Fitness Terms - A

Fitness Glossary - A Terms


Movement of a limb away from middle of body, such as bringing arms to shoulder height from hanging down position.

Abbreviation for abdominal muscles.

Abbreviation for abdominal muscles.

Absolute Strength
The maximum amount a person can lift in one repetition.

Accommodating Resistance
Increasing resistance as lifters force increases through range of motion. Nautilus machines are said to provide accommodating resistance.

Acquired Ageing
The acquisition of characteristics commonly associated with ageing but that are, in fact, caused by immobility or sedentary living.

Active Stretch
Muscles are stretched using the contraction of the opposing muscle, (antagonist). For an example stretching the triceps, requires the biceps to contract.

Movement of a limb toward middle of body, such as bringing arms to side from extended position at shoulder.

Fibrous patch holding muscles or other parts together that are normally separated.

ADP (Adenosine Diphospahate)
ADP is formed when ATP is broken down within the bodies cell furnace, (the mitochondria). This provides energy for muscular contraction.

Aerobic capacity
Another term for maximal oxygen uptake (VO2 Max)

Aerobic Exercise, (with oxygen)
Activity in which the body is able to supply adequate oxygen to the working muscles, for a period of time. Running, cross-country skiing and cycling are examples of aerobic activities.

AFWB – American Federation of Women Bodybuilders
Group that administers women's amateur bodybuilding in America.

Muscle directly engaged in contraction that is primarily responsible for movement of a body part.

Muscle fibre contracts fully or it does not contract at all.

All Natural
Athletes, especially body builders who can avoid using steroids or other banned substances.

Amino Acids
Twenty- two basic building blocks of the body that make up proteins.

Anabolic Steroid
Synthetic chemical that mimics the muscle building characteristics of the male hormone testosterone.

Anaerobic Exercise, (without oxygen)
Activities in which oxygen demands of muscles are so high that they rely upon an internal metabolic process for oxygen, resulting in lactic acid build up. Short bursts of “all-out” activities such as sprinting or weightlifting are anaerobic.

Anaerobic Threshold
The point at which you begin working your muscles without oxygen, from an aerobic level, believed to be at about 87% of your Maximum Heart Rate.

Angina Pectoris
Chest or arm pain resulting from reduced oxygen supply to the heart muscle.

Muscle that counteracts the agonist, lengthening when the agonist muscle contracts.

Anti - Catabolism
Supplements such as glutamine, used to prevent breakdown within the body, in order to promote muscle growth.

Vitamins A, C and E, along with various minerals, which are useful to protect the body from “free radicals”. Free radicals are unstable cells, which react with each, naturally created in the body, and also caused by factors such as smoking and radiation. Free radicals may cause cell damage, which leads to disease.

APC – American Physique Committee, Inc.
Group that administers men's amateur bodybuilding in America.

Arm Blaster
Aluminum or fibre glass strip about 5” x 24”, supported at waist height by a strap around the neck. Keeps elbows from moving while curling barbell or dumbbells or doing triceps pushdowns.

Hardening of the arteries due to conditions that cause the arterial walls to become thick, hard, and none elastic.

The process in which foods are utilized and absorbed by the body.

The deposition of materials along the arterial walls, a type of arteriosclerosis.

Atrophy – Withering away
Decrease in size and functional ability of tissue or organs.