What Are “Normal” Testosterone Levels and How To Increase Them If They Are Low?

CIMG1556In this article I talk about Testosterone Level Ranges, what is considered normal, and possible ways to increase them.

What is Testosterone and Why Do We Need Healthy Testosterone Levels?

As most of you fellow bodybuilders know, testosterone is the male hormone responsible for the development of the male sex and reproduction organs; in addition to also promoting male characteristics such as a deep voice, facial hair, increased levels of muscle mass, aggressiveness, confidence, and supports a healthy sex drive. Men’s testicles produce this hormone in large quantities while female’s ovaries produce some of it in very small quantities.

Low levels of this hormone create metabolic issues that have immediate and long-term consequences for the person suffering from a deficiency.

Maladies Of Low Testosterone Levels

Needless to say low levels of testosterone can cause a male to first and foremost lose his sex drive. Also energy levels will plummet as well as muscle mass and strength.

Even if you are giving it all you got in the gym and following your diet, you may find that getting a good pump at the gym is hard, and also that gaining muscle is becoming a very hard task to accomplish. Worst of all, fat loss seems harder than ever as well.

If you suffer from low testosterone your mood may also take a dive and you may often feel depressed. In addition to the above, the following are also maladies of low testosterone levels:

*Increased insulin resistance (which makes it hard to lose body fat as insulin levels will increase in the body due to the fact that the cells are not accepting this hormone efficiently).

* Constant fatigue and reduced zest for life.

* Depression, bad moods and aggressive behavior (something that oddly enough has been mistakenly blamed on high testosterone levels for years).

* Reduced mental capacity and even Alzheimer’s disease.

Age For Testosterone Level Decline:

At what age does this decline start happening? The time at which this decline in levels begins is still much debated amongst experts but recent research seems to indicate that it can begin as early as 25-30 years old. My advice to you is that if your sex drive is low, then you should have your levels checked because this is the most common symptom of low testosterone. A simple blood work will show you what your testosterone levels look like. Typically, this is not a test that the Doctor orders when you get your physical so you need to request it from your Doctor when you get your next physical.

What are the Normal Values for Testosterone Levels?

Normal values of testosterone levels for males: normal range of total testosterone for men is between 300 – 1200 nanograms per deciliters (ng/dl). Normal ranges for free testosterone (the actual active testosterone that your body can use) are: 8.7 – 25 picograms per milliliters (pg/ml).

Normal values of testosterone levels for women: normal range of total testosterone for women is between 15 – 70 nanograms per deciliters (ng/dl). Normal ranges for free testosterone (the actual active testosterone that your body can use) are: 0.5 – 5 picograms per milliliters (pg/ml).

Needless to say the closer to the upper level you are in both ranges the better.

What to Do If Your Test Shows Low Testosterone Levels?

If you come up with low testosterone levels in your test results, I would first try to use some natural alternatives in order to see if these can help you to restore your levels. The efficacy of some of these supplements is still under debate by some of the experts in the field, but in my opinion, before considering hormonal replacement therapy, I would explore all over the counter alternatives.

Also, I would like to mention that by increasing your hormonal levels you may experience some acne and slightly increased aggression. Finally, if you have a propensity for male pattern baldness and/or an increased prostate you should monitor these things if you still decide to use some of these products.

Some natural testosterone boosters that I really like are (not in any particular order):

Natural Testosterone Booster #1: ZMA – Relatively inexpensive, ZMA provides nutritional insurance against a deficiency of Zinc, Magnesium and vitamin B-6. A deficiency of zinc alone can dramatically lower your testosterone levels, so I feel it is a good idea to first and foremost make sure that the low levels do not come from a nutritional deficiency.

ZMA consists of Zinc Monomethionine Aspartate, Magnesium Aspartate and vitamin B-6. This all-natural product has been clinically proven to significantly increase anabolic hormone levels and muscle strength in trained athletes. Hard training athletes typically deplete the body from these essential minerals.

Studies have shown that supplementing with 30mg of Zinc and 450mg of Magnesium per day can elevate testosterone levels up to 30%.

Note:
Due to the fact that ZMA consists of two minerals and a vitamin B, teenagers can safely use this product

How to Use: Take a serving of ZMA prior to going to sleep. There is no need to cycle off this product.

 

Natural Testosterone Booster #2: Labrada Nutrition’s HumanoGrowth – This testosterone booster is composed of 2 ingredients that help to increase testosterone, growth hormone levels, lower cortisol, improve mood and maximize recovery as well as protein synthesis (ability of the body to turn the protein you eat into muscle):

a) Humanofort – a patented standardized embryo extract from Europe that has been shown to boost testosterone and growth hormone levels while reducing cortisol. It is rich in various growth factors that are good for hormonal production and general health as well. It even helps to improve the quality of your sleep!

b) Lean Muscle Accelerator (LMA) – a purified plasma protein that improves protein efficiency by up to 31% and promotes a positive nitrogen balance by up to 20%. In simple terms, this all means that you convert more of the protein that you eat into muscle. In addition, this plasma protein also helps your body to burn more fat for fuel instead of muscle tissue during periods of dieting.

How to Use: Take 4 capsules of HumanoGrowth prior to sleep. There is no need to cycle off this product.

For more information on HumanoGrowth click here: HumanoGrowth Information Page.

Note: Great news! If interested in HumanoGrowth, be sure to use the discount code Lee15 as Lee is running a wonderful special this week.

LeeBirthdaySpecial2016_V3

At What Age Should I Start Using Testosterone Boosters?

Since testsoterone levels begin to decline at 25, that is the age I would recommend you start checking your testosterone levels and start considering some testosterone boosting supplementation. Teenagers, in my opinion, should stay away from any supplement that has an effect on hormonal levels as there is no need to upset a teens delicate hormonal balance. However, there is no harm in teens using ZMA as these are just minerals that prevent a deficiency. Besides, teenagers produce approximately the equivalent of a 300 mg shot of testosterone per week anyway so there is no need to attempt to increase the production of testosterone in a system that is already producing at peak levels.

Do I Need to Take All Testosterone Boosters To Get Results?

Not at all. While I would recommend you to consider stacking all products if your testosterone levels are really low, if money is an issue you can get some ZMA in order to ensure that your low testosterone is not caused by a deficiency of those minerals. Then you can use HumanoGrowth if you have extra money.

Testosterone Levels Testing

I suggest that you re-check your testosterone levels after 12 weeks of using your testosterone boosters, getting proper rest and following a proper bodybuilding training/nutrition program that maximizes your hormonal output and keeps your cortisol levels in check. If your levels remain unchanged then I suggest that you talk to a well qualified endocrinologist so that you can look at what the cause for the low levels is and analyze what your options are.

