Saturday, January 23, 2010

French to English: Gym Equipment, Part 3

gym part 3
I can't blame people for abandoning their gym memberships.  Let's face it:  doing repetitive exercises over time is like eating spaghetti five days a week (which I used to do back in the days when I was a poor student).

But when spring draws to an end and we're feeling heady about the warm days of summer, two things  hit us:  wearing sleeveless shirts  and wondering if last year's bikini ought to be replaced by a one-piece bathing suit, complete with a pleated skirt running across the whole abdominal area.  We look at our arms in the mirror - swing them sideways and upwards and we don't like what we see.  Our abdominals are looking more like slack and wet dough instead of a 6-pack.  Oh me, oh my!

The solution:  head back to the gym!

Two of my favorite exercises are those that work the triceps and tone the abdominals.  I have a harder time with my biceps and have not been able to increase loads despite all these years of gym exercises.  The triceps machines, however, are a doozy!  Comparing the muscles in my forearms, I'd say my triceps are much stronger - and better toned - than my biceps.

And yet...

A few personal trainers have said that the triceps are one of the more difficult muscles for women to work on.  The word "triceps" means there are three heads  - or triceps brachii - long head, lateral head and medial head.

So why are women finding it difficult to work their triceps? The short answer:  estrogen.
The long answer:  it is caused by what science has called the gynoid pattern of fat distribution or women's tendency to store fat, giving them a pear shape.  Female fat is most obvious in the thighs, hips and triceps.  Males, on the other hand, who are not in shape, tend to have bodies that show an "apple" shape, so a lot of that unwanted excess flesh appears on their bellies.

I like the abdominal machines in my gym, reason why I've gravitated towards them instead of lying down and doing abs exercises sans machines.  Doing crunches are more manageable with equipment designed for certain movements, instead of sitting and lurching forward with your hands at the back of the head and your abs constricted - ouch!

Looking at this last series of French and English terms for gym equipment, you'll notice that the French terms are almost the same; the difference being the type of position adopted (indicated in brackets):  sitting, lying down, rotating, or adjustable.  I'll give you the abdominal machines first and then a handful of triceps machines:

appareil abdominal (poids libres)lying crunch - plate loaded
banc abdominal (incliné)sit-up machine
appareil abdominal (double action)dual seated crunch
appareil abdominal (couché)lying abdominal
appareil abdominal (rotation)abdominal rotation
banc abdominal (redressement)crunch board
appareil abdominal (assis)seated crunch
appareil pour triceps (indépendant)triceps isolator
appareil pour tricepstriceps pushdown
appareil pour triceps (vertical)overhead triceps
appui pour triceps (assis)triceps extension curl
banc pour tricepstriceps bench

I know there are women who don't like working with machines, so here's a youtube exercise for your triceps using dumb bells, courtesy of Curtis Penner.

No comments:

Post a Comment