In case you did not know about this, check out my YouTube show with Rodzilla (see playlist below) where we answer tons of frequently asked bodybuilding & fitness questions about training, nutrition, supplementation, rest/recovery, mindset and goal setting. Whether you are a man or a woman or your goals are to gain muscle or lose fat, this is the show for you. In addition, we also show some of our home workouts as well! Let us know what you think and feel free to comment below and submit your own questions!

 

rodzilla-hugo

This is what happens when you get too big. You stop to fit on a normal couch..LOL!

Powered by www.labrada-nutrition.com.

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Also be sure to check out our full workout routines below which you can get for as little as a $1.

(Over 1 million people worldwide have used these principles and routines with great success!)

Until next time, take care and train hard!

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In today’s natural bodybuilding video blog, I cover with my good friend Rodzilla what to eat before and after the workout (pre / post workout nutrition).

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For pre-workout meal: Rodzilla has a regular meal consisting of 60 grams of protein and 60 grams of carbs around 90 minutes before the workout. Right after the workout he has a whey isolate protein shake.

Some people actually eat very close to the workout as they can digest the food very quickly but for us, what works best is to leave 90 minutes to 2 hours before the time we eat and the workout.

I typically have a real meal between 90-120 minutes. I also have sweet potatoes or white potato along with a lean source of protein like chicken, turkey or fish or egg whites with a couple of real eggs. I make sure to consume 50 grams of protein. Carb wise I consume around 65 grams of carbs and 10 grams of good fats from either fish oils, eggs or almonds.

I may take either Super Charge of PE1 which are awesome pre-workout supplements. I save these for workouts like legs.

After the workout I have a Muscle Mass Gainer from Labrada Nutrition (3 scoops = 90 grams of carbs and 20 grams of protein) and mix that up with 1 scoop of Whey Isolate. The carbs of the Gainer are from maltodextrin which are fast released and the isolate of course is fast released protein.

(Check out the Labrada Mass Gainer and IsoleanPro here: http://www.labrada-nutrition.com)

90 minutes after my post workout meal I have a real meal consisting of 45 grams of protein and 45 grams of carbs.

What if you cannot afford whey isolate? Then in that case have either a protein blend or a lean protein like egg whites. You will still make great gains.

Hope that this bodybuilding tip helps. Please let me know what other tips you would like us to talk about.

Until next time, take care and train hard!

hugo_sign

 

 

 

In today’s natural bodybuilding video blog, I cover with my good friend Rodzilla the pros and cons of Smith Machine vs Free Weights Squats.

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Is it good to substitute all of your free weights squats with the smith machine version? That is the bodybuilding question that we are covering today. The answer is: this not a good idea.

Rodzilla for example, tore both of his knees with the smith machine. The reason for this is because he was only using the smith machine squat version. As a result, certain muscles that get activated with the free weight version were not being activated with the smith machine. This caused strength imbalances that resulted in the tearing of the knees.

I do believe that the smith machine squats are great but only when used in conjunction with free weight squats. And if there is any reason why you cannot do the squats with a bar on your back, a great alternative is to do them holding a dumbbell in each hand. You can also do front squats (squats with a bar on the front of the shoulders).

Best results from the squat of course come from the free weights. All of your leg muscles (quads, hamstrings, glutes and even the calves) get activated with the proper execution of the free weights squat. Remember that the body is designed to be in a 3-dimensional universe. Thus, when you perform free weight movements you will engage stabilizer muscles that you do not engage otherwise.

Also keep in mind that there is no need to go crazy with the weight. Use proper form at all times and concentrate on pushing with your leg muscles.

One last thing. Remember that if you are super strong on the smith machine that strength will not translate at 100% to the free weight version. However, if you are really strong on the free weight version then you will be super strong on the smith machine version (as this version is more easy.)

Hope that this bodybuilding tip helps. Please let me know what other tips you would like us to talk about.

Until next time, take care and train hard!

hugo_sign

 

 

 

In today’s natural bodybuilding video blog, Rodzilla and I cover how to perform a short 15 minute back workout routine designed to increase the width and thickness of your back. This is a fast paced bodybuilding workout that only uses cables and focuses on muscle tension and relatively high reps.

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Short 15 Min Natural Bodybuilding Back Workout Routine

This is a great natural bodybuilding weight training routine that you can do for the purposes of gaining muscle and losing fat.

Instructions: This is a fast paced workout, Only rest the amount of time that it takes for your partner to go through the set. If training alone, rest no more than 60 seconds.

For supersets there is no rest between the first and second exercise of a superset. Rest 60 seconds after the second exercise, before you start again with exercise #1.

