You don't need washboard abs or a tree-trunk neck to talk the talk in the weight room. If you're one of the growing number of Americans working out with weights, here's a guide to the lingo:
Barbell. A long bar with weights at each end, usually lifted with two hands.
Bodybuilding. Often confused with strength training, this is actually a competitive sport in which participants strive for the maximum muscle size, symmetry and definition.
Buffed. Having good-sized, shapely, well-defined muscles. A goal of many lifters.
Delts. Abbreviation for deltoids, the large triangular muscles of the shoulder.
Dumbbell. A short barbell, usually about 10 to 16 inches long, that is typically lifted with one hand.
Easy Set. An exercise that can be done with mild to moderate effort, often used as a warm-up before lifting heavier weights.
Free Weights. Weights such as barbells and dumbbells, which--unlike machines--do not restrict movement.
Lift-Off. Getting help from an exercise partner to move a weight to its starting position.
Max. The maximum weight you can lift for one repetition of an exercise.
Overtraining. Working a muscle too often to let it fully recover, which can lead to injury. To avoid overtraining, experts recommend spacing weight workouts at least 48 hours apart.
Pecs. Abbreviation for the pectoral muscles of the chest.
Plateau. A often-frustrating period when exercise gains level off, and it's difficult to improve.
Power Lifting. A competitive sport in which an athlete attempts to hoist the heaviest free weight possible using specific lifting techniques, such as the squat lift and bench press.
Pumped. Slang term for the way muscles look after a weight workout, when increased blood flow makes them appear larger.
Ripped. Well-developed muscularity and definition.
Rep. Short for repetition, it means lifting a weight once.
Running the Rack. Exercising with a set of dumbbells, putting them down, then picking up the next lighter dumbbells and doing another set without stopping until you've used all the dumbbells on the rack.
Set. A group of exercises, such as 10 abdominal crunches or 12 biceps curls.
Spotter. A partner who assists you during a workout.
Strength Training. Also called resistance training or weight training, this involves using your muscles against resistance (such as free weights, machines or your body weight) to increase muscular strength and endurance.
Stripping. Doing a set of exercises, then removing a weighted plate from the machine or barbell and doing another set, then removing another plate, etc.
Super Sets. Alternating back and forth between two exercises (often for opposing muscle groups, such as the biceps and triceps) without stopping to rest in between until a prescribed number of sets is complete.
Working to Failure. Doing as many reps as you can for one muscle group until you reach total fatigue on the muscles worked.
Working In. A polite way of sharing weight equipment, in which one exerciser steps in to do a set on a machine while a second exerciser rests between sets. Typically, the second exerciser asks the first, "May I work in?"
CAPTION: Working out may include "working in."