|Bodybuilding Dictionary of Terms: S-Z
BodybuildingPro.com Bodybuilding Dictionary of Terms S-Z Terms
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Saturated Fatty Acids: Fat molecules that do not have
double bonds between their carbon atoms and are usually solid at
room temperature. Saturated fats are considered to play a major
role in the development of cardiovascular disease.
Semi-vegetarian: Not a true vegetarian diet; based
primarily on plant foods but occasionally including lean, nonred
Set: A set is a group of consecutive repetitions that are
performed without resting. When you have completed 8 repetitions of
bench press, and have reached temporary muscular failure or put the
weights down, you have completed one set. See also: Working
Shoes: Shoes act to stabilize your balance and improve your
balance in training. The design of shoes varies depending on their
use, whether it is for running, or outdoor recreational activities,
or simply day to day wear. The main quality of shoes, no matter
which you choose, is support. Solid, thick soled shoes with good
arch support are the best you can choose.
Shotgunning: See Megadosing
Sleeve: The hollow metal tube that fits over the bar on
most exercise barbell and dumbbell sets. This sleeve makes it
easier for the bar to rotate in your hands as you perform an
Slow Twitch Muscle Fibers: Red muscle fibers that contract
slowly, weakly, and continually for long periods of time. Slow -
twitch fibers are developed by light, high - rep weight
Smith Machine: Another name for a brand of Nautilus
machines at the gym which are used to add variety to workouts. They
offer many disadvantages, but normally, free weights are
Smooth Muscle: One of two kinds of muscle, composed of
elongated spindle - shaped cells in muscles not under voluntary
control, such as the smooth muscle of the intestines, stomach, and
other visceral organs. The heart muscle is an exception because it
is a striated involuntary muscle. Smooth muscle fibers are shorter
than striated muscle fibers and are smooth in appearance. Known
also as involuntary muscle of unstriated muscle.
Snake Oil: This is a general term used to describe any
supplement or concoction that doesn’t give the same degree of
results as claimed by its advertisers. It originated with traveling
carnivals back in the 1800s.
Somatotype: The classification
of individuals according to body build based on certain physical
characteristics. The primary types are ectomorph, mesomorph, and
Split Routine: A program
in which the body is divided into segments and trained more than
three times per week, as most beginners do. The most basic split
routine is done four days per week. The most popular type of split
routine happens by dividing the body into three parts which are
done over three consecutive days, followed by a rest day and a
repeat of the routine on day five. This is called a three - on /
one - off split.
Spotters: Training partners who stand by to act as safety
helpers when you perform heavy lifts in bench press, or squats, as
well as other exercises. If you reach the point of temporary
muscular failure, your spotter can help you lift the weight up in
order to complete the range of motion safely. It is especially
important to have a spotter when you are attempted one - rep
Stacking: The practice of taking two or more performance -
enhancing drugs at one time. The actual drugs, combinations, and
dosages are known as a stack.
Static Contractions: A muscle contraction is static when
the length of the muscle does not shorten during contraction. All
muscle fibers enervated by a single motor nerve fiber from the
spinal cord are called motor units, each of which may supply up to
150 or more muscle fibers. The strength of contraction increases in
proportion to the number of motor units fired. Although a whole
muscle cannot fully contract at once, a single fiber of it
contracts fully, never partially, when stimulated by a motor nerve
fiber. As the number of contracting motor units increases, the
force of contraction increases proportionally. This also occurs
when a muscle is tensed without movement. High intensity training
over a prolonged period of time improves the ability of a neuro
muscular system to recruit a greater number of motor units (volley
firing), and thus creates a greater number of muscle fibers to
Static Stretching: Here, you stretch the muscle slowly and
gradually and hold the stretch for 10 to 60 seconds. Because the
stretch occurs slowly, there is much less reaction from the stretch
receptors. Static stretching is the type most often recommended by
fitness experts because it is as effective and safer than other
types of stretching exercises. The key to this technique is to
stretch the muscles and joints to the point where you feel a pull
but not to the point of pain. Over stretching the muscle leads to
Steroid: Biochemical term used to denote a molecule having
three, 6 carbon - containing rings, and one, 5 - carbon -
containing ring. Steroid molecules form the nucleus of many of the
Steroid Hormones: Any of the ductless gland secretions that
contain the basic steroid nucleus in their chemical formulae. The
natural steroid hormones include the androgens, estrogens, and
adrenal cortex secretions.
Steroid Replacer: General term used to describe any
naturally occurring substance that supposedly duplicates the
effects of anabolic steroids. As of yet, no “steroid
replacer” is as effective as any anabolic drug.
Sticking Point: A stalling
of bodybuilding progress. Also that point in a movement at which
you fail to continue the upward momentum of the bar.
