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Body Building GLOSSARY

The start of what may well be the mother of all body building glossaries. Constantly updated.


Abs (six-pack)
Abs (abdominals) are your so called "stomach" muscles.

Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALC)
An ester of Carnitine. ALC may help with brain function, memory and the production of male hormone.

The end product of energy usage. ADP is what ATP turns to when energy is used up. ADP turns back to ATP as a cycle, when the body has consumed foods and certain nutrients.

Amino Acids
These are the building blocks of protein; the parts which make up protein. Examples are Glutamate, Alanine, Cysteine

Association of Natural Bodybuilders

Anything which stops catabolism and preserves the breakdown of certain substances i.e. muscle tissue in terms of body building.

Group of substances known to be beneficial for the body. Antioxidants typically attack free-radicals, thought to harm body processes. Antioxidants prevent cell oxidisation (destruction). Well-known antioxidants are vitamins A,C, Selenium, Beta Carotine

Biological Value (BV)
Usually seen in protein articles, BV is used to measure the efficiency of protein usage by the body. The higher the BV, the higher the rate of efficiency of protein usage. Whole egg has a BV of 100 (used as a marker).

British Natural Bodybuilding Federation. BNBF events are usually drug-tested and contestants Polygraphed.

Boron is a trace mineral that may help the body retain minerals, such as Calcium and Magnesium.

Bitch-tits (Gynocomastia, Gyno)
Taking excess male hormone can turn to estrogen. For those who are susceptible to this condition, their nipples will start protruding and look like female breasts. Can be combated by certain drugs. In extreme cases, surgery is necessary. Anti-estrogens may help.

Burn (the Burn)
When a muscle is fully pumped and one trains it to the point of failure, the feeling of pain is often referred to as "the burn". This comes from lactic acid as a result of training to failure. Many people believe that it is this "burn" that fully develops muscle tissue.

Carbs are Carbohydrates, your body's primary source of energy. Complex carbs are foods like pasta, potatoes, rice and bread; they are more for long-term energy. Simple carbs are sugars and fruit, more for short-term energy.

Cardiovascular exercise which work your heart and use up oxygen and fat reserves. Cardio is the best way of getting rid of excess body fat, provided you stay in your Target Heart Range.

Catabolism is the breakdown of complex substances into simpler ones. In terms of weight-training and body building, catabolism is where muscle tissue is broken down and used as sugar to fuel the body.

Anything which causes muscle tissue to break down.

Cutting (Cutting up, getting ripped, getting shredded)
The process whereby body builders start getting rid of body fat to show their muscles to their full definition.

This term is used in relation to supplements. A cycle is a full term of a specific supplement. i.e. a cycle of Norateen may be 2 months.

Descending Sets
Reducing the weight on each set as a continuation to the previous set ideally without rest.

DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness)
The pain and soreness you may feel a few days after a heavy workout. You can also get DOMS if you hadn't exercises for a while or if you have tried a new exercise which targeted previously unworked muscles.

The recommended amount of a pill, supplement, product to be taken at any one given time.

English Federation of Body Builders. Usually consists of top line ups of "very" big body builders who use typically performance enhancing drugs.

Ergogenic (Ergogenic aids)
Term referred to any nutrient that improves athletic performance. A typical example is Creatine Monohydrate.

Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs)
EFAs are regarded as "good" fats. They cannot be made by the body and should be supplied by our diet. Linoleic Acid, Omega 3 & 6 are examples. Many body builders believe EFAs are an essential part of the fat-burning phase.

The female hormone that develops and maintains female sex characteristics. Excess male hormone can turn to Estrogen.

Flush (flushing a muscle)
Where bloody supply to a muscle is increased resulting in an increase in oxygen and nutrients being delivered to that muscle.

Forced reps
Where a training partner helps you to perform 1 or more reps over and above what you could manage on your own. Forced reps are very good for more muscle growth as they force the body into even more growth.

This is the Gluteus Maximus muscle, otherwise knows as the bum cheeks, ass, buns!

Glycaemic Index
The Glycaemic Index (GI) measures only the rise in blood sugar triggered by various foods and drinks. If measures how much a food affects your blood sugar, so something with a high GI can cause a rapid rise in blood sugar levels whereas a food with a low GI can cause a steady and gradual rise in blood sugar levels. It is a good idea to know the GI for certain foods, especially if you are trying to lose body fat.

Glycogen is stored in muscles and the liver. Glycogen stored in muscles is important for bodybuilding as it is the primary fuel that powers your workouts and training. Glycogen is primarily derived from carbohydrates and hence why it is important to have a good carbohydrate intake if you are trying to build maximum muscle size.

In body building terminology, the arms are referred to as the guns.

Gynecomastia (Bitch-tits, gyno)
Where excess male hormone results in the production of estrogen and female breasts in men. Can be prevented or reversed by drugs; may need surgery in extreme cases. Surgery can make your pecs look like you never had gyno.

Stands for High Intensity Training as documented by people like Mike Mentzer. Doing maximum training in minimum time. A very controversial method of training that often yields astonishing results.

The technical definition is a substance, usually a peptide, produced by one tissue in the body and conveyed by the bloodstream to another to effect physiological activity, such as growth or metabolism.

International Federation of Body Builders. Events typically feature "big" bodybuilders, many of whom use performance enhancing drugs.

Implants The process whereby silicon parts are placed inside the body to give the appearance of bigger body parts. Typically this is done by women (breast implants). However, the body building world has taken this up in the form of pec implants, calf implants etc. Implants are not muscle growth but can seem like it.

