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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Bodybuilding Holiday Survival Guide: How To Maintain Your Bodybuilding Program Through The Holidays

HugoSurvivalGuide

The holidays are approaching with Christmas leading the way followed by New Years not too far behind. During this time of joy and happiness unfortunately most people, including some of us bodybuilders, tend to forget about their bodybuilding workouts and nutrition plans. If thoughts of dumping your fitness and bodybuilding program have crossed your mind, allow me to remind you that this road only leads to a physique that could be used as a ‘Before’ picture on the latest fat burner ads.

However, what if I told you that with some planning ahead you can have your cake and eat it too? I promise you that if you practice self discipline and follow all of the tactics discussed below, your fat gain during the Holidays will be minimized, and provided that you train hard, even if you use my bodybuilding holiday routine described below, you will come out with new muscle that you did not have before.

Bodybuilding Tips & Advice For Staying Fit During The Holidays

There are some key steps that need to be followed in order to stay fit during the Holidays. Follow the steps below and I guarantee you that come New Year, losing weight will not be on your list of resolutions:

1. Plan Ahead, Be Organized.

Plan your bodybuilding workout days one full week ahead. Because of the amounts of get-togethers and days that the gym may be closed, it is best if you decide a week ahead which days you will be attending the gym. Simply take out your calendar and schedule your workouts and even write down at what times these will be performed. In this manner, your chances of missing a workout due to parties or gym closures are eliminated.

2. Get Your Workouts In Early:

Workout as early as possible, preferably first thing in the morning. If your schedule is really hectic, I would advise waking up early and getting the training done, if possible, right before you go to work.

If this is not possible, then try doing it at lunch time or right after work so that nothing else interferes with your workout. On days off from work, definitely get the training done as early as possible.

3. Hugo’s Holiday Abbreviated Bodybuilding Routine ( See Below For Full Routine)

If you feel that you really cannot dedicate more than 3 days a week to your training, then just try out my Abbreviated Bodybuilding Holiday Routine shown below. The routine is designed for a serious natural bodybuilder that wants maximum muscle along with definition and is willing to train 3 days a week for 75 minutes. Not everybody is trying to look like a bodybuilder , if your just looking to tone up , then just cut 1 set for all the exercises listed and this will bring down your gym time by around 15-20 minutes so each workout will be around 55 minutes long or so. So less than 3 hours in total out of your entire week.

4. Planning Your Diet Cheat Days:

Plan Your Cheat Days Wisely. I have to say that I am an expert at this one. Reason for this is because Thanksgiving is on the 24th, my birthday is on December 5th, Christmas on the 25th and New Year’s on the 31.

So those are my cheat days. My advice is to attempt to space cheat days with at least 5-6 days in between, 6 being the better choice.

5. Eating Cheat Meals Wisely:

Eat your cheat meals wisely. When you have a cheat meal, start eating the protein portion first as this will get you to start getting full. Leave the carbs for the end of the meal.

Also, try to not stuff yourself. Instead allocate six hours of cheating per cheat day and instead of having just one huge binge meal that prevents you from even being able to walk after you are done, have 3 smaller meals instead; one every 90 minutes. Take around 30 minutes to savor and make sure that after you are done with each meal you feel like you have a bit of room left. The best strategy is to eat until you are comfortably full.

After your cheat period, go back on your regular diet.

6. Workout Before Cheating:

Before a cheat period it is great to have a tough workout first in order to minimize fat gain and maximize muscle gain. Reason for this is because after a workout the body is primed to absorb nutrients in the form of proteins and carbohydrates. Thus, having a cheat meal afterwards will ensure that most nutrients are used for recovery and muscle production.

7. Supplementing Before Cheating:

Take some 200mcg of Chromium Picolinate and 300 mg of Alpha Lipoic Acid at the beginning of your cheat period. These supplements help increase your cell’s ability to accept insulin and thus assimilate the extra carbohydrates better. As a matter of fact, increasing insulin sensitivity is one of the reasons why I like to have a big workout prior to the cheat period.

In addition, you can also take some Nitric Oxide Boosters and creatine as well 30 minutes prior to the first cheat meal in order to take advantage of the extra carbohydrates and insulin spike.

Finally, a good thermogenic supplement like Labrada’s Charge ASF is a good idea as well since this will ensure that your appetite is kept under control.

8. Have Essential Fatty Acids:

Have some EFA’s with your cheat meal. Research indicates that some essential fats like the ones found in flaxseed oil or fish oils have anti-lipolitic properties. In other words, they inhibit some of the enzymes responsible for fat storage. Because of this, by taking these fats with your first cheat meal of your cheat period, you can minimize some of the damage. They also serve as a good natural appetite suppressant.

