Bodybuilding Terms

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.


Bodybuilding terms

Bodybuilding terms

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.

Hypertrophy: Increase in muscle cells and mass. Induced by progressive overload and all the principles of bodybuilding

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!



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