting movements, which can
also be incorporated into bodybuilding). Each bar weighs 45 lbs (20
kg). The collars used in powerlifting and weightlifting weigh 5.5
lbs (2.5 kg). Collars at your gym may vary in weight, however.
Olympic Lifting: The type of weight lifting contested at
the Olympic Games every four years, as well as at national and
international competitions each year. The two lifts (the snatch and
the clean - and - jerk) are contested in a wide variety of weight
Overload: The amount of weight that you force a muscle to
use that is over and above its normal strength ability. Applying an
overload to a muscle forces it to increase in hypertrophy.
Overtraining: Chronically exceeding the body's recovery
ability by doing too lengthy and . or too frequent workouts.
Chronic overtraining can lead to injuries, infectious illness and
worse: a cessation or even regression in gains of a muscle mass,
tone, and strength.
Passive Stretch: A partner assists you in moving joints
through their ranges of motion. You can achieve a greater range of
motion passively than you can statically. However, because you are
not controlling the movement, there is a greater risk of injury.
Passive stretching is a valuable technique but should only be used
by experienced people who thoroughly understand the technique.
There must also be good communication between the people performing
and receiving the passive stretches.
Peak: The absolute Zenith of competitive condition achieved
by a bodybuilder. To peak out optimally for a bodybuilding show,
you must intelligently combine bodybuilding training, aerobic
workouts, diet, mental conditioning, tanning, and a large number of
other preparatory factors.
Peaking: See Peak
Plantar Flexion: Moving the top of the foot away from the
shin, that is, pointing the toes down, as in heel raises.
Plates: The flat discs placed on the ends of the barbell
and dumbbell bars to increase the weight of the apparatus. Although
some plates are made from vinyl - covered concrete, the best and
most durable plates are manufactured from metal.
Poundage: The amount of weight that you use in an exercise,
whether that weight is on a barbell, dumbbell, or exercise
Power: In bodybuilding and power lifting, this is strength,
of the ability to use very heavy poundages on all basic movements.
In a sports context, power is the ability to move heavy weights
Power Lifting: A second form of competitive weight lifting
(not contested at the Olympics, however) featuring three lifts: the
squat, the bench press, and the deadlift. Power lifting is
contested both nationally and internationally in a wide variety of
weight and age classes for both men and women.
Power Rack: A power rack is a safety apparatus that has two
thick adjustable steel pins that the barbell rests upon.
Bodybuilders and powerlifters use the power rack to perform squats,
shrugs, deadlifts and presses.
Pre-Exhaustion: A technique used primarily on torso -
muscle groups (chest, back, shoulders) which makes the weaker arm
muscles temporarily stronger than normal, so basic exercises like
bench press, lat machine pulldowns, and standing barbell presses
can be pushed far past the point at which a bodybuilder would fail
to continue a set. Preex involves supersetting an isolation
exercise for a particular torso muscle (for example, flat bench
flyes for the pecotral muscles) with a basic movement (for example,
bench presses) for the same muscle.
Progression: The act of gradually adding 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.
Pronation: You pronate your hand when you turn the palm
Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF): PNF
techniques are used to improve strength and flexibility. The
technique attempts to use reflexes initiated by muscle and joint
receptors to cause greater training effects. The most popular PNF
stretching technique is the contract - relax stretching method. The
muscle is actively contracted before it is stretched. Static
stretching is generally preferred over PNF.
Pump: A commonly used bodybuilding term is “the
pump”. “The pump” occurs when your muscles swell
up beyond their normal size by a considerable amount. Looking at
yourself in the mirror, you will look bigger, and likely show
appear more vascular and defined as well as being more confident in
yourself. This pump is normally fast to achieve and shouldn’t
take much more than four sets. I find a really good way to pump up
is to do pushups until I reach failure, and normally my chest will
look bigger than ever. A good pump can be felt and noticed
throughout the entire workout if done properly. Oxygen and
nutrients will continually to be brought into the area being
exercised during intense weight training activity. Blood is forced
into the area being exercised but not drawn out. This extra blood
stays in there for some period, causing it to swell and appear
noticeably bigger. A reason why many people like to pump up before
they pose for a picture is to take advantage of this difference in
size which occurs. See also, Bodybuilder’s High
Pump Set: A high - rep set, usually in the range of 15 to
20 repetitions, of a basic exercise which is done after a peak
weight has been handled in that movement. Usually a pump set is the
last one done on a particular basic movement. A pump set is also
sometimes called a down set.
