Real Bro’s Bodybuilding and Gym Slang Dictionary: A-Z

Build your brocubulary and get all duolingbro with this gym slang guide

Real Bro’s Bodybuilding and Gym Slang Dictionary

Have you ever wondered what the hell gym slang language some of the gym bro’s speak? To be fair we do too… and we’re as bro as they come.

“Bro, you’re looking boss swole after that bulking. Time for some sun’s out, gun’s out, throw down and hit up this IIFYM protein shake to get jacked”.

It’s the language of lifters. The chat of the bro and the talk of the tough.

No, you’re not listening to someone having a stroke. This is how the snapback, stringer vest-wearing gym elite speak. And if you want to start mixing it up with these dudes you’ll have to start talking their language.

Much like when humans try to communicate with Gorillas by learning ‘monkey speak’, we’re going in hard to teach you the sounds and gestures this primitive species uses to communicate with each other… there’ll be plenty of chest-beating, but hardly any bamboo eating. Because it doesn’t stimulate protein synthesis probably.

Let’s get this gym slang on like Donkey Kong…

#1. Aesthetic

This term is used to describe someone that has a great physique which is muscular but also lean. To look ‘aesthetic’ is to have a great overall shape, proportion between muscle groups, symmetry, and condition.

It’s a description used by practically everyone in the gym as well as those guys from the Aesthetics crew (RIP Zyzz bro).

Example: “Dude you’re looking aesthetic as fuark… you been hitting up a new fat shredding program?”

#2. Bulking

The holy grail term for bros around the world. To ‘bulk’ is to switch up your training and diet to maximize muscle gain. You’re literally bulking up your weight.

In order to achieve a successful bulk, you need to bump up your calorie intake and attack a high-volume strength program. It’s a nice place to be because you’ll see progress real fast.

Example: “Bro you been bulking? Your mass is looking deeper than Kardashian pussy?”

#3. Cutting

The opposite of bulking, a ‘cutting’ phase is when a lifter does everything he can to shred body fat.

Cutting is the worse nightmare of most lifters as it leaves you feeling hungry, depleted and low on energy most of the time. But it’s necessary to carve out a beach-ready physique to get people turning their heads.

A cut often involves a high-density workout plan, a calorie deficit and a fat burning supplement to speed up results.

Example: “You’re looking dick-skin shredded, my man. You been cutting buddy?”

#4. DOMS

You ever woke up the day after a solid workout and wondered why you’ve all of a sudden got the mobility of a paraplegic on Xanax?

It’s called delayed onset of muscle soreness or ‘DOMS’.

When you train above your normal fitness threshold you sustain elevated muscle damage, leading to cellular disturbance, inflammation, and compression of nerve endings. And that sh*t hurts for a good 24-72 hours after your workout.

Example: “Dude, I’m gonna have to skip leg day today. This DOMS got me feeling like I’m getting stabbed with a rusty dagger… that’s on fire… and covered in napalm?”

#5. Ego Lifting

going to the gym whilst ill is bad gym etiquette

Ego lifting is purposely lifting heavy to impress other people. Which is ironic, as honestly, no one cares in the slightest what you lift you ‘lil pussy.

Most guys that ego lift do so with terrible form and awful technique. Chances are you’ll also see them with a full camera and tripod set-up so that they can share footage of their round-ass deadlift with their 200 followers on the ‘Gram with the hashtags #grind and #DoYouEvenLiftBro.

Example: “Bro why you ego lifting? That’s far too heavy for your weak ass”

#6. Freak

Nope, not a one-eyed serpent boy from some remote village in the jungle. Not even a bearded woman with a cooch full of sharp teeth.

The freak is all about huge slabs of muscle and is the envy of most in the gym. His physique is truly head turning – a rare and gifted specimen and the kind of guy that makes you double take his massive frame, incredible size, and intimidating presence.

We all want to be this guy.

Example: “God damn, that guy is a freak over there”

#7. Gains / Gainz

Making gains is any lifter’s true purpose.

As a widely-used term in the gym, when it’s ‘raining gains’ you’re adding muscle mass, ramping up your maximum lifts or dropping body fat.

Gainz (with a Z) gets you even more bro points. If you’re hashtagging this one when you post up your before and afters, make sure you’re all about the #gainz.

It’s a term that means you’re progressing and getting better… and there’s nothing more important than that bro.

Example: “I’m off to the gym to lift heavy and chase those gains bro”

#8. HIRT

strength training athlete performs hex bar deadlift

As a new and innovative style of strength training, high-intensity resistance training is a workout program that mixes weight lifting with high-volume workouts to build muscle mass and shred body fat.

