The lexicon of muscle-building, and training - Part 48


Someone who stands by and closely watches a trainee, to provide help — or a spot — when needed.


To overstrain or wrench the ligaments of an ankle, wrist, or other joint, so as to injure without fracture or dislocation.


Moveable or fixed uprights that support a barbell when it's not being used.


Muscle that assists in the performance of an exercise through steadying or stabilizing the joint or limb being moved, but without increasing the force being applied.

Standard plate

A weight plate designed to be loaded on a bar of about one-inch diameter. A standard plate is also called an exercise plate.


Not moving.

Static hold

An advanced technique of holding a rep, typically at the mid point, for a predetermined number of seconds. Some trainees hold until failure — to the point where the weight returns to the starting point despite the best efforts of the trainees to prevent gravity winning — irrespective of how long it takes.


Multi-part, narrow bone that extends along the middle line of the chest, connected with the clavicles and the true ribs — breastbone.


Abbreviation for anabolic steroids — synthetic hormones that stimulate anabolism.

Sticking point

This has at least two meanings. It's the most difficult point in the range of motion of an exercise — the point at which the weight seems its heaviest. Most exercises have a point, often about halfway up, where the resistance seems to get heavier. This is the point where the resistance seems to stutter, or even get stuck if you're at your hilt of effort, hence the term sticking point. If you make it through the sticking point, the rest of the rep should be easy (but the sticking point could be at the end of the rep). A sticking point can also mean a plateau in overall progress.

Straight sets

A set, a designated rest interval, another set, another rest interval, and so on, without any forced or assisted reps, negatives, super-setting, or other method of trying to increase intensity, or prolong the duration of the sets. Straight sets are the mainstay of muscle-building, and the most common form of sets.


To injure a muscle or tendon because of overstretching or overexertion.


Strong lengths of material that are sometimes used to attach the hands to a bar for exercises where grip failure is common — for instance, the shrug, and the deadlift.

Strength training

This term has several interpretations.

Some people use strength training synonymously with bodybuilding, while some others use strength training to try to refer to muscle-building without an association with the bodybuilding world. (Some people also use strength training interchangeably with the broad terms of weight training, weight lifting, and resistance training.) Training to increase strength is, however, commonly part of bodybuilding, and muscle-building in general.

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