Stimulants: Class of drugs
that increase or excite the central nervous system (CNS).
Stimulants may be mild (ephedrine), or powerful (amphetamines).
Straight Short Bar: This bar is used in exercises such as
the triceps pushdown, as well as biceps exercises such as cable
curls. It can also be used for back exercises, and other body
Straps: Straps are fastened around your wrists and then
twisted around a bar to strengthen your grip in exercises where
grip is your weakest link. Hand strength will not develop as
quickly if you use straps, but this may be worth the value of being
able to lift heavier weights which will result in a better
developed back. Weighing the opportunity cost of straps is largely
personal preference, and you can achieve great results with or
without including them in your regiment of bodybuilding aids.
Stretching: A type of
exercise program in which you assume exaggerated postures that
stretch muscles, joints, and connective tissues, hold these
positions for several seconds, and then relax and repeat the
postures. Regular stretching exercise promotes body flexibility and
reduces the chance of injuries while training with heavy iron.
Stress: Stress can be defined as anything that causes
stress on the body’s physical or mental resources. Working
out is a great way to reduce your levels of stress caused by day to
day living. Lifting weights is a stress on the body that is
enjoyable and takes pressures off the other stresses you are
undergoing; it is a type of stress you will like to include in your
everyday life. Although stress has many negative connotations, the
stress which you will undergo in the gym is (almost) enjoyable and,
if controlled properly will invoke a positive response in both your
physical and mental fitness. If you are mentally or physically
stressed in your day to day life away from the gym, it will be more
difficult for your body to respond with positive muscle growth.
Reducing your levels of stress related to your emotional, financial
and work related stresses (as well as others) is essential to
maximize gains made in the gym. At the same time, bodybuilding is a
method of reducing these stresses, and in very little time with
some hard work and dedication you will see your stress levels
decrease after taking up recreational bodybuilding.
Stretch Marks: Tiny tears in a bodybuilder's skin caused by
poor diet and too rapid increases in body weight. If you notice
stretch mark forming on your own body, consult your physician for
advice. One solution which has worked for many people is to rub
vitamin - E cream over the stretch two of three times per day
(unless you are allergic to the cream), and try cutting back on
your body weight by reducing body - fat levels. It's much better to
add pure muscle mass than excess fat when attempting to gain body
Striated Muscle: Muscle tissue, including all the skeletal
muscles, that consists of myofibrils. Striated muscles are composed
of bundles of parallel, striated fibers. Each striated muscle is
covered by a thin connective epimysium and divided into bundles of
sheathed fibers containing smaller myofribrils. The muscle’s
contractile units, or sarcomeres, comprise the larger protein
strands or myofribrils.
Striations: The tiny grooves of muscle across major muscle
groups in a highly defined bodybuilder. If you have muscle
striations, even when completely relaxed, you know you are in
Sugar: Any of several water -
soluble carbohydrates. The two principal categories of sugards are
monosaccharides and disaccharides. A monosaccharide is a single
sugar such as glucose, fructose, or galactose. A disaccharide is a
doble sugar such as sucrose (table sugar) or lactose.
Supination: You supinate your hand when you turn the palm
Supine: Lying horizontally on the back
vitamins, minerals, and proteins used by bodybuilders to improve
the overall quality of their diets. Many bodybuilders believe that
food supplements help promote quality muscle growth.
Symmetry: The shape or general outline of a person's body,
as when seen in silhouette. If you have good symmetry, you will
have relatively wide shoulders, flaring lats, a small waist - hip
structure, and general small joints.
Synergism: The biochemical phenomenon where two or more
drugs interact to produce an effect that is greater than the
effects of the individual drugs. In bodybuilding terms, growth
hormone and IGF - 1 taken separately produce limited results, but
when taken together produce dramatic increases in size and
Temporary Muscular Failure (TMF): That point an an exercise
at which you have so fully fatigued the working muscles that they
can no longer complete an additional repetition of a movement with
strict form. You should always take your post - warm up sets at
least to the point of momentary muscular failure, and frequently
past that point. Also known as Failure.
Tendon: The tough tissue that connects muscles to
Testosterone: The male hormone primarily responsible for
maintenance of muscle mass and strength induced by heavy training.
Testosterone is secondarily responsible for developing such
secondary male sex characteristics as a deep voice, body and facial
hair, and male pattern baldness.
Thermogenesis: Heat production not accounted for by resting
metabolic rate or physical activity. Progress by which stored fat
is liberated and mobilized so that it can be burned as a fuel
source. The most popular bodybuilding thermogenic agents are
ephedrine and caffeine. Factors stimulating thermogenesis include
food intake, thermogenic substances (such as adrenaline, some
drugs, some types of food and some herbs), cold exposure and
psychological stress. Thermogenesis normally accounts for around
15% of daily energy expended.
