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Natural Bodybuilding Jargon

Article intro: This glossary contains the definitions of the world of Natural Bodybuilding. It is by no means a complete guide to Bodybuilding. However, I do believe that if you go through this bilingual dictionary, you should become fairly knowledgeable of the Natural Bodybuilding language.

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Natural Bodybuilding Jargon
By Kevin Doberstein CFT
Copyright © 2005 Nature Boy Bodybuilding

This glossary contains the definitions of the world of Natural Bodybuilding. It is by no means a complete guide to Bodybuilding. However, I do believe that if you go through this bilingual dictionary, you should become fairly knowledgeable of the Natural Bodybuilding language. This could also become a resource to find quick answers once you start designing training programs on your own. Be sure to add this bodybuilding jargon guide to your favorites for future reference.

Rep. Abbreviation for repetition. For example, one repetition or “rep” would be one barbell bicep curl.

Rep Tempo. The speed the repetition is done at. A slow tempo works the slow twitch muscle fiber. A fast explosive rep works the fast twitch muscle fiber.

Set. A set of repetitions. An example would be 1 set of 8 bicep curl repetitions.

Tri-Set. Three exercises work together in one set. Usually done with a muscle group with three or more sections. An example would be deltoids with front raises; side laterals, and rear raises all done continuously in one set.

Giant-Set. Four to six exercises done together in one set.

Staggered-Sets. Adding a different muscle exercise in between sets. An example would be doing a abdominal crunch exercise in between bench presses.

Pre-Exhaustion set. Doing a isolation exercise before a basic movement exercise. This is done to focus on one muscle in a group of muscles. An example would be doing dumbbell flys before bench press.

Basic-Movement set. A multi-joint exercise. An example would be the bench press.

Rest-Pause set. Resting for 10 to 15 seconds in between reps. This is done to further the set and increase intensity. An example would be doing a barbell curl then stopping on the bottom of the movement (resting) for 10 to 15 seconds and then do another rep.

Muscle Mix-Up. Changing the rep scheme and exercises to force the muscles into new growth.

Holistic Training. The theory that the parts of any whole should be considered in relation to the whole and that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. What this means in bodybuilding is training a bodypart in different rep speed and volume to stimulate the entire muscle structure of that bodypart. This is an example using the pectoral muscle. First do a set of 5 to 6 reps of bench presses with explosive speed to stimulate the fast twitch muscle fiber. Then do a set of 10 to 12 reps of dumbbell flys with moderate speed to stimulate fast and slow twitch fiber. Then do a set of 25 to 40 reps of cable crossovers to stimulate the slow twitch fiber.

Alternating Set. Isolating one muscle then isolating the other muscle out of one group. This is done to focus on each part of the muscle group. An example would be dumbbell alternating bicep curls. You can curl one arm at a time to increase the intensity in each biceps.

Quaker Thunder Blast. Too much oatmeal taken in for carbohydrates mixed with squat night. Don’t laugh, this is a serious condition.

Baseballs. Sometimes used slang for a well defined bicep muscle when it is fully contracted.

V-taper. Refers to the back side of the upper torso. A wide back to a narrow waist which makes a V. Generally to increase the V-taper one must increase the size of the latissimi dorsi muscle of the upper back and decrease the fat around the waist.

Negs. The eccentric portion of the strength curve. For example in the bench it is when you lower it to your chest. Negs or negative reps are when you resist the force from the weight and slowly lowering it to your chest. This will cause above normal trauma to your muscle fiber and shouldn’t be done too often. This process can also be done with other lifts.

Trampoline Lifter. Someone who bounces the weight at the amortization portion of the lift. An example would be someone bouncing the barbell off his or her chest in the bench press exercise. A very bad practice to follow. You drastically cheat the muscle from total development.

Overtrained and Strained. Pushing your body to a point that it no longer recovers from the workouts. Signs

of overtraining can be sleepless nights, an unusually cranky personality, and losing muscle size. A change of workout is usually needed but first preceded with a period of rest so that the body can recover. Following a periodization program will help prevent this.

Periodization Program. This program cycles light with heavy training days. This will help the body recover faster and also provide an ever-changing training program to prevent the body from adapting to the workout and preventing growth.

Split Program. A bodybuilding training program that splits workouts up to one or two bodyparts per training session. This can be further broken down into 2 workouts per day. This is called a double split. It can be a 4,5, or 6 day a week program. This is a very advanced training program and can lead to overtraining from not enough rest between training sessions.

Superset. Working two opposing muscle groups in one set. An example would be doing a set of bicep curls and then immediately follow that with tricep pressdowns.

Forced Reps. This involves doing a set to failure and then having your training partner help you with additional reps.

The Pump. A tight warm somewhat burning sensation in a muscle that is from by being worked through manipulation. Can be from using a barbell, dumbbell, exercise machine, or some other means.

PumpOut. Generally, a set of 12 to 15 repetitions added at the end of a bodypart workout. This is done to force additional blood into the working muscle and deepen the “pump” feeling.

Melon Knockers. Lying triceps extensions. The name came from the bar being just above the head at the bottom of the movement.

Gabby Haynes. Also called “all mouth”. This fellow bodybuilder can be quite irritating by disturbing other bodybuilders talking to them constantly. This person generally has no regards to other bodybuilders and will talk to them at anytime, even during a hard concentrated set. A common quote used around this bodybuilder is “where is the switch to turn it off!”.

Lifting Belt. A leather or nylon belt that is 4 to 6 inches wide. It is usually worn when doing heavy leg workouts even though I seen lifters use them when doing wrist curls. They help support the mid torso.

Tourniquet pants. A lifter who wears a bleached out pair of gray sweat pants that have severely shunken in the laundry.

Squat Rack. An apparatus used in the gym for safety. Most are designed to accommodate all heights with adjustable pins. Leg squats, bench presses, and other lifts can be done using a Squat Rack.

Lightbulb Man. This is describing a male bodybuilder who only works the chest and arm muscles.

Rip Up. Can also be called cutting up or lean out. Shedding the body fat by aerobic training and diet to show muscularity.

Melon Sized. Sometimes used to describe a pair of large and defined deltoid muscles.

Striated and shredded. A term used to describe a muscle distinguished from other smooth muscle by transverse striations of the fibers.

Peeing Nitro. A condition of urinating excess nitrogen from consuming too much protein.

Carbed Up. A process of eating slow burning carbohydrates and drinking water three hours before a workout. This will provide fuel for energy for the anaerobic training.

Quarter Barrel Sized. Sometimes used to describe a bodybuilder with unusually large leg muscles. Especially if out of proportion to the rest of the body.

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For informative bodybuilding articles check out Nature Boy, Your Natural Bodybuilding web source.
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The author, Kevin Doberstein is a Certified Fitness Trainer who also owns Main Street Gym in north central Wisconsin. You can check out his web site Nature Boy Bodybuilding and his Nature Boy Bodybuilding Blog Natural bodybuilding is the main focus of this blog. Bodybuilding nutrition and fitness articles. Workout exercise programs.


Joe Weider 1981, Bodybuilder, the Weider Approach.

About the Author
Kevin Doberstein is a Certified Fitness Trainer living in northern Wisconsin. He has been a natural bodybuilder for 25 years.Nature Boy, Your Natural Bodybuilding web source.
Forever for the cause of Natural Bodybuilding and Fitness.

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