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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.

Endocrine System: 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 completely changed!

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 gastrocnemius.

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 training.

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.

FDA: 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 philosophy.

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 exercise.

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 essential.

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 contractions.

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 fuel.

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 lactic acid.

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 bodybuilders.

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 require surgery.

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 stimulating hormone.

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 gastrocnemius.

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 conditions.

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 supplies.

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 peaking cycle.

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 fats.

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 the exercises.


Go to: M-R Terms

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