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Common Bodybuilding Terminology That Every New Bodybuilder Should Know


Most people know that bodybuilding helps build muscle, but did you know that strength training also helps prevent bone loss? Some of the benefits of bodybuilding are more muscle, healthier bones, a lower risk of heart diseases, and lower blood pressure. 

If you are new to bodybuilding, you are probably looking forward to the awesome benefits. Before getting started, you need to have a solid understanding of bodybuilding terminology. 

Keep reading to learn about the most common bodybuilding terms so that you know what to expect in the gym. 


When lifting weights, you will often see the term “abduction” to describe the movement. Abduction is the process of moving a limb away from your body.

For example, a workout may tell you to lift your arms, bringing them away from the center of your body.


Abs is gym slang for abdominal muscles. You will hear core workouts described as ab workouts. Strong abdominal muscles are essential for having a good balance, a healthy back, and staying fit. 


Like abduction, adduction is a term used to describe workout movement. Instead of moving a limb away from your body, adduction tells you to move it towards your body. A good example of an adduction movement is moving your arms towards your body. 

Aerobic Exercise 

The word aerobic means oxygen. Aerobic exercise is any exercise that raises your heart rate for an extended amount of time.

While many bodybuilders focus on building muscle, aerobic exercise is essential to build a healthy heart, have healthy lungs, and burn calories. 

Some common types of aerobic exercises include walking, running, swimming, and bicycling. You should do aerobic exercise at a sustainable pace. 

Amino Acid 

Aminco acid plays an important role in building muscle. Amino acids are the organic compounds that make protein. They are essential for repairing tissue, growing muscles, and breaking down food. 

Anaerobic Exercise 

Anaerobic exercise is the opposite of aerobic exercise. Instead of workout out for a long time, anaerobic exercise is completed in short bursts. 

Most bodybuilding workouts are anaerobic exercises because they consist of high exertion in a short amount of time. Other examples of anaerobic exercise include high-intensity interval training and sprinting. 


Benches are a piece of exercise equipment used for a variety of different workouts. A bench is a raised, padded bench, and they are adjustable. You can use a bench to do dumbbell workouts, core workouts, and bench presses.

Body Composition

Body composition compares your overall body weight to the weight of your body fat. Body composition is a good indicator of how healthy someone is. To calculate body weight, you can use hydrostatic weighing or the skinfold assessment. 


While working out in the gym, you may hear the term burn. “The burn” is referring to the feeling you get in your muscle while working out. The feeling is caused by a combination of fatigue and toxins in your muscles. 

If you feel “the burn” then you are doing something right. When you are first starting, be sure to learn the difference between the burn and straining a muscle. Knowing the difference will help you avoid hurting yourself. 


Calories measure the amount of energy you burn or consume. When you exercise, you will burn calories at a faster rate than when you are inactive. 

The food you eat will determine your calorie intake. If you want to maintain a healthy weight, you should try to eat around the same amount of calories that you burn. 


If you exercise often, carbohydrates are great for your body. Carbohydrates consist of carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen. They are in some of the foods that you eat. 

Carbohydrates are commonly found in bread, wheat, pasta, and potatoes. These foods give you plenty of energy to make it through a long workout. 


Crunches are a type of core workout that you may hear bodybuilders refer to in the gym. They consist of laying on your back, bending your knees, and lifting your upper body towards your knees. They are also referred to as situps. 


A dumbbell is a free weight that you can use to exercise. They consist of a bar in the middle, and they have two weights on the end. Dumbbells are perfect for a wide variety of exercises, such as bicep curls, tricep extension, lunges, and squats. 


Endurance is your capability to exercise over an extended period of time. The more you exercise, the more endurance you will have. Having good endurance is good for your health and allows you to do more. 


Failure is a bodybuilding term where you work your muscles to the point of fatigue. It is called working until failure because, at a certain point, your muscles will fail.

Working your muscles to failure can be a good way to build muscle. After your muscles are fatigued, be sure to give them plenty of time to recover. 


Flexibility is a measure of your range of motion without pain. Your flexibility depends on your joints. connective tissue, and muscle mass.

Flexibility is important because it increases your coordination, decreases your risk of injury, and increases your blood supply. To increase flexibility, you should stretch every day. It is best to stretch before and after exercise. 


When you start bodybuilding, it is important to have good form. What exactly is exercise form? Form refers to the correct mechanics of completing an exercise. 

When you have the correct form, you will be able to target the correct muscles while working out. This will make your workouts safer and more effective. 

When you are a beginner, learning the correct form may take some time. Don’t be afraid to seek guidance when it comes to finding the right form for an exercise. 


