Bodybuilding Glossary: G-H

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Dictionary of Weightlifting, Bodybuilding and Exercise Terms and Techniques

Gastrocnemius – The largest muscle in the calf of the leg, extending from the thigh bone to the Achilles tendon.

Genetics – The study of how biological traits or characteristics are passed from one generation to the next. In bodybuilding terms it refers to the potential each individual has for developing his or her physique.

GH — See growth hormone.

Giant Sets – An advanced training technique in which four or more exercises are performed consecutively. In most cases the term refers to exercises for one muscle group, but bodybuilders have been known to use exercises for four different muscle groups.

Ginkgo biloba – A herbal preparation made from the pulverised leaves of the ginkgo tree, used in the treatment of circulatory and cardiovascular disorders.

Gloves — See weight lifting gloves.

Glutamine – An amino acid that is also used as a supplement by weightlifters and bodybuilders.

Gluteal – Relating to the buttocks.

Glutes — A slang term for the gluteal muscles.

Glycaemic index – A points rating for different types of food, based on their glycaemic effect. Abbreviation GI.

Glycogen — The form of carbohydrate stored in the body, predominantly in the muscles and liver.

Gravity Boots – Specialized boots fitted with an attachment device that allows the user to perform various exercises while hanging upside down on an overhead bar.

Growth hormone (GH) — An anabolic hormone that stimulates fat metabolism and promotes muscle growth and hypertrophy.

Guarana – An herb containing significant amounts of caffeine.

Gym – Although this can apply to almost any exercising venue (eg. high-school gym), for bodybuilders the term refers to a weight-training club.

Gynecomastia – Condition characterized by a swelling of the nipple region in males. It may occur naturally at puberty, but in most cases the term applies to the condition brought on by anabolic steroid use. From a biological viewpoint, the condition occurs after excessive amounts of testosterone (or anabolic steroids), is broken down into estrogen (a feminizing hormone), which then stimulate estrogen receptors in the breast region. Gynecomastia is also known as “bitch tits.”

Hamstrings – The leg biceps located on the back of the upper legs, responsible for curling the lower leg toward the upper leg. The hamstrings are analogous to the biceps in the upper arm.

Heart rate – The number of heartbeats that occur within a specific length of time, typically  minute. Abbreviation HR.

HGH – Human growth hormone.

HIIT – High-intensity interval training.

HMB – Beta-hydroxy beta-methylbutyrate.

Hormone – A substance that is produced by one part of the body, especially the endocrine glands, and is carried to another part of the body by the bloodstream where it has particular effects or functions.

Hypertrophy — The scientific term denoting an increase in muscle size.

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