Lets be serious, any newbie embarking on a fitness journey is going to have their head spinning. There are so many fitness definitions out there…
“Totally crushed my macros today”
“No worries man, flexible dieting. Totally can have those pop tarts”
“Focus on the eccentric portion brah and lets incorporate some time under tension”
That’s only scratching the surface. Ever struggle to keep up? From macros to IIFYM to super sets, there are too many fitness definitions or bodybuilding definitions. It’s not just a matter of picking things up and putting them down (although there is a whole lot of it). There are tons of layers that top athletes use to get the physique they desire. However, many of these layers can seem like a different language to those just starting off.
There is a benefit to understanding these terms, protocols and jargon though. Because lets face it, not all of us have the funds to pay top coaches or even your average personal trainer. And sometimes we finds ourselves stuck in a rut and looking for something new to jump start our fitness journey.
Lets dive into some of the most popular fitness definitions out there and what exactly they mean. Perhaps you’ll find something useful that you can incorporate into your next program/workout.
These are the building blocks to your dream physique. Miss your macros and forever experience the pain of failure. Nail your macros and the bodybuilding gods will shower you with gifts (gifts being gains or shreddedness).
Comprised of Protein (4 cals/g), Carbohydrates (4 cals/g) and Fats (9 cals/g). The sum of all 3 will give you your total calorie count for a day or even a week. The goal is to manipulate your macros to achieve the added muscle you desire (bulking) or the leanness you strive for (cutting).
Macro counts will vary by individual and many variables will factor in. Such as experience, overall muscle mass, activity. Young bodybuilding padawan’s (star wars reference for the roomie – holla) beware that the fitness world is littered with dumb information. Such as needing 2g to 3g of protein per pound of bodyweight to build muscle or having to eat a peasant’s diet in order to lose weight. Knowledge is power so be sure to educate yourself or feel free to reach out to use as we’re happy to help.
More often than not, someone’s excuse to eat anything & everything in sight for the purpose of packing on muscle. PLEASE DO NOT BE THIS PERSON!!!
Adding muscle is an incredibly difficult process. Made even harder when you pretty much just get fat. That’s due to the fact that higher body fat %’s can stunt testosterone production (no bueno!).
Simply put, bulking should be a caloric surplus above maintenance levels in an effort to feed your muscles additional calories/nutrients. These added calories/nutrients coupled with a structured workout plan will lead to beaucoup muscle gains.
More often than not, someone’s excuse for eating salads and doing tons of cardio for the purpose of getting SHREDDED!! Please do not be this person.
Cutting is a slippery slope and if not done right, could risk losing some of that precious muscle you just built in your bulking phase.
Simply put, cutting should be a slight caloric deficit coupled with a slight increase in activity (occasional cardio) to achieve a new level of leanness. Calorie drops should never be drastic and activity levels should not skyrocket as you risk causing metabolic damage (no bueno!!).
Occasionally you’ll find this as someone’s excuses to eat whatever they want as long as they are hitting their macro totals. Pizzas, donuts, burgers, ice cream – sometimes in one day – is fair game to these individuals. You guessed it – do not be like this person.
Flexible dieting/IIFYM is a diet protocol that gained a lot of popularity over the past few years. Thanks in large part to individuals stuffing their faces with pop tarts and donuts (promise not me) and preaching the IIFYM life. Leading people to believe that just eating what you like or want is totally cool, neglecting what your body actually needs.
The protocol really just allows you to be a little more flexible with what you’re eating on a daily basis. You’re craving a donut or two today? Go ahead and have it as long as it can be incorporated into your daily plan. You should still be eating a majority of your calories via nutrient dense foods such as lean proteins, veggies, fruits, etc. But in the event you’re really craving a slice of pizza and can accommodate it based on your daily caloric allowance – fcking have that pizza and don’t feel bad about it. Yay Macros!!
You put heavy shit on your back. You go down (with good form) and then you come back up (rep complete). Squats are a perfect metaphor for life – something tries to bring you down, but then you explode up and say “F that, I’m repping it.” Beware of the broseidons that tell you they hit legs hard but have sticks for legs and don’t even come close to 90 degrees.
A squat is a massive muscle building exercise. Some will argue it is the king of all exercises. It is such a technical movement that it is an exercise that needs to be perfected.
Concentric vs Eccentric vs Isometric
That definitely has to do with electrical currents running in your home? Well if you’re referring to your body being your temple that fires on concentric and eccentric movements, then yes, you nailed it. Class dismissed!
The concentric (positive) portion of a movement is when you’re activating the targeted muscle, which in turn will make that muscle shorten and contract. Think about a bicep curl. When you’re lifting the weight and creating that peak, you are in the concentric phase of the movement.
The eccentric also known as the negative is when the muscle lengthens & you’re coming back to your starting point. Using the same example of a bicep curl, this is when you’re lowering the dumbbell or barbell. Incredible and I repeat INCREDIBLE growth can be achieved during the eccentric portion. Research suggests that eccentric training is also able to produce greater strength increases than concentric contractions. Additionally, You are up to 20-30% stronger eccentrically than concentrically
Isometric is where a muscle is tensed, however it doesn’t change length, such as holding a plank, or if you pause at any stage of a rep.
*check in next week where we pick up with more fitness definitions*