|Bodybuilding Dictionary of Terms: E-L
BodybuildingPro.com Bodybuilding Dictionary of Terms E-L Terms
Go to: M-R Terms
Eccentric Contraction: When a given resistance overcomes
the muscle tension so that the muscle actually lengthens the muscle
is said to be in eccentric contraction. Although the contracting
muscle develops tension, it is overpowered by resistance. When you
slowly lower a curled weight from the shoulder, the biceps muscle
contracts eccentrically. If the biceps was relaxed, gravity would
extend the elbow joint and lower the weight with considerable
speed. Slowing the movement against resistance provides an
additional muscle - developing factor.
Ectomorph: The ectomorph is
the extreme somatotype. An ectomorph is characterized smalls bones
and very little muscle mass. An ectomorph will have a very steep
angle in his or her thorax, and the ribs are closer together.
Ectomorphs are generally better endurance athletes than
bodybuilders by nature, and may excel in cross country running.
That is not to say an ectomorph cannot bodybuild. It is very
possible to achieve great gains in mass and strength regardless of
being an ectomorph.
Electrolytes: Charged atoms called ions which help regulate
the body’s various metabolic systems. Athletes regularly
consume drinks enriched with electrolytes such as potassium,
calcium, and sodium to replace those lost in sweat.
Electrostimulation: Muscle - stimulation technique
involving the use of low voltage electric current. Although of
limited use in physiotherapy, the technique’s merits as an
ergogenic aid are questionable.
The network of ductless glands and other structures that elaborate
and secrete hormones directly into the bloodstream, affecting the
function of specific target organs. Glands of the endocrine system
include the thyroid and the parathyroid, the anterior pituitary,
and the posterior pituitary, the pancreas, the suprarenal glands,
and the gonads.
Endomorph: The endomorph is
characterized by a round physique, carrying extra body fat. The
endormorph is has a large bone structure, and has a good portion of
muscle mass. The endormorph has a wide thorax (rib cage), which
makes a large angle with his ribs. It is sometimes more difficult
for an endomorph to keep weight down, but it is entirely possible
that an endormorph make great gains with his or her training to the
point where it may even seem as though his or her body type has
Endurance: Stamina, or the ability to continue voluntary
muscle contractions for a sustained period of time.
Essential Amino Acids:
The nine amino acids that cannot be manufactured by the body and
must be consumed in the diet.
Estrogen: One of the two primary sex hormones of the female
body. The other one being progesterone. In males, excess
testosterone is converted to estrogen often leading to the
condition of gynecomastia.
Eversion: Turning the bottom of the foot toward the
outside. For calf raises this hits the outer head of the
Exercise: Each individual movement (example, a seated
pulley row, barbell curl, or seated calf raise) that you perform in
your bodybuilding workouts.
E - Z Curl Bar: A special type of barbell used in many arm
exercises, but particularly for standing E - Z bar curls wherein it
removes from your wrists strain that might be present when doing
the movement with a straight bar. An E - Z curl bar is occasionally
called a cambered curling bar.
Failure: See Temporary Muscular Failure (TMF)
Fast-Twitch Muscle Fibers: White muscle fibers which
contract quickly and powerfully, but not with great endurance. Fast
- twitch fibers are developed by heavy, low - rep, explosive weight
Fat: A high energy molecule which
provides the body with long - term fuel reserves. Fat also serves
as a precursor for many hormones and offers the body varying
degrees of insulation and cushioning.
United States Food and Drug Administration.
Flexibility: A uppleness of joints, muscle masses, and
connective tissues which lets you move your limbs over an
exaggerated range of motion. A valuable quality in bodybuilding
training, it promotes optimum physical development. Flexibility can
only be attained through systematic stretching training, which
should form a cornerstorne of your overall bodybuilding
Form: Form is expressed in terms of the quality of each
repetition throughout the full range of motion. With good form, one
should be able to reach the point of temporary muscular failure.
Form involves moving the specified muscles involved in a particular
Free Weights: Barbells,
dumbbells, and related equipment. Serious bodybuilders use a
combination of free weights and such nautilus exercise machines
such as the smith machine to incorporate a balanced training
regime. Free weights are generally preferred, because they allow
the stabilizer muscles to be used.
