Fitness Dictionary
by Justin French

 

 

A-B-C-D-E-F-G-H-I-J-K-L-M-N-O-P-Q-R-S-T-U-V-W-X-Y-Z

 

 

-F-

 

Failure
The point in an exercise where you can't physically continue the movement in good form.

Fast-twitch muscle fibres
Muscle fibers that produce energy by breaking down glycogen in the absence of oxygen. They produce rapid contractions, but create lactic acid as a by-product. Some fast-twitch fibers are convertible to non-lactate producing slow-twitch fibers.

Fat
Fats are organic compounds that are made up of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen; they are the most concentrated source of energy in foods. Fats belong to a group of substances called lipids. Fats come in liquid or solid form. All fats are combinations of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids. Fats can be called very saturated or very unsaturated depending on their proportions.

Fat is one of the three nutrients (along with protein and carbohydrates) that supply calories to the body. Fat provides 9 calories per gram, more than twice the number provided by carbohydrates or protein.

Fat is essential for the proper functioning of the body. Fats provide the "essential" fatty acids, which are not made by the body and must be obtained from food. Linoleic acid is the most important essential fatty acid, especially for the growth and development of infants. Fatty acids provide the raw materials that help in the control of blood pressure, blood clotting, inflammation, and other body functions.

Fat serves as the storage substance for the body's extra calories. It fills the fat cells (adipose tissue) that help insulate the body. Fats are also an important energy source. When the body has used up the calories from carbohydrate, which occurs after the first 20 minutes of exercise, it begins to depend on the calories from fat.

Healthy skin and hair are maintained by fat. Fat helps in the absorption, and transport through the bloodstream of the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K.

  • saturated fats - These are the biggest dietary cause of high LDL levels ("bad cholesterol"). When looking at a food label, pay very close attention to the % of saturated fat and avoid or limit any foods that are high (for example, over 20% saturated fat). Saturated fats are found in animal products such as butter, cheese, whole milk, ice cream, cream, and fatty meats. They are also found in some vegetable oils -- coconut, palm, and palm kernel oils. (Note: most other vegetable oils contain unsaturated fat and are healthy.)
  • hydrogenated fats - Hydrogenated: refers to oils that have become hardened (such as hard butter and margarine). Foods made with hydrogenated oils should be avoided because they contain high levels of trans fatty acids, which are linked to heart disease. (Look at the ingredients in the food label.) The terms "hydrogenated" and "saturated" are related; an oil becomes saturated when hydrogen is added (i.e., becomes hydrogenated).
    Partially hydrogenated: Refers to oils that have become partially hardened. Foods made with partially hydrogenated oils should be avoided because they contain high levels of trans fatty acids, which are linked to heart disease. (Look at the ingredients in the food label.)
  • trans fatty acids - Chemically altered (processed) fats. Trans fatty acids significantly raise LDL cholesterol levels, the bad cholesterol, while lowering the HDL levels, the good cholesterol.
  • unsaturated fats - Unsaturated fats: Fats that help to lower blood cholesterol if used in place of saturated fats. However, unsaturated fats have a lot of calories, so you still need to limit them. There are two types: mono-unsaturated and polyunsaturated. Most (but not all!) liquid vegetable oils are unsaturated. (The exceptions include coconut, palm, and palm kernel oils.)
  • polyunsaturated fats - Polyunsaturated fats: Fats that help to lower blood cholesterol if used in place of saturated fats. However, polyunsaturated fats have a lot of calories, so you still need to limit them. Examples include safflower, sunflower, corn, and soybean oils.
  • monounsaturated fats - Mono-unsaturated fats: Fats that help to lower blood cholesterol if used in place of saturated fats. However, mono-unsaturated fats have a lot of calories, so you still need to limit them. Examples include olive and canola oils.

femur
The large bone of the thigh

fiber
an indigestible component of food, chemically classified as carbohydrates (and may be included in the total carbohydrate content listed on food labels), found primarily in unprocessed vegetables, nuts, grains, and fruits. Fiber does not provide calories, but offers significant health benefits as a component of the diet.

fibre, muscle
The muscle is made up of individual muscle cells called muscle fibers. A muscle cell is an elongated contractile cell that forms the muscles of the body

fibula
the smaller bone of the lower leg

flax seed oil
an oil rich in omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids; because of the high polyunsaturated fatty acid content, it should be kept refrigerated and even then has a limited shelf life.

flexibility
The range of movement about a joint

flyes
an exercise targetting the pectoral muscles usually performed with dumbells or cables. See ... exercise pec flyes, incline pec flyes, ball pec flyes.

forced rep
a forced rep is a repetition performed with assistance from a spotter after a lifter has reached the point of failure with a given weight.
compare cheat rep

free weight
equipment moved in the performance of an exercise which is simply raised and lowered as a complete unit. So called because the weight is free to move in any direction and in any manner the lifter can manage.
Free weights include barbells and dumbbells

front squat
squats done with the bar placed across the front of the shoulders rather than across the back. This concentrates the exercise more on the quadriceps and less on the back and glutes. Usually less weight can be lifted this way than when performing a conventional squat.

fructose
also known as "fruit sugar" even though it is found in many foods besides fruit and it is not the majority of the sugar content in most fruits. Fructose also forms half of the sucrose (ordinary table sugar) molecule. Approximately 50 grams of fructose per day can be metabolized by the liver into glucose; amounts consumed beyond that will be converted into triglycerides using an alternate pathway.