Superset:
Wide Grip Pull-downs to Front 3 sets of 10-12 reps
Close Grip Pull-downs to Front (Narrow Grip) 3 sets of 10-12 reps

Superset:
Close Grip Pull-downs to Front (Reverse Grip) 3 sets of 10-12 reps
Low Pulley Rows 3 sets of 10-12 reps

This routine should take you 15 minutes. Try it out and let me know what you think.

Until next time, take care and train hard!

hugo_sign

 

 

 

In today’s natural bodybuilding video blog, Rodzilla and I cover how to perform a short 15 minute triceps workout.

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Short 15 Min Natural Bodybuilding Triceps Workout

In this workout a combination of cable exercises and dumbbells are used. For the cable exercises we use repetitions from 10-15 reps and for the dumbbell exercises we go a bit heavier performing between 8-12 reps.

This is a great natural bodybuilding weight training routine that you can do for the purposes of gaining muscle and losing fat.

Instructions: This is a fast paced workout, Only rest the amount of time that it takes for your partner to go through the set. If training alone, rest no more than 60 seconds.

For supersets there is no rest between the first and second exercise of a superset. Rest 60 seconds after the second exercise, before you start again with exercise #1.

Superset:
Triceps Pushdowns (Straight Bar) 3 sets of 10-15 reps
Triceps Pushdowns (V-Bar) 3 sets of 10-15 reps (60 sec rest)

Superset:
Reverse Grip Triceps Kickbacks 3 sets of 8-12 reps
Neutral Grip Triceps Kickbacks 3 sets of 8-12 reps (60 sec rest)

This routine should take you 15 minutes. Try it out and let me know what you think.

Until next time, take care and train hard!

hugo_sign

 

 

 

In today’s natural bodybuilding video blog, I cover with my good friend Rodzilla how to build up strength to do pull-ups.

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How To Build Up Strength To Do Pull-Ups With Hugo & Rodzilla

A lot of people stay away from pull-ups as they cannot do them at the beginning. In fact, I remember when I was an overwight little boy and at physical education class the coach would stick me at the pull-up bar and I would just hang there clueless as there was no way I could pull myself up.

There are many ways however that you can train yourself in order to have the strength to do the pull-ups.

If You Are Just Getting Started With Bodybuilding Training
In this case, I suggest starting out with the pull-down machine. The pull-down machine simulates the pull-up movement. It is not as effective of course since with the pull-up you are moving your body through space. Therefore, you need to activate many more muscle fibers during the pull-up than you need to with the pull-downs. I suggest doing:

Wide Grip Pull-downs
Close Reverse Grip Pull-downs
Neutral Grip Pull-downs

Spend 6 months working with the pull-down machine in order to learn how to activate your back muscles and grow strength in this area.

What To Do After 6 Months Of Doing Pull-Downs?
At this point you should be able to do at least 1 pull-up and thus, you can graduate to the smith machine. You will set the smith machine bar at the highest level and then you will use your feet in order to self spot yourself once you cannot perform any more pull-up repetitions on your own. In this manner, you will be able to do as many pull-ups as you want and you will be able to self-regulate how much assistance to give yourself.

What About The Chin Assist (Or Gravitron) Machine?
If the gym has this machine, instead of starting with the pull-down I would start with this machine instead as there is nothing better than training the body to move through space from the beginning. The way that this machine works is that you can select the amount of weight that will assist you on the way up. As you get stronger, you will use less weight to perform your repetitions. This is the best way to learn how to do pull-ups.

Conclusion
Be patient and consistent. If you persevere, your pull-up strength will grow and your back muscles as well. In my opinion, pull-ups are the king of back exercises. Learn how to do these and a wide, thick and powerful back will be yours in no time.

I hope that you found this video blog useful.

Until next time, take care and train hard!

In today’s natural bodybuilding video blog, Rodzilla and I cover how to perform a short 15 minute biceps workout.

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Short 15 Min Natural Bodybuilding Biceps Workout

In this workout a combination of cable exercises and dumbbells are used. For the cable exercises we use repetitions from 8-15 reps and for the dumbbell exercises we go a bit heavier performing between 6-8 reps.

This is a great natural bodybuilding weight training routine that you can do for the purposes of gaining muscle and losing fat.

Instructions: This is a fast paced workout, Only rest the amount of time that it takes for your partner to go through the set. If training alone, rest no more than 60 seconds.

For supersets there is no rest between the first and second exercise of a superset. Rest 60 seconds after the second exercise, before you start again with exercise #1.

