Abs: Abdominal muscles, which form part of the core. When well-defined, these muscles are referred to as a ‘six-pack’. Ab workouts typically involve sit-ups, various different types of crunches, and planking.
Abduction: Movement of the straight legs, accomplished by contraction of the leg abductor muscles (the sartorius, primarily), from a fully abducted position back to one in which the legs are again pressed together.
Adduction: Movement of a limb toward the midline of the body. The opposite of adduction is abduction.
Advanced Trainee: An individual with at least one year of steady, systematic resistance training experience.
Aerobic Exercise: Aerobic exercise refers to exercise that involves or improves oxygen consumption by the body.Aerobic means “with oxygen”, and refers to the use of oxygen in the body’s metabolic or energy-generating process. Many types of exercise are aerobic, and by definition are performed at moderate levels of intensity for extended periods of time. Aerobic exercise involves a warming up period at 50-60% of maximum heart rate, followed by at least 20 minutes of exercise at an intensity of 70-80% of maximum heart rate and a cooling down period at an intensity of 50-60% of maximum heart rate.
Anaerobic Exercise: Anaerobic exercise is used by athletes in non-endurance sports to build power and used by bodybuilders to build muscle mass. Muscles trained under anaerobic conditions develop differently, leading to greater performance in short duration, high intensity activities, which last up to about 2 minutes.
Ankle Collar: The ankle collar is a wide, leather ankle bracelet which you clip to the pulleys to perform exercises such as left lifts, and leg curls. It is largely used for leg exercises.
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: Ballistic stretching uses the momentum of a moving body or a limb in an attempt to force it beyond its normal range of motion. This is stretching, or “warming up”, by bouncing into (or out of) a stretched position, using the stretched muscles as a spring which pulls you out of the stretched position. (e.g. bouncing down repeatedly to touch your toes.) This type of stretching is not considered useful and can lead to injury. It does not allow your muscles to adjust to, and relax in, the stretched position. It may instead cause them to tighten up by repeatedly activating the stretch reflex.
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: A barbell is a piece of exercise equipment used in weight training, weightlifting and powerlifting. It consists of a steel bar that is 5 to 7 feet (approx. 2 metres) long. The central portion varies in diameter, but is close to one inch (2.54 cm), and is engraved with a knurled crosshatch pattern to help lifters get a good grip. Disc weights (plates) are slid onto the outer portions of the barbell to obtain the desired total weight. These weights are often secured with collars to prevent them from sliding off during the exercise (which can result in injuries).
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 weights.
Biceps: The muscles located on the front of the upper arm primarily engaged in bending the elbow. They pull and curl.
Bio-mechanics: The scientific study of body positions, or form, in sport. In bodybuilding, kinesiology studies body form when exercising with weights. When you have good bio-mechanics in a bodybuilding exercise, you will be safely placing maximum beneficial stress on your working muscles.
Bodybuilding: The competitive sport or athletic hobby popularized over the last 60 years of the last century whose goal is to achieve muscular grandeur and symmetry through the activity of exercise (a.k.a. muscle building). The foremost activities to achieve bodybuilding perfection are weight lifting and resistance training through the application of a wide variety of gym equipment, cables and machines. Nutrition plays a major role in bodybuilding achievement.
Burn: The sensation of burning pain felt in the specific muscle or muscles under the intense contraction of resistance training. This reaction is due to the presence of lactic acid in the tissues, a byproduct of glucose metabolism during intense exercise. The burn, though painful, is welcomed by the trainee as the degree of burn endured indicates the level of muscle overload achieved, a key factor in muscle building. The burn is good, more is better.
Cardio: Pertaining to the heart. Exercise jargon for any effective aerobic activity.
Cardiorespiratory Fitness: Physical fitness of the heart, circulatory system, and lungs indicative of good aerobic fitness.
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 an exercise.
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 / Collar: 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.
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 stretching.
Concentric Contraction: The shortening of a muscle due to muscle contraction. Also known as the positive or positive contraction, moving the resistance away from the plane of gravity. For example, pulling the weight up in a biceps curl movement.
Core: Core refers to the muscles in the abdominal region, pelvis, posterior and lower back. A strong core is essential in being able to perform a majority of exercises (even those which don’t draw on core muscles) well.
Cramp: Cramps are unpleasant, often painful, sensations caused by contraction or over shortening of muscles. Cramps can be caused by cold, overexertion or low calcium level in blood (especially for adolescents where they need calcium for both blood and bone maturing). Illness or poisoning can also cause cramps, particularly in the stomach, which is referred to as colic if it fits particular characteristics.
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.
Deltoids or Delts: The large, three-part muscles (front, side and rear deltoid) of the shoulder that move the arms away from the body. They push and press.
