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Old 12-20-2007, 07:40 PM
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movement due to momentum rather than muscular control. Ballistic stretching involves "throwing" a
body part in order to stretch a joint beyond the range of motion attainable through controlled
muscular contraction such as when "bouncing" at the bottom of toe-touches. It is an effective
technique for causing injury to connective tissue, which can reduce flexibility rather than enhance it.
a straight or curved bar typically five to seven feet in length designed to have weights placed on the

ends. A standard seven-foot olympic (takes plates with 2" holes) barbell weighs either 44 pounds (20
kilograms) or 45 pounds, not including collars.
compare dumbbell

basal metabolic rate
The rate at which the body burns calories while awake but at rest (usually measured in calories per
A piece of gym equipment with a horizontal or mostly horizontal top surface designed to be sat upon
or lain upon while performing an exercise. Benches may be flat, inclined (angled so that an exerciser
lying on the bench would have his head higher than his hips), or declined (angled so that an exerciser
lying on the bench would have his head lower than his hips). Benches may have
uprights attached on
the sides for supporting a
barbell or to assist in the performance of other exercises.

bench press
An exercise performed lying face-up on a horizontal surface such as a bench. Start with a barbell held
in both hands a little wider than shoulder width apart, lower it to your chest, then push upwards to
return it to the starting position. A narrower grip and elbows held closer to the body will focus more
on the
deltoids and triceps, a wider grip with elbows further to the sides away from the body will put
more stress on the

Bench presses may also be performed on an incline bench (tilted so shoulders are higher than hips) or
a decline bench (tilted so that hips are higher than shoulders).
bench shirt
a very tight, sturdy shirt usually made from denim or neoprene theoretically worn for protection
during bench press competitions whose main effect is to increase the amount of weight lifted by
compressing and straightening the chest and arms.
bent row
An exercise for the
lats and biceps. When performed using free weights, start with your waist bent so
that your torso is parallel (or nearly parallel) to the ground; hold a barbell in both hands with your
arms hanging downward. While keeping your torso in the same position, pull the barbell up to your
stomach, then lower it until your arms are straight again and repeat.
This exercise may also be performed with dumbbells, in which case it is often done one arm at a time
while the other arm may be used for support by putting your forearm on your thigh or by putting your
hand on a bench. When performed on a
low-row machine, the bent row is typically done in the seated
position with the torso upright and a bar attached to a pully is pulled towards the stomach.

beta agonist
a beta-agonist or beta
adrenoceptor agonist is a drug or chemical that partially mimics the effects of

primarily targeting the beta adrenoceptors which accelerate heart rate and increase blood
pressure (beta-1), dilate bronchial passages (beta-2), and release fatty acids from fat cells into the
blood stream (all beta receptors). The most commonly encountered beta agonists are asthma drugs
such as ephedrine and albuterol which target the beta-2

biceps brachii
the familiar "make a muscle" muscle that flexes the elbow joint. Additionally, the biceps

the forearm and helps raise the upper arm at the shoulder.

biceps femoris
the large, two-headed muscle on the back of the thigh. Contracting this muscle flexes the knee and
also extends the hip (only one head of the muscle originates above the hip joint and contributes to this
exercises targeting this muscle include
leg curls

stiff-leg deadlifts


good mornings

the resistance of a path through the body (typically measured between the feet and/or hands), most
often used to estimate bodyfat percentages because fat conducts electricity more poorly than muscle.
biological value
The ratio (nitrogen retained)/(nitrogen consumed) for a single protein source consumed in relatively
small quantity and without any other foods. For most athletes consuming reasonable diets, this is not
an important factor.
body mass index

basal metabolic rate


bodyfat, bodyfat percentage
The amount of fat in your body, generally expressed as a percentage.

body mass index, BMI

Yet another way of approximating body composition for use in large-scale medical studies and for
health reports to refer to in the popular press. This particular measure is calculated by dividing your
mass in kilograms by the square of your height in meters. While such simplistic measures are useful
for large statistical samples of the general population, their value is highly limited for individuals,
particularly athletes who can be very healthy and have low bodyfat percentages despite having a
higher-than-recommended BMI.
a web-based BMI calculator, bodyfat estimator, and other tools may be found at Phys' health
calculator page

see the Misc.Fitness.Weights FAQ: Diets:bodyopus

box squat
a variation on the
squat performed with a bench, box, or other solid object under the lifter that stops
the decent at the bottom. This can cause excessive compression of the spine and possibly lead to


branched chain amino acids
amino acids L-leucine, L-isoleucine, and L-valine, so named because of their branched structure.

They are a major constituent of muscle tissue and are preferentially consumed during intense exertion
or dieting.
see the Misc.Fitness.Weights FAQ: Branched-chain amino acids

brown fat
A type of fat cell with a greatly increased density of mitochondria and a much greater blood supply
than ordinary "white" fat. Besides being able to store fat, brown fat cells can convert calories directly
into heat through a process known as non-shivering
thermogenesis. Brown fat is used by mammals to
maintain body temperature and to expend excess calories that are consumed but not stored as fat.

bulking, bulking up
to gain size and mass, preferably (but not always) mostly or entirely muscle and other lean tissue.
compare cutting

bumper plate
a weight plate (almost always olympic) with a rubber outer rim to reduce damage to the floor (and the
plate) in case it is dropped. These are most commonly used in
olympic lifting where very heavy
weights are lifted overhead


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