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Bodybuilding Terms - Glossary of Bodybuilding Terms

Bodybuilding Glossary


Aerobic Exercise: Constant moderate intensity work that uses up oxygen at a rate in which the cardio respiratory system can replenish oxygen in the working muscles. Examples of such activity are stationary bike riding or walking. It is a good activity for fat loss when done in the right amounts but highly catabolic if done in excess.

Anaerobic Exercise: Exercise in which oxygen is used up more quickly than the body is able to replenish it inside the working muscle. Weight training is an example of such an activity. It is highly anabolic in nature but also highly catabolic if done in excess.

Anabolic State: Favorable state in the body created by a combination of good training, nutrition and rest that leads to favorable changes in body composition.

Anabolic Steroids: Synthetic (man-made) hormones that simulate the effects of the male hormone testosterone.

Anti-Catabolic Properties: Properties provided by certain nutrients that protect the muscle mass in the body from being broken down.

Anti-Lypolitic Properties: Properties provided by certain nutrients that prevent the body from turning calories into fat.

Antioxidant Properties: Properties provided by certain nutrients that protect the body from disease.

Basic Exercises: Exercise movement that involves a large number of muscles in the body. They are generally multi-joint movements that target the larger muscles of the body (such as chest, back and thighs) but also involve the smaller muscles as well (such as shoulders, arms, calves and abs) as auxiliary muscles. Examples of such movements are the chin-ups, pull-ups, dips, bench presses, squats, and lunges.

Biological Value (BV) of a Protein: Value that measures how well the body can absorb and utilize a protein. The higher the Biological Value of the protein you use, the more nitrogen your body can absorb, use, and retain. As a result, proteins with the highest BV promote the most lean muscle gains. Whey protein has the highest BV value, rating as a104. Egg protein is only second to whey rating as a 100 with milk proteins being a close third rating as 91. Beef rates as an 80 with soy proteins a distant 74. Bean proteins, due to the fact that are plant-based proteins, only rate a 49.

Bulk Minerals: minerals which the body needs in great quantities (in the order of grams) such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium and phosphorus.

Carbohydrates: Macronutrient used by the body as its main source of energy. Carbohydrates are divided into complex carbs and simple carbs. The complex carbs give you sustained energy ("timed release") while the simple carbs gives you immediate energy. This macronutrient can be found in rice (complex, starchy), pasta (complex, starchy), breads (complex, starchy), fruits (simple), sugars (simple), fruit juices (simple), dairy products (simple), and vegetables (complex, fibrous).

Catabolic State: Unfavorable state in the body created by a combination of too much training, lack of good nutrition and lack of rest that leads to muscle loss and fat accumulation.

Concentric Movement: Portion of the exercise where the muscle contracts. This happens when you are lifting the weight. This portion of the movement should be performed as fast as possible (once you are past the beginner period) without involving momentum. Beginners should concentrate however in performing the movement slowly and deliberately.

Cortisol: Catabolic hormone secreted by the adrenal glands in situations of stress (both physical and mental), lack of calories/nutrients and lack of sleep. This hormone is associated with loss of muscle mass, loss of strength, and fat accumulation. An excess of it over long periods of time may also contribute to hardening of the arteries; something that leads to heart disease.

Note: This glossary is an excerpt from my book The Hardgainer's Bodybuilding Handbook

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