Bodybuilding Slang and Terms Explained

Like every unique niche, bodybuilding comes with its own slang. Some of the most used phrases and words are explained in the article below.

Muscle Pump – a natural process during which the muscle is engorged with blood and waste byproducts

Natty – “natty” is short for “natural”. In the world of bodybuilding, the term is used to describe an individual who does not use muscle enhancing drugs. The natty limit stands for the maximum weight that a natural bodybuilder can reach without muscle elixirs.


Ripped physique – this term describes a body with high muscular detail achieved through reduction of body fat

Shredded physique – this term is very similar to the one above (“ripped physique”) and is used to describe a physique that is even more defined. A shredded bodybuilder is someone who has an extremely low body fat and even the cross striations of the muscles are visible.

G4P – “g4p” stands for “gay for pay” and describes paid homosexual services. The term has been explained in details here.

Dry physique – a term used to describe a water depleted bodybuilder. Since water weight can sometimes mask muscle definition, bodybuilders lose water before every contest to look more “detailed”.

Fullness – a term describing muscles that look like they are about to pop out of the skin. The goal of every bodybuilder on the contest day is to be both – full and shredded.

Bitch tits – a term describing the development of female breast as a result of hormonal imbalance caused by anabolic steroids. The breasts are usually small, firm and resemble the ones of a female dog (bitch). The official word for this condition is gynecomastia.

Vascularity – a term referring to the visibility of the veins covering the muscles of the bodybuilder

V-Taper – this term is used to describe the classic bodybuilding look – wide back + narrow waist.

Photoshop look this term describes the unreal look of bodybuilders on steroids.

Freak – bodybuilder with unreal muscle development

Flatness – the opposite of fullness – the muscles look depleted and small due to over-training, poor diet or an injury

Dialed-in physique – this term describes a bodybuilder who has done everything necessary to bring the best possible look to the stage

Bulking up – the process of gaining as much weight as possible by consuming more calories

Dirty bulking – the process of gaining as much weight as possible by following a diet including junk food

Clean bulking – gaining weight while minimizing the fat added to the body in the process.

DPP: Short for discipline, persistence, and patience

Macros – short for macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates, and fats)

Midgets – term used to describe short bodybuilders. The term is considered insulting and yet often used.

Guns – a slang for the muscles of the upper arms – biceps, and triceps. Big guns = powerful arms

Thong – a word describing the so-called posing trunks that bodybuilders wear during contests

Hardness – term used to describe a full and ripped physique. When an individual has low body fat, he/she looks hard.

Smooth physique – a body lacking muscle detail due to high body fat levels and/or water retention.

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