The lexicon of muscle-building, and training - Part 28

The greater the force exerted by the user, the greater the force that the apparatus exerts in response. Even a small effort will move the bar, which makes it easy not to work hard. You can reduce your effort and yet the bar will still move to completion. Progression can't be controlled like with plate-loaded or weight-stack equipment. Isokinetic exercise never took off, at least in part because of the theoretical value not working in practice.

Nautilus machines aren't isokinetic.

Isolation exercises

As noted earlier, exercises are commonly categorized into two basic types: isolation (single-joint), or compound (multi-joint). Isolation exercises are often tagged as small, little and minor ones, or the supplementary, auxiliary and accessory movements, whereas the compound exercises are often tagged as big, major or core movements. This is, however, an oversimplification, and some of its shortcomings were noted under Compound exercises.

Isolation exercises are often thought of as being inferior to compound exercises. Isolation exercises can be valuable if used properly, but some are more valuable than others. Some are essential for a balanced exercise program.

Also see Compound exercises.

Isometric exercise

Muscular contraction without movement — the muscles and joints don't move. Pushing against the jambs of a doorway is an example.

Isotonic exercise

Muscular action where the length of the muscle changes during exercise, while the resistance or weight stays constant. Normal weight training is an example.


Joint capsule

The sac-like envelope that encloses the cavity of a synovial joint, for strength and protection of the joint. It consists of a fibrous membrane, and a synovial membrane. The capsule adheres firmly to the outer layer of the articulating bones.


Slang term for anabolic steroids.



The production of ketone bodies in the body, as in diabetes mellitus, or low-carbohydrate weight-loss diets.

Ketogenic diet

A diet involving the restriction of carbohydrates to the point of inducing significant levels of ketones in the bloodstream.

Also see CKD (cyclical ketogenic diet).

Kilocalories (kcals)

The amount of heat required to raise one kilogram of water from 14.5 degrees C to 15.5 degrees C, equal to 1,000 calories. The calories referred to in nutrition are actually kilocalories.


The study of muscular and skeletal mechanics of body movement.

Knee wraps

Thick, elastic-like bandages used to wrap around the knee in an effort to provide support for the joint.

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