More Information About Testosterone Levels, How to Increase Them, and What Is Causing Them To Go Down

Here is an incredibly informative resource that I found which discusses the subject in more depth and also gives solid information on the many reasons (such as estrogens in the plastic bottles of the water that you drink from* and even shampoos!) that are causing us guys to have lower testosterone levels at an earlier age! You cannot afford to skip this!

==> 3-Hidden Ingredients That Are Killing Your T-Levels & The 24-Hour Testosterone Fix

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How Guys Can Make A Successful Fitness Comeback!

comeback-male-2

There are many things that life can throw our way which may derail you from your fitness program: sickness, an injury, a life changing situation, a post contest rebound that de-motivated you, and many others. The good news is that no matter what circumstance got you away from your fitness program, you can always use your strong will to come back to it.

With that said, there are 3 mistakes that you need to avoid to make a successful comeback:

1) Don’t punish yourself for your current condition:

It is easy to feel bad and beat yourself over and over again for regressing and going back to a “Before Picture” condition. Yet, this is not productive. The best thing to do at this point is ACCEPT the fact that you are in whatever shape you are in and KNOW that with the plan you will implement the “After Picture” condition will be just around the corner.

 

2) Don’t embark into an overly ambitious program:

The worst thing you can do at this point is try to get back to the same program that you were doing before and use the same amount of weight that you used to lift. This is a rapid way to get excessively sore, and possibly injured as the joints need time to ease back into training. At the same time, you are opening yourself up to getting extremely frustrated as chances are that you cannot lift the same amount of weight that you used to do before. Remember, that at this point, the key is to not overwhelm your body with a complicated program that will send your cortisol hormone levels through the roof. Your comeback program should be one that focuses on getting you back into the swing of things, retraining your nervous system on how to activate its muscle fibers with each movement and getting your joints back into fighting condition.

3) Don’t embark into a fad diet:

Many girls who (and guys do this too) who get back after a layoff embark into a fad diet to speed-up the process. This is a sure way to fail as fad diets, like zero carb diets, cripple your thyroid levels and increase your cortisol levels. The end result is a lowered metabolic rate which means that it will be much easier for you to gain fat at a lower caloric range! And once your thyroid production is compromised it will take time to bring it back up to optimal levels.

 

How To Make a Successful Comeback

Now that we know what the 3 biggest mistakes to making a successful comeback are, here are my training and diet suggestions to making a successful comeback (please download the FREE 21 Day Program below):

21-day-program

Download Your 21-Day Bodybuilding Program for FREE << Click to Download (You also get our FREE Top Supplements That Actually Work Guide)

Successful Comeback Diet Guidelines:

Thus, ease back into a program where you are consuming a diet composed of 40% of its calories from protein, 40% from mainly complex carbs and 20% from good fats. This can be easily achieved by taking your approximate fat free mass (lean body mass = total bodyweight in pounds – approximate fat weight in pounds) and multiplying that number by 1. That gives you the total amount of carbs (in grams) that you need to consume per day. That also gives you the total amount of daily protein (in grams that you need). To calculate your good fats, simply multiply your lean body mass by 0.33.

So assuming a lean body mass of 150 lbs you are looking at 150 grams of carbs, 150 g of protein and 50 grams of good fats per day. That will give you the grams of fat that you need to consume each day. If you follow these simple formulas you will follow the perfect 40/40/20 diet plan suited to your body.

SAMPLE DIET for MEN:

• Meal 1: 1 cup of oatmeal with 1 packet of Meal Replacement Powder
• Meal 2: 3 rice cakes / Faye greek yogurt (1 cup) / 1 cup strawberries.
• Meal 3: 6 ounces (180 grams) of chicken measured cooked, 1 cup of rice (brown or white), 1/3 cup avocado, any combination of vegetables such as green beans, broccoli, onions, peppers, lettuce and tomatoes.
• Meal 4 (post workout meal): 1 packet of Meal Replacement Powder / 1 scoop of Power Carb:
• Meal 5: Wild Atlantic Salmon (130 grams), 300 grams of potatoes, any veggies (as above)

Optional Meal Before Bed: 1 cup of Greek Yogurt around 30 min before bed with 1 tablespoon of almond butter.

SAMPLE DIET for WOMEN:

• Meal 1: 3/4 cup of oatmeal with 1 packet of Meal Replacement Powder
• Meal 2: 3 rice cakes / Faye Greek yogurt (1 cup) / 1 cup strawberries.
• Meal 3: 4 ounces (120 grams) of chicken measured cooked, 1/2 cup of rice (brown or white), 1/4 cup avocado, any combination of vegetables such as green beans, broccoli, onions, peppers, lettuce and tomatoes.
• Meal 4 (post workout meal): 1 packet of Meal Replacement Powder / 1 scoop of Power Carb
• Meal 5: Wild Atlantic Salmon (85 grams), 150 grams of potatoes, any veggies (as above)
• Optional Meal Before Bed: 1 cup of Greek Yogurt around 30 min before bed with 1/2 tablespoon of almond butter

 

Additional Comeback Supplements:

One of the biggest complaints people have when they get back into a fitness program is muscle soreness and even joint soreness. However, there are some great natural supplements that can greatly help with your recovery making the process much more efficient while reducing soreness significantly. (Note: It is not essential to take these supplements in order to achieve success from this program. The key to success is the training and the diet. However, if you can add any of these supplements you will see a marked improvement in your recovery capacity and soreness levels.)

Download Your Top Supplements Guide for FREE << Click to Download

 

Additional Tips For Making a Permanent Comeback:

Be sure to track your progress properly.

Do not rely solely on the scale as the scale does not tell you how much muscle you have gained and how much fat you have lost. And remember, muscle weighs more than fat so if you gain 2 pounds of muscle and lose 2 pounds of fat in the same week, the scale will not move. However, your measurements should show an incredible amount of difference! Note: For more information on this subject, check out Cecile’s article on“Why The Scale Can Be Your Biggest Enemy.” Also, be sure to check out Hugo Rivera’s article on “Tracking Your Progress.

Be sure to lose no more than 2 pounds of fat per week.

Any more fat loss than that can compromise your ability to gain muscle. If you see that you are losing too fast and losing strength at the gym, increase your carbs and protein by 15 grams per day and the good fats by 3 grams. Remember that the goal here is to make a successful and permanent comeback. In order to do that, slow and steady wins the race. You need to convince your body that it is OK to burn off the extra fat while gaining new muscle. To do that, you must prevent the body from entering into emergency mode as when that happens, cortisol levels rise and the body begins to try and retain body fat while burning muscle. Therefore, be sure to not overt-rain and to follow the diet as I advised above.

 

Conclusion

So there you have it: all my tips on how to make a successful comeback. Just remember that like Rocky said “It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward; how much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!” So let’s access that inner strength ladies and make this transformation happen!

