How To Properly Track Bodybuilding/Fitness Progress & Measure Body Fat Percentage

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
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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!

7 Min Giant Set Home Natural Bodybuilding Abs Workout

Today I am going to share with you a natural bodybuilding abs workout that you can do from the comfort of your home with no equipment needed. This abs routine is guaranteed to put a nice burn on your abs!

This workout will not take too long….2 giant sets will take you around 7 minutes.

Remember that with a giant set you will do all exercises with no rest in between sets. You will only rest 60 seconds in between sets. You can do 2-3 sets of these giant sets for best results. This workout will consist of the following exercises:

7 Min Giant Set Home Natural Bodybuilding Abs Workout

Giant Set:

1) Modified V-Ups 2-3 sets of maximum amount of reps you can do with good form (no rest)

2) Knee-Ins 2-3 sets of maximum amount of reps you can do with good form (no rest)

3) Lying Leg Raise+Crunch: 2-3 sets of maximum amount of reps you can do with good form (no rest)

4) Bicycle Crunches 2-3 sets of maximum amount of reps you can do with good form (no rest)

5) Crunches 2-3 sets of maximum amount of reps you can do with good form (60 sec rest)

This is 1 set. Rest 60 seconds and repeat 1-2 more times.

Abs Workout Notes:
1) Train the abs twice to three times a week.

2) You can do your abs on rest days or with other body parts as specified on the training splits below:

Bodybuilding Training Split #1:

Day 1: Chest, Biceps, Triceps

Day 2: Legs

Day 3: Back, Shoulders, Abs

Day 4: Rest

Day 5: Start Over

Bodybuilding Training Split #2:

Day 1: Chest, Back, Abs

Day 2: Legs

Day 3: Shoulders, Biceps, Triceps

Day 4: Rest

Day 5: Start Over

Bodybuilding Training Split #3:

Day 1: Chest, Shoulders, Triceps

Day 2: Legs

Day 3: Back, Biceps, Abs

Day 4: Rest

Day 5: Start Over

3) If you have more time, you can add a third set. That would make the routine around 10-15 minutes in length.

Keep in mind that in order to be able to see your abs, you need to use a diet that will allow you to burn the extra body fat that is covering them. You can do all of the crunches in the world and you will not be able to see your abs if your abdomen is covered by a thick layer of fat. Following a good nutrition program that consists of 40-45% Carbs, 40-35% Protein, 20% Good Fats will put you on the right path to losing body fat (click here for more information on the Characteristics of a Good Diet). For a sample diet program please take a look at this one below:

Sample Natural Bodybuilding Fat Loss/Muscle Building Programs

Note: For guys that are at around 12% body fat and women at 15% you can implement a carbohydrate cycling protocol that enables you to go down to the lower body fat levels. For more information on carb cycling, take a look at this article: Get Lean with Carb Cycling.

Note 2: If you are looking for a supplement that helps to control your appetite and increases your energy, you may want to consider trying the Lean Body Fat Burner.

If you liked this video blog, remember to hit the LIKE button below and also feel free to share it with your friends via GOOGLE PLUS, TWITTER and/or FACEBOOK.

Also, don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube Channel:

http://www.youtube.com/user/HugoRiveraFitness

And if you have not done so already, sign up to my FREE Weekly Newsletter and by doing so, you get a FREE E-book that shows you How to Gain Muscle as You Get Your Abs.

Does Fat Loss Become Harder as Your Body Fat Percentage Gets Lower?

Question: Is there a difference between going from overweight or obese to normal weight, and going from normal weight to single digit body fat? How about going from upper single digit body fat to contest shape? In other words, does fat loss become harder as your body fat percentage gets lower?

Answer: Fat loss definitely becomes more challenging as your body fat percentage gets lower. In a nutshell, the lower your body fat percentage, the more precise and strict your bodybuilding diet needs to be.