Superset:
Lying Cable Curls 3 sets of 12-15 reps
Lying Cable Hammer Curls 3 sets of 8-10 reps (60 sec)

Superset:
One Arm DB Preacher Curls 3 sets of 6-8 reps
Dumbbell Front Raises 3 sets of 6-8 reps (60 sec)

This routine should take you 15 minutes. Try it out and let me know what you think.

Until next time, take care and train hard!

hugo_sign

 

 

 

In today’s natural bodybuilding video blog, I cover how to properly track bodybuilding/fitness progress & measure body fat percentage.

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The Best Way To Track Bodybuilding and Fitness Progress

I cannot count the amount of people that come to me frustrated because the number on the scale does not move regardless of best efforts. Now, when I ask about how they are tracking progress the answer is always the same….only the scale is being used to track it.

Now, keep in mind than when you do a proper bodybuilding/bodysculpting program you WILL gain muscle weight at the same time that you lose fat. Thus, you can have a week where 2 lbs of fat are lost and 2 lbs of muscle are gained. In this case the scale will not move BUT you are progressing wonderfully!

Unfortunately, if you do not measure your progress correctly you will not be able to notice how well you are doing. That is why I decided to cover this topic in detail and show you how to track your bodybuilding progress correctly. With that said, here is how to keep proper track of your fitness progress:

1) Keep a spreadsheet where you can write down your results. Only track results every 2 weeks. If 6 weeks out from competition or photoshoot then you can do weekly. Use a tape measure to see what your measurements look like.

Use Excel Spreadsheet here:
http://www.hugorivera.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Progress-Spreadsheet.xlsx

2) Use a scale that allows you to see your weight and also calculate body fat percentage. Be sure to perform your weigh in and body fat test first thing in the morning, on an empty stomach, after going to the bathroom. Also take off all your clothing and jewelry as well in order to ensure the most accurate results. Since in the morning you will be slightly dehydrated, you may get worst case scenario results.

By the way, to get my awesome scale please go to the link below and be sure to enter the following discount code for over 59% off! In this manner, the scale will cost less than a good tub of protein powder.

More than 59% off
Original Price $169.99
Final cost $69.00 and free U.S. shipping

CODE: HR4SCALE

Link to check out the scale:
http://bit.ly/1Aedyrd

3) For double checking your body fat measurements you can use a pair of accu-measure calipers. Just doing the 1 site measurement that the caliper instructions instruct is good enough, If you have over 30 lbs to lose, you can leave the calipers for later. If competing, I recommend taking multiple caliper readings to see where you are holding the most body fat and to keep track of how each body part is progressing.

Link: http://www.accu-measure.com/

4) Take bi-weekly pictures or weekly if at 6 weeks out from contest or photoshoot. Use either your android or iphone device or have someone else take them. Take pictures under the same poses and conditions each time. Front, Back, Side. You can also do a video journal as well. You can copy and paste the pictures into the excel sheet.

5) Be sure to track your training and diet using a training/nutrition journal. That way you can see what is working and what is not and it is easier to trouble shoot your program if you are not progressing the way that you should. You can check out my journals, which also include top notch goal setting, training, diet and supplements information here:

Amazon.com
Journal For Ladies: http://amzn.to/1NG8p4k
Journal For Guys: http://amzn.to/199ZNmY

If you prefer brick and mortar stores, Barnes and Noble is fully stocked with them.

Journal for Ladies: http://bit.ly/19crc82
Journal For Guys: http://bit.ly/18ce8ON

Final Notes:

+Be sure to take your measurements at the same time each 2 weeks for best results.
+Remember that the best time is first thing in the morning after going to the bathroom on an empty stomach.
+If you have more than 30 lbs to lose, no need for caliper readings yet.

I hope that you found this video blog useful.

Until next time, take care and train hard!

In today’s natural bodybuilding video blog, Rodzilla and I cover what gets us motivated to stay on our bodybuilding and fitness programs. What motivates you?

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StartingNewYear

 

Another amazing year has come to an end! I want to take this opportunity to wish you an incredible new year full of blessings, health, success and happiness! I also wanted to personally thank you all for your support throughout the years. Without you, there would be no purpose to what I do.

 

I hope that this past year was a great year for you and that you accomplished many of your goals. Looking back, this past year was a year of many challenges for me, but by staying focused on my goals, being persistent and looking for solutions, rather than excuses, I was able to come ahead and meet (and even surpass) all of my main goals for the year.