21-day-program

Download Your 21-Day Bodybuilding Program for FREE << Click to Download (You also get our FREE Top Supplements That Actually Work Guide)


About the Authors
CecileB

Cecile Bayeul is a Registered Nurse, International fitness model/author and natural female bodybuilding champion who beat anorexia by embarking into a fitness program. She believes that by embarking into a fitness program you can not only achieve any body that you want but you can take control of your life and take it anywhere you want! You can follow Cecile via her fan page: www.facebook.com/cecilebayeul, her twitter: www.twitter.com/cecilebayeul, her YouTube Channel: www.youtube.com/cecilebayeul or her personal site:

www.CecileBayeul.com

 

 

 


hugoHugo Rivera is an International best selling fitness author certified in personal training and nutrition with a computer engineering degree from the University of South Florida. Hugo is owner of www.hugorivera.net, an informational, free fitness and nutrition website. He is author of over 10 fitness books (with over a million copies sold) including his best sellers: Body Re-Engineering, The Body Sculpting Bible for Men, The Body Sculpting Bible for Women, the Weight Training Diary, and the Hardgainers Handbook of Bodybuilding. Today via his website HugoRivera.net, numerous articles, book publications, TV and radio appearances Hugo continues to educate the public on how to achieve the body of their dreams via the use of weight training exercise, good nutrition and correct supplementation. You can follow Hugo via:

YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/hugoriverafitness
Facebook: www.facebook.com/hugorivera.net
Google Plus: www.google.com/+HugoriveraNetnaturalbodybuilding
Twitter: www.twitter.com/hrfit
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/hugoriverafitness
BodySpace: http://bodyspace.bodybuilding.com/hrfit/

1 Powerful Bodybuilding Technique For Avoiding Muscle Building Plateaus

plateaus

The biggest problem that bodybuilders encounter is that while at first the gains of muscle mass come rather quickly, soon after they hit a plateau (a point where gains cease to come by). Sometimes it seems that no matter how hard they workout at the gym, the muscle mass just seems to remain the same. As a result, this causes frustration and leads most people to either give up, buy a whole bunch of supplements or even use anabolic steroids.

The good news is that this is the very reason I decided to write this report. I want to share with you a secret that I have found after years of trial and error of different training and nutrition strategies.

I have found that there is a way that you can accelerate your muscle mass gains and fat loss dramatically and prevent it from reaching the dreaded plateau. By applying this principle you will be able to fulfill your genetic potential as quickly as humanly possible.

Not only will bodybuilders double their results from each workout (and cut their supplement bill and training time dramatically), but they’ll also get to greatly accelerate results in terms of massive muscle gains, strength and fat loss.

But first a little bit about myself.

How I Got Started

My formal education background believe it or not is in Computer Engineering. I graduated from the University of South Florida back in 1998. So the question is: how did I end up from engineering to being a competitive bodybuilder and best selling fitness author?

Well, I actually used to be very overweight as I was growing up so at an early age I experienced the feelings of insecurity that come along with obesity as well as the scorn and ridicule from some people. Since I kept hearing that the reason for my weight problems was food and that I had to stop eating, I took the advice to heart being sick and tired of how I looked and felt.

So this resulted in me going anorexic at the age of 13 and losing a total of 70 pounds in less than a year. My family, very concerned about my health, took me to a nutritionist in an effort to put some sense in me and stop the anorexic cycle.

This nutritionist mentioned one thing that changed my outlook on dieting forever: “Eating food will not make you fat; only the abuse of the wrong sort of foods will.” After listening to that statement, it all seemed to make sense. I then began following the diet she gave me and started to study the effects of foods on the human physiology.

By the age of fifteen a girl that I really liked back then told me that I would look better if I had some muscle on me. She said that though I looked good, I was too skinny. Keep in mind that anorexia left me weighing a bit less than 100-lbs.

So I asked my mom to get me a muscle magazine, the May 1990 Muscle & Fitness (which I still have to this day) so that I could educate myself on the subject. After I saw an article called: “How To Get BIG” written by the one and only, Arnold Schwarzenegger, I was hooked! To me, Arnold just looked perfect so I chose him as the role model to follow. I also got inspired by the physiques of Lee Labrada, Shawn Ray, and Francis Benfatto who were competing extremely successfully back then. To me, all of these guys exemplified perfection, real works of art. They all ate 6 times a day and trained hard day in and day out.

So I simply started with following the training program and diet laid out by Arnold on his article. As I was so underweight and skinny at the time, even with Arnold’s training, which was pretty much overtraining, I still gained 40lbs during the summer. A proper six meal a day diet and regular training with me being very underweight really pushed on the muscle mass even if I did gain a little fat as well, but it was amazing to me and all my friends thought I was on steroids! Yet, I did not even have a clue of what steroids where at that time!

Come to think of it, I guess that I was on steroids due to the fact that I was a teenager back then producing tons of hormones (yes guys, if you are teenagers then you are on the most powerful stack of anabolic steroids; the one produced by your own body)! This, in conjunction with the fact that once I started to feed myself 6 times eating around 3,500-4,000 calories a day, made me grow beyond belief on a daily basis and I guess this is what got me really hooked and led me to become an avid natural bodybuilder.

After, gaining all that mass, I reached a plateau unfortunately; a sticking point I could not get past. As much as I loved Arnold I realized a natural bodybuilder like me could not keep up with the routines of professional bodybuilders who were taking drugs and so I took to reading countless books in my quest to find a perfect system.

The frustrating problem was that I started getting exposed to absolutely contradicting theories on how to best gain muscle and lose fat. Upset at the fact that no one could give me a straight answer I decided to take matters in my own hand and use myself as well as my training partner as guinea pigs in order to find out what worked. This was the first time I really knew that I was going to create my own system as I was going to test everything on myself, my training partner and friends in order to find out what worked and what didn’t so that I could then throw out the bad and keep the good.

I started my quest by recording everything I did down to the last detail. I’m quite analytical as a person, which is I guess why I became an engineer years later, but even early It showed as I read every book and article everywhere I could get my hands on. I was like a sponge for information, reading stuff from trainers from all over the world. I started to put together training routines and diet programs, and while some failed miserably some worked!

For instance, I will never forget what happened when I went from training 2-3 hours a day to training for 45 minutes. I went through a growth spurt again! So through endless training routines and diet combinations I started to really understand what worked and what didn’t for me and my training partners. I started finding principles and patterns of training that seemed to work on everyone I tried them on. Above all, the most exciting part of my discoveries was the fact that there was no necessity to stay all day at the gym in order to get results! Because I felt that not many people in the industry cared about trainees actually reaching their goals, I decided to create a web site and start conducting personal training during my college years in an effort to spread all of the knowledge that I had acquired.

