Fitness Dictionary
by Justin French








Partial Reps - Performing an exercise without going through a complete range of motion either at the beginning or end of a rep.

Passive Insufficiency - The inability for a biarticulate muscle to stretch enough to complete full range of motion in both joints simultaneously. Also see tension potential.

Peak Contraction - Exercising a muscle until it cramps by using shortened movements. Pecs - Abbreviation for pectoral muscles of the chest.

P.H.A. - Peripheral Heart Action; a system of training where you go from one exercise to another, with little or no rest, preferably alternating upper body and lower body exercises. Designed for cardiovascular training and to develop muscle mass.

Plates - The flat discs placed on the ends of barbell and dumbbell bars to increase the weight of the apparati. Although some plates are made from vinyl-covered concrete, the best and most durable plates are manufactured from metal.

Plyometric Exercise - Where muscles are loaded suddenly and stretched, then quickly contracted to produce a movement, Athletes who must jump do these, i.e. jumping off bench to ground, quickly rebounding to another bench.
Portion - The amount of carbohydrates or protein one should eat with each meal. A portion is the size of the palm of your hand or your clenched fist.

Pose - Each individual stance that a bodybuilder does onstage in order to highlight his muscular development.

Pose Down - Bodybuilders performing their poses at the same time in a competition, trying to out pose one another.
Poundage - The amount of weight that you use in an exercise, whether that weight is on a barbell, dumbbell, or exercise machine.

Power - Strength + Speed.

Power Lifts - Three movements used in power lifting competition: the squat, bench press and dead lift.

Power Lifting - A second form of competitive weightlifting (not contested in the Olympics, however) featuring three lifts: the squat, bench press, and dead lift. Power lifting is contested both nationally and internationally in a wide variety of weight classes for both men and women

Power Training - System of weight training using low repetitions, heavy weights.

Progression - The act of gradually adding to the amount of resistance that you use in each exercise. Without consistent progression in your workouts, you won't overload your muscles sufficiently to promote optimum increases in hypertrophy.

Progressive Resistance - Method of training where weight is increased as muscles gain strength and endurance, the backbone of all weight training.

Pronation – Internal rotation resulting in appendage facing downward.

Proteins - Proteins are the building blocks of muscle, enzymes, and sonic hormones. They are made up of amino acids and are essential for growth and repair in the body. A gram of protein contains four calories. Those from animal sources contain the essential amino acids. Those from vegetable sources contain some but not all of the essential amino acids. Proteins are broken up by the body to produce amino acids.

Protraction – Moving anteriorly (eg. Chin out)

Proximal – Nearest to the center, to the midline, or to the point of attachment. The opposite of distal.

Pump - The tight, blood-congested feeling in a muscle after it has been intensely trained. Muscle pump is caused by a rapid influx of blood into the muscles to remove fatigue toxins and replace supplies of fuel and oxygen. A good muscle pump indicates that you have optimally worked a muscle group.

Pumped - Slang meaning the muscles have been made large by increasing blood supply to them through exercise.

Pumping Iron - Phrase that has been in use since the 1950s, but recently greatly popularized. Lifting weights.