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 A Glossary of Terms... 
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This list is by NO means complete and will be added to as time allows. Hopefully this will help some of our less experienced members.

Aerobic Exercise:
Aerobic means "with oxygen", and refers to the use of oxygen in the body's metabolic or energy-generating process. Aerobic exercise is exercise that involves or improves oxygen consumption by the body.

Many types of exercise are aerobic, and by definition are performed at moderate levels of intensity for extended periods of time. To obtain the best results, an aerobic exercise session involves a warm up period, followed by at least 20 minutes of moderate exercise involving large muscle groups, and a cool down period immediately following.

Aerobic exercise comprises innumerable forms. In general, it is performed at a moderate level of intensity over a relatively long period of time. For example, running a long distance at a moderate pace is an aerobic exercise, but sprinting is not. Playing singles tennis, with near-continuous motion, is generally considered aerobic activity, while golf or two person team tennis, with brief bursts of activity punctuated by more frequent breaks, may not be predominantly aerobic. Some sports are thus inherently "aerobic", while other aerobic exercises, such as aerobic dance classes, are designed specifically to improve aerobic capacity and fitness.

Among the recognized benefits of doing regular aerobic exercise are:
- Strengthening the muscles involved in respiration, to facilitate the flow of air in and out of the lungs
- Strengthening and enlarging the heart muscle, to improve its pumping efficiency and reduce the resting heart rate, known as aerobic conditioning
- Toning muscles throughout the body
- Improving circulation efficiency and reducing blood pressure
- Increasing the total number of red blood cells in the body, facilitating transport of oxygen
- Improved mental health, including reducing stress and lowering the incidence of depression

of or related to the synthetic phase of metabolism.

The phase of metabolism in which simple substances are synthesized into the complex materials of living tissue.

Anabolism (Greek "mound" from ana = upward + ballein = "to throw") is the set of metabolic pathways that construct molecules from smaller units.[1] These reactions require energy. One way of categorizing metabolic processes, whether at the cellular, organ or organism level is as 'anabolic' or as 'catabolic', which is the opposite. Anabolism is powered by catabolism, where large molecules are broken down into smaller parts and then used up in respiration. Many anabolic processes are powered by adenosine triphosphate (ATP).

Anabolic processes tend toward "building up" organs and tissues. These processes produce growth and differentiation of cells and increase in body size, a process that involves synthesis of complex molecules. Examples of anabolic processes include the growth and mineralization of bone and increases in muscle mass.
Endocrinologists have traditionally classified hormones as anabolic or catabolic, depending on which part of metabolism they stimulate. The classic anabolic hormones are the anabolic steroids, which stimulate protein synthesis and muscle growth. The balance between anabolism and catabolism is also regulated by circadian rhythms, with processes such as glucose metabolism fluctuating to match an animal's normal periods of activity throughout the day.

Anaerobic Exercise:
When applying to exercise the term Anaerobic means: more intense than can be maintained in balance with oxygen intake, aerobic pathways being insufficient to supply energy at the required rate (though they always contribute as well) — as in a 200-metre sprint. Anaerobic exercise is exercise intense enough to trigger anaerobic metabolism. It is used by athletes in non-endurance sports to promote strength, speed and power and by bodybuilders to build muscle mass. Muscles trained using anaerobic exercise develop differently as compared to aerobic exercise, leading to greater performance in short duration, high intensity activities, which last from mere seconds up to a maximum anaerobic metabolic contribution at about 2 minutes. Any activity after 2-minutes or so, whether it be exceedingly easy or immensely intense, will have a large aerobic metabolic component. Anaerobic metabolism (aka anaerobic energy expenditure) is a natural part of whole-body metabolic energy expenditure. In fact, fast twitch skeletal muscle (as compared to slow twitch muscle) is inherently composed of anaerobic metabolic characteristics, so that any recruitment of fast twitch muscle fibers will lead to increased anaerobic energy expenditure. Intense exercise lasting upwards of 4 minutes or more (e.g., a mile race) may still have a considerable anaerobic energy expenditure component. Anaerobic energy expenditure is difficult to accurately quantify yet several reasonable methods to estimate the anaerobic component to exercise are available.

There are two types of anaerobic energy systems: 1) the high energy phosphates, ATP adenosine tri-phosphate and CP creatine phosphate and, 2) anaerobic glycolysis. The high energy phosphates are stored in very limited quantities within muscle cells. Anaerobic glycolysis exclusively uses glucose (and glycogen) as a fuel in the absence of oxygen or more specifically, when ATP is needed at rates that exceed those provided by aerobic metabolism; the consequence of rapid glucose breakdown is the formation of lactic acid (more appropriately, lactate at biological pH levels). Physical activities that last up to about thirty seconds rely primarily on the former, ATP-PC phosphagen, system. Beyond this time both aerobic and anaerobic glycolytic metabolic systems begin to predominate. The by-product of anaerobic glycolysis, lactate, has traditionally been thought to be detrimental to muscle function. However, this appears likely only when lactate levels are very high. In reality, many changes occur within and around muscle cells during intense exercise that can lead to fatigue, with elevated lactate levels being only one (fatigue that is muscular failure, is a complex subject). Elevated muscle and blood lactate concentrations are a natural consequence of physical exertion, regardless of what form it takes: easy, moderate, hard or severe. The effectiveness of anaerobic activity can be improved through training.