Once I had dialed in the timing, frequency and the important details of training and nutrition cycling, that is when I created training routines that eliminated plateaus. It was at this point that I became passionate about sharing my knowledge with people as I fully understood I could help to double everyone’s results at the gym in half the time if they would employ my training and nutrition cycling principles.

Because I needed to put together a website in order to graduate from Engineering school (that was my Senior Project) that is how I started to post my first few fitness articles, and not much later became a best selling fitness author. Notice that it took me from the time I was 14 years old to after I graduated from college to learn all the secrets to muscle building and fat loss on my own. However, with this article, I am confident that I can save anyone from all the troubles that I went through.

Plateaus Don’t Need to Happen!

How many times have you heard that plateaus are inevitable? Well, it’s time to say goodbye to plateaus forever!

Typically, the people that make this statement are people who have been on the same routine for months to an end (or even years).

The thing to understand when it comes to plateaus is that they happen when:

1) Your training is not stimulating muscle growth because your body is absolutely used to it (thus, there is no stimulus to grow).

2) Your nutrition is off: meaning that you are not eating 5-6 times a day, and you are not consuming the amount of protein, carbohydrates, and fats that your body requires in order to make great gains.

The key thing to understand is that the body is a living organism that will always adapt to any stress that you put it through. Thus, when people start to train, they make great gains at first since the body is not used at all to the stress of weight training. As a result, rapid changes in the body occur. However, as time goes by, the gains slow down and unless you do something about it, progress will come to a sudden stop.

I went through many frustrating years of this until I found out that if you change routines around, you make more gains. However, it was only when I found out that if you periodize your program in a logical manner (by alternating between periods of high volume/ high reps/ fast paced training with periods of lower volume/heavier weight/slower training) that makes use of the body’s own adaptation mechanisms you will make incredible “steroid like” gains.

In order for the body to respond optimally, it cannot be trained in the same manner all the time. The best way to make the body respond is through the correct variation of exercises, volume (number of sets times number of reps), intensity (how heavy the weight is), and rest periods between sets.

Workout parameters are going to be determined by the phase of the program you are in. There are going to be three phases that we will be repeating over and over again. The first week will be an “Active Recovery Phase”. In this phase you will only train with weights twice a week on a full body routine before you start the next phase which will be called the “Loading Phase”. The “Loading Phase”, which is three weeks in duration, is going to be a high volume phase with short rest between sets. Training volume gradually increases over the course of the three weeks in order to stress the body almost to the point of overtraining.

Then the next three weeks are going to be a higher intensity/lower volume phase (heavier weights) with longer periods of rest between sets. This phase is called the “Growth Phase”, as volume is reduced but weights are increased in order to let the body catch up and super compensate (grow muscle size and strength).

Here is a sample 21 Day Routine that you can use to get you started on your road to making some serious gains:

21-day-program

Download Your 21-Day Bodybuilding Program for FREE << Click to Download (You also get my FREE Top Supplements That Work Guide)

Now, as you get even more advanced, you can manipulate even more variables, such as the speed at which you perform the repetitions, the training splits used and you can also use advanced techniques such as drop sets, partial reps, forced repetitions, and even varying the speed in which you perform your repetitions in order to keep stimulating muscle gains.

Again, the trick is to always follow a program that takes your body to the brink of overtraining and then backs off a bit in order to allow your body to catch up, recover and grow at an accelerated rate. Of course, in order to make great gains your nutrition has to be top notch. Training without the right nutrition will not provide you the results you are looking for since you will be stimulating muscle growth BUT you will not have the raw materials to build it. It is no different than having tons of contractors ready to build a skyscraper but there is no cement for them to use. So because of that, you need to fuel yourself correctly.

Diet Is As Important As Training!

Nutrition is what gives us the raw materials for recuperation, energy, and growth. Without a good diet, your dreams of achieving your ideal body will never be reached. I cannot even begin to tell you how many trainees sabotage great gym efforts by not following the proper nutrition plan.

In order to gain solid muscle you need to be eating 5-6 small meals a day (at least a breakfast, a lunch and a dinner with protein shakes in between). You also need to take in
1-1.5 grams of protein per pound of lean bodyweight. Protein is what gives you the raw materials for building the tissues in the body (including muscle of course).

In terms of good fats, you need around 1-2 teaspoons of fish oils and/or flax seed oil three times a day (1 for ladies and 2 for guys). To be honest, I take as much as 1 tablespoon of Carlson fish oils 3x/day. You can also have a serving of nuts (if you are not allergic to them) or 1-2 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil as well. The fact is that in order to gain muscle and lose fat properly you NEED good fats. Good fats provide you with the essential fatty acids that the body needs for brain function, energy production, joint tissue health, and hormonal production! If you eliminate fats from your diet completely, your muscle mass gains and fat loss will greatly suffer! So will brain function! Thus, you need good fats and these will make an incredible change in your health and appearance!

In terms of carbs, you do need good complex carbs for energy production. Slower metabolisms (on the average) can do 0.8-1 gram of carbs per lean body weight for 5 days
and 1.5 grams for 2 days. Hardgainers may need as much as 1.5-2 grams for 5 days and as much as 3 grams for 2 days.

(NOTE: For good sample diets check out the ones at the end of this article below.)

Sample Diets

Usually people associate the word diet with days of starvation and pain. However that is not the correct definition of a diet. The word diet refers to the food choices that we make on a daily basis. Even if you don’t think you that you are on a diet, guess what?! You already are following a diet. Whether you eat candy all day everyday, or oatmeal, that is your diet.

You Don’t Have to Starve When You Diet

A good bodybuilding diet needs to follow 3 rules:

1. It should favor smaller and frequent feedings throughout the day instead of smaller ones.

2. Every meal should have carbohydrates, protein and fat in the correct ratios: 40% carbs, 40% protein, 20 % good fats.

3. The calories should be cycled to prevent the metabolism from getting used to a certain caloric level.

While my article on Bodybuilding Nutrition Basics further elaborates on the reasons why the rules above need to be followed, in addition to a discussion on carbohydrates, proteins and fats, I’ll move now to present you with two examples of good bodybuilding diets.

Sample Bodybuilding Diet For Men

Meal 1 (7 AM)
1 cup of dry oats mixed with water
1 cup of egg beaters

Meal 2 (9 AM)
Meal replacement packet mixed with water or a protein powder (with around 40 grams of protein) mixed with 40 grams of carbs from cream of rice, grits, or oatmeal.

