The lexicon of muscle-building, and training - Part 53

Voluntary muscle

Another name for skeletal muscle, because it's largely under voluntary control.

VO2 max

Also called aerobic capacity, and maximal oxygen uptake. A measure of aerobic fitness, considered to be one of the most critical factors in predicting an individual's ability to perform in activities that last more than several consecutive minutes. It's the largest volume of oxygen that the body can use per minute during exercise. This varies among individuals relative to physical conditioning, and genetic inheritance. It's measured in milliliters of oxygen per kilogram of bodyweight per minute of exercise (ml/kg/min).

Generally, the higher your VO2 max, the better your overall fitness. A typical, sedentary, young adult has a VO2 max of about 35, an elite endurance athlete is at the 70+ mark, and an endurance phenomenon would be at the 90+ mark. Exertion that would exhaust someone who has a VO2 max of around 40 ml/kg/min would be a leisurely effort for someone with a VO2 max of 70+. VO2 max is strongly associated with age, and strongly determined by genetic factors.

VO2 is a major part of why racehorses run, over distance, much faster than elite, human, endurance athletes. A racehorse's VO2 max is around 140 ml/kg/min.


Wide shoulders and broad back, together with a small waist.



A general warm-up for five to ten minutes — on a stationary cycle, ski machine, or rower, for example — should precede each weights workout, and should break you into a sweat before you touch a barbell. Thereafter, specific warm-up sets are performed for each exercise, to prime your muscles for the work sets that follow. Warm-up work should also precede other types of exercise.


Synonym for poundage and, often, for resistance, too.


Specialized weightlifting as performed in the Olympic Games (or Olympic-style lifting, or Olympic-style weightlifting), as distinct from bodybuilding, powerlifting, strength training, or any other form of lifting weights. Olympic weightlifting consists of two events: the snatch, and the clean and jerk. Training for Olympic weightlifting also involves a number of assistance exercises. Some people, however, use weightlifting or weight lifting in a general sense, for any form of lifting weights.


Barbell plates. These are used for barbells, dumbbells, and plate-loaded machines. Weights may also be used, in a broader sense, to refer to plates and any equipment that employs weight plates.

Weight stack

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