The lexicon of muscle-building, and training - Part 36

One who practices osteopathy is an osteopath. The training and expertise of osteopaths varies. In the US, osteopaths are doctors, and some are surgeons, too. But in the UK, osteopaths aren't entitled to call themselves doctors, and don't practice invasive medicine. Thus there's a greater similarity to conventional medicine in the US, and a more traditional, manipulative approach in the UK.


The response by the body to a given stimulus — not just training — that develops a little bit of reserve to cope with the possibility of increased demands. Muscle-building occurs from repeated overcompensation. Stimulate growth through hard and brief exercise, allow sufficient time for recuperation, and the body will recover from the demands of the exercise and build a tiny amount of extra muscle tissue. The tiny bit extra is the overcompensation. But the stimulus has to be sufficient, and the period of recuperation adequate.

There are, however, other adaptations and compensations, to do with neurology and other internal mechanisms.


The principle of applying ever-greater resistance than normal, to stimulate an improvement in strength, muscular size, or other physical component.


Training beyond the body's current recuperative abilities, typically in the form of excessive training frequency, volume, or intensity. Symptoms of overtraining include stagnant training weights, reduced enthusiasm for training, lethargy, sleeping difficulties, resident aches and pains, reduced appetite, picking up colds easily and often, and diminished endurance. Increased attention to the components of recuperation — sleep, rest in general, and nutrition — can increase individual tolerance of exercise, and the rate of progress; but any more training than what can be currently coped with, is an excess. The body is tremendously capable of adapting to exercise provided it's given time to adjust, the workload is increased gradually, and the training is started from a modest beginning.



An abnormal throbbing or fluttering of the heart.

Parallel grip

A grip that has the palms parallel with each other — also called a neutral grip.

Partial rep

Performance of only part of a given rep — for example, the top few inches. Also see Range of motion, and Burns.



Peak contraction

Working of a muscle using shortened movements, until the muscle cramps.


Abbreviation for the pectoralis major muscles (chest).


Portion of the trunk of the body bounded by the sacrum, coccyx, and two hip bones — also called the pelvic girdle.

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