There is a huge difference between the three cases in question, and since I have been at every body fat level you can imagine, I certainly know about these differences. So to answer this question I will cover each case in detail:

Case #1 – Going from obese to normal weight: This is the easiest transformation by far. In this case, it is very easy for the body to start dropping body fat since there is so much of it that once any sort of diet starts, the body responds by burning the excess fat. At this level, any sort of diet that provides some sort of caloric restriction will drop weight. However, since we are interested in just losing fat weight while preserving or gaining lean muscle, the best results happen when a sound program consisting of multiple meals (5-6) spread out every three hours and consisting of complex, low glycemic carbohydrates (like brown rice, oatmeal, yams), vegetables (broccoli, green beans), lean proteins (like chicken, tuna, turkey, egg whites), and good fats (like the ones found in salmon, olive oil, flax seed oil) is implemented. Take 1 serving of each of those nutrients that I just mentioned to make up each meal, drink plenty of water (0.66 times your body weight in ounces), weight train with weights 3 times a week (like Mon/Wed/Fri), do cardio the other 3 times (Tue, Thur, Sat) and voila, you will lose weight.

Case #2 – Going from normal weight to single body fat: To do this, you still implement the same strategy as the one for case 1 but now you need to be a bit more precise. While you can get away with portion control by using the “eye method” if you belong to case #1, for case #2 you need a bit more precision so measuring your food intake with a scale and measuring cups is a must. In addition, more frequent weight training (4-5 times a week) and more frequent cardio (5-6 times a week for 30-45 minutes) will be needed. In terms of nutrient intake, one needs to pay closer attention to the types of carbohydrates consumed, and depending on how carbohydrate sensitive the person is, the last meal may or may not have any starchy carbs. In addition, it is of utmost importance that except for EFAs, all other fats be minimized.

Case #3 – Going from upper single digit body fat to contest ready: This case is really what separates the men from the boys and the women from the girls. Except in the exceptional case of those with great genetics, most of us who wish to get contest ready will need to restrict carbohydrates significantly and also practice carbohydrate cycling (having 3 days of low carb followed by 1 day of higher carbs). Precision of nutrient intake is imperative in this case and more frequent training will be needed. Weight training routines that go 3 days on, one day off or 4 days on, one day off work best. In addition, some aerobics for most of us will be necessary. Missing meals as well as not measuring your food are not options and you will also have to restrict any sort of artificial sweetener as well as watch your sodium. Water intake also needs to be in 1-2 gallons per day. Getting into contest ready condition is no walk in the park and will require the most Spartan discipline to get through it. The nutrition required may be considered extreme by some people but that is what it will take to achieve this level of leanness. Also, the use of supplements like glutamine, creatine, fish oils, extra vitamin c, and a great multiple vitamin formula are a must. Also, I should add that I have never been able to get through a contest prep without some extra caffeine to help me get through the day as contest prep dieting is extreme!

In a nutshell, I always say that the more extreme you want to look, the more extreme your bodybuilding lifestyle will need to become.

.

9 Reasons Women Should Not Be Scared Of Gaining Muscle

Today I want to dispel more women training myths
by sharing with you this article from Registered Nurse and
Dietician Flavia Delmonte who shares 9 reasons why women should
not be scared of gaining muscle:

9 Reasons Women Should Not Be Scared Of Gaining Muscle
By Flavia Del Monte, RN & creator of The Curvalicious Workout

I am a huge advocate for gaining muscle. I love the way it looks on
a female. For years I wanted people to notice that I worked out.
Finally, after losing enough fat off my entire body, my muscle
definition became visible and people noticed!

Muscle is not just aesthetically pleasing, it is EXTREMELY
important for a myriad of health benefits.

Flavia Del Monte's Curvalicious Workout Sytem

Here are nine reasons women should not be afraid of gaining muscle:

1) Muscle helps you live longer! According to Tufts University, the
more muscle mass you have, the greater your longevity potential.
Muscle is the number one biomarker for longevity. It is a better
predictor than total cholesterol or blood pressure!

2) The more muscle you have the more calories you burn at rest. It is
estimated that for every pound of muscle you gain you burn an extra
50 calories a day. Add 5 pounds of muscle and you’ll burn an extra
1,750 calories a week! That’s the equivalent of going on the
treadmill five times a week for 40 minutes!

3) Muscle makes life and everyday activities easier. The more muscle
you have, the more strength you have. Researchers at Tufts
University determined that strength is the number two predictor for
longevity!

