If 1RM, set, rep and hypertrophy leave you thinking that the world of working out and bodybuilding has developed its own language, there is help: This little ABC makes learning the most important workout and bodybuilding terms as easy as 123.
Anaerobic – The body’s generation of energy without the help of oxygen. The opposite is “aerobic” (“aer” is Latin for “air”). Weightlifting is mostly anaerobic, endurance activities like jogging are aerobic.
Barbell – a long handle where weights are put on and used with both hands at the same time. The smaller version is the dumbbell, which for most exercises is used with one hand.
Concentric – The portion in the movements of an exercise where you have to work against earth’s gravity, as in lifting a weight up. The opposite is “eccentric” – lowering the weight.
Definition – Visibility of the shape of muscles, mostly governed by how much body fat you have.
Exercise – A specific movement you do to train a muscle, as in “the barbell curl exercise” or “the push-up exercise”. Not to be confused with the verb, as in “I am exercising”.
Failure, to failure – Doing the movements of an exercise for as many repetitions as you can, “failure” standing for “muscle failure”.
Glutes – Short for “gluteus maximus”, the main muscles forming your behind.
Hypertrophy – The construction of tissue by the body, in bodybuilding and working out especially the construction of muscle tissue.
Intensity – The amount of your available power you have to use to do an exercise. 100% are the 1RM.
Juice – A slang term for steroids among people abusing them in bodybuilding.
Knowledge – Knowledge is half the success in working out.
Lean Body Mass (LBM) – the body’s mass without fat, this includes muscles, skin, organs, water and bones.
Mesomorph – Body type with thick muscles and bigger bones. The others are “ectomorph” (a thinner body with longer limbs) and endomorph (a rounder body with more fat mass than the mesomorph).
(Forced) Negatives – Only doing the portion of an exercise where you lower the weight, while having help on the way up.
One rep maximum (1RM) – The maximum of weight you are able to lift if you do the movement of an exercise just one time.
Plateau – Ceasing to make progress, as in “I can’t increase my benchpress reps, I have plateaued”.
Quads – The quadriceps, the big muscles on the front of your thighs.
Reps – Repetition. The movements that make up an exercise. Completing one rep is going through the entire movements once.
Set – The number of repetitions you do of an exercise before taking a break, as in “1 set of 8 reps” or “2 sets of 4 reps” etc.
Target, Synergist and Stabilizer – The three roles the involved muscles can play when you do your exercises.
Undertraining – Training too little to make the muscles grow. More people, however, suffer from overtraining – training too much.
Volume – How often you train a muscle or how much you train in total.
Workout Plan – The schedule of exercises you do per week.
X-Rep (extra rep, forced rep) – An extra rep that you perform with someone’s help or with aid of the unused limb when the exercised muscles are too fatigued to do it on their own.
You – The person who is going to come up with a good term for Y 😉
Zone – A mental state some people report as being ideal in concentration and mental awareness when working out.