Fitness Doctrine

Vocabulary & Terminology Cheat Sheet

There’s a lot of terms, slang, and jargon when it comes to exercise and fitness. To help you sort through all the technical babble, I’ve listed some of the more common words you’ll run into.

If you don’t see a term or phrase feel free to leave a comment below. I’ll include the definition as soon as I’m done my workout.




Abduction – Movement of a limb away from middle of body, such as bringing arm to shoulder height. Example… Dumbbell lateral raise to work the shoulders.

Adenosine Triphosphate – See ATP

Agonist Muscle –  The muscle most directly used to perform the exercise or movement. The opposite muscle is referred to as the antagonist.

Antagonist Muscle –  The muscle opposite the prime mover. This muscle stabilizes the joint and help slow the movement toward the end range of motion. Its opposite is the agonist muscle.

APT – An acronym  for adenosine triphosphate. An intermediate molecule that allows for the transfer of energy and thus a muscle contraction.



Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) – see Metabolism



Compound Exercises – Movements that require 2 or more joints to complete the movement/exercise. At lest 2 muscle groups are needed to perform the exercise. A great example is the deadlift exercise. Other common compound exercises include…

Opposite of a compound lift is an isolation exercise.

Compound Set – A set where two or more different exercises are used to target one muscle group. The exercises are done back to back, without any rest.  The opposite is a superset.




Eccentric Muscle Action – The muscle lengthens as it resists weight. Is sometimes referred to as the negative portion of the lift. Usually its the lowering phase of an exercise.






 Hook Grip – This grip is used to increase the strength of your hold on the bar. The sum is wrapped around the bar, then the hand grips the bar and your thumb.









Lipid – An organic substance insoluble in water. It’s comprised of triglycerides (TG) which is a glycerol molecule bound to three free fatty acid (FFA) chains. Comes from the Greek word lipos, meaning fat.


 Metabolism – A mathematical equation that measures all energy consumption and production in the body. It includes every physical and chemical process in the body that uses energy. Which is everything. Breathing, eating, and even sleeping require energy and all contribute to your metabolism. Your metabolism changes based on a number of factors. A couple common factors are… exercise, food choices, and weight. There are many more but those 3 are common factors.

Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) – A measure of how much energy your body needs to function. This number represents the number of calories your body needs to maintain your current weight.

Calculating Your BMR

Women: BMR = 655 + ( 4.35 x weight in pounds ) + ( 4.7 x height in inches ) – ( 4.7 x age in years )
Men: BMR = 66 + ( 6.23 x weight in pounds ) + ( 12.7 x height in inches ) – ( 6.8 x age in year )

Metabolic – Not sure if this is even a real word. In fitness it is used to describe something that speeds up your ability to burn calories. Some examples are…


Non-Exercise Associated Thermogenesis (NEAT) – See Thermogenesis




Periodization – The planning and organizing of training programs. This systematic approach puts workout routines and training variables into a timeline and arranges them into different cycles. Each cycle builds on the pervious for continued improvement.

For more information be sure to take a look at the post all about periodization.






Superficial –  or external. On or near the outside of the body, bone or organ. When talking about muscles, superficial muscles are above other muscles. They’re the opposite of deep muscles.

Superset –  Pairing two or more exercises together in one set that stresses opposing or  different muscle groups. The opposite is a compound set.

Discover how to supinate and pronation can be used for building muscle mass

Supinate – Rotate of the hand and forearm to make the palm face upward. The same action applies to the foot.

  • Semi-supinated – A grip where your palms face each other. This is also known as a neutral grip or hammer  grip.
  • Supinated – any grip in which your palms are facing up. may also be referred to as underhand.
  • Supine – To lie on your back facing upward.




 Thermogenesis –

  • Exercise Associated Thermogenesis (EAT) –
  • Non-Exercises Activity Thermogenesis NEAT –
  • Thermic Effect of Feeding/Food (TEF) –

Traps – Abbreviation for the trapezius muscle group. These are largest muscles of the back and neck. They draw head backward and rotate scapula.













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