4) Muscle improves body composition. According to world renowned
strength coach Charles Poliquin, for every kilo of lean muscle that
was gained, there was an equal loss of weight in body fat! Look at
this way, if gained 4 kg (8.8-lbs) of muscle during a 12 week
program, in the same 12 weeks you would drop 4 kg (8.8-lbs) of fat!
So if you started at 20% body fat and 60 kg (132-lbs) of bodyweight,
your body fat would now be 13%! These body composition changes will
make you look absolutely amazing and feel very empowered.

5) Muscle empowers women because of the new sense of strength and
power that muscle gives!

6) The more muscle you have the more insulin receptor sites you have,
and the more sensitive they will be. This means it’s easier to stay
leaner and keep the fat off!

7) Muscle builds stronger bones, preventing osteoporosis.

8) Muscle improves flexibility and balance

9) Muscle can improve the postural muscles to enhance your posture.

And most importantly, muscle makes you look great naked! Want a
sexier butt? Add some muscle, strip the fat and VOILA! Want your
waist to look tinier? Shape your shoulders and WOW! Want to make
your legs look longer? Strip some fat and add some muscle and
SHAZAM!

*Now that you understand why women should not be scared of gaining
muscle, here is what you need to know about muscle tissue. It can
do one of two things:*

A) Grow larger and/or stronger

B) Shrink and/or get weaker

So how do you gain lean, sexy and hard looking muscle safely?

*If you want to be toned, sexy and defined curves, don’t be afraid
of training with weights*

A desirable female physique is one that can only be achieved by
moving some serious iron in the weight room! But what about all the
talk about weight training making women big and bulky? First, it is
physiologically impossible for you as a woman to put on large
amounts of muscle mass; you’re body’s hormonal makeup is not one
that will allow you to do so. God never intended for women to look
like men (go figure), so he made the chemistry of each gender’s
respective bodies different. Regardless of how you train, how often
you train, how much protein you eat, etc, you’re not going to even
come close to the big, bulky physique of a female bodybuilder. It
will not happen. That look is only obtainable by one means: super hard
training, a spartan diet and steroids. Because their natural hormonal
profiles would never allow them to get that “big,” they resort to
changing their body’s chemistry through the use of drugs. Secondly,
if the right training method is chosen, the hypertrophic (growth)
response to resistance training can be even further reduced. This brings
us to our next point.

*If you want to be toned, sexy and defined curves, you should train
HEAVY with weights.*

Training with heavy loads and low volume (sets x reps) is the best
way to get hard and strong, but not big. Muscular hypertrophy is
generally a response to a high volume work output; therefore, by
keeping the sets and reps low with heavy training, you wont have to
fear getting overly big (this really isn’t even an issue due to the
physiological reasons mentioned earlier). Why then is it commonly
recommended that women train with lighter loads? Well, there are a
couple reasons. First, there is the typical stereotype that women
are weak, fragile creatures who can’t handle anything more than
pushups on their knees and bicep curls with pink dumbbells.
Give me a break. Secondly, the belief that high-rep training
increases muscle tone is 100% myth.

Losing fat is the only thing that can reveal the status of your
“tone” and high rep training does very little for improving your
“tone”.

*If you want to be toned, sexy and defined curves, you should train
with compound, multi-joint movements.*

If you want to sport a hard body, you better start training heavy.
Big, compound movements such as the deadlift, squats ,presses, chin
ups and rows are superior to machine, isolation-type movements for
toning up your thighs, butt and upper body as they allow you to use
challenging weight while training a number of muscle groups
simultaneously. Another benefit obtained by performing multi-joint
compound movements is increased confidence. With strength comes
confidence.

Getting skinny and soft is the easiest task in the world – starve
yourself and avoid weights. But once you stop starving yourself all
the weight will come right back and you’ll be fat and soft. Not
exactly what we want!

Instead, tapering your calories down gradually (without doing
anything extreme), while adding metabolic resistance training
workouts to strip the fat to reveal your muscle tone and adding
heavier weights and lower reps will help you reveal a sexier,
athletic and fit body!

What is sexier to you, fit and athletic, or skinny and weak? If
you want the fit and athletic look then visit my website for my
complete Curvalicious Body Sculpting System which you can get
on SALE (1/2 OFF) before Friday at midnight (you will save $50!)

