Dictionary of Weightlifting, Bodybuilding and Exercise Terms and Techniques
ECA, ECA stack – Ephedrine, Caffeine , and Aspirin
Ectomorphs – Body type characterized by long thin bones, low body fat levels and difficulty in gaining muscle mass.
Endomorphs – Body type characterized by large bones and an excess of body fat.
Endorphins – Chemicals released by the brain in response to pain. Often called “natural opiates,” endorphins decrease the individual’s sensitivity to pain.
EPOC — See excess post-exercise oxygen consumption.
Essential amino acids – Amino acids which cannot be synthesized by the body from other amino acids and, thus, must be present in the diet: leucine, isoleucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, tryptophan, and valine.
Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) – Fats that have anti-catabolic, anti-lypolitic and antioxidant properties. These fats affect the good cholesterol in a positive way. In addition, these fats aid in the muscle-building, fat-loss process. The Omega 3 Fatty Acids found in fats such as fish oils and flaxseed oil are a good source of EFAs.
Estrogen – Female hormone that regulates and sustains female sexual development and reproductive function. An excess of this hormone appears to be related to heart disease and cancer. In addition, when this hormone is in excess, it causes fat gain and water retention. Estrogen deficits, on the other hand, include memory problems, trouble finding words, inability to pay attention, mood swings and irritability. By helping to balance the levels of this hormone, exercise helps reduce the risk of these diseases and conditions.
Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) — Elevated oxygen consumption above that of resting levels after exercise.
Exercise – In general terms, any form of physical activity that increases the heart and respiratory rate. In bodybuilding terms, an exercise is one specific movement for one or more muscle groups (i.e. bench press, squat, curl, etc.).
Extension — The act of straightening a joint. For example, during the triceps pressdown exercise, the elbow extends. The opposite of extension is flexion.
EZ-Curl Bar – Short, S-shaped bar used for such exercises as biceps curls and lying triceps extensions. The bar’s unique shape puts less stress on the wrists and forearms than a straight bar.
Failure — See muscle failure.
False grip — A type of grip in which the thumb remains against the side of the palm rather than wrapped around the bar as in a normal grip. This type of grip is not recommended because the bar can slip out of the hands.
Fast-twitch muscle fibers — Muscle fibers that contract quickly and powerfully but not with great endurance. Fast-twitch muscle fibers are best developed through strength training programs that employ heavyweight and low reps or light weight and low reps that are performed in a quick and explosive manner.
Fats – A group of organic compounds, including animal fats, such as butter and lard, and vegetable fats, such as vegetable and bean oils. Fats are a significant source of energy in the diet and many play essential roles in your body’s chemistry.
Fiber – An indigestible component of food, chemically classified as carbohydrates (and may be included in the total carbohydrate content listed on food labels), found primarily in unprocessed vegetables, nuts, grains, and fruits. Fiber does not provide calories, but offers significant health benefits as a component of the diet.
Flexibility — Suppleness of joints, muscle fibers, and connective tissues. This suppleness allows a greater range of motion about the joints. Flexibility is an important component of overall fitness and is best developed through systematic stretching.
Flexion — The act of bending a joint. For example, during the biceps curl exercise the elbow flexes. The opposite of flexion is extension.
Fluid Retention – Bodybuilding term referring to the amount of water held between the skin and muscles. A bodybuilder “holding water” appears smooth, and his muscularity is blurred.
Forced Reps – An advanced training technique whereby a training partner helps you complete extra reps after the exercised muscles reach the point of fatigue.
Form — Refers to the use of proper biomechanics during an exercise. This means that all movements are performed in such a manner that only the required muscle groups are used during the exercise and all movements are performed in a safe manner to avoid the risk of injury.
Free Weights – Term given to barbells and dumbbells. Free-weight exercises are the most popular types performed by bodybuilders.