It’s used in science-led, high-quality programs such as Shred by Boss Workouts.

If you’ve ever tried this type of workout be prepared to have your mind blown and your body ripped within weeks. It’s truly hardcore but will change your life.

Example: “My body fat dropped by like 8% in 12 weeks with that HIRT workout man”.

#9. IIFYM

‘If it fits your macros’ or IIFYM is a flexible approach to dieting where food choices are made based on overall calorie intake and macro needs.

For example, you might have 200 kcal left to eat from carbs. Instead of having them from brown rice you could eat a donut or some other ‘unhealthy’ food instead. Your body treats calories the same regardless of the source so it’s a way of adapting your food choices to please your brain as well as your body.

The idea is that you can still eat the foods you enjoy as long as you don’t fall out of your macro needs – if it fits, it’s cool.

Example: “This new IIFYM diet is working well bro. Last night I had a pizza and frozen yogurt instead of chicken and broccoli”.

#10. Jacked

probably the most used bro term echoed across iron houses around the world. To be jacked means you’re muscular and strong, while still being fairly lean.

If someone calls you jacked they’re definitely ‘mirin your aesthetic. It’s a term of endearment and respect. You’re now a meathead gym rat of the highest order. Take a bow.

Example: “Man, that guy is plain jacked”.

Check out our video on 100 ways to say jacked with Dom Mazzetti…

#11. Killing It

When you’re in the groove and racking up decent numbers on your big lifts you’re ‘killing it’.

You’re doing really well; you’re destroying the competition and everyone knows it. Even the barbells are trembling at your mercy bro. It’s time to vanquish the other lifters in the gym and show them who’s boss.

Example: “Ah man you’re killing those squats. You’re making ’em your bitch”.

#12. Lean Bulk

Not all bulking phases need to be full of ‘dirty bulk’ burgers and fries. A ‘lean bulk’ uses strategy, a great diet and a solid workout plan to boost muscle mass but keep fat gain at a minimum.

You can use workout guides like Boss Lean Mass to perfect your lean bulk and sail to single digit body fat while cranking up mass.

Example: “That lean bulk is working well. Dude looks jacked”.

#13. Macros

bodybuilder eats a bowl of salad

Short for macronutrients, macros are the bodybuilding bible when it comes to getting strong, huge and lean.

There are 3 macros – protein (brotein), carbs and fats. Each play their role in muscle building and fat loss. Protein building muscle, carbs provide energy and fats synthesize steroid hormones such as testosterone.

Example: “Great workout buddy, I’m off to fill my body up with those sweet, sweet macros”.

#14. Newbie / Noob

A newbie is a guy that’s new to the gym and hasn’t got a clue what’s he’s doing. But he means well.

A ‘noob’ is a newbie that takes cluelessness to the next level. You’ll usually find a noob stood staring at equipment like it’s an ancient puzzle in an Indiana Jones movie… or they’ll be upside down on the leg press using it as an arm curl or some sh*t.

These dudes are straight up useless. They kind of need help… but it’s funnier to just watch and laugh at them. As a bro, you’re perfectly in their right to just watch them suffer. Extra bronus points if you film it for your boys to see on Insta.

Example: “Look at that stupid noob over there. He’s curling in the squat rack, the muthaf*cker”.

#15. One Rep Max

If you want to know your true strength you need to have a go at one rep max lifting. This is simply the most you can lift for one clean, good rep and is generally used to calculate the weights you’ll lift.

If you haven’t tried a ‘1RM’ test you’ve no idea how strong you are.

Example: “I’m working on strength right now using 80% of my one rep max”.

#16. Peeled

swearing weight lifting bodybuilder

To be peeled is one large step beyond being ‘ripped’, ‘shredded’ or ‘super lean’. It’s about having hard and dense muscle, but body fat so low that every single damn striation shines through like a petroleum-fueled fireball.

It’s about peak condition that’s stage ready. If you’re peeled, you’re at the top of your game. You’ve reached the peak of condition you Theodore Brosevelt-looking mutha.

Double bronus points for you.

Example: “Dayum, that dude is peeeellllleeeeeddddd”.

#17. Quality Mass

Building solid, strong muscle that shows off your strength and gains is called ‘quality mass’. No, it’s not something religious people get all hyped up around either.

It’s the kind of muscle you build during a lean bulk and it all comes down to clever training and an unbreakable diet and supplement regime.

Example: “I’m carving out some good quality mass right now bro”.

