This bodybuilding terms list is by no means exhaustive.
I cover some of the more uncommon terms or technical jargon which beginners may not know.
I also attempt to make this bodybuilding terms list short and simple by highlighting the salient points.
Aerobic exercise: Physical activity that requires the use of oxygen such as running over a long distance. Intensity is moderate.
Anaerobic exercise: When oxygen intake is not enough to supply the energy required for the exercise. Anaerobic exercises are typically intense exercises carried out in a short period of time.
Anabolic drugs: Another name for anabolic steroids, anabolic drugs are Synthetic male hormones that help to increase muscle mass and strength. AVOID THIS PLEASE.
Catabolism: Breakdown of complex molecules, or lean muscle mass.
Compound exercise: Exercise that targets different muscle groups. i.e bench presses, squats etc
Concentric movement: The phase where muscle contracts
Cortisol: Catabolic hormones which are released during times of stress or lack of proper rest and recovery
Diuretics: Drugs which remove excess water from your body
Drop sets: Start with a high weight, do until failure, lose some weights and continue, do until failure, and lose some more until you can’t do any more
Eccentric movement: The phase where muscle elongates
Forced reps: To lift past your point of failure with the help of a friend. Good way to break through your plateaus and let your muscles adapt to a heavier weight
Giant sets: 4-6 exercises done sequentially without/with little rest interval. It can also be done with 2 pairs of opposing muscle group exercises. Rest 2-3 mins for your next giant set.
H.I.T: High intensity training. Intensity = amount of effort used
Insulin: The hormone that metabolizes carbohydrates into either energy, glycogen (energy store) or as fats.
Isolation exercises: Exercises that target a single muscle group. i.e bicep curls
Metabolism: Rate at which calories and nutrients are broken down for your daily activities. Calculate your daily calorie needs here easily.
Monounsaturated fats: Good fats -> good cholesterol. High in EFAs (essential fatty acids) and may have antioxidant properties. Fish oils, virgin olive oil, canola oil and flaxseed oil are some sources.
Negatives: Lower the weight slowly to spend more time in the negative contraction phase/motion of the muscle.
Neutral grip: Palms are facing each other
1RM: One rep max, literally.
Periodization: Cycle training. Train light, heavy, and then heavier etc. This helps to prevent or reduce chances of injury and burnout.
Partial reps: An exercise in one particular range of a muscle. To make it clearer, each muscle group has different phases. i.e. biceps have 3 phases. Partial reps are meant to target one of the phase.
Pyramiding: Increase weight but decreasing reps on subsequent sets and vice versa
Polyunsaturated fats: Fats that don’t raise your cholesterol levels.
Pronated grip: Palms facing down and away.
Saturated fats: Fats that will cause heart disease and raise your LDL (bad) cholesterol
Superset: Exercises done without or with minimal rest intervals. Choose antagonistic muscle groups. i.e biceps and triceps. Great for breaking through your plateau.
Supinated grip: Palms facing up and towards you. Also known as reverse grip.
Testosterone: The hormone that is responsible for increasing muscle mass.
Twenty ones: A weightlifting technique for building biceps. They are done standing with a curl bar and divided into 3 sets of motions (low range, middle range and upper range), each repeated 7 times.
If you have any bodybuilding terms that you are unsure of, please feel free to comment below and I will answer you asap!
Articles in This Section (Ectomorph Bodybuilding):
- Body types: are you a true ectomorph? It is not so straightforward
- Ectomorph Bodybuilding: learn the science of the muscle growth formula for ectomorphs
- Mindsets: the mindset you need to succeed. Without this, forget about gaining any mass
- Principles & mechanisms of muscle building: if there’s only time for one article, read this
- How to be lean and ripped: you want to be attractively lean and ripped, not the skinny kind
- What is strength training: for beginners, I recommend strength training
- Muscle building FAQs: why can’t you gain weight? How to gain muscle fast? etc