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.
DOMS: Recently popularized acronym for Delayed Onset Muscular Soreness, the phenomena of muscle soreness from sport or exercise afflicting the body a day or two after performance. Causes and desirability are subject to discussion.
Dorsiflexion: Moving the top of the foot upward and toward the shin.
Dumbbells or DB: The short-handled partners of the barbell that complete the core of the weight lifting family. Dumbbells usually come in matching pairs and will range in length from six to eight inches (light DBs allowing for hand grip and a minimum of affixed plates) to 24 inches (heavy duty).
Eccentric Contraction: The lengthening of the muscle while under the tension of resistance. Also known as the negative or negative contraction, countering the resistance in its movement toward the gravity plane. For example, the lowering of the weight in a biceps curl.
Exercise: Each individual movement (example, a seated pulley row, barbell curl, or seated calf raise) that you perform in your bodybuilding workouts.
Extension: The straightening of a simple joint, as in the leg extension.
Exercise: The activity of fitness, however in our context this generally refers to a specific movement.
EZ curl bar or Bent bar or Cambered Curling Bar: a specially bent barbell to accommodate the handgrip, affording lifting and muscle-building advantages in both biceps curling and triceps extension exercises. Hand angles often protect wrists and elbows from abusive twist.
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 training.
Flexibility: A suppleness 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 cornerstone of your overall bodybuilding philosophy.
Flow: A training term referring to the smooth and continuous movement from exercise to exercise without interruption in focus and action.
Focus: Concentration on all the aspects of the work before you: muscles involved, the track they follow, the intensity of exertion, burn and pump, and signals of fatigue, injury or abuse. Concentration is extended to the weight used, technique applied, attitude, thirst, surrounding atmosphere, equipment and so on. Full-time job of primary importance.
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 exercise.
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.
Full range of motion: a reference to the total action of a muscle(s) and the associated joint(s) in contrast to partial or abbreviated muscle and joint action.
Getting cut: Bodybuilding term for gaining muscularity through serious application of training; exercise and diet without faltering.
Getting Ripped: Bodybuilding slang for extreme muscularity; gaining superior muscle hardness and definition through hard weight training and severe dieting.
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 body part.
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 essential.
Gluteus Maximus: Gluteus, butt, bottom, rear. The outermost muscle of the three glutei found in each of the human buttocks.
GRIP: the ability to apply continuous pressure with the hands and fingers. Better grip enhances strength in most cases.
Hamstring or HAMS: a.k.a the thigh biceps. Short for hamstring muscle, any of three muscles at the back of the thigh that function to flex and rotate the leg and extend the thigh.
High reps: Terminology for a technique in muscle building where high repetitions (safe estimation: above 12) of given exercises are performed for specific purposes (exercise practice, muscle warm-up, injury repair, muscularity, sport conditioning, weight loss).
HIT: High-intensity training, a training technique where the trainee applies his training output to failure (extreme, maximum, total, dizzy, falling down—nausea is a good sign of the last rep) during each set after appropriately warming up. HIT workouts are typically shorter in duration and less frequent than other methods of training.
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 foot toward the inside. For calf raises this hits the inner head of the gastrocnemius.
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 conditions.
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 (concentric) 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.
Kettlebells: not new, but new to the modern lifting scene, these are small-to-large cast-iron globes with a handle. Simple, yet effective and worth consideration for home trainees.
Layoff: Most bodybuilders take a one to two weeks layoff from bodybuilding training from time to time. During this time, no exercise is done whatsoever. A layoff after a period of intense pre-competition training is particularly beneficial as a means of allowing the body to completely rest, recuperate, and heal any minor training injuries that might have cropped up during the peaking cycle.
Lactic acid: A byproduct of glucose and glycogen metabolism produced in the muscles during the hard work of exercise. Its presence is accompanied by muscle fatigue and burning pain. Embrace the pain and grow lean.
Latissimus Dorsi or LATS: The large muscles of the back that are chiefly responsible for the V-shape noticed in the male and female form. The lats are the prime movers for the adduction, extension and hyperextension of the shoulder joints. They pull; the shoulders push.
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 the exercises.
Low Reps: The system of practicing low repetitions (below six) for specific effects in training (muscle mass, bulk, weight gain, power).
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.
Max Rep or Singles: A reference in powerlifting to the heavy single repetition sets (single rep set) practiced in training to approach one’s maximum (max) lifting output. 1RM= one rep max.
Multi-Set: A series of exercises (usually 4 or 5) performed one after another with little pause. The total comprises one multi-set of perhaps 3, 4 or 5 multi-sets, the trainee in pursuit of specific goals (peak athletic conditioning, muscularity, aerobics, change of pace).
