Married Muscle Dictionary

Married Muscle's dictionary offers an easy to understand alphabetical glossary of terms related to health, fitness, bodybuilding, diet and nutrition.

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z


Adrenaline - is a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands, during conditions of strong emotion (stress, excitement, fear, or anger), it increases the rate of blood circulation, breathing, and carbohydrate metabolism and prepares muscles for exertion.

Aerobic - means "with oxygen." Examples of aerobic exercise include running, walking, cycling, dancing, and swimming.

Amino Acid - is an organic compound containing both a carboxyl (—COOH) and an amino (—NH2) group.

Anabolic - is the building up (or synthesis) of complex molecules from simpler ones in living organisms. 

Anabolic Steroids - see anabolic-androgenic steroids.

Anabolic-Androgenic Steroids (or AAS) - are synthetic derivatives of the male hormone testosterone.

Anabolism - see anabolic.

Androgen - is a reference to male hormones which includes androsterone and testosterone.

Androgenic - is the development of male characteristics which includes the male genital organs and muscle mass.

Appetite - is the bodies natural desire to satisfy a need (or craving), especially for food or drink.

Aromatase Inhibitor (or AI) - refers to a class of drugs used to treat gynecomastia in men.

Atrophy - is a decrease in muscle size.


Back Extension - see hyperextension.

Beginner Figure Class - (as it relates to competition) is available to figures competitors that are competing for the first time. 

Beta Alanine -  is a naturally occurring beta amino acid and the building block of carnosine, a molecule that helps buffer acid in muscles, known to increase physical performance.

Bilateral movement - is the movement produced by both limbs together.

Biomechanics - is a sub-discipline of kinesiology and the application of the principles of mechanics, as they relate to body movement.

Bitch Tits - (slang) see gynecomastia. 

Blood Flow Restriction (or BFR) - is the act of cuffing a limb to deliver blood to the target muscle without letting it leave.

Blood Pressure - is the pressure of the blood in the circulatory system.

Body Dysmorphia - see dysmorphobia.

Body Dysmorphic Disorder (or BDD) - see dysmorphobia.

Body Mass Index (or BMI) - is a value derived from the weight and height of an individual.

Boulders - is a slang term used by bodybuilders used to refer to shoulders. Generally, this is a reference to the deltoid muscles. 

Branched Chain Amino Acids (or BCAA) - is a reference to the amino acids Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine.

Bulking (or Bulking Phase) - (as it relates to weight management) is "more calories in than calories out.” 


Caffeine - is a methylxanthine class stimulant that impacts the central nervous system (CNS).

Calorie - is a unit used in thermochemistry to measure energy, it specifically represents the amount of heat necessary to raise the temperature of 1 gram of pure water 1 degree Celsius.

Catabolic - is the breaking down of complex molecules into simple ones with the release of energy. 

Catabolism - see catabolic.

Celiac Disease - is a genetic autoimmune disorder which adversely affects the small intestine and is caused by the ingestion of gluten.

Christmas Tree Back - is a slang term used by bodybuilders to refer to a thick lower back with well-developed spinal erectors. The term gets its name from its distinctive Christmas tree shape.

Circuit Training - is consecutive exercises run in parallel without a rest period. 

CNS - is the abbreviation for central nervous system.

Coeliac Disease - see celiac disease. 

Collegiate Class - (as it relates to competition) is available to verifiable full-time student competitors (at least 12 credit hours) in an accredited school.

Compound Movement - is when more than one joint is required for a movement.

Cortisol - (also referred to as "the stress hormone") is an adrenal hormone essential for homeostasis. Cortisol directly and indirectly influences, regulates or modulates the bodies response to stress, including anti-inflammatory and immune responses and actions, blood pressure, central nervous system (CNS) activation, and glucose (blood sugar) levels, as well as levels fat, protein and carbohydrate metabolism to maintain blood glucose (gluconeogenesis).

Cramps - see spasms.

Creatine - is a nitrogenous organic acid that is naturally occurring, it is primarily used to help supply energy to muscle cells.

Cut - is a slang term used to describe very low body fat and a well-defined muscle structure. 

Cutting (or Cutting Phase) - (as it relates to weight management) is “more calories out than calories in.” 