#18. ‘Roid rage

Start playing around with anabolics and you’ll find that your aggression goes off the chart.

When you use steroids, you can suffer from bouts of anger and outbursts of aggression spontaneously. You become impulsive, and uncontrollably angry with anyone and anything… and practically any little thing can set you off.

You basically turn into a jacked douche version of your b*tch girlfriend. Not cool.

Example: “I must have big ‘roid rage. I just punched a wall for no reason bro”.

#19. Stims

Short for stimulants, ‘stims’ are supplements that elevate your ‘fight or flight’ effect. They boost your heart rate, blood pressure, and thermogenic fat burning effect.

Some stims such as DNP or ephedrine are crazy-ass drugs that’ll help you shred fat but will probably kill you. DNP, in particular, will heat up your body to furnace-like temperatures. Once that cell recoupling hits you there’s no coming back bro.

But something like caffeine has been shown to boost physical and mental performance in a safe way in numerous research papers. It’s the gold standard stim for physical performance.

Example: Bro, throw me my pre workout stims.. I’m double-scooping for leg day”.

#20. Testosterone

The almighty testosterone. We bow down to thee and bask in your masculine glow.

Testosterone is the primary male hormone responsible for optimizing both anabolic and androgenic gains. When your ‘T’ in on point, you’re lean, strong and assertive.

You can boost your testosterone levels naturally by lifting weights, eating foods rich in protein and fats (T is a steroid hormone and synthesized from cholesterol) and using a high-quality testosterone booster supplement.

There’s no excuse for bottomed out T. As a bro it’s your duty to keep your testes revving like a horny f*cking NASCAR engine! After all, it’s the only way to stay alpha.

Example: “I’ve been training for a few weeks now and feeling strong man… must the increase in testosterone – I feel superhuman!”

#21. Under The Bar

heavy loaded squat to develop core strength

‘Under the bar’ is another term for hitting the gym.

It’s associated with exercises such as squatting, where you literally get under the bar to jack up your quads and build meteoric strength.

Example: “I’m off for a session under the bar. Need to grow these wheels”.

#22. Vascular

You ever had one of those workouts where you end up pumped to f*ck?

Being vascular is the visibility of veins on a bodybuilder as a result of exercise and low body fat (and perhaps higher blood volume). It’s accelerated by pre workout supplements that contain nitric oxide stimulators. such as red beet and L-citrulline.

Example: “I’m making it vein in the gym today with this new pre workout – time to go full-on vascular like a human road map bro.” 

#23. Weekend Warrior

A weekend warrior is a dude that only hits the gym when he’s nothing else to do. His work hours and low level of dedication mean he restricts himself to gym workouts on a Saturday and Sunday.

Weekend warriors usually approach the gym half-assed and put neither the effort or time into their training. They frustrate proper bros as they often get in the way of real lifters who show more dedication to their craft.

If you’re reading thinking, “wow, this sounds like me”, find a f*cking mirror. Stand in front of it, point your index finger into the center of your chest, and have a stern talk to your shoddy reflection. Repeat after SpotMeBro: “I WILL STOP BEING A P*SSY AND LIFT EVERY SINGLE DAY!” Thank you, now get the f*ck away from our bench part-timer.

Example: “These damn weekend warriors are only here when they’ve nothing else to do”.

#24. X’d Out

Back in the day, ‘X-d out’ meant you’d had too much ecstasy or was prison slang for taking out a rival gang member.

These days it’s used by gym rats to explain that they smashed their last set and gave it their absolute all.

Example: “Bro you X’d that last set. Good work man”.

#25. Yolked

In a similar vein to ‘ripped’, ‘jacked’ and shredded’, to be yolked means you’re well built and muscular – especially around the traps and shoulders.

It’s said to derive from the word ‘yoke’ – a wooden beam normally placed around the neck of oxen to help them to pull together on a load. Some say it comes from old bodybuilding practice of drinking raw egg yolks. Who knows? We just know it’s a sick compliment.

Example: “Dude is yolked. He’s got traps for days”.

#26. Zumba

Zumba dancing

Zumba is some kind of mythical dance workout performed by hot South American women with great asses and perky tiddies… either that or overly-enthusiastic cult members masquerading as fitness club members.

That’s all we know about it to be honest, because it’s not something that bros take part in.

We just watch it when we need to stock up the wank bank. Don’t pretend you never do the same too.

Example: “Dude, I watched a Zumba infomercial last night and wanked so many times by the end of the night I was dust cumming”.


We missed out some gym slang you use on a regular basis? Throw it in the comments and keep the thread going – the more, the better bros…

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