==> Check out the Curvalicious Program, and if you are interested,
you can get it on SALE (1/2 OFF) before Friday at midnight
and you will save $50!)

And if you order today you also get my Step by Step Abs Diet
e-book for FR E E which is the EXACT DIET I use to get ready
for photo shoots. Here is what the Abs Diet e-book contains:

1. You get to see EXACTLY how many calories I take, how
I manipulated them, and in what increments I dropped them.

2. You get to see my EXACT macros and how I manipulated my
carbs, proteins and fats as the weeks rolled along.

3. You’ll find one surprising food you MUST eliminate after a few
weeks to keep losing fat (it’s not fruit!)

4. You’ll see the the second surprising food you MUST eliminate
in the final few weeks to hit your goal (again, it’s NOT fruit).

5. You’ll see her EXACT cardio regime and how I gradually
added more minutes and more days in a step-by-step fashion.

I put all this in a simple e-book with lots of motivating
pictures and a super easy to follow format.

==> Get 1/2 Off Curvalicious (Save $50) & Get The Step-by-Step Abs Diet FR E E

Curvalicious Complete Package.

Metabolic Surge – A Complete Day-By-Day Rundown! (Nick Nilsson’s Natural Bodybuilding Program Review)

Since I have gotten over 100 email requests for a review of
Nick Nilsson’s “Metabolic Surge – Rapid Fat Loss” program,
and I have not had the time to put a proper review together
for you as I have been super busy on my end, I talked Nick
into helping me out by writing a summary of what his program
consists of. Nick, being the cool guy that he is, sat down
and put this together for me in less than 24 hours (thank you
Nick!).

With that said, here it’s an inside look at Nick Nilsson’s
“Metabolic Surge – Rapid Fat Loss” program. Nick is pulling
back the curtain to show you exactly what his program is
all about and how it works so you can see if this something
that might work for you. [Read more…]

1 Key Natural Bodybuilding Secret for Burning Stubborn Body Fat

I’ve been getting tons of emails with super positive feedback
on the content I have sent from Nick. Again, since this is the
time when a lot of you are looking for fast fat loss, I asked
Nick to please share something with me on that subject.

Here is the article that he put together on this which shares
some extremely interesting ideas that when applied simply
provide BIG RESULTS…

[Read more…]

Double Your Natural Bodybuilding Results From Just 1 Set

As promised yesterday here is another great article from
my friend and mad scientist Nick Nilsson. Got great feedback
from many of you who went ahead and started to implement
Nick’s crazy non stop technique for incinerating fat! Today,
I want to share with you a technique that Nick has which
is great not only for fat burning but for muscle building as
well! This technique will make you get way more results
in just 1 set!

 

While normal sets only work a select type and number
of muscle fibers, Nick’s Triple Add Set technique can
work EVERY muscle fiber you’ve got in a SINGLE SET!

[Read more…]

New Twist To An Old Trick That Burns Massive Amounts Of Fat

Since at this time of the year a vast majority of you are
looking for fat loss programs, I wanted to concentrate this
week on publishing some great articles from my friend Nick
Nilsson, who as usual, has a crazy program that will put those
fat cells to their knees!

 

If you don’t have a fat loss program to follow, definitely
this is a good one to try out!


[Read more…]

Aerobic Exercise Basics – Aerobics for Fat Loss

Aerobic exercise such as walking, riding a stationary bike, or running is a good way to accelerate the fat burning process, as long as it is not overdone and as long as it is used only in addition to a good weight training program. It should never be used as a substitute for weight training since it does not permanently increases your metabolism and since it does not has the ability to re-shape your body.

 

Fat Burning Zone

In order for aerobic exercise to be effective, it needs to be performed within the fat burning zone. The fat burning zone is the zone at which you are doing enough work to burn fat. Your pulse (how fast your heart is beating per minute) determines this zone.

The fat burning zone formula is the following:

[Read more…]

Women’s Fitness Topics and How To Use Natural Bodybuilding for Body Sculpting

In this article I discuss several women’s fitness topics and how to use natural bodybuilding for body sculpting. [Read more…]

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