Giant Sets: Series of four to six exercises done with
little to no rest between movements and a rest interval of two to
three minutes between sets. You can perform giant sets for either
two antagonistic muscle groups or a single body part.
Gloves: Many bodybuilders have used gloves to improve their
grip in certain exercise, as well as prevent callusing from
occurring. Another method is chalk, which, when put on your hands,
can also improve grip considerably. If you have sensitive skin, or
for any other reason feel you would benefit from the use of gloves,
then by all means invest in a pair, which should not run you any
more than 10 dollars. If you do develop calluses, this will also
toughen up your hands, and make the use of gloves non
Gluconeogenesis: The formation of glycogen from fatty acids
and proteins rather than carbohydrates.
Glucose: A simple sugar found
in certain foods, especially fruits, and a major source of energy
occurring in human and animal body fluids. Glucose, when ingested
or produced by the digestive hydrolysis of double sugars and
starches, is absorbed into the blood from the intestines. Excess
glucose in circulation is normally polymerized and stored in the
liver and muscles as glycogen, which is depolymerized to glucose
and liberated as needed.
Glycogen: Blood sugar stored in the muscles, liver, and to
a lesser extent the bloodstream. Glycogen helps to fuel muscle
Glycogenesis: The biomechanical process by which glucose is
converted into glycogen.
Glycogenolysis: The biomechanical process by which the
liver converts stored glycogen back into glucose for use as a
Glycolysis: A series of enzymatically catalyzed reactions,
occurring within cells, by which glucose and other sugars are
broken down to yield lactic acid or pyruvic acid, releasing energy
in the form of adenosine triphosphate. Aerobic glycolysis yields
pyruvic acid in the presence of oxygen. Anaerobic glycolysis yields
Growth Hormone: Peptide hormone secreted by the pituitary
gland responsible for the repair and growth of tissues such as
bones, muscles, and organs. In recent years, growth hormone has
become one of the most popular agents used by professional
Gynecomastia: Condition in males caused by an excess of
testosterone or an excess of a testosterone-derived agent. When it
becomes converted (aromatized) to estrogen the excess estrogen
stimulates receptors in the nipple area leading to a swelling which
resembles female breasts. The condition is commonly called
“bitch tits”. The condition is often severe enough to
Holistic Workouts: Sessions in which a broad spectrum of
weight-rep combinations, ranging from heavy / low-rep work to light
/ high-rep training is followed.
Hormone: Chemical messenger released by an endocrine gland
that travels to a target organ and produces a given response.
Hormones may be steroid or peptide in nature. Secretion of hormones
by the endocrine gland is regulated by other hormones, by
neurotransmitters, and by a negative - feedback system in which an
excess of target organ activity signals a decreased need for the
Horse Shoe: The horse shoe is an individual hand grip you
can use to perform exercises such as one - handed cable curls, and
one - handed triceps pressdowns. This can also be used for other
body parts, such as back (one - handed cable rows), and shoulders
(cable lateral raises).
Hyperplasia: The theoretical ability of a single muscle
fiber to split into two fibers.
Hypertrophy: The scientific term denoting an increase in
muscle mass and an improvement in relative muscular strength.
Hypertrophy is induced by placing an "overload" on the working
muscles with various techniques during a bodybuilding workout.
IFBB: The International Federation of Bodybuilders. Founded
in 1946 by bodybuilding moguls Joe and Ben Weider. With
approximately 150 participating nations, the IFBB proves that
bodybuilding is one of the most popular of all sports
internatinally. Through its memeber national federations, the IFBB
oversees competition in each nation. It directly administers
amateur and professional competitions for men and women, as well as
mixed pairs, internationally.
Insulin: Hormone produced by the pancreas which controls
the blood’s level of glucose and amino acids.
Intensity: The relative
degree of effort you put into each set of every exercise in a
bodybuilding workout. The more intensity you place on a working
muscle, the more quickly it will increase in hypertrophy. The most
basic methods of increasing intensity are to use heavier weights in
good form on each exercise, do more reps with a set weight, or
perform a consistent number of sets and reps with a particular
weight in a movement, but progressively reducing the length of the
rest interval between each set.
Intermediate Bodybuilder: A bodybuilder with six to 12
months of bodybuilding experience.