Training: A type of workout used just prior to a
competition in which the lengths of rest intervals between sets are
progressively reduced to increase overall training intensity and to
help further define the physique.
Recovery Cycle: The process between workouts during which
the body flushes out fatigue toxins, restores muscle glycogen,
repairs itself, and increases in hypertrophy. The length of this
cycle varies from as little as 48 hours to as much as one full
week, and perhaps more. Recovery is enhanced by sufficient sleep
and proper nutrition.
Rep: See Repetition
Repetition: This term, which takes on the short form, rep,
refers to a single rendition of an exercise. For example, if your
curl a barbell through the entire range of motion once, you have
completed one repetition (rep) of the movement.
Resistance: The actual amount of weight you are using in
Rest Interval: The brief pause lasting between 30 seconds
to two minutes, and in some cases even longer, which occurs between
sets to allow your body to partially recuperate prior to initiating
the succeeding set.
Rope: This attachment is used on a cable machine, and is
commonly used for exercises such as rope pulls, or triceps
Routine: The term routine is very broad, and encompasses
virtually every aspect of what you do in one weight lifting
session, including the type of equipment you use, the number of
exercises, sets, and repetitions you perform; the order in which
you do the exercises; and how much rest you take between sets. You
can change the factors within your routine to change your
Set: A set is a group of consecutive repetitions that are
performed without resting. When you have completed 8 repetitions of
bench press, and have reached temporary muscular failure or put the
weights down, you have completed one set. See also: Working
Shoes: Shoes act to stabilize your balance and improve your
balance in training. The design of shoes varies depending on their
use, whether it is for running, or outdoor recreational activities,
or simply day to day wear. The main quality of shoes, no matter
which you choose, is support. Solid, thick soled shoes with good
arch support are the best you can choose.
Sleeve: The hollow metal tube that fits 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 perform an
Smith Machine: Another name for a brand of Nautilus machines at the gym which are used to add variety to workouts. They offer many disadvantages, but normally, free weights are
Split Routine: A program in which the body is divided into
segments and trained more than three times per week, as most
beginners do. The most basic split routine is done four days per
week. The most popular type of split routine happens by dividing
the body into three parts which are done over three consecutive
days, followed by a rest day and a repeat of the routine on day
five. This is called a three - on / one - off split.
Spotters: Training partners who stand by to act as safety
helpers when you perform heavy lifts in bench press, or squats, as
well as other exercises. If you reach the point of temporary
muscular failure, your spotter can help you lift the weight up in
order to complete the range of motion safely. It is especially
important to have a spotter when you are attempted one - rep
Static Contractions: A muscle contraction is static when
the length of the muscle does not shorten during contraction. All
muscle fibers enervated by a single motor nerve fiber from the
spinal cord are called motor units, each of which may supply up to
150 or more muscle fibers. The strength of contraction increases in
proportion to the number of motor units fired. Although a whole
muscle cannot fully contract at once, a single fiber of it
contracts fully, never partially, when stimulated by a motor nerve
fiber. As the number of contracting motor units increases, the
force of contraction increases proportionally. This also occurs
when a muscle is tensed without movement. High intensity training
over a prolonged period of time improves the ability of a neuro
muscular system to recruit a greater number of motor units (volley
firing), and thus creates a greater number of muscle fibers to
Static Stretching: Here, you stretch the muscle slowly and
gradually and hold the stretch for 10 to 60 seconds. Because the
stretch occurs slowly, there is much less reaction from the stretch
receptors. Static stretching is the type most often recommended by
fitness experts because it is as effective and safer than other
types of stretching exercises. The key to this technique is to
stretch the muscles and joints to the point where you feel a pull
but not to the point of pain. Over stretching the muscle leads to
Sticking Point: A stalling of bodybuilding progress. Also
that point in a movement at which you fail to continue the upward
momentum of the bar.
Straight Short Bar: This bar is used in exercises such as
the triceps pushdown, as well as biceps exercises such as cable
curls. It can also be used for back exercises, and other body
Straps: Straps are fastened around your wrists and then
twisted around a bar to strengthen your grip in exercises where
grip is your weakest link. Hand strength will not develop as
quickly if you use straps, but this may be worth the value of being
able to lift heavier weights which will result in a better
developed back. Weighing the opportunity cost of straps is largely
personal preference, and you can achieve great results with or
without including them in your regiment of bodybuilding aids.