1 Tablespoon of Fish Oils (Carlson Fish Oil brand is best)

Meal 3 (12 Noon)
1 cup of brown rice, or medium sized baked potato, or 1 cup of oatmeal
2 cups of green beans, broccoli or any other desired vegetable
6-8 ounces of chicken, turkey, or lean fish

Meal 4 (3 PM)
Same as Meal 2

Meal 5 (6 PM)
1 cup of brown rice, or medium sized baked potato, or 1 cup of oatmeal
2 cups of green beans, broccoli or any other desired vegetable
6-8 ounces of chicken, turkey, or lean fish

Meal 6 (8 PM)
Same as Meal 2

Recommended Basic Bodybuilding Supplements For Men

(Essential to take)

Definitely make sure that you cover at least the basics of supplementation which are a Multiple Vitamin and Mineral formula, 3 grams of Vitamin C split in 3 equal servings throughout the day, 200mcg of Chromium Picolinate, and essential fatty acids coming from either fish oils, flaxseed oil or extra virgin olive oil. Also, for convenience purposes a good meal replacement or protein powder is a great way to add valuable calories and nutrients to your diet.

Performance Enhancing Supplementation

(Recommended for hard training bodybuilders who want to get the most out of their program}

In addition to those basic supplements, I would also recommend Creatine and Glutamine as these two supplements offer many of the same properties as anabolic steroids (such as increased recovery, increased strength, increased glycogen levels, enhanced immune system and higher nitrogen synthesis) without the side effects as they are not hormones.

Download Your Top Supplements Guide for FREE << Click to Download (If you already downloaded the 21-day program above, you will also get this document as well)

Sample Bodybuilding Diet For Women

Meal 1 (7 AM)
1/2 cup of dry oats mixed with water
1/2 cup of egg beaters

Meal 2 (9 AM)
1/2 Meal replacement packet mixed with water or a protein powder (with around 20 grams of protein) mixed with 20 grams of carbs from cream of rice, grits, or oatmeal.
1/2 Tablespoon of Fish Oils (Carlson Fish Oil brand is best)

Meal 3 (12 Noon)
1/2 cup of brown rice, or medium sized baked potato, or 1 cup of oatmeal
2 cups of green beans, broccoli or any other desired vegetable
6 ounces of chicken, turkey, or lean fish

Meal 4 (3 PM)
Same as Meal 2

Meal 5 (6 PM)
1/2 cup of brown rice, or medium sized baked potato, or 1 cup of oatmeal
2 cups of green beans, broccoli or any other desired vegetable
6 ounces of chicken, turkey, or lean fish

Meal 6 (8 PM)
Same as Meal 2

Recommended Basic Bodybuilding Supplements For Women

(Essential to take)

Definitely make sure that you cover at least the basics of supplementation which are a Multiple Vitamin and Mineral formula, 3 grams of Vitamin C split in 3 equal servings throughout the day, 200mcg of Chromium Picolinate, and essential fatty acids coming from either fish oils, flaxseed oil or extra virgin olive oil. Also, for convenience purposes a good meal replacement or protein powder is a great way to add valuable calories and nutrients to your diet.

Performance Enhancing Supplementation

(Recommended for hard training bodybuilders who want to get the most out of their program}

In addition to those basic supplements, I would also recommend Creatine and Glutamine as these two supplements offer many of the same properties as anabolic steroids (such as increased recovery, increased strength, increased glycogen levels, enhanced immune system and higher nitrogen synthesis) without the side effects as they are not hormones.

Download Your Top Supplements Guide for FREE << Click to Download (If you already downloaded the 21-day program above, you will also get this document as well)

Final Notes On Nutrition

You can experiment with various foods and also even substitute the protein shakes for real meals as well (though for most of you, protein shakes and meal replacements are more convenient). After 5 weeks of following this diet program, start adjusting your calories and cycling them as described in my Bodybuilding Nutrition Basics article.

Conclusion

Now you have a few tricks up your sleeve in order to add some pounds of solid muscle to your frame. Implement them and start to grow!!

Take care and train hard!

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About the Author

hugoHugo Rivera is an International best selling fitness author certified in personal training and nutrition with a computer engineering degree from the University of South Florida. Hugo is owner of www.hugorivera.net, an informational, free fitness and nutrition website. He is author of over 10 fitness books (with over a million copies sold) including his best sellers: Body Re-Engineering, The Body Sculpting Bible for Men, The Body Sculpting Bible for Women, the Weight Training Diary, and the Hardgainers Handbook of Bodybuilding. Today via his website HugoRivera.net, numerous articles, book publications, TV and radio appearances Hugo continues to educate the public on how to achieve the body of their dreams via the use of weight training exercise, good nutrition and correct supplementation. You can follow Hugo via:

YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/hugoriverafitness
Facebook: www.facebook.com/hugorivera.net
Google Plus: www.google.com/+HugoriveraNetnaturalbodybuilding
Twitter: www.twitter.com/hrfit
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/hugoriverafitness
BodySpace: http://bodyspace.bodybuilding.com/hrfit/

Natural Bodybuilding Workouts That Fix Disproportionate Muscle Growth

Disproportionate muscle growth, or having muscles on one side of the body grow more than on the other, is a normal problem in natural bodybuilding that beginners who are just getting started encounter. Listed below are my recommendations on how to deal with this problem, with sample natural bodybuilding routines on how to fix an uneven chest and shoulders.

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The first thing that I would do is check your form. When one is a beginner, the stronger side (typically the right one if one is right-handed though this is not always the case) tends to do more work than the other one resulting in disproportionate development.

My recommendations to fix this are:

1.Practice perfect form: By ensuring proper form not only you ensure that the targeted muscles are the ones doing the work but also that both sides are putting an equal amount of force as the movement is performed, thus preventing imbalances.

2.Concentrate on activating the muscles of the weak side: When performing the movement, really concentrate on using and squeezing the muscles of your weak side to move the weight. This extra concentration will ensure that your dominant side is not the one doing the work.

3.Perform extra sets of unilateral movements to only target the underdeveloped area: Doing a few extra sets that solely focus on your weak side will teach the body to better activate the muscle fibers of that side.

 

Sample Natural Bodybuilding Routines That Fix Disproportionate Muscle Growth
Listed below are a couple of examples of how you can set up a routine that will help you fix your imbalances.

Example #1: Chest Natural Bodybuilding Routine

Superset:

•Incline Bench Press 4 sets of 8-12 reps

•Unilateral Dumbbell Press 4 sets of 8-12 (Ensure that the dumbbell is light enough as you will need to balance yourself)

Superset:

•Chest Dips 3 sets of 8-12

•Unilateral Incline Flyes 3 sets of 8-12

Example #2: Shoulder Natural Bodybuilding Routine

Superset:

•Unilateral Lateral Raise 3 sets of 12-15

•Upright Rows 3 sets of 8-12

Superset:

•Bent Over Laterals 3 sets of 10-12

•Unilateral Shoulder Dumbbell Press 3 sets of 12-15

Routine Notes: Only rest 1 minute in between supersets and watch those lagging areas grow.

 

What If One Whole Side of the Body Is Visibly More Developed Than the Other One?