Dehydration - is when more water (or fluid) is exiting the body than entering the body.

Dehydroepiandrosterone (or DHEA) - is a steroid hormone naturally produced by the adrenal gland (and brain) and is associated with the production of androgens and estrogens.

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (or DOMS) - is muscular soreness often caused by inflammation that occurs within 12-48 hours of an exercise. 

Dextrose - is a simple sugar and chemically identical to glucose.

Diabetes - is a disease in which the human body has an insulin shortage or a decreased ability to properly use insulin.

Dihydrotestosterone (or DHT) - is an androgen produced in the gonads and gives males their masculine characteristics; formed from testosterone it is five times more potent than testosterone. Increased libido, acne, high blood pressure, sweating, sleep apnea, hair loss, and aggression are side effects of high DHT levels.

Diuretic - is any substance that promotes the increased production of urine.

DMAA - 1,3-Dimethylamylamine (1,3-DMAA, methylhexanamine, or geranium extract) is an indirect sympathomimetic drug and a neural stimulant with a structure similar to ephedrine and adrenaline.

DMAE - 2-dimethylaminoethanol, is a substance found naturally in the brain in small amounts and in a number of food sources, especially fish such as anchovies, salmon, and sardines. DMAE has been touted by some athletes to improve mental tolerance and stamina.

DMBA - 1,3-Dimethylbutylamine (1,3-DMBA, AMP Citrate, 4-amino-2-methylpentane citrate)​​​​ is a stimulant drug that is structurally similar to DMAA.

DNP - 2,4-Dinitrophenol (2,4-DNP) is a biochemically active organic compound used as a dieting aid. DNP has been cited for its ability to increase body temperature, metabolic rate, and yield rapid weight loss. Additionally and perhaps most importantly, DNP has been identified to have severe, even deadly side-effects.

Dry - (as it relates to bodybuilding) is a term used to describe the purposeful depletion of water from the human body to emphasize muscle definition and vascularity.

Dysmorphobia - is a condition marked by an excessive pre-occupation on imaginary flaws in one's physical appearance.

Dysmorphophobia - is the obsessive fear that one's body or body part is repulsive or may become so.


ECA Stack - is a reference to stacking ephedrine, caffeine, and aspirin. 

Ecdysterone - is a phytoecdysteroid which produces an anabolic effect and can act as a natural steroid in the human body.

Endochondral Ossification - is an essential process that occurs during fetal development resulting in the creation of bone tissue.

Endocrinology - is the branch of science, medicine, and physiology that is focused on hormones and the endocrine glands.

Ephedrine - is a stimulant that is derived from a member of the phylum Gnetophyta and is often used as a bronchodilator and decongestant.

Ergogenic - is a reference to the enhancement of stamina, recovery, or enhance physical performance.

Ergogenic Aid - refers to supplementation typically used by athletes and intended to yield an ergogenic effect, such as caffeine.

Ergogenic Effect - see ergogenic.

Essential Fat - is required for optimal health and includes the fat that is found in bone marrow, organs, muscles, and the central nervous system.

Estrogen - is a female sex hormone.


Failure - (as it relates to resistance training) is a term used to indicate that the point of physical exhaustion has been reached.

Fasting - is the deliberate abstention from the consumption of food, usually for a prescribed period. 

Fibronectin Type III Domain-containing Protein 5 (or FNDC5) - see irisin. 

Fitness Plateau - is the result of the human body adapting to activity levels and can result in a metabolic change (burning fewer calories).

First Call Out - (as it relates to competition) is comprised of the first five competitors called out by the judges, they will represent the top five placements. The next call out represents the competitors in 6th through 10th place, and so on.

Form - see biomechanics.

Forced Reps - are partner assisted final repetitions used to extend a set past the point of failure to induce a greater acute hormonal and neuromuscular response.

Fructose - is also known as "fruit sugar" and is a simple ketonic monosaccharide found in plants, it bonds to glucose to form disaccharide sucrose.

FST-7 - is a resistance training technique. FST is an acronym for "fascia stretch training," and the number seven refers to the seven sets that are performed for the final exercise of a target body part.


Gear - (slang) see anabolic-androgenic steroids.

Genetics - is the study of heredity and the variation of inherited characteristics in living organisms.

