Whether you’ve been hitting the gym for the past few weeks or a whole decade, there will come a time when you’ve heard a bunch of gym slang thrown around but you’re not quite sure what it all means.
The trouble is, as new bodybuilders come on the scene, new slang seems to also pop up all over the place. Naturally, when you run (or should that be ‘lift’?) in bodybuilding circles, new terms and catchphrases seem to appear for one reason or another.
Whether it’s to impress female gym-goers, or boost their own muscled ego – regardless of the reason, bodybuilding slang can be pretty damn confusing. So, we’re here to break down some of the most popular bodybuilding slang around.
If you’ve heard the term ‘boulders’ around before, you may have kinda grasped what it meant, and you’re probably right.
Shoulders that are as solid as a rock – aka, BOULDERS.
This is a common one for dudes getting shredded at the gym, and is actually a simple act of laziness, as it is basically an abbreviated version of swollen. Think of “swole” as getting pumped up during a workout.
Some may also use the term to describe a guy very obviously on steroids, who has noticeable water retention.
You most likely already know this one: Bulking.
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But just incase, bulking is the process of adding muscle mass through a combination of strength training and nutrition.
Following on form the bodybuilder slang above, cutting is the process of stripping body fat while maintaining as much lean muscle mass as possible.
As always, men can get a little competitive down the gym. The term “punked” refers to a guy who may talk a lot but can’t back up his claims.
6. Pencil-neck geek
As far as bodybuilding slang goes, many are used as jokey insults between fellow bodybuilders. This is another slang term for a guy that is really skinny who often does high reps with really light weights.
7. Forced reps
Another bodybuilding term that pretty much sounds like what it is. The term “forced reps” relates to additional reps of an exercise performanced with the help of a partner, when you feel unable to do anymore on your own.
8. Garage sale
No, this one doesn’t refer to selling an old lamp outside your house, but you’re not far off. Instead, the term “garage sale” in the gym refers to a messy gym floor full of random bits of equipment. Nobody likes it a guy who drags out weights and doesn’t return them.
In short, this guy is an ass. They’re usually heard complaining about pretty much everything, and they’ll stir up trouble just for the hell of it.
Now, in the world of bodybuilding slang, the majority relate to getting stacked, behavior in the gym or appearance. In this case, “freak” is a good thing.
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If you’re getting called a freak, the chances are you’re turning heads due to unreal muscle development.
11. Throw down
This is simply a fancy name for a workout.
Another name for a guy’s chest.
13. Load it up!
Ready to go hard with your strength training? Well, you better “load it up!”, aka, add lots of weight on that bar.
A slow and steady lift that takes a lot of strength.
A woman who arrives at the gym with makeup fit for a date, without a single hair out of place. She usually spends more time chatting to others than working out, and is never seen breaking a sweat.
16. Scooby snack
One of the many meals a bodybuilder eats throughout the day.
17. Dig deep!
You know when you’re really searching for that extra push of strength to lift a heavy weight? Well, your pal spotting you will have probably shouted this before now, “dig deep!”
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Exactly what it says on the tin… GAINing muscle through nutrition and training.
Pumped upper arm muscles, biceps and triceps.
An abbreviated term for admiring. “Miring” is often used to describe dudes taking a selfie in the mirror post-workout.
21. Progressive overload
Gradually adding more resistance during training exercises as your strength increases.
There’s always some guy at the gym who seems to bring his whole entire life with him. This is often called “sandbagging”, especially when it’s a duffle bag of protein shakes, gloves and a billion other gym accessories spilling out.
Many of us use the term “getting stacked” as a way of talking about gaining muscle.
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However, “stacking” is actually associated with adding more weights to your workout in order to set a personal best, build strength and increase muscle mass.
24. Junk show
Now, this one really isn’t pretty. No dude at the gym wants a ticket to the junk show… As this refers to a guy in really tight shorts who has his junk on show for the whole gym to see.
Not pretty, guys. Stop it.
25. Sausage factory
When the gym is packed with hench, burly guys lifting huge, heavy weights.
When a guy has wide shoulders, large back and small mid-section, creating the perfect “V” shape.
When a bodybuilder has visible veins as a result of low body fat and heavy exercise.
The process of dieting and training to get ripped for a competition.
29. Machine hog
Those dudes who hog machines, doing one set with extended breaks. These guys are a total pain in the ass, blocking others from using equipment.
Pushing so hard during workouts that the veins in your neck are super-dilated.
31. Gearing up
A bit like heading into battle, in bodybuilder circles, “gearing up” refers to a guy getting into position to do an exercise, such as putting on gloves, chalk and a belt.
32. Glamor hound
There’s always at least one of these at any gym. A glamor hound is a guy or girl who always has everyone’s attention in the gym.
33. Toss your cookies
Throwing up as the result of a super intense workout.
A guy new to the gym, with little to no experience of equipment and a lack of fitness knowledge.
Feeling clued up on the latest slang?
There are so many different bodybuilding terms thrown around, that it can be hard to keep up! Hopefully you’ll now be feeling pretty clued up when you hear some of the above in the gym.