If one side of the body is visibly more developed than the other, as often happens to athletes who practice sports like bowling, where one side is used predominantly, then I would recommend dedicating whole workouts to exercising only the weak side.

The sample natural bodybuilding workouts below illustrate how to set up a unilateral bodybuilding routine that for example purposes is targeting the left side of the body (as the right side is the more developed one):

 

Workout (A) Chest/Back/Biceps/Triceps (Monday)

Workout (B) Delts/Thighs/Hamstrings/Calves (Tuesday)

Off (Wednesday)

Workout (C) Chest/Back/Biceps/Triceps (Thursday)

Workout (D) Delts/Thighs/Hamstrings/Calves (Friday)

Off (Weekend)

 

Workouts (A) and (B) train both sides of the body equally while Workouts (C) and (D) should just consist of unilateral movements for the left side only. See the sample unilateral workouts below:

 

Workout (C)

•Unilateral Incline Dumbbell Press 4 sets of 8-12 reps

•Unilateral Flat Dumbbell Press 4 sets of 8-12 reps

•Unilateral Pulldown (use a pulley) 4 sets of 8-12 reps

•Unilateral Dumbbell Row 4 sets of 8-12 reps

•Concentration Curl 3 sets of 8-12 reps

•Hammer Curl 3 sets of 8-12 reps

•Triceps Pushdown (Use Pulley; Palm of hand facing down) 3 sets of 8-12 reps

•Overhead Dumbbell Triceps Extension (left arm only) 3 sets of 8-12 reps

 

Workout (D)

•Unilateral Shoulder Press 3 sets of 8-12 reps

•Unilateral Rear Delt Machine 3 sets of 8-12 reps

•Unilateral Lateral Raise 2 sets of 8-12 reps

•Lunges (left side only) 4 sets of 8-12 reps

•Unilateral Leg Press (left side only) 3 sets of 8-12 reps

•Unilateral Leg Extensions 2 sets of 8-12 reps

•Unilateral Leg Curls 4 sets of 8-12 reps

•Unilateral Calf Press 3 sets of 8-12 reps

Workout Notes: Only rest 1 minute in between sets.

I hope that this gets your questions on uneven muscle growth answered!

Take care and train hard!

Until next time, take care and train hard!

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Natural Bodybuilding FAQ: Is Fruit Juice The Best Drink For Hydration & Workout Performance?

Natural Bodybuilding Question: Is fruit juice the best drink for hydration & bodybuilding workout performance?

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Answer: The short answer is NO. The reason for that is the following: unless you are a skinny hardgainer that is having a lot of issues gaining muscle, fruit juice is just a whole bunch of sugar calories. For example, 8 ounces of grape juice yields approximately 40 grams of simple carbs in the form of sugar. Caloric wise, that comes out to 160 calories. Now, imagine if grape juice is someone’s preferred form of drink for staying hydrated. If that is the case, assuming ten 8-ounce glasses a day, we are looking at 1,600 calories a day!

On top of that, we are not talking about the natural fresh squeezed variety. Big difference with the store variety as the sugar content of the store juice is way higher than the one obtained by squeezing a fruit.

The best way to stay hydrated is to drink spring water. Keep a water bottle with you at all times. Drink .66 x your bodyweight (measured in pounds) in ounces of water each day. So for example, if you are 200-lbs, be sure to drink 132 ounces of water each day.

store_powercarb_bigNow if we are talking about staying hydrated throughout the workout, water again is the best bet. However, if you can afford it, there is a product called PowerCarb from www.labrada-nutrition.com that helps tremendously and you can mix this with your water in order to achieve better hydration and workout performance. I mix it up with my water and 3 scoops of BCAAs. Powercarb is a complex carb whose molecular weight has been manipulated in order to allow for fast absorption into the bloodstream (faster than even glucose). One scoop has 20 grams of carbs and it has the right amount of electrolytes (meaning potassium and sodium) in order to better hydrate you. I also take one tablet of potassium as well. I put in between 20-25 ounces of spring water per scoop of Powercarb. The BCAAs turn this hydration drink into a powerful recovery drink. You can also put creatine as well into this drink. I personally take 2.5 grams of creatine before the workout and mix another 2.5 grams with this drink as I consume it during the workout (I finish my last sip by the time I am done).

So in conclusion, for hydration purposes, I use spring water throughout the day and 1 scoop of PowerCarb + 3 scoops of BCAAs + 1 Potassium table during the workouts.

I hope this helps!

Until next time, take care and train hard!

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Teenage Bodybuilding Supplements: The Secrets Behind Explosive Muscle Mass

When it comes to gaining lean muscle mass, most people (especially teenagers who are just getting started) think that bodybuilding supplements are the most important part of the equation. However, this could not be any further from the truth. Supplements are just additions to an already good nutrition and training program. Besides determination, nutrition and training are the most important components of a bodybuilding program along with rest and recovery next to them. Once all of those aspects of your program are maximized, then you can start thinking of adding supplements to your program.

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Please understand that supplements do not make up for improper training, or lack thereof, or a low quality diet. Supplements are good because they prevent us from getting any nutritional deficiencies. The increased activity levels from your new exercise program will make your body have greater demands for vitamins and minerals, which will increase the probability of you suffering a deficiency without supplementation. Even a slight nutrient deficiency can sabotage muscle growth.

Can’t we get all the nutrients we need from food alone? We cannot rely solely on food nowadays to provide us with all the vitamins and minerals that our body needs because the processing of foods before they get to the supermarket, cooking, air, and even light have already robbed your foods of most of the vitamins that they have to offer. If you are deficient in one or more nutrients your body may not be able to build muscle and burn fat properly. In addition, because as you will soon find out, bodybuilding nutrition requires several feedings per day, some supplements can make it more convenient for us to accomplish that.

As a teenager who practices bodybuilding, I would focus my bodybuilding supplements program on:

  • A good set of multiple vitamins and minerals to avoid any nutritional deficiencies.
  • A good protein powder to take in between real meals so that it is easier and more convenient for you to increase your protein to the levels that you need. A good tub of high quality protein like Pro V60 will do the trick. If you need to gain weight however because you are a hardgainer (a person with a fast metabolism who has issues gaining weight) then I would go for a high quality weight gainer that is low in sugars and that has a variety of fast released and slow released proteins like Lean Body Mass 60.
  • A couple of tablespoons of good fats such as flax oil in order to cover your essential fatty acids needs. You can add these to your shakes.

I would save the creatine, and other more advanced supplements, for later on in your bodybuilding journey, once you have achieved some pretty solid bodybuilding gains.

Definitely, stay away from any testosterone boosting supplementation. Right now (since you are a teenager) your body naturally produces a ton of anabolic steroids (testosterone and growth hormone mainly) that will greatly help you in your quest to build muscle rapidly while losing body fat. Anything that you do trying to further boost your testosterone production may do the exact opposite. Save testosterone boosters for when your body starts to slowly decline in testosterone production, which is around 25 years old. However, research shows that 3,000 mg of Vitamin C lower cortisol levels (a muscle wasting hormone that does the exact opposite of what testosterone does) so 1000mg of Vitamin C at Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner will actually help you in your quest to a more muscular body.