International Olympics Committee. The main body that overseas Olympic athletes and their drug-testing.

Isolation Training a muscle group in a way that no assisting or supporting muscles are involved. i.e. isolating the biceps, whereby the shoulders or forearms are not doing any of the work.

This is the sugar in milk. Many people are intolerant to lactose. Typical symptoms are flatulence, digestive troubles, runny nose, sneezing.

Toned body with very low body fat levels. A lean body is a body that is often referred to as the "beach body".

Mass is body size; not necessarily lean muscle tissue, but just overall body size which could consist of fat as well. Putting on "mass" is putting on additional body size.

A product or thing which gets the body's metabilism going. In simple terms, something which makes things happen. In fat-burning terms, a metaboliser is something which gets body fat out of its hiding place and into the open to either be used up or excreted.

Military Press
You sit on a bench with your back supported. With a wide grip hold the bar at above your nipples. With your elbows back, press the weight directly overhead. Lock out at the top, slowly lowering the bar to the starting position. Military Presses primarily target the front delts.

National Amateur Body Builders Association. Worldwide body, typically not drug-tested.

The process of lowering the weight whilst weight training. This is usually the descending part of the exercise and is touted as good for extra growth. Close attention should be paid to negatives as this is often the very part that most people use bad form on.

Peak (peak condition)
Maximum muscularity for the individual body builder combined with minimum body fat. Most body builders reach their peak just before or on the day (if they are clever!) of their show.

Power Snatch
With an overhand grip, grab a pair of dumbbells or a barbell, bending at your waist and your knees. Straighten your torso and lift the weight as if performing an upright row; rather than stopping at the top, raise the weight overhead. Do this in one continuous motion by rolling your wrists back and 'throwing' the bar or dumbbells overhead. Return to the starting position by reversing this. Power snatch is performed by many powerlifters and is a great exercise for overall body mass.

Proper Form
Fully extending and fully contracting on each and every rep and taking your time. Proper Form is very important in overall muscle development.

The primary macronutrient for growth and maintenance of your body's structural parts, mainly muscle tissue. Protein is essential to life and the maintenance of a healthy body. Protein is a very important factor in muscle building and most body builders find that extra ingestion of protein results in extra muscle growth.

Where due to high reps on an exercise, maximum blood is flowing through a muscle group and the muscles feel like they are going to burst. The "pump" is often considered as a necessary part of successful body building.

Reps make up a set. The number of Reps is the number of times you perform a specific exercise. So for example for a "set" of Bench Press, you may press the bar up 15 times (Reps) and perform this 4 times (4 sets).

Ribose increases ATP. This is a simple sugar which is important in many processes in the body and found in all living cells. Ribose is taken by many athletes and body builders for extra energy and endurance.

Where body fat is low and vascularity (veins showing) high. Being ripped means having a fair amount (or lots of) muscle tissue, lots of veins and very low body fat.

Set (a set, the set, sets)
A unit, single exercise. A set usually consists of a number of Reps. i.e. a number of times an exercise is repeated.

Same as Cut, Ripped. Where body-fat is low and muscle definition high.

In supplements terms, shuttling is where a product is taken into the muscle tissue. Shuttling is often referred to in circumstances where a product's delivery to body-parts is quickened as a result of a process or ingredient. So for example, Creatine might be shuttled (taken) to muscle tissues quicker if taken with sugar.

The term used for the abdominal muscles, when they can be clearly seen. A person with very low body fat levels and developed abdominal muscles has a "six-pack".

Spotting (a Spotter)
Where a training partner or someone who is around, keeps a close eye and hand on the weights being lifted and may possibly assist in the final stages if you are struggling with the weight. A Spotter is good to have as a safety measure when performing difficult or heavy routines.

A herb from South America used as an artificial sweetener.

A super-set is a combination of exercises for the same body part done consecutively. i.e. Bench Press, followed by Peck Deck, followed by Cable Crossovers.

An oil based solution that swells the muscle region in which it is injected to and gives a swollen appearance. Synthol injections do not create muscle and can be dangerous if injected in to the wrong place. Synthol has been used by many body builders in place or in addition to "implants" to give the impression of extra muscles.

Target Heart Range (THR)
The optimum point at which your breathing and metabolism are fully geared for burning body fat as the primary way of fuelling your body. As a general rule, you are in your THR when you do cardio and you are not breathing too quickly or heavily and when you are not able to speak as normal (but not dying!). If you can talk but need to gasp for air every few sentences, then you are in your THR. You can of course use a chart and monitoring devices to be accurate.

The process by which fat calories are turned into heat resulting in a loss of body fat. Thermogenesis is a major way of losing body fat but can be unpredictable, depending on the individual.

Unilateral (unilateral training)
This is when you train only one side of your body. Unilateral training is not advised unless you have one specific bodypart lagging behind the corresponding one. i.e. when one bicep is bigger and stronger than the other one.

Where veins are prominent on the body and look like they are roads on a surface. Vascularity is considered by many to be a sign of a hard-core body builder.

Made as a result of dairy (cheese) manufacturing. Whey protein is typically high in amino acid composition, including Branch Chain Amino acids (BCAAs) and has a high rate of nitrogen retention. Whey protein usually has a high Biological Value and is low in lactose (the part of milk which causes gas etc).

World Natural Body Building Federation. Drug-tested.



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