Thoracic Type: See Ectomorph
Thyroid Gland: Small gland located at the neck that
controls the body’s level of calcium and overall metabolic
rate. Bodybuilders often add thyroid drugs to their precontest drug
stacks to increase their body’s metabolic rate and increase
the rate of fat loss.
Towel: A towel should be part of your essential gym
Training Partner: A training partner should be someone who
is willing to take the time he or she is devoting to bodybuilding,
and share it with you. He or she should be willing to make time in
his or her schedule to workout with you, as well as offer you
constructive advice and a good spot for those hard to perform,
heavy lifts. It is very important that both you and your training
partner care about the success and development of the pair, and
make efforts to motivate and encourage each other into achieving
new muscular growth. A training partner who does not have much
concern over making it to the gym with you, and helping you out
isn’t much of a benefit to either of you. A training partner
who does not offer you constructive advice isn’t really
helping you either, if advice is what you are looking for. Also, it
is very effective if both you and your training partner are trying
to achieve the same bodybuilding goals. This makes it a lot more
natural for both of you to help each other with steps along the way
to achieving those goals.
Trisets: A series of three exercises performed with not
rest between movements and a normal rest interval between trisets.
Trisets increase training intensity by reducing the average length
of rest interval between sets. As such, trisets are markedly more
intense than supersets.
Unsaturated Fatty Acids: Fat
molecules which have double bonds between their carbon atoms are
usually liquid at room temperature. Generally speaking, as the
number of double bonds increase, the fat becomes more oily in
Unstriated Muscle: See Smooth Muscle
Vascularity: A prominence of veins and arteries over the
muscles and beneath the skin of a well - defined bodybuilder.
Vascularity can be enhanced by properly carbing up prior to
appearence onstage at a competition.
Vegan: A diet excluding all foods from animals, in any
form. Items such as milk, cheese, and eggs are excluded.
Vitamin: Organic compound used
by the body to regulate metabolism. Vitamins may be water - based
or fat - based.
Volume Training: The use of very high number sets for each
bodypart. The high volume of a workout necessitates the use of
lighter - than - normal weights in each exercise, but it does build
muscle in some individuals.
Warm Up: Before you pick up any weights, even a two pound
dumbbell, you should always remember to warm up. You can do this by
taking five easy minutes on the aerobic exercise machine. Warm ups
increase the temperature of your muscles, making them more pliable
and less susceptible to injury. If you plan to so a particularly
heavy workout, such as a powerlifting routine, you should warm up
for 10 minutes prior to attempting that kind of poundage. Various
warm ups may include one of the following activities: Walking,
jogging, stair climbing, stationary biking, aerobic rowing machine
cross country ski machine doing many repetitions with the empty bar
(bench press, military press). 10 to 15 minute session of light
calisthenics, aerobic activity, and stretching taken prior to
handling heavy bodybuilding training movements. A good warm - up
helps prevent injuries and actually allows you to get more our of
your training than if you went into a workout totally cold.
Water Bottle: You will need more water if you begin a
weight training program, especially on the days you are working
out, and even more importantly, during your actual workouts. A
water bottle is a must.
WBF: The World Bodybuilding Federation, founded in 1990 to
offer competition for bodybuilders not interested in the IFBB
Weight: The same as poundage or resistance.
Weight Class: In order for bodybuilders to compete against
men and women or similar size, the IFBB has instituted weight
divisions for all amateur competitions. The normal men's weight
classes are under 70 kilograms (154 pounds), under 80 kilograms
(175 pounds), under 90 kilograms (198 pounds), and over 90
kilograms (over 198 pounds, term "heavyweight"). In a minority of
competitions, particularly in the Far East, one additional class,
under 65 kilograms (143 pounds) is also contested. Women compete in
three weight classes: under 114 pounds, under 123 pounds, and over
Weight Lifting: The competitive form of weight training in
which each athlete attempts to lift as much as he or she can in
well - defined exercises. Olympic lifting and power lifting are the
two types of weight - lifting competition.
Weight Training: An umbrella term used to categorize all
acts of using resistance training. Weight training can be used to
improve the body, to rehabilitate injuries, to improve sports
conditioning, or as a competitive activity in terms of bodybuilding
and weight lifting.
Weight Training Log: Recording your workouts in a weight
training log is a good idea. It keeps you motivated, and helps you
to assess your goals frequently.
Working Set: The set(s) you perform after finishing a warm
up or stretching.
Workout: A bodybuilding or weight - training session.
Wraps: Wraps are used to support weak or injured joints or
muscles. Wraps are used around the knees for weight training
athletes performing heavy squats, or around the elbows during bench
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