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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 meat.

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 Set

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 exercise.

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 workouts.

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 preferred.

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 endomorph.

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 maximums (1RM).

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 contract.

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 injuries.

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 body’s hormones.

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 parts

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 weight.

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 optimum condition.

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 down.

Supine: Lying horizontally on the back

Supplements: Concentrated 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 strength.

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 bones.

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 equipment.

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 nature.

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 system.

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 123 pounds.

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 press.


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