The supplementation program above, in conjunction with a good bodybuilding diet, a good training program based off from basic exercises, rest (yes, you need at least 8 hours of sleep each night) and the determination to execute your bodybuilding program day in and day out will take you to where you want to be.

Convenient Supplements

If budget allows instead of a 5-lb protein tub, you can opt for easier to carry and more convenient items like Protein Bars, Meal Replacement Powders or Ready-To-Drink Shakes. Labrada Nutrition offers several top-notch bars, meal replacement powders and ready-to-drink shakes in their Lean Body line. These not only offer great nutrition, but have a taste to match as well. However, convenience comes with an added cost so if budget is tight, simply carry the servings you will need of your protein powder individually sealed in a Ziploc ® bag in your cooler and mix them with water or milk when it is time to consume. You will need a shaker bottle for this but high quality proteins these days are instantized and therefore mix rather easily.

To find out more information and how to save up to 50% on bodybuilding supplements: click here

Until next time, take care and train hard!

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Natural Bodybuilding FAQ: Can Bodybuilding Training Stunt Growth in Kids and Teens?

Question: My son just started doing some natural bodybuilding training and though I am very happy about that, I have heard that lifting too heavy a weight will cause growth to be stunted in kids. Is there an ideal weight range that my son can use so that he can reach his bodybuilding goals but also attain his ultimate height?

Answer: The whole notion of growth being stunted by natural bodybuilding training is a myth that I have been fighting for years. In conversations with my grandfather who used to be an Orthopedic Surgeon graduated from Northwestern University with top honors, I learned that as long as the resistance is not so high that it would cause the bones to become more dense and thus close the epiphysis (the growth area of a long bone) then there should not be any detrimental effects.

As a matter of fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics recently changed their policy (PEDIATRICS Vol. 107 No. 6 June 2001, pp. 1470-1472) regarding this topic by stating that “strength training programs do not seem to adversely affect linear growth and do not seem to have any long-term detrimental effect on cardiovascular health” as evidenced in recent studies.

I should also point out that the compression forces on your son’s legs and spine are far greater in running and jumping than they will ever be in a bodybuilding exercise like squatting. Compression forces in running and jumping can exceed 5 times his bodyweight. If he’s not squatting over 700 pounds, he’s generating greater compression in normal daily activities.

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Ideal Training Weight

I wouldn’t recommend that he lift any weight that he can’t do in a controlled fashion and with perfect form for at least 10 repetitions until he’s 18 or so. A weight that he can perform with perfect form for 10-15 repetitions will give him excellent bodybuilding results. Once 18, he can introduce weeks of heavier lifting, never going below 5 repetitions, as in my opinion, that is not needed for bodybuilding.

To be honest, when it comes to kids and bodybuilding training my concern isn’t so much the risk of stunting growth (which won’t happen with proper training); I am more concerned about the risk of injuring tendons, ligaments, or joints that are unused to the demands of heavy lifting. This is the reason why I can never emphasize enough the importance of proper weight selection and perfect exercise execution. [Note: for a GREAT programs with solid videos that teach the best exercise execution please take a look at my MI-40 review here]

 

Youngsters and Weight Training

At what age can a teenage boy can start working out with weights has always been a topic of debate. Some people say that weights should not be touched until after all of the growing is done or else you could affect the growth platelets and stunt your growth. Others say it is OK to start lifting weight at an early age. I have arrived at the following conclusions based on the latest research on this subject.

I believe that youngsters (anybody less than 14 years old) are better off doing exercises with just their body weight. If you are under 14 years of age, focus on bodyweight exercises like squats, lunges, dips, pull-ups, pushups, one legged calf raises. Stick to proper form and higher repetition ranges (15-20 reps) in order to train the nervous system to activate the muscle fibers. The following exercises should compose a youngster’s program:

running or fast walking
dips
push-ups
pull-ups
chin-ups
squats with no weights
lunges with no weights
calf raises with no weight
crunches
leg raises

Depending on the age and motivation of the person, anywhere between 2-5 sets of each exercise for the maximum amount of reps possible in good form is sufficient. There should be 30 seconds of rest in between exercises and they should be performed 3 times a week.

An additional 15-20 minutes of fast walking or running on rest days is enough exercise for anyone who wishes to start an exercise program before the age of 14.

14-year-olds can start working out with weights as long as they’re practicing perfect form and staring out with a beginners program like this one: Bodybuilding Routine for Those Who Are Just Getting Started

Conclusion

If you look at it, lifting weights didn’t do a thing to stunt the growth of Shaquille O’Neal, David Robinson, Karl Malone, Michael Vick, etc. All started lifting in their early teens, and all have gone on to be over 6′ tall and star in professional sports. Dave Draper and Arnold Schwarzenegger started lifting younger than that; again, both are 6’1″ or taller. Many high school teams start their freshmen on lifting programs, meaning your son started at a perfectly appropriate age.

Provided that exercise form, proper weight selection and safety are always emphasized, your son won’t find his growth stunted by lifting; rather, he’ll find that he grows into his body much better and much more quickly than most of the peers around him.

Until next time, take care and train hard!

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Best Bodybuilding Workout for Gaining Muscle Weight: Gain Muscle Weight Using the 10 Sets of 10 Reps Bodybuilding Workout

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What Is The 10 Sets of 10 Reps Bodybuilding Workout and How Can It Be Used To Gain Weight?

The 10 sets of 10 reps bodybuilding workout has been used in bodybuilding circles for years in order to break through plateaus and make weight gains in the form of lean muscle mass. Many people have claimed to its invention, but regardless of who came up with it, it has been used with great success by awesome bodybuilders from the past such as Vince Gironda, as well as Dave Draper and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Today, many athletes on the know still use this method and even elite strength coaches, such as Charles Poliquin, are great advocates of it and use it on their Olympic athletes when they are in need of gaining muscle weight quickly. I’ve used this method myself without fail since early on my bodybuilding career. It never ceases to yield great results. As a matter of fact, early on when I was less informed, I thought that I had invented it. That was until I found out that this bodybulding workout has been around since the early 60s!