The metabolic breakdown of complex molecules into simpler ones, often resulting in a release of energy.
characterized by destructive metabolism. Increases in the loss of protein.

A 'catabolic state' usually refers to an unfavorable state in the body created by a combination of too much training, lack of good nutrition and lack of rest in which the body utilizes protein as energy instead of burning other types of fuel. This ultimately leads to muscle loss and fat accumulation.

Catabolism (Greek kata = downward + ballein = to throw) is the set of metabolic pathways that break down molecules into smaller units and release energy. In catabolism, large molecules such as polysaccharides, lipids, nucleic acids and proteins are broken down into smaller units such as monosaccharides, fatty acids, nucleotides and amino acids, respectively. As molecules such as polysaccharides, proteins and nucleic acids are made from long chains of these small monomer units (mono = one + mer = part), the large molecules are called polymers (poly = many).

Cells use the monomers released from breaking down polymers to either construct new polymer molecules, or degrade the monomers further to simple waste products, releasing energy. Cellular wastes include lactic acid, acetic acid, carbon dioxide, ammonia, and urea. The creation of these wastes is usually an oxidation process involving a release of chemical free energy, some of which is lost as heat, but the rest of which is used to drive the synthesis of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). This molecule acts as a way for the cell to transfer the energy released by catabolism to the energy-requiring reactions that make up anabolism. Catabolism, in its positive state, therefore provides the chemical energy necessary for the maintenance and growth of cells. Examples of catabolic processes include glycolysis, the citric acid cycle, the breakdown of muscle protein in order to use amino acids as substrates for gluconeogenesis and breakdown of fat in adipose tissue to fatty acids.

Concentric Movement:
The portion of the exercise where the muscle contracts, for example, the upward portion of a bench press or the downward portion of a tricep pushdown.

Catabolic hormone secreted by the adrenal glands in situations of stress (both physical and mental), lack of calories/nutrients and lack of sleep. Cortisol raises the free amino acids in the serum. It does this by inhibiting collagen formation, decreasing amino acid uptake by muscle, and inhibiting protein synthesis which can be associated with loss of muscle mass, loss of strength, and fat accumulation. An excess of cortisol over long periods of time may also contribute to hardening of the arteries; something that leads to heart disease.

Cortisol counteracts insulin by increasing gluconeogenesis and promotes breakdown of lipids (lipolysis), and proteins, and mobilization of extrahepatic amino acids and ketone bodies. This leads to increased circulating glucose concentrations (in the blood) by increasing gluconeogenesis. There is an increased glycogen breakdown in the liver.[3] Prolonged cortisol secretion causes hyperglycemia.

Drop Sets/Running the Rack:
In bodybuilding and weight training, using drop sets is a technique for continuing an exercise with a lower weight once muscle failure has been achieved at a higher weight. It is most often performed on weight machines because reducing the weight quickly is thought by some to be extremely important, but it can also be performed with dumbbells and other free weights.

For example: While performing a biceps curl, the person lifting the weight would start with a 25 pound dumbbell and do as many repetitions as possible without significantly compromising form. Then a 20 pound weight would be used until exhaustion is reached. One could continue to "drop" down as many times as he or she wishes, but some bodybuilders recommend using no more than three distinct weights e.g. 25, 20, 15.

Drop sets and the technique also go by the names breakdowns, descending sets, triple-drops (when a total of three different weights is used), down the rack or running the rack (when using dumbbells), up the stack (because with a weight machine, the pin is moved up the stack of plates with each drop in weight), strip sets (when you "strip" weights off the ends of a bar), or the stripping technique (so called because of "stripping" weight plates off with each drop in weight).

Eccentric Movement:
The portion of the movement where the muscle elongates, for example: the portion of a bench press where the weight is lowered toward the chest or the portion of a lat pulldown where the bar is allowed to travel upward, lowering the weight toward the floor. Often referred to as “the stretch”.

The scientific term used to describe an increase in muscle mass due to the development of new muscle cells.

The scientific term used to describe an increase in muscle mass caused by the growth of existing muscle cells.

Muscular Failure:
The inability to continue an exercise without assistance or sacrificing proper form. Failure is the result of insufficient oxygenation of the working muscles and the build-up of lactic acid.

Negative repetitions are a training technique used to increase intensity during a workout. They involve a comparatively rapid concentric movement followed by a very slow eccentric movement. For example, in a bicep curl, the weight would be raised quickly (not so quickly that injury becomes a factor however) and then lowered as slowly as possible. Try using a 1x8 count as a guide. 1 second on the concentric portion and 8 seconds on the eccentric.

The act of increasing weight incrementally with each set until a max working weight is reached. Then decreasing weight with each following set. Typically this is done using an odd number of over all sets with the middle set being the heaviest. Pyramiding is the most common form of lifting methodology.

Range of Motion (aka R.O.M)
The distance over which a weight will travel during the course of any particular exercise. As a rule the ROM of an exercise should never extend to a point where tension can be taken off the muscles being worked. For example, the range of motion of a standing barbell curl should not be so great that the barbell is allowed to touch and rest on the thighs, nor should it be allowed to exceed the point of tension at the upper end of the motion allowing the muscles to relax.

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Mon Nov 15, 2010 10:15 am
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