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Glossary of Terms

Misc. Terms


Someone who is naturally thin. Women can be ectomorphs because of thinner bones, longer bones, a smaller stomach, a more fat-resistant metabolism, or any number of other factors.


Someone who resists weight gain even while in a calorie surplus. Hardgainers will often have an adaptive metabolism, where they subconsciously burn off extra calories by fidgetting, moving less efficiently, producing more body heat, or being more active. Burning off extra energy doesn’t tend to limit muscle growth, just fat storage.


Short for “delayed onset muscle soreness,” which is the soreness that creeps up 24–48 hours after damaging a muscle. This soreness can be especially intense when women first begin lifting, sometimes lasting several days. (You can stimulate DOMS without stimulating any muscle growth, and you can stimulate muscle growth without stimulating any DOMS.)


This a common postural issue, where an ectomorph has a forward tilting pelvis that causes her lower stomach to jut forward. There are many ways to correct this, including practicing good deadlift technique, getting better at planks, and doing our postural work.


The beneficial growth caused by a lifestyle that involves good lifting, good nutrition, and good rest. This can be muscle, yes, but gains also include the production of more digestive enzymes, a stronger digestive system in general, a bigger stomach, stronger bones, stronger tendons, greater strength, and greater coordination.

Newbie Gains

This is the steroid-like growth that new lifters get when they first begin correctly lifting and eating for muscle growth.

Set Point

The body weight that your body is trying to maintain or return to. If you are currently maintaining your weight at, for example, 100 pounds, then 100 pounds is likely your set point right now. If you were to follow your appetite, you would likely remain around 100 pounds. When you bulk up (or cut down) to a different weight, your body will gradually reset its set point over the course of a few months. During this period, it’s important to maintain your weight deliberately. After that, your appetite should keep you there naturally, just like it naturally kept you hovering around 100 pounds in the past.


When your muscles are temporarily swollen with blood. It lasts 10–20 minutes, then slowly deflates.


This is a term popularized by the nutrition researcher Alan Aragon, who grew frustrated by the fact that people were trusting the anecdotal stories of jacked dudes that blatantly contradict scientific research. After all, sometimes people can get results in spite of what they’re doing, not because of it.


A Bombshell blend of lifting techniques taken from both powerlifting and bodybuilding. This is done to maximize both size and strength adaptations, which both work additively with one another. We also use some strongwoman and athletic conditioning techniques, but Bony to Bombshell could still be considered a powerbuilding program.

Clean Foods

Clean foods are not those that are well-washed, but rather those that are exalted. Which foods are exalted will depend on one’s nutrition ideology. To a clean vegan, grains are considered clean, but bacon is seen as dirty. To a clean paleodite, bacon is seen as clean, but grains are considered dirty.

Bombshell Foods

These are the foods that are nutritious, delicious and calorically dense. Common examples include dark chocolate, trail mix, smoothies, milk, cheese, lattes, bananas, whey protein, rice, and beans.


Building muscle, usually while trying to limit fat gains.

Lean bulking

Trying to gain only muscle. Lean bulking can be done by very meticulously tracking macros to ensure a very consistent, very precise daily caloric surplus. This process is delicate and finicky, so it’s rare for a beginner to possess both the knowledge and meticulousness required to do it properly.

Dreamer Bulking

Bulking up as quickly as possibly, often resulting in the bulker becoming fat. If you’re gaining more than a pound per week after your first month of lifting, there’s a good chance you’re dreamer bulking.

Dirty Bulking

Bulking up by eating foods that aren’t held in high regard—oftentimes junk food. Sometimes this will be a dreamer bulk… but sometimes not! The amount of fat you gain while dirty bulking will depend on how quickly you’re gaining weight, how well you’re sleeping, how active you are, how high your body fat percentage is, how good your genetics are, and more. Junk food is just one of many factors, so dirty bulks can sometimes be quite lean.

Clean Bulking

Bulking up by eating only exalted foods. As with dirty bulking, this doesn’t always affect how lean your gains are, but rather how righteous your gains feel.


Losing fat while avoiding muscle loss.

Bro Split

Separate workout days for separate body parts. The most typical bro split is the triple split, where Monday is chest day, Wednesday is back day, and Friday is leg day. Some people look down on this style of training because 48 hours after stimulating a muscle, all growth stops. This means that on a bro split, your muscles would only be growing 29% of the time. (With the Bombshell program your muscles will be growing 86% of the time.) Training your muscle groups more frequently is also better for improving coordination and athleticism. It’s worth noting that bro splits are not ineffective, though, just not optimal.

Two Reps In The Tank

This is where you stop your set a rep or two shy of failure, ensuring that your technique is always good, that you’ll be able to lift heavy again next set, and that you’ll recover in time for your next workout.

Grinder Rep

When you ignore the “two reps in the tank” concept and try your darndest to push the weight up through a combination of effort, involuntary grunting, and facial strain.


The heaviest weight you can lift for one repetition. This is a good way of comparing strength, especially in the sport of powerlifting. (Beginners usually won’t know their 1RM because they don’t lift in the very low rep ranges yet.)


short for macronutrients, which bodybuilders will often keep track of. The four macronutrients are protein, carbs, fat and alcohol. Protein and carbs have 4 calories per gram, alcohol has 7, and fat has 9.

Training Terms


This is the movement you’ll be doing. There will be a dumbbell version listed underneath. (Both versions will be explained in the video.)

Exercise Cues

These are the bulleted notes directly under the exercise name. First watch the video of Marco teaching the lift, then, when you’re working out, use these cues as reminders of what you should be focusing on.


This is one full execution of the exercise movement—the lifting and lowering of the weight. If you need to do 10 repetitions, you will need to lift and lower the weight 10 times.


A set is a group of repetitions done without pause. You should always aim to be within 2 reps of what’s listed on the sheet. So if the sheet says 10 reps, it’s okay to do 8 reps with a heavier weight or 12 reps with a lighter weight.


When you’re done the set, rest for the time listed. However, feel free to rest longer if you need to. When training for cardiovascular fitness it’s best to use short rest times to keep your heart rate up. When trying to gain muscle though, strength must be prioritized, and it takes rest in order to get your strength back. This is why the workout sheets have the plus sign (+) next to the rest times.

Circuits A, B, C (and sometimes D):

The lifts are grouped into pairs that should be performed in an alternating fashion. For example, the first circuit of Phase 0 consists of doing 2 sets of dumbbell sumo deadlifts and 2 sets of push-ups. You would do the circuit like so:

Exercise 1, Set 1: 10 reps of the dumbbell sumo deadlift
Exercise 2, Set 1: 10 push-ups
Exercise 1, Set 2: 10 reps of the dumbbell sumo deadlift
Exercise 2, Set 2: 10 push-ups
Move on to Circuit B

The exercises in each circuit are complementary to each other, allowing each muscle group to get plenty of rest. This won’t have a big impact on how much muscle you’ll build, but they’ll give your cardiovascular system a greater stimulus and allow you to lift more in a shorter period of time. There are some secondary benefits to this as well, such as tiring antagonist muscles.
Since performing exercises in circuits won’t much affect your muscle growth, we consider them optional. If your gym is crazy busy or if you’re using adjustable dumbbells at home, you can just do “straight sets” (no circuits) with double the amount of rest time:

Set 1: 10 reps of the dumbbell sumo deadlift
Rest time x 2
Set 2: 10 reps of the dumbell sumo deadlift
Move onto push-ups

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