The lexicon of muscle-building, and training - Part 2

Adipose tissue

Fat (bodyfat).

Aerobic exercise

Aerobic literally means with oxygen. This is sustained, rhythmic, large-muscle activity at a level at which the heart and lungs can replenish oxygen in the working muscles, such as walking. Aerobic exercise yields many benefits, the two major ones being that it may improve cardiorespiratory fitness (if the exercise is sufficiently demanding relative to the individual's current fitness level); and secondly, it burns calories (which can contribute to bodyfat loss).

Whether or not a given activity is aerobic is relative to the individual's fitness. Walking is aerobic for a young, fit person, and could be sustained for hours, but the same speed of walking may be anaerobic for an old, sedentary person, and could be sustained for only a minute or two.


A category of aerobic exercise that has various styles, such as step aerobics and aerobic dancing, but not aerobic exercise in general.

Age-adjusted maximum heart rate

An estimation of maximum safe heart rate commonly calculated through deducting one's age from 220. A 40-year-old will have an estimated maximum heart rate of 180 (220 minus 40), and a 20-year-old will have one of 200 (220 minus 20). Also see Maximum heart rate.


Muscle directly engaged in contraction — the one primarily responsible for the movement of a given bodypart.

Alimentary canal

The digestive tube from the mouth to the anus.

All-round lifting

An organized form of lifting, including competitions, that has more than 100 official lifts, including some bizarre, potentially high-risk ones.


Adult minimum daily requirement of certain nutrients as established by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).


Abbreviation for amino acids, the building blocks of protein.

Anabolic steroids

Synthetic hormones that stimulate anabolism.


Constructive metabolism — the synthesis or building up in the body (or any living organism) of more complex substances, including muscle tissue, from simpler substances. Anabolism is the opposite of catabolism.

Anaerobic exercise

Anaerobic literally means without oxygen. This is activity in which oxygen is used up more quickly than the body can replenish it in the working muscles. For a given individual, anaerobic exercise is much more intensive than aerobic exercise. Although aerobic exercise can be sustained for long periods, anaerobic exercise can be sustained only for short periods. Strength training and sprinting are examples of anaerobic exercise.

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