Stretching: A type of exercise program in which you assume
exaggerated postures that stretch muscles, joints, and connective
tissues, hold these positions for several seconds, and then relax
and repeat the postures. Regular stretching exercise promotes body
flexibility and reduces the chance of injuries while training with
Stress: Stress can be defined as anything that causes
stress on the body’s physical or mental resources. Working
out is a great way to reduce your levels of stress caused by day to
day living. Lifting weights is a stress on the body that is
enjoyable and takes pressures off the other stresses you are
undergoing; it is a type of stress you will like to include in your
everyday life. Although stress has many negative connotations, the
stress which you will undergo in the gym is (almost) enjoyable and,
if controlled properly will invoke a positive response in both your
physical and mental fitness. If you are mentally or physically
stressed in your day to day life away from the gym, it will be more
difficult for your body to respond with positive muscle growth.
Reducing your levels of stress related to your emotional, financial
and work related stresses (as well as others) is essential to
maximize gains made in the gym. At the same time, bodybuilding is a
method of reducing these stresses, and in very little time with
some hard work and dedication you will see your stress levels
decrease after taking up recreational bodybuilding.
Supination: You supinate your hand when you turn the palm
Supine: Lying horizontally on the back
Temporary Muscular Failure (TMF): That point an an exercise
at which you have so fully fatigued the working muscles that they
can no longer complete an additional repetition of a movement with
strict form. You should always take your post - warm up sets at
least to the point of momentary muscular failure, and frequently
past that point. Also known as Failure.
Testosterone: The male hormone primarily responsible for
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 and facial
hair, and male pattern baldness.
Towel: A towel should be part of your essential gym
Training Partner: A training partner should be someone who
is willing to take the time he or she is devoting to bodybuilding,
and share it with you. He or she should be willing to make time in
his or her schedule to workout with you, as well as offer you
constructive advice and a good spot for those hard to perform,
heavy lifts. It is very important that both you and your training
partner care about the success and development of the pair, and
make efforts to motivate and encourage each other into achieving
new muscular growth. A training partner who does not have much
concern over making it to the gym with you, and helping you out
isn’t much of a benefit to either of you. A training partner
who does not offer you constructive advice isn’t really
helping you either, if advice is what you are looking for. Also, it
is very effective if both you and your training partner are trying
to achieve the same bodybuilding goals. This makes it a lot more
natural for both of you to help each other with steps along the way
to achieving those goals.
Trisets: A series of three exercises performed with not
rest between movements and a normal rest interval between trisets.
Trisets increase training intensity by reducing the average length
of rest interval between sets. As such, trisets are markedly more
intense than supersets.
Volume Training: The use of very high number sets for each
bodypart. The high volume of a workout necessitates the use of
lighter - than - normal weights in each exercise, but it does build
muscle in some individuals.
Warm Up: Before you pick up any weights, even a two pound
dumbbell, you should always remember to warm up. You can do this by
taking five easy minutes on the aerobic exercise machine. Warm ups
increase the temperature of your muscles, making them more pliable
and less susceptible to injury. If you plan to so a particularly
heavy workout, such as a powerlifting routine, you should warm up
for 10 minutes prior to attempting that kind of poundage. Various
warm ups may include one of the following activities: Walking,
jogging, stair climbing, stationary biking, aerobic rowing machine
cross country ski machine doing many repetitions with the empty bar
(bench press, military press). 10 to 15 minute session of light
calisthenics, aerobic activity, and stretching taken prior to
handling heavy bodybuilding training movements. A good warm - up
helps prevent injuries and actually allows you to get more our of
your training than if you went into a workout totally cold.
Water Bottle: You will need more water if you begin a
weight training program, especially on the days you are working
out, and even more importantly, during your actual workouts. A
water bottle is a must.
Weight: The same as poundage or resistance.
Weight Training: An umbrella term used to categorize all
acts of using resistance training. Weight training can be used to
improve the body, to rehabilitate injuries, to improve sports
conditioning, or as a competitive activity in terms of bodybuilding
and weight lifting.
Weight Training Log: Recording your workouts in a weight
training log is a good idea. It keeps you motivated, and helps you
to assess your goals frequently.
Working Set: The set(s) you perform after finishing a warm
up or stretching.
Workout: A bodybuilding or weight - training session.
Wraps: Wraps are used to support weak or injured joints or
muscles. Wraps are used around the knees for weight training
athletes performing heavy squats, or around the elbows during bench
Go to: Nutrition
Dictionary of Terms
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