Friday, January 21, 2011

Weightlifting FAQ; Part Two: What does that mean?!

What up Friday! Every day this week has felt like Friday and I've been so whacked all week trying to figure out what day it was.  The snow has me so brain-screwed!
Anyways, my second round of FAQ is a bunch of terms related to weight lifting that when I started out I had no clue what all these words meant.  Trying to read articles and learn about body building while having no idea what these words meant was not very constructive! So if you're where I was starting out, this one's for you :)

Common Weight Lifting Terms;

Isolation Exercises - Exercises that involve only one joint movement.  For example, with a bicep curl only your elbow joint is moving.  These moves are used to isolate one specific muscle at a time.  These are great for correcting any weakness or imbalance in any particular muscle.

Compound Exercises - Moves that involve more than one joint movement. Squats for example, you're bending at your hips, knees, ankles.  These moves allow you to work multiple muscle groups at a time and are great for building muscle. They also save you time at the gyms.

Hypertrophy (Muscular) - Another word for an increase in  muscle size as a result of strength training.

Hardgainer - Someone who has trouble gaining muscle.  There is also such thing as "Hardgainer Training" which is specific for hardgainers..

Cutting - A bodybuilding phase that focuses on losing body fat to look more defined.

Bulking - A bodybuilding phase focused on gaining muscle, which usually inevitably involves gaining body fat as well. (Bulking is followed by cutting, gain the muscle/fat, cut and lose the fat to show the muscles).

Muscle Confusion - The idea that to continue seeing progress while weight training you need to switch up your routine every once in a while to shock your muscles and prevent them from adapting to your routine.

Progressive Overload - The most effective way to build muscle..the idea that you need to keep upping the resistance/weight for each exercise.  Your muscles have to be continually overloaded and challenged to stimulate growth.

Sets - the number of reps you complete inbetween resting.
If you see them written like this: Squats 3x10, that would mean 3 sets of Squats, 10 reps each time.

-Supersets - Doing two different sets of an exercise in a row without rest. (Best to do with opposing muscle groups, chest/back, biceps/triceps, etc). For example, a set of bicep curls immediately followed by tricep extensions.

-Pyramid sets - a set starting using a lower weight with higher reps and increasing the weight as you lower the reps. Example:
Set 1: 12 reps @ 30lbs.
Set 2: 10 reps @ 35lbs.
Set 3: 8 reps @ 40lbs.
Set 4: 6 reps @ 45 lbs.

-Drop sets - Great for burning out your muscles..after reaching failure during your sets with a higher weight, drop the weight down until you reach failure again, and so on.

-Negative Sets - Great for improving strength..use a weight you can't complete a rep with and begin at the end of the rep. For example doing a bicep curl you would start holding the weight up by your shoulder and slowly lowering it down keeping your muscle tight. These are great for doing pull-ups too..start at the top of the bar and lower yourself down.

Splits - A routine that "splits" up different muscle groups and works them on different days. Example, my current 4-day split looks like this:
Day 1: Shoulders and Triceps.
Day 2: Back.
Day 3: Active Rest Day.
Day 4: Chest and Biceps.
Day 5: Legs.
Day 6 + 7: Off.

Fast-Twitch Muscle Fibers - Developed by heavy weight/low rep explosive training.  These fibers are used during anaerobic activity (powerlifting, sprinting).  Every one is born with different amounts of fast and slow twitch muscle fibers.

DOMS - "Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness"  This is the stiffness/soreness you feel usually the day after a work know, when it hurts to even bend down to sit on the toilet. It peaks about 24-72 hours after your workout and can last up to a week.  Sufficient rest/recovery, warming up, stretching and cooling down, eating enough protein and gradually progressing can help prevent this.
Lactic Acid - Lack of oxygen in your muscles leads to the build up of lactic acid, creating the fatigued/burning feeling you feel during a work out.  Lactic Acid does not cause DOMS, it is gone from your muscles about an hour after your work out.  Lactic Acid is also used as an energy source but that's a whole other story!

Pump - The temporary increase in muscle size that you get while lifting, caused by blood being trapped in your muscle tissues. (It means very little in terms of muscle growth, do not judge your work out based on your pump!)

Amino Acids - The building blocks of protein.  There are 20 of 'em, 10 that our bodies can produce and the other 10 must be supplied by food.  Chemical reactions in your body and other bodily functions rely on amino acids.  The body does not store amino acids like it does fats and carbs. 
Complete proteins are high quality proteins that contain all of the essential amino acids that are needed for muscle growth and repair..vegetable protein sources lack essential amino acids more often than animal proteins (there are some exceptions, such as Quinoa).

Periodization - A method that uses periods of training, some easier than others, in order to let the body rest in order to grow strong. So, a period of light training followed by a period of heavy training. (There's much more to it than that, but that's just the basic idea.  There's a lot of planning around volume, intensity, duration and frequency).

One Rep Max - The heaviest amount of weight that a lifter can lift for one rep with good form.


I would have posted all this yesterday, but my USB chord crapped the bed and I couldn't upload any pictures, but luckily Steve lent me his. Life saver!

Can ya guess what I did at the gym yesterday?!
I've grown to love leg days. I used to dread them but now I've learned to embrace the pain. Unfortunately, my lovely tube socks (which I own in every color imagineable) served no purpose because I didn't make it to my deadlifts, which I save for last, because I upped my squat and wide squat weights (almost at my bodyweight..finally!) and by the time I was done it felt like someone had slugged me in the gut with a baseball bat...multiple times.

I know I've posted this pic before, but come on, holy motivation...can I get a hell yeah?

In the land of yum, I tried out a couple new recipes...I thought it might be fun to try "breading" chicken with this stuff, since the jar has been sitting in the cabinet for a while:

I mixed it with some italian seasoning.

...but not enough seasoning. They weren't bad but they weren't woahh-baby-good either. I'll make 'em again though :). I also made homemade frozen protein bars:

Basically just natural peanut butter, vanilla protein powder, oatmeal, raisins and flax seed. So good frozen, but they're not really portable because they melt and get all sticky and mushy. I'm going to be trying out more protein bar recipes when I finish these bad boys off.

And my new favorite lunch, egg white salad with pita chips. (Sorry, crappy cell phone pic.)

Since I woke up with a sore throat/cold this morning I craved soup for lunch. So I had some black bean soup that I added some chicken to for extra protein.

I'm off to start a lovely weekend of chugging green tea and being a bum so that this cold stays away..classes start next week and it's gonna be a long one!


  1. that woman has a perfect a**! haha! great post girl :)

  2. Where do you get those pictures that look like they are from 1950? I love them! I've always been kinda obsessed with that time era.

  3. I hope you feel better! I make something similar to your protein bar everyday, I mix whey with pb and a little water. If I take it to go I freeze it and then pack it with a cool pack. My only complaint is that it sticks to your teeth.

  4. Love the socks! I would so rock those at the gym! Mike bought me a 3pair pack from vic secret from vic secret that I love!!!

    Hope you feel better girl ; ) chug that tea!!!! xoxo

  5. You must always have a big meal which contains high quantity of proteins if you really want to see any results with your body building efforts. A person has a number of options for building his body, options include utilizing machines and attending special training programs. Besides all these exercises just to build muscle and lose fat, you also need to have a good diet for body building.

  6. i definitely agree, although there's the basic calories in vs. calories out, i think that the quality of the food you're eating and your protein sources have a significan impact on your training and results.