Fitness Dictionary
by Justin French








Sagittal Plane - A vertical plane through the longitudinal axis dividing the body into left and right portions.

Saturated fats - These are "bad" fats. They are called saturated because they contain no open spots on their carbon skeletons. These bad fats have been shown to raise cholesterol levels in the body. Sources of these fats include animal foods and hydrogenated vegetable oils, such as margarine.

Set - Group of reps (lifting and lowering a weight) of an exercise after which you take a brief rest period. For example, if you complete 10 reps, set the weight down, complete eight more reps, set the weight down again, and repeat for six more reps, you have completed three sets of the exercise.

Slow-Twitch - Muscle cells that contract slowly, are resistant to fatigue and are utilized in endurance activities such as long-distance running, cycling or swimming.

Snatch - Olympic lift where weight is lifted from floor to overhead, (with arms extended) in one continuous movement (see also CLEAN AND JERK).

Spot - Assist if called upon by someone performing an exercise.

Spotter - Person who watches a partner closely to see if any help is needed during a specific exercise.

Stabilizer - A muscle that contracts with no significant movement.

Steroids - Prescription drugs which mimic male hormones, but without most of the androgenic side effects of actual testosterone. Many bodybuilders use these dangerous drugs to help increase muscle mass and strength.

Sticking Point - A stalling out of bodybuilding progress.

Straight Sets - Groups of repetitions (SETS) interrupted by only brief pauses (30-90 seconds).

Strength - The ability of a muscle to produce maximum amount of force.

Strength Training - Using resistance weight training to build maximum muscle force.
Stretching - A type of exercise program in which you assume exaggerated postures that stretch muscles, joints, and connective tissues, hold these positions for several seconds, relax and then repeat the postures. Regular stretching exercise promotes body flexibility.

Stretch Marks - Tears (slight scars) in skin caused if muscle or fat tissue has expanded in volume faster than skin can grow.

Striations - Grooves or ridge marks seen under the skin, the ultimate degree of muscle definition.

Super Set - Alternating back and forth between two exercises until the prescribed number of sets is complete.

Supination – External rotation resulting in appendage facing upward.

Supplement - This is a term used to describe a preparation such as a tablet, pill, or powder that contains nutrients. Supplements are used to help you achieve optimal nutrient intake.

Symmetry - The shape or general outline of a person's body, as when seen in silhouette. If you have good symmetry, you will have relatively wide shoulders, flaring lats, a small waist-hip structure, and generally small joints.

Synergist – A muscle that assists another muscle to accomplish a movement.