One tablespoon of Carlson Fish Oils or Spectrum Flaxseed Oil should do the trick. Capsules can be used but you would need 10-14 of them to equal a tablespoon of the liquid version.

9. Have Digestive Enzymes Prior To Your Cheat Meal:

Take some digestive enzymes prior to each one of your cheat meals. This will ensure maximum nutrient assimilation and will also help you avoid feelings of excessive fullness and indigestion. The best formula is a comprehensive enzyme formula with enzymes for proper digestion of carbohydrates, proteins and fats.

10. Have A Walk After The Cheat Period:

Three to five hours after the cheat period has ended, have a 30-45 minute walk. I’m not talking about anything strenuous; around 3 miles per hour is a good pace. Doing some cardiovascular activity after the cheat period has ended will start burning some of the carbohydrates that may still be lingering around. The more of these you burn, the less likelihood of storing body fat. If you cannot do this walk on the same day of the cheat period then try it on the morning after on an empty stomach.

Hugo’s Abbreviated 3 Days Per Week Routine

For the purpose of continued muscle growth and fat loss over the holidays, I have used the principles of cycling (the three training phases, loading, growth and active recovery) that I always preach about in order to create a routine that will keep the muscle growth/fat loss process going during the next few months with minimum visits to the gym.

This is a 3 day a week routine but don’t let that fool you, it’s a tough routine and will do more than just maintain you. The longest routine is the one from week three. It lasts around 75 minutes.

Loading Phase

WEEK #1

Mon (13-15 reps), Wed (10-12 reps), Fri (8-10 reps)

Superset:
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 3 sets (No Rest)
Wide Grip Pull-Ups To Front 3 sets (60 seconds)

Superset:
Upright Rows 2 sets (No Rest)
Bent Over Laterals 2 sets (60 seconds)

Superset:
Seated Incline Curls 2 sets (No Rest)
Triceps Dips 2 sets (60 seconds)

Giant-set:
Leg Extensions 3 sets (No Rest)
Leg Curls 3 sets (No Rest)
Squats (Wide Stance) 3 sets (No Rest)
Calf Raises3 sets (60 seconds)

WEEK #2

Mon (13-15 reps), Wed (10-12 reps), Fri (8-10 reps)

Superset:
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 4 sets (No Rest)
Wide Grip Pull-Ups To Front 4sets (60 seconds)

Superset:
Upright Rows 2 sets (No Rest)
Bent Over Laterals 2 sets (60 seconds)

Superset:
Seated Incline Curls 3sets (No Rest)
Triceps Dips 3 sets (60 seconds)

Giant-set:
Leg Extensions 4 sets (No Rest)
Leg Curls 4 sets (No Rest)
Squats (Wide Stance) 4 sets (No Rest)
Calf Raises 4 sets (60 seconds)

WEEK #3

Mon (13-15 reps), Wed (10-12 reps), Fri (8-10 reps)

Superset:

Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 5sets (No Rest)
Wide Grip Pull-ups To Front 5sets (60 seconds)

Superset:
Upright Rows 3 sets (No Rest)
Bent Over Laterals 3 sets (60 seconds)

Superset:
Seated Incline Curls 3 sets (No Rest)
Triceps Dips 3 sets (60 seconds)

Giant-set:
Lunges 5 sets (No Rest)
Leg Curls 5 sets (No Rest)
Squats (Wide Stance) 5 sets (No Rest)
Calf Raises 5 sets (60 seconds)

Growth Phase

Weeks 4-6:

Mon (10-12 reps), Wed (8-10 reps), Fri (6-8 reps)

Modified Superset:
Incline Bench Press 3 sets (Rest 90 seconds)
Chin-ups (Palms facing you) 3sets (Rest 90 seconds)

Modified Giant-set:
Rear Delt Rows (performed like a reverse bench press) 2 sets (Rest 45 seconds)
Dumbbell Shoulder Press 2 sets (Rest 45 seconds)
E-Z Curls 2 sets (Rest 45 seconds)
Close Grip Bench Press 2 sets (Rest 45 seconds)

Modified Giant-set:
Lunges (press with ball of foot) 3 sets (Rest 60 seconds)
Leg Curls (Toes Out) 3 sets (Rest 60 seconds)
Squats or Leg Press 3 sets (Rest 60 seconds)
Calf Raises 3 sets (Rest 60 seconds)

Active Recovery Phase

After Week 6:

Two full-body workouts a week; a routine similar to the Growth Phase (above) performed only on Mondays and Thursdays with two sets per exercise, each set consisting of 13-15 repetitions.

Also, do 20-30 minutes of cardio, first thing in the morning on the days off (Tuesdays/Thursdays/Saturdays). Sunday is the total day of rest.

