The lexicon of muscle-building, and training - Part 31

Some chiropractors use the term normal lordosis, whereas most medical people may use lordosis as a standalone term to indicate an increased concave curvature of the lower back. The exact rendering of the usage of the word aside, the key point is that a moderate inward curvature of the lower spine is normal and desirable, whereas increases aren't.

During most weight-bearing exercises it's important to maintain the normal, concave curvature of the lower spine, and simultaneously pull your shoulders to the rear, in order to isometrically tense your spinal erectors and put the vertebral ligaments in a strong position. If you round your lower back so that the curvature is outward or convex, or exaggerate the inward degree of curvature, you'll expose your lower back to increased risk of injury.

Lumbar vertebrae

The lumbar vertebrae are numbered L1 through L5, and are directly beneath the twelfth thoracic vertebra.


A clear, yellowish, slightly alkaline, coagulable fluid, containing white blood cells in a liquid resembling blood plasma, derived from the tissues of the body and conveyed to the bloodstream by the lymphatic vessels of the lymphatic system. The lymph bathes the tissues, maintains fluid balance, and removes bacteria from tissues.



See Equipment.


The food substances needed in large quantities — primarily protein, fat, and carbohydrates, but a few minerals, such as calcium, are sometimes included in this category because they are needed in big quantities relative to true micronutrients, albeit small quantities relative to the major macronutrients.

Magnetic plates

Some small weight plates are magnetic, to make it easy to attach them to barbells, dumbbells, and weight stacks.


Malpositioning, that is, displacement out of line, especially of posture and joint position.

Manual resistance

Resistance that's applied manually, either by a training partner or spotter, or by the trainee. If you put your hands on your forehead, and push your head against the resistance provided by your hands, that would be neck work against self-administered, manual resistance.


Maximum effort for one single rep of an exercise, or where an individual goes to the limit over a series of consecutive reps.

Maximum heart rate (MHR)

Also called the age-adjusted maximum heart rate. The MHR typically used in the exercise world is only an estimation, using the simple computation of 220 minus age. For example, if you're 35 years old, your estimated MHR would be 185 (220 minus 35).

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