The lexicon of muscle-building, and training - Part 14

Cutting up

Reducing bodyfat and water retention in order to increase muscular definition.


An abbreviation for training cycles. Cycles are periods of sustained training on a given program, for instance, a twelve-week cycle. Training intensity and training weights are typically varied over the course of a given cycle.


This term has multiple interpretations. Using a bicycle or a stationary cycle is one interpretation. For muscle-building training, cycling refers to the varying of exercise intensity in a structured way over a period of time. Cycling may also refer to performance-enhancing drugs — the varying of dosages and specific drugs, over time.



To slow down.


The condition whereby the muscles are covered with little fat, so that the lines of the muscles show. Extreme definition is often described as ripped.


Deterioration, change from a higher form to a lower form, especially a change of tissue to a less functionally active form.


Abnormally low body fluid volume, because of excessive loss of water.


Abbreviation for the deltoid muscles (sides of the shoulders).


Muscle hardness, the product of well-developed and defined muscle.

Descending sets

Specialized form of training in which decreasing weights are used for the same set of a given exercise. For example, 150 pounds may permit just four reps, then through using 120 pounds a further three reps may be performed straight away, followed by another immediate reduction to 90 pounds to permit a final three reps to be performed, for a single set that totals ten reps. Descending sets are also called multi-poundage sets, breakdowns, drop sets, and strip sets, although there are variants on this form of training, and different trainees may interpret the method and specific terms differently.


Muscular partition that separates the thoracic (or chest) cavity from the abdominal cavity that, through its contraction, contributes to the filling and emptying of the lungs.

Diastolic blood pressure

The blood pressure that results from relaxation of the lower chambers of the heart. The diastolic blood pressure is the second and lower of the two numbers that indicate blood pressure, such as 120/80.


The chemical and mechanical processes involved in the breakdown of food into component molecules that can be absorbed.

Dipping belt

A weight belt as distinct from a lifting belt. A dipping belt is worn around the waist or hips from which plates or a dumbbell can be suspended, to provide additional resistance for the parallel bar dip, and a few other exercises.

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