The lexicon of muscle-building, and training - Part 29

Wraps are commonly used by powerlifters, to boost their performances artificially. They are used by some trainees as crutches, or to mask a joint problem. Avoid wraps.


Crosshatched grooves on barbells, dumbbells, and other training bars, to roughen the surface to help maintain a firm grip on the bar. Your grip will last longer, and be more secure, on a knurled bar than a smooth one.


Abnormally increased convex or rearward curvature of the thoracic spine, when seen in the side view. A hunch-back deformity is an example of hyperkyphosis.


Lactic acid

An acid produced by muscle cells during intensive exercise in the absence or deficiency of oxygen, when oxygen is used faster than it can be delivered, leading to intense discomfort, and cessation of exertion. It's sometimes known as lactate.

Lactose intolerance

An inability to digest lactose (milk sugar), resulting from insufficient production of the enzyme lactase.


Directional term meaning to the side of the body or bodypart, away from the central plane.

Lat machine

Piece of exercise equipment that typically has one or two pulleys, and enables a bar to be pulled from overhead to the upper chest, with the resistance suspended from a cable that runs over the pulley(s). The older models are invariably plate-loaded, whereas the more recent models may have built-in weight stacks. The major muscles worked by this machine include the latissimus dorsi, hence the name of the apparatus.


Abbreviation for the latissimus dorsi muscles (on the back, beneath the armpits).


Extended rest period from training, which may be planned, or enforced.

Lean body mass or weight

This refers to everything in the body except fat, including bone, organs, skin, muscle, and connective tissue.


Anyone who lifts weights.

Lifting belt

Belt made out of leather or synthetic material, usually four to six inches wide at the back and sometimes less at the front, usually with a buckle. Lifting belts are heavily used by powerlifters, but are usually crutches for other trainees. The best lifting belt is a strong, well-developed corset of midsection musculature. Not wearing a belt helps your body to strengthen its core musculature.

Lift off

Assistance in getting a weight to a starting position for an exercise. It's also called a hand off.


A band of strong tissue, usually white and fibrous, serving to connect bones (at joints), and support muscles, organs, and fascia.

Light weights

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