The Ultimate Bodybuilding Glossary: Know Your Terminology

This article will provide useful and commonly used terms in the sport of weight lifting and it will benefit those that are new to the sport and unfamiliar to the terms or territory. Certainly, I will not be listing all terms, just the more commonly used ones.

Anabolic- positive nitrogen balance which is desired by bodybuilders because it is the state your body must be in to grow.

Bulking Up- To gain body fat as well as muscle, a practice that really is not a part of the sport anymore.

Burn- This is the process in which you can feel your muscles actually burning from the amount of tension they are getting.

Catabolic-This is the opposite of anabolic. This is what occurs when you experience actual muscle loss.

Compound movements-These are exercises that are using more than one joint to perform the exercise, such as a squat.

Cutting Up- This is where you are trimming the body of any extra fat while maintaining your bulk muscle. Other terms for this are ripped, stretched, cut.

Cycles-This term is used to describe how you split up your body parts and how often you train them. If you do every body part once per week, you would be said to be on a 7 day training cycle.

Definition-Extremely low body fat along with superior muscle separation and vascular attention; the physical manifestation of ‘dialing it in’.

Ectomorph-This definition describes people who have such a high metabolism it is very difficult for them to maintain body mass.

Failure-This is the point your muscles reach when not one more rep or exercise can be done. Many weight lifters take their muscles to just beyond this point.
Frequency-This is used to describe how often you train.

Hardgainer-This is only different from a ectomorph in the fact that they can gain mass but have a difficult time just gaining muscle.

H.I.T.-This stands for high intensity training. This definition is most often used not to focus on how more or how often but whatever it takes to gain the optimal workout.

Hypertrophy-This is what happens when your muscle is completely bulked up and the way to achieve hypertrophy is by over weighing it down through a few select reps.

Intensity-This is the amount of effort that you put into your workout.

Isolation movements-These are movements done by just moving one joint at a time.

Pump-This is when the muscle feels congested and tight and you have achieved a good pump when this occurs.

Pyramiding-This is when you increase your poundage while decreasing the reps.

Ripped-This is the muscle condition in which you are extremely defined in tone.

Rep-Moving a weight through a range of motion and then back again one time, short for repetition.

Set- A grouping of repetitions that is followed by a rest interval and usually another set. Typically you do 3 to 5 sets per session of each exercise.

Symmetry-This is how your body matches up on both sides.

Splits-This is a term used to describe the way you split up your body parts. For example, if you work out your upper body one day and your lower body the next you are considered to be on a two-way split.

Vascularity-This is the term that is used to describe the amount of veins you have visibly on your body. The more veins you are, the more vascular you are considered.

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