GH - see human growth hormone.

GH Gut - see palumboism.

Gluconeogenesis - is a metabolic pathway that results in the generation of glucose from non-carbohydrate carbon substrates such as lactate, glycerol, and glucogenic amino acids. 

Glucose - is sugar with a molecular formula of C6 H12 O6.

Gluten - is a protein found in grains such as wheat, barley, rye, and a cross between wheat and rye called triticale.

Gluten-free Diet - is a diet that excludes the protein gluten.

Glycemic Index (or GI) - is a ranked ordering system of foods that measures how a carbohydrate-containing food raises blood glucose.

Glycogen - is the glucose that is stored in muscles.

Glycolysis - is the metabolic pathway that converts glucose into energy.

GNG - is the abbreviation for gluconeogenesis. See gluconeogenesis.

Grand Masters Class - (as it relates to competition) is available to competitors that are 60 years of age and older.

Green Coffee - refers to coffee beans that have not been roasted; unroasted coffee beans.

Green Coffee Extract - is an extract from unroasted coffee beans and is commonly used as a weight-loss supplement; however, effectiveness is inclusive (as of 12/2016).

Growth Hormone - see human growth hormone.

Growth Hormone Releasing Hexapeptide (or GHRP) - is a peptide used to release and increase growth hormone production. 

Guns - is a slang term used by bodybuilders used to refer to arms. Generally, this is a reference to the Biceps brachii (or biceps) and/or Triceps brachii muscle (or triceps).

Gynecomastia (or gyro) - is swollen male breast tissue often caused by a hormone imbalance. Common causes include reduced testosterone and/or increased estrogen.


High Fructose Corn Syrup (or HFCS) - is a corn syrup with added enzymes to change some of the glucose to fructose, resulting in a product that is sweeter than regular corn syrup.

Hormone Replacement Therapy (or HRT) - is any form of hormone therapy wherein the patient, in the course of medical treatment, receives hormones, either to supplement a lack of naturally occurring hormones.

Human Growth Hormone (or HGH) - is produced by the pituitary gland, and directly influences growth. Additionally, HGH helps to regulate muscle and bone growth and body composition as well as sugar and fat metabolism. Note: synthetic HGH has been cited for its ability to build muscle and improve athletic performance; however, effects on athletic performance are unknown.

Hyperextension - is an exercise that targets the lower, middle, and upper back, specifically the erector spinae.

Hypertrophy - is an increase in muscle size.


IIFYM - is an acronym for "If It Fits Your Macros."

Insulin - is a hormone produced by the pancreas that assists the human body in the storage and use of glucose. 

Insulin resistance (or IR) - is a condition where glucose builds up in the blood rather than being properly absorbed by the cells, this can lead to type 2 diabetes.

International Federation of Bodybuilders (or IFBB) - is host to both men's and women's amateur and professional fitness, physique and bodybuilding competitions worldwide. The IFBB was formed in 1946. 

Irisin - is known as the exercise hormone. Research shows that Irisin can aid in healthy body weight, the reduction of fat storage, cognition improvement, and may slow the aging process.

Isolation - is when only one joint is required for a movement.


Jacked - is a slang term used to describe an individual with large and well-defined muscles. 


keto diet - see ketogenic diet.

Ketogenic diet - is a low-carbohydrate diet, high-fat diet that relies on fat as the primary energy source instead of carbohydrate. A common macro nutritional profile is 3-4 grams of fat for every 1 gram of carbohydrate. 

Ketone - is a chemical substance or by-product of ketosis.

Ketosis - is a metabolic process that occurs when the body lacks sufficient glucose and must break down stored fats for energy, resulting in a build-up of acids called ketones. 

Kinesiology - is the study of mechanics, as they relate to body movement.

Köhler effect - is a phenomenon noted in psychology that occurs when an individual is motivated to work harder as a member of a group. Notable gains, especially in performance, are observable in weaker individuals who are attempting to maintain pace and match accomplishments of other group members.


Lean Body Mass (or LBM) - is total body weight minus body fat. 

Luteotropic Hormone (or Luteotropin) - see prolactin. 


Macronutrients (or Macros) - are fats, proteins, carbohydrates .

