The lexicon of muscle-building, and training - Part 4

Ballistic movement

A sudden, jerking movement.


A steel rod, typically between five and seven feet, on which plates of varying sizes and weights can be loaded, according to need. An adjustable barbell permits you to change the weight plates at will. Fixed-weight barbells have their plates locked in place. Some gyms have racks of fixed-weight barbells of varying weights (typically under 100 pounds), ready for immediate use.

Basal metabolic rate (BMR)

The rate of energy use by the body under controlled resting conditions; the speed at which a resting body uses calories to meet its basic survival needs. The BMR is usually measured in calories per day. Through increasing your muscle mass, you'll also increase your BMR.

Basic exercises

The multi-joint movements — for instance, the squat, deadlift, bench press, overhead press, pulldown, parallel bar dip — are usually tagged basic exercises, although some trainees include a few single-joint exercises such as the barbell curl, and standing heel raise, under that description.


Two main types: lifting belts, supposedly used for lumbar support; and weight belts used for attaching weight to the body for some exercises. See Dipping belt, and Lifting belt.


Long seats used for performing some exercises on. There's the flat (horizontal) bench, the incline bench, and the decline bench. Fixed incline and fixed decline benches are manufactured at various pre-set angles, whereas other benches are adjustable and can be set by the user to the desired angle. A bench may have uprights attached on its sides, for supporting a barbell.

Bench shirt

A tight, strong shirt worn by powerlifters to artificially increase the weight lifted in the bench press.


A learned response or function to stimuli; a conditioned response.


The science concerned with the forces acting on a living body, and the effects produced by those forces, especially to do with the locomotor system.


Fluid that circulates through the capillaries, veins, arteries, and heart, which carries nutrients, oxygen, cellular products, and waste materials.

Blood pressure

The force exerted by the blood on the walls of the blood vessels. Also see Diastolic blood pressure, and Systolic blood pressure.


See Basal metabolic rate.


Also called strength training. An athletic hobby and competitive sport. The development of the musculature in a proportionate manner, with appearance and aesthetics being more important than performance and function.

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