The 10 sets of 10 reps bodybuilding workout has proven time and time again to be fantastic at increasing muscle mass through the systematic fatigue of the muscle fibers being worked on. In order to implement a 10×10 routine, a mass building exercise is chosen and a weight that you can perform for 15 reps or so is selected. However, you will stop your set once you achieve 10 reps. Your rest in between sets should be limited to a minute and you need to refrain yourself from resting more as you start fatiguing since increasing the rest time would defeat the purpose of the routine, which is to cause systematic fatigue on a specific muscle. The goal of this bodybuilding workout routine is to use the same weight for all ten sets and to be able to perform all sets for 10 reps in good form. You will notice that as fatigue sets in, the sets become more and more challenging. You may not be able to perform all sets for 10 reps. If that is the case, then start lowering the weight once you do a set where less than 10 reps are performed. Once you can do all 10 sets for 10 reps, then it is time for you to go up in weight.

How Many Exercises Do I Need To Use In The 10 Sets of 10 Reps Bodybuilding Workout Program?

Is there a need for more exercises once you do the one for 10 sets of 10? I always like to include a second exercise for the larger muscle groups in order to hit a different angle but the second exercise is more of an isolation type and I just perform it for 3 sets of 10-12 reps.

Now let’s take a look at my recommended 10 sets of 10 reps program.

Mass Building 10 Sets of 10 Reps Bodybuilding Workout Routine

WORKOUT (A): THIGHS/HAMSTRINGS/CALVES

rod-shrugs1Superset:
Squats 10 sets of 10 reps (no rest)
Leg Curls 10 sets of 10 reps (1 minute of rest)

Superset:
Leg Extensions 3 sets of 10-12 reps (no rest)
Stiff Legged Dead-lifts 3 sets of 10-12 reps (1 minute of rest)

Calf Raises 10 sets of 10 reps (1 minute of rest)

WORKOUT (B): CHEST/BACK/ABS

Superset:
Incline Bench Press 10 sets of 10 reps (no rest)
Wide Grip Pull-up to Front 10 sets of 10 reps (1 minute of rest)

Superset:
Flat Bench Flyes 3 sets of 10-12 reps (no rest)
Low Pulley Rows 3 sets of 10-12 reps (1 minute of rest)

Leg Raise & Crunch Combination 10 sets of 10 reps (1 minute of rest)

WORKOUT (C): SHOULDERS/BICEPS/TRICEPS

Upright Rows 10 sets of 10 reps (1 minute of rest)

Bent Over Lateral Raises 3 sets of 10-12 reps (1 minute rest)

Superset:
Incline Curls 10 sets of 10 reps (no rest)
Triceps Dips 10 sets of 10 reps (1 minute of rest)

 

Workout Frequency

I’ve benefited from doing each body part twice a week so I would perform Workout (A) on Monday/Thursday, Workout (B) on Tuesday/Friday and Workout (C) on Wednesday/Saturday. I’ve noticed however that this type of frequency works best for Endomorphs like myself, which are people with a slow metabolism who as a result have faster recuperation capabilities. You can also do 3 days on and one day off or simply workout from Monday through Friday rotating workouts. So the first week you will end the week with Workout (B) and as a result you will start the following week with Workout (C) on Monday.

Mesomorphs, or naturally muscular and lean people, fare well by performing the routine in the following manner:

Day 1-Workout (A), Day 2-Rest, Day 3-Workout (B), Day 4-Rest, Day 5-Workout (C), Day 6-Start cycle again with Workout (A). With this sequence, each body part is trained once every five days. This routine also provides good recuperation for those of you that work over 40 hours a week and cannot afford to be at the gym for 6 days.

Ectomorphs, or hardgainers, are those of you who are naturally skinny and have a super fast metabolism. If this is your case, then you are best served by training every other day, and if you cannot train over the weekends, then just Monday, Wednesday and Friday performing Workout (A) on Monday, Workout (B) on Wednesday and Workout (C) on Friday.

When To Change

After going through Workouts (A), (B), and (C) six times, change your routine to one that is heavier in weights (with around 5-6 reps mostly) and contains less sets. A good routine would be one that uses 5 sets of 5 reps with different basic exercises than the one above.

Bodybuilding Diet Advice

In order to benefit most from this routine, remember that you have to nourish yourself! Weight training provides the spark for muscle growth while food provides the raw materials required for making bodybuilding gains. For more information on which type of diet to follow, please take a look at my Bulking Up Rules for the Natural Bodybuilder article.

Bodybuilding Supplements

A good supplementation program is imperative in order to recover and make the best possible gains from such a demanding bodybuilding program. Please take a look at my Bodybuilding Supplementation Basics article, my Creatine Monohydrate Basics article, and my Preserve Lean Mass With Glutamine article.

Word on Rest and Recovery

hugo-side-shotDon’t forget that muscles grow when you rest, not while you are at the gym. Therefore, make sure that you get your 8 hours of sleep or at the very least 7 hours each night and make up any lost sleep over the weekends. Not meeting your sleep requirements on a consistent basis leads to sleep depravation, a condition which besides creating constantly low energy levels, promotes a hormonal environment that increases the muscle destroying (and fat depositing) hormone cortisol and lowers your muscle producing hormone testosterone. For more information on how much sleep you require, how to determine if you are sleep deprived, what steps to take in order to ensure a good night’s sleep, and finally, the maladies caused by sleep depravation, take a look at the articles below.

The Sleep Cycle & the 8 Maladies Caused By Sleep Deprivation

Learn what the four phases of the sleep cycle are, how much on the average you should be sleeping each night for maximum results and what happens when you get sleep deprived.

4 Guidelines To Ensuring A Good Night Sleep

Learn 4 guidelines that you can follow to ensure a good night sleep.

Conclusion

Well, there you have the most results producing bodybuilding workout program ever for gaining lean muscle weight, in my opinion. If you are ready to change your bodybuilding workout routine, give this program a try and provided that your nutrition, supplementation and rest are in order, then it will not fail to give you the bodybuilding gains that you are looking for.

Until next time, take care and train hard!

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Natural Bodybuilding Tip: High Reps vs Low Reps for Gaining Muscle With Hugo & Rodzilla

In today’s natural bodybuilding video blog, I cover with my good friend Rodzilla whether workouts performed with high reps or low reps are better for gaining muscle.

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It is best to use both high reps and low reps in order to build muscle optimally. So basically you use periodization in which should do loading phases (3-4 weeks) in which you do higher reps (10-15 reps…sometimes going as high as 20-30 reps). Research indicates that you do get hypertrophy even at the higher rep ranges. And then you should do a Growth Phase in which you cut down on the volume (limiting sets to 10 total per body part; example: 4 sets of exercise #1 and then 3 sets for exercises #2 and #3) and then in terms of reps 5-8 reps.

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Keep in mind that you need to change your routines in order to keep the results coming. By following periodization principles, you will be able to avoid overtraining. Try to finish your workouts within 60 minutes in order to keep your testosterone levels high and cortisol levels low. That, combined with proper form and muscle tension will give you the best results possible.

Here is a sample periodized routine: Natural Bodybuilding Workout With Periodization

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!

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The Hugo & Rodzilla Bodybuilding Show

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!

 

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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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