Maintenance - (as it relates to weight management) is when calories in and calories out are equal.

Masters Class - (as it relates to competition) is available to competitors that fall between certain ages ranges, 35+ (includes age 35 and older), 40+ (includes age 40 and older), and 50+ (includes age 50 and older).

Max - (as it relates to resistance training) - is the maximum amount of weight that an individual can lift in a specific exercise.

Maximum Heart Rate (or MHR) - is the number of beats per minute of the heart when working at its maximum.

Melanotan II (or M2) - is a synthetic analogue of the naturally occurring melanocortin peptide. It has been shown to yield melanogenesis, a tanning process that darkens the pigmentation of the skin.

Metabolic Pathway - (as it related to biochemistry) is a series of linked chemical reactions occurring within a cell.

Muscle Atrophy - see muscle wasting. 

Muscle Confusion - is the technique of varying sets, reps, angles, rest, and weight used during each workout to offset slow growth and adaptation.

Muscle Cramps - see spasms.

Muscle Dysmorphia - is a subtype of dysmorphia marked by an excessive pre-occupation to have a muscular physique.

Muscle Memory - is the recruitment of myonuclei during training and their ability to respond after periods of time off.

Muscle Spasms - see spasms.

Muscle Wasting - is muscle loss or atrophy and is primarily caused by a lack of physical activity, disease or injury. 

Myositis - see delayed onset muscle soreness.


Natty - is a slang term used to describe a bodybuilder that does not anabolic-androgenic steroids, a natural bodybuilder.

Negative - (as it relates to resistance training) is the lowering phase of a movement.

Negative-calorie Foods - is any food that requires more energy to digest than it provides. There is no reputable scientific evidence that negative calorie foods exist.

National Physique Committee (or NPC) - is the largest amateur bodybuilding organization in the United States and is host to both men's and women's fitness, physique and bodybuilding competitions. 

Non-essential fat - is storage fat and includes fat that is found the subcutaneous adipose tissue.

Novice Class - (as it relates to competition) is available to competitors who have never won a first place trophy.

Nutrition - is nourishment from food. It is the branch of science focused on nutrient consumption and its perspective role in the human body.


One Rep Max (or 1RM) - is the maximum amount of weight that an individual can lift one time.

Open Class - (as it relates to competition) is available to all competitors regardless of previous experience.

Overtraining - is constant intense training that does not provide adequate time for recovery. Often symptoms are subjective.


Paleo Diet - is a diet that consists mainly of foods found during the Old Stone Age (or Paleolithic era). The Paleo diet includes meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, berries, nuts, and seeds.

Palumboism - is a rare phenomenon associated with the abuse of human growth hormone resulting in abdominal distention and muscle atrophy.

Partner Assisted Repetitions - see forced reps.

PED (or PEDs) - is an acronym for "performance-enhancing drug(s)."

Pedometer - is a device used to calculate and count each step a person takes by detecting motion created by the hands and/or hips.

Peptide - is a compound consisting of two or more amino acids linked in a chain.

Performance-enhancing drugs - see anabolic-androgenic steroids

Periodization - is both a strength and cardiovascular technique to help avoid training plateaus. By systematically varying resistance levels, intensity, speed, repetition range, set count, and rest periods the body is less likely to adapt.

PB - is an acronym for "personal best."

PR - is an acronym for "personal record."

Pro Card - (as it relates to competition) is a professional status, given to select competitors that have won a regional contest and includes an invite to participate at the national championship level. 

Phenylethylamine (or PEA) - is a supplement derived from the amino acid phenylalanine and is thought to increase metabolism and affect mood. 

Phlebotomy - is controlled blood-letting or the drawing of blood for laboratory analysis or blood transfusion. 

Phytoecdysteroid - see ecdysterone. 

Plateau - see fitness plateau.

Polycythemia - is used to refer to an elevated red blood Cell count (or volume) and is associated to an abnormally increased red cell production in the bone marrow. Causes include low oxygen levels, kidney disease, dehydration, and the use of performance-enhancing drugs. It can be treated by phlebotomy. 

Positive - (as it relates to resistance training) is the rising phase of a movement.

Post Cycle Therapy (or PCT) - is a therapeutic protocol used to help restart natural testosterone production.