 

As we start this year I want you to know that the road to achieving your goals will most likely not be a problem free one. However, you need to stay focused on what you want and fight for it. Whether it is to re-shape your physique, better your relationships or improve your finances, the key thing is to analyze the things that you want to accomplish this year, set goals, create an action plan and most importantly: TAKE ACTION! WITHOUT ACTION there is NO REACTION!

 

You also need to know that in life, you have to learn how to take risks. I am not saying to be careless, but what I am saying is that in order to get where you want to be, sometimes you have to make decisions that will take you out of your comfort zone. Most people can accomplish incredible things if they have the confidence in themselves to come out of their comfort zones. French historian and novelist Andrew Malraux used to say that “Often the difference between a successful person and a failure is not one has better abilities or ideas, but the courage that one has to bet on one’s ideas, to take a calculated risk – and to act.” Do not treat life as if it goes on forever because it does not! Don’t be a spectator, be a most valuable player in the game of life!

 

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Ten Secrets for Making this New Year a Spectacular One!

 

So for this new year I want you to:

 

1-Figure out what are the top things that you want to accomplish and set some goals.

 

2-Have confidence in your ability to accomplish your goals because deep inside of you lies unlimited potential waiting to be unleashed.

 

3-Don’t listen to negative people who will put you down. There are many people who will do this out of jealousy, insecurity or whatever else. Know that these people DO NOT have your best interest at heart. Therefore, put the blinders on, keep reminding yourself that you can do this and keep moving forward no matter what! I have personally made a habit of making the impossible be possible so my suggestion is that you do the same.

 

4-Program your mindset to accomplish your goals as if your life depended on it. At the end of the day, the quality of your life certainly depends in your ability to accomplish the things that make you happy.

 

5-Create an action plan so that you can achieve these goals. And if you don’t know how to create one, look for reliable information and educate yourself so that you know how to get there! We live in the information age so today more than ever there are no excuses about not knowing how to accomplish something.

 

6-Make a list of the tasks that you will need to do on a daily basis in order to execute the action plan and check these tasks on a daily basis.

 

7-When obstacles come, immediately look for solutions and modify your action plan as needed.

 

8-Know that nothing great has ever being accomplished without plain hard work. Wake up every day with a smile and attack your goals aggressively! When obstacles come, laugh in their face as you know that you have the ability deep inside you to tackle them.

 

9-Don’t be afraid to fail. No successful person has reached success without some setbacks. No one is born knowing! It is these setbacks that teach us what not to do in the future. One of the main differences between successful people and unsuccessful ones is their ability to deal with setbacks. The great Thomas Edison used to say: ““I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” I personally do not believe in failure. To me failure only happens when you decide to never get back up. I rather die than let obstacles run me down. Thus, keep moving forward and know that there is no retreat, no surrender! There is only one possibility in my mind when I set a goal and that is to accomplish it!

 

10-As you reach success, help others along the way. I have noticed that nothing in life is accomplished alone. There are always helping hands that will come along your path. Be thankful for those who help you and make sure to be a helping hand to others as well. There is no better feeling in the world than the one experienced when you help someone else!

 

With this said, one of my main goals for this year is to help as many people as possible to accomplish their goals. Please take the 10 items I just listed for you to heart, and live by them!

“I challenge you to make your life a masterpiece. I challenge you to join the ranks of those people who live what they teach, who walk their talk.” -Tony Robbins

P.S. – FOR THOSE OF YOU LOOKING TO GAIN SOME SERIOUS MUSCLE IN THE NEW YEAR!

By the way, for those of you looking to gain some serious muscle in the new year, and who need a roadmap to help you accomplish this goal, please take a look at my friend’s program www.mi-40.com. This is by far the best new muscle building product I have seen come up in years! And for those of you who have not purchased yet, just for the month of January I will throw in a copy of my best selling Body Re-Engineering program (valued at $39.99) if you purchase MI-40. Body Re-Engineering contains 21 weeks worth of muscle building and fat blasting workouts! Following Body Re-Engineering after you follow the MI-40 program will give you unprecedented gains in muscle mass and strength! All you have to do is send me your receipt to hugo@hugorivera.net with the subject line: New Year Offer and I will personally send you your Body Re-Engineering system.

Get Ben Pakulski’s MI-40 Program Here:
http://www.hugorivera.net/go/freeworkouts

For my thoughts on Ben Pakulski’s MI-40 program go here:
http://www.hugorivera.net/ben-pakulski-mi40-natural-bodybuilding-system-review.html

 

P.P.S. – SOME MORE INSPIRATIONAL WORDS

I will leave you with some inspiring words, from the one and only Arnold Schwarzenegger on what he considers are the top 6 secrets to success!

Here is to an AWESOME YEAR!!!!

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