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: Atrophy is the withering away or the decrease in size of tissue and organs. In weight rooms people refer to ‘Muscle Atrophy’ when they describe their decrease in physical size.
Nautilus: A brand of exercise machine 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 opposed 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 muscular hypertrophy.
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 Championships.
Olympian: A term reserved for use when referring 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 classes.
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 or very 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.
Pace: In weight lifting, as in other sports, a training term referring to the gauged speed at which one trains. Pace will vary with personality, purpose, mood or external factors (gym busy-ness, injury, other revolting interruptions).
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.
Pectorals or Pecs: The broad band of muscles across the chest thats prime function is abducting the arms—moving the arms across the chest.
Personal Trainer: A private instructor to teach, assist and encourage a trainee of any sport at any level. Personal fitness instructors play an important role in the lives of many struggling and aspiring health and Fitness.
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 machine.
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 explosively.
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.
PR: Abbreviation for personal record.
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. Pre-exhaust involves supersetting an isolation exercise for a particular torso muscle (for example, flat bench flys for the pectoral 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 down.
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.
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.
Pumping Iron: Originating in the ’50s, slang for lifting weights.
Quadriceps or Quads: The major four-part muscles of the front thighs primarily engaged in extending the leg at the knee.
Quality 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.
Repetition or Reps: This term, which takes on the short form, rep, refers to a single rendition of an exercise. For example, if you 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 any exercise.
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.
Rhythm: A term an athlete uses to describe the sensation of flow and pace in his sport performance. The weight trainer’s rhythm of training is achieved when functions are efficient and unimpeded.
Rotator Cuff: The complex of supporting and strengthening tendons and muscles that combine with the shoulder joint where the capsule of the shoulder and the head of the humerus (long bone of the upper arm) meet. A problem area for most active people, especially power athletes. Don’t forget to stretch your pectoral muscles regularly.
Rope: This attachment is used on a cable machine, and is commonly used for exercises such as rope pulls, or triceps pushdowns.
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 results.
Sandbags: Light-to-heavy duffle-bags used to heft and carry for strength and endurance.
Serrates: The triple-tiered ridge of muscle located below the pecs and forward of the lats that accommodates the lats in adduction movement.
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 Set
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.
Single-Set Training: A system of training among strength lifters where sets of single repetitions are practiced with near-maximum output to develop skill, tenacity, structure strength and muscle power.
Sled Pulling: The act of pulling an implement over distance using various angles and positions for endurance work.
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 exercise.
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 preferred.
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 mos 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 maximums (1RM).
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 contract.
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 injuries.
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.
Stone Lifting: From the ground to shoulder-height or overhead, these are usually heavy round cement balls used to train for or compete in strongman competitions.
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 parts.
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 heavy iron.
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.
Strongman Events: Relatively new on the scene as a regulated event, these competitions feature men and women who pit their overall strength and endurance against one another. There are many different feats of strength, and different promoters use different implements depending on the venue.
Superset: Two exercises performed alternately; one exercise followed by a second exercise in complement before resting, i.e. biceps curl followed by triceps extension equal one superset.
Supplements: “supplemental” vitamin or protein intake, used in addition to enhance regular food intake.
Supination: You supinate your hand when you turn the palm down.
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.
Tendinitis: Inflammation of a tendon, the tough band of connective tissue that connects a muscle to the bone. The affliction is common among athletes who strive hard or overtrain or allow themselves to get out of condition on occasion. Tendons, unfortunately, take a long time to heal. Ice often.
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.
Torso: The reference to the trunk and midsection muscles: abdominals, obliques, erectors, intercostals.
Towel: A towel should be part of your essential gym equipment.
Training Log: A book for recording training procedures and progress, exercises, sets, repetitions and weights used. Notations of observations, feelings and training responses often prove valuable at the moment of logging or in the future when comparisons and references guide the way.
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.
Triceps: The muscles on the back of the upper arm primarily for extending the elbow. They push or press.
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: A reference in muscle building to the total of sets and reps of exercises completed in a workout.
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 In: The practice of cooperatively working with someone using a particular piece of equipment on the gym floor.
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 press.
Yoga: A practice that focuses on posturing, body movements and breathing to improve strength and flexibility, as well as mental wellbeing. Its origins lie in ancient India but it is now a popular exercise throughout the world. Most gyms up and down the country offer classes with yoga instructors.
Zumba: Energetic exercise class where movements are carried out to lively music. It was developed by Colombian dancer Alberto Perez in the 1990s. Zumba is a fun way to burn calories and work core muscles. Zumba can provide participants with a moderately intense workout, and is suitable for a wide range of ages and fitness levels.