Prolactin (or PRL) - is a hormone produced by the pituitary gland and is associated with lactation in mammals.

Pronate - is the rotation of the arm where the palm is facing down.

Pump - often referred to as "the pump," occurs when muscles become engorged with blood and thereby must stretch to accommodate the excess fluid. 


Quads - is the abbreviation for quadriceps femoris muscles.


Range of Motion (or ROM) - is the full movement potential of a joint when performing an exercise.

Recombinant Human Growth Hormone (or rhGH) - synthetic; see also human growth hormone.

Refeed - is a deliberate increase in calories, usually from consuming additional carbohydrates.

Reps - is the abbreviation for repetitions.

Research Chemicals (or Research Chems) - is a term used to describe exploratory chemical formulas that have been developed to create results that copy medication and are used by scientists and researchers for medical and scientific research purposes.

Rest Period - is the amount of time between sets or exercises.

Resting Heart Rate (or RHR) - is the number of beats per minute of the heart when in a rested or relaxed state.

Rhabdomyolysis - is the rapid breakdown of muscle fibers caused by damage to the skeletal muscle.

Ripped - (slang) see cut. 

RM - is an acronym for "repetition max."

Roids - (slang) see anabolic-androgenic steroids.


Sarcopenia - is the decline of skeletal muscle tissue; loss of muscle mass, strength, and function associated with the aging process. 

Satiety - is the satisfaction of an appetite or the feeling of fullness.

Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators (or SARMs) - are a class of therapeutic compounds that have similar properties to anabolic agents, but with reduced androgenic properties.

Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators (or SERMs) - are a class of therapeutic compounds that act on the estrogen receptor of the body.

Shredded - (slang) see cut.

Silk Amino Acids (or SAA) - are a mixture of amino acids obtained from the cocoon of the Silk Worm Bombix Mori.

Slin - is a slang term used to describe insulin. 

Spasms (or muscle spasms) - are sudden, involuntary muscle contractions. 

Spot (or Spotter) - is a person that monitors another person during an exercise to provide assistance if necessary and for safety purposes.

Steroids - see anabolic-androgenic steroids.

Storage Fat - see non-essential fat.

Sub Masters Class - (as it relates to competition) is available to bodybuilding competitors that fall between the ages of 35 and 39.

Superset - is a technique where two exercises are performed simultaneously with no rest in between.

Supinate - is the rotation of the arm where the palm is facing up.


Target Heart Rate (or THR) - is the minimum number of beats per minute of the heart, in a given amount of time, to reach the proper level of exertion necessary for cardiovascular fitness.

Taurine - is a crystalline acid, it helps regulate the level of water and minerals in blood and plays a role in the initial phase of fat metabolism.

Teen Class - (as it relates to competition) is available to competitors that fall between the ages of 13 and 19.

Tempo - is the speed at which an exercise is performed. 

Testosterone - is a male sex hormone. 

Thermogenic - is the production of heat through metabolic stimulation.

Time Under Tension (or TUT) - is a reference to how long a muscle is under strain during a set.

Total Body Water (or TBW) - is a representation of all water within the human body, including both intracellular and extracellular water.

Triset - is a technique where three exercises are performed simultaneously with no rest in between.


Unilateral Movement - is the movement produced by one limb.


Vascularity - is the observable Increase of veins in both size and number. It is often associated with low body fat and overall physique conditioning.


Water Weight - see total body water. 

Wheelchair Class - (as it relates to competition) is available to any competitor with a permanent disability and who is confined to a wheelchair.

Wheels - is a slang term used by bodybuilders to refer to legs. Generally, this is a reference to the Quadriceps femoris muscles (or quads).

Wings - is a slang term used by bodybuilders to refer to the Latissimi dorsi muscles (or lats). 

Work In - is a phrase used to request that a piece of equipment be shared, usually by alternating usage between sets amongst two or more individuals.


X-Factor - is a variable given to a situation where the result could have a significant impact on the outcome.


Yohimbine - is an indole alkaloid derived from the bark of the Pausinystalia Yohimbe tree in Central Africa it is used to increase peripheral blood flow.


Zinc - is an essential mineral known to strengthen the immune system. Zinc is also necessary for cell division, growth, and repair.