Intensity refers to how much effort you apply to each of your workouts. For example, you can do a low-intensity workout of walking and light weights. On the other hand, you can do a high-intensity workout involving running or heavyweights. 

One of the best ways to build muscle is to increase your intensity over time. To increase your exercise intensity, try to increase your weight and do more reps. When increasing intensity, don’t forget to give your muscles more time to relax. 

Isolation Exercise

Isolation exercises refer to working out a single muscle. Isolation exercises only require the use of one joint at a time. Some examples of isolation exercises are leg press, leg curls, and bench press. 

Isolation exercises are great when you have some experience in bodybuilding. They help you build muscles that are missed when doing compound workouts. 

Maxing Out 

If you hear someone talk about maxing out while bodybuilding, they are referring to reaching their body’s maximum potential. If you decide to max out, the goal is to lift as much weight as possible. 

Metabolic Rate

Metabolic rate refers to the rate you convert energy within your body. The higher your metabolic rate, the faster your burn energy. 

Your metabolic rate is determined by how often you exercise, how many calories you consume, your muscle mass, and your genetics. 

Muscle Confusion

The term muscle confusion refers to changing your workout regularly so that your muscles don’t get used to any particular workout. The theory behind muscle confusion is that your muscles don’t continue to grow when they are used to a certain workout. 

It is important to mention that muscle confusion is a theory, not a fact. Nonetheless, you may hear it mentioned in the gym. 


Have you ever experienced soreness one to two days after working out? If so, you were experiencing myositis. Myositis happens when you work out harder than your muscles are used to. 


Nutrition is the science of eating the best foods to fuel your body. Having good nutrition will allow you to be healthy, gain muscle, and build a strong immune system. 

There are different diets for different goals. If you are trying to gain muscle, you will want to eat plenty of protein, vegetables, and carbs. 


Another common bodybuilding term is obliques. Obliques are the side abdominal muscles. There are internal and external obliques. 

While there are both internal and external obliques, oblique workouts will target both. Some common oblique exercises include side planks, side planks with leg lifts, and medicine ball rotations. 


Powerlifting is a form of competitive bodybuilding. The competitions take place all over the United States and the rest of the world. While powerlifting, contestants compete in weight classes. 

While some types of bodybuilding are Olympic sports, powerlifting is not. Powerlifting consists of squats, bench presses, and deadlifts. 


Protein is an essential part of building muscle. Protein is made up of amino acids and is the foundation of muscles and enzymes. Protein aids the growth and repair of muscles and tissue. 


The term “rep” is short for repetition. In bodybuilding terminology, rep refers to how many times you complete an exercise. For example, if you do 20 pushups, you are doing 20 reps of that exercise. 

When you are a beginner, you will start with low weight and not many reps. Over time, you should try to increase your weight and reps to get stronger. 

Resistance Training 

Resistance training is when you work out by resisting another force. It consists of using weights or using your own body weight. Some common types of resistance workouts include pushups, dumbbell workouts, squats, and using weight machines. 

Some major benefits of doing resistance training are increased muscle strength, better coordination, improved posture, and less risk of injury. 


A workout routine is the set of exercises that you plan to do at the gym. Before heading to the gym, it is a good idea to create a routine so that you stay focused. Having a routine ensures that you work out all the different muscle groups. 


While reps are how many times you do a workout, sets are groups of reps with breaks in between. For example, you may decide to do 5 sets of 20 pushups. That means you will do 20 pushups 5 times. 

Most of the time, people will change weight between sets. For example, the first set may be dedicated to a lot of reps and low weight. For the next set, the bodybuilder may do fewer reps and more weight. 


Anytime you attempt to lift a weight that is heavier than normal, you should use a spotter. A spotter is there to help you manage the weight if you are unable to lift it. Having a spotter is important for avoiding injury. 


In bodybuilding terminology, supplements are used to help enhance a workout. They can give you the protein and the nutrients that your body needs to build muscle. They often come in the form of pills, powder, or tablets. 

Plenty of people drink protein shakes, eat nutrient gummies, or seek out SARMs for sale


Before you begin exercising, you should always take time to warm up. This is a term that you will hear other bodybuilders reference often. Warming up consists of raising your heart rate and stretching to prepare for a workout. 

If you don’t warm up, you risk injuring yourself. Warming up will also increase your performance during a workout and allow you to burn more calories. 

Are You Ready to Apply This Bodybuilding Terminology?

While bodybuilding may seem intimidating for beginners, it doesn’t have to be. If you use this bodybuilding glossary, you can avoid confusion in the gym. You will be able to enjoy the benefits of bodybuilding before you know it!

Did you enjoy reading this article on bodybuilding terminology? If so, check out the lifestyle category for more tips on maintaining optimal health!

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