Intermediate Type: See Mesomorph
Inversion: Turning the bottom of the foot toward the
inside. For calf raises this hits the inner head of the
Involuntary Muscle: See Smooth Muscle
Isolation Exercise: In contrast to a basic exercise, an
isolation movement stresses a single muscle group (or sometimes
just part of a single muscle) in relative isolation from the
remainder of the body. Isolation exercises are good for shaping and
defining various muscle groups. For your thighs, squats would be a
typical basic movement, while leg extensions would be the
equivalent isolation exercise.
Isokinetic Contraction: Isokinetic contractions can refer
to either a concentric or eccentric contraction. Isokinetic
contraction occurs at a set speed against a force of maximal
resistance produced at all points in the range of motion. This
contraction type is performed under controlled same - speed
Isometric Contraction: Isometric contraction is a muscular
contraction not accompanied by movement of the joint. The muscle is
neither lengthened nor shortened but tension changes can be
measured. Due to the lack of visible muscle shortening, there is no
movement of the actins. The term “dynamic tension” was
used by Charles Atlas to refer to this term.
Isotonic Contraction: In an isotonic contraction, the
tension within the muscle remains the same throughout the motion,
which is to say the force of the contraction remains constant. This
is also called the positive portion of an exercise movement. There
are two aspects of isotonic contraction, concentric, and eccentric.
Concentric contraction occurs when the muscle fibers shorten as
tension develops. At the onset of the movement, the actin and
myosin filaments have tremendous pulling force. Thus you will be
stronger in the initial phase of most movements. Toward the end or
near the peak of contraction, the ability of the filaments to slide
toward each other reaches a limit and strength weakens. An
eccentric contraction is the type of muscle contraction that
involves lengthening the muscle fibers, such as when a weight is
lowered through a range of motion. The muscle yields to the
resistance, allowing itself to be stretched. Here the actin and
myosin slide away from each other. The level of force generated is
much higher in the eccentric phase as opposed to the concentric
phase. This is due to the added friction in the eccentric portion.
Concentric aspect is a form of muscle contraction that occurs when
muscle fibers shorten as tension develops. Eccentric aspect is a
contraction that involves lengthening the muscle fibers, such as
when a weight is lowered through a range of motion. The muscle
yields to the resistance, allowing itself to be stretched. This is
the age of the focused eccentric contraction. Too often
bodybuilders focus their attention only on the positive motion
(concentric) and pay little attention to the negative motion
(eccentric). It is a matter of common sense to perform the lowering
of resistance with at least as much focus and effort given to
lifting the same weight.
Juice: A slang term referring to anabolic steroids.
Ketosis: Ketosis is the result of eating too little
carbohydrate. Being in ketosis tends to reduce your feelings of
hunger. Carbohydrate deprivation also causes dehydration. However,
there is a distinction between losing water and losing body fat,
although the two are sometimes confused. If your visit your doctor
or pharmacist they can test for ketosis. If upon testing for
ketosis, you realize that your body is deficit of carbohydrates, be
sure to increase the total intake of carbohydrates in your diet; do
not let your body go into a state of ketosis.
Lactic Acid: A product given off during aerobic
respiration. Lactic acid was once thought to be strictly a waste
product, however, recent evidence suggests that a version of lactic
acid called lactate is used by the liver to replenish glycogen
Layoff: Most bodybuilders take a one to two week layoff
from bodybuilding training from time to time. During this time, no
exercise is done whatsoever. A layoff after a period of intense
precompetition training is particularly benegicial as a means of
allowing the body to completely rest, recuperate, and heal any
minor training injuries that might have cropped up during the
Lean Body Mass: That part of the body including the
muscles, bones, and connective tissue which remains when all body
fat has been eliminated from the physique (It is not possible to
maintain a 0 percent body fat percentage, however).
Ligament: The tough connective tissue that strengthens,
supports and limits the movement of bones that form joints.
Lipolysis: The breakdown or destruction of lipids of
Lipolytic: The chemical breakdown of fat.
Log: See Weight Training Log
Long Bar: These bars are commonly used in exercises for the
back, such as lat pulldowns. The advantage of the long bar is that
you can adjust the width depending on how you would like to work
Go to: M-R Terms
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