The lexicon of muscle-building, and training - Part 3

Waste products and an oxygen debt are quickly built up during anaerobic exercise, terminating it quickly.

Anaerobic threshold

The level above which exercise brings about strong accumulation of lactic acid in the muscle cells, from anaerobic work.


The study of the structure of the body.


Any substance that stimulates the development of male characteristics, such as testosterone.


Muscle that counteracts the agonist. The antagonist is lengthened as the agonist contracts. For example, as the elbow is bent, the biceps (muscle on the front of the arm) is the agonist, and the triceps (muscle on the rear of the arm) is the antagonist.


Directional term referring to the front or ventral surface of the body, or referring to something located in front of an organ or structure.


Measurement of the human body and its parts.


A substance that prevents or lessens catabolism.


See Active Release Techniques®.


A blood vessel that carries blood away from the heart.


A group of conditions that arise from inflammation of the joints.


Of or pertaining to a joint — for example, articular cartilage.


Any joint, including the freely movable synovial joints such as the elbow, knee, and fingers joints, and the cartilaginous joints between vertebrae, which have only limited movement.

Assisted reps

Repetitions of an exercise that are performed with assistance, typically from a spotter or a training partner.


Not identical on both sides of a central line; lacking symmetry.


See Adenosine triphosphate.


Decrease in size or functional ability of a tissue (especially muscle) or organ, resulting from lack of use or disease — the opposite of hypertrophy.


Located in or related to the axis of an organ or other structure.


The line about which a structure is symmetrical.


Backdown set

A final set for special use for a given exercise, in which the weight (relative to the previous set) is reduced sufficiently to permit more reps to be performed relative to the previous set. For example, the series of sets for a given exercise could be 100 pounds x 8 and 130 x 8 as progressive warm-ups, followed by 150 x 8 and then 150 x 8 again as the first two work sets, succeeded by a backdown set of 100 x 15 or more reps, as the third work set.

Ball-and-socket joint

A joint in which the rounded head of one bone moves in a concave socket of another bone — for example, the hip joint.

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