Holiday Bodybuilding Supplements Recommendation Summary

Below is a summary of the bodybuilding supplements you should be taking throughout the Holiday season:

Good Supplements To Take Prior To A Cheat Meal Period

200 mcg Chromium Picolinate
300 mg Alpha Lipoic Acid
Nitric Oxide Booster/Creatine Product Such As Labrada’s Labrada ReCharge
Digestive Enzymes
Essential Fats such as Flax or Fish Oils
Thermogenic/Appetite Suppressing Supplement like Labrada Charge Ephedra Free

Additional Basic Supplements

Comprehensive Multiple Vitamins and Mineral Formula (should go without saying)
Meal Replacement Packets or Protein Supplements to be used whenever not able to consume a real meal.
1 gram of vitamin C at Meals 1, 3 and 5. Extra vitamin C not only may help lower cortisol levels but also keeps immunity high during this period where most people catch colds.

Holiday Bodybuilding Dieting For Non-Cheat Days

Please take a look at the diet below so that you have an idea of what your bodybuilding diet during your “non-cheat days” should consist of:

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 like Labrada’s Lean Body 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 Flaxseed Oil (Spectrum brand is best) or Fish Oils (Carlson 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 but without flaxseed oil.

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)
2 scoops of slow released proteins like Pro V60 and 1 tablespoon of Flaxseed Oil or Fish Oils

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)
Meal replacement packet like Labrada’s Lean Body for Her mixed with water or a protein powder (with around 25-30 grams of protein) mixed with 25-30 grams of carbs from cream of rice, grits, or oatmeal.
1/2 Tablespoon of Flaxseed Oil (Spectrum Brand is Best) or Fish Oils (Carlson 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 but no flaxseed oil.

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)
1 scoop of slow released proteins like Pro V60 and 1/2 tablespoon of Flaxseed Oil or Fish Oils

Conclusion

Try out the tips and workout above, and provided that you follow a good diet along with it just limiting yourself to cheat meals on Christmas day and New Years Eve, you should avoid the catastrophic effects that the holidays leave behind in moat people. As a matter of fact, you should look better!

Best of Health and Happy Holidays!

Take care and train hard!

hugo_sign

 

 

 

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/

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!

hugo_sign

 

 

 

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/

The Mindset of a Successful Bodybuilder

In order to achieve the best natural bodybuilding gains, you need to have the right mindset. In this natural bodybuilding article you will learn what the right mindset is to achieve the best natural bodybuilding gains.

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Achieve Incredible Natural Bodybuilding Gains by Adopting the Mindset of a Successful Bodybuilder!
This week I talked to a friend of mine who has been very busy working over the Holidays, as this is the peak season for his business. As a result, he has not been able to do as much as he wanted to in the gym and also he has not been able to get in all the meals that he needs to on time either. As a result, he was very frustrated and contemplating perhaps just dropping the whole program until the beginning of the New Year when things would normalize for him. However, I advised against doing so for the following reasons:

CIMG15461. Stopping to train would lower his metabolism which in turn would lower his energy levels and thus make him less productive at work.

2. Though he cannot get in the gym as often, getting his workout in and following the diet as much as possible will prevent him from losing valuable muscle gains while making undesirable fat gains. This in turn prevents him from getting further depressed as he sees his body deteriorate.

3. Once January comes and he can start hitting the gym more often and following the meal schedule to the “T”, he will be in good shape and his body will respond very quickly to the more aggressive schedule. This is a very different scenario than the one he would have encountered if he would have stopped training and dieting altogether, as in this case, he would have needed to use at least a week to get his body conditioned for the weights again and it would have taken him an extra week, or maybe even two, to get rid of any body fat that he might have gained depending on how bad the diet was.

Be Flexible, Be Consistent, Be Prepared

Therefore, having said that, in order to be successful in bodybuilding you need to have the right mindset. Bodybuilding is both a physical and extremely psychological endeavor. Of course, we all get frustrated when our schedules are affected by work, or any other life circumstance that may be thrown our way. Life is full of monkey wrenches in case you haven’t noticed and it does not make it easy for us to get our workouts and meals in. Therefore, we have to fight aggressively and plan ahead if we want to get our workouts and meals in.

As bodybuilders we must keep our eyes on the ultimate goal, which is always more muscle mass with less body fat. In order to accomplish that one must be consistent with the training and diet. If for whatever reason the program that the bodybuilder has mapped out is too much of a time commitment at a certain period in life, then the solution is to modify the bodybuilding program to one that does fit the time schedule…be flexible. For instance, back in my engineering days there were periods when I had to work 60-70 hours a week, I modified my training to where I would hit the gym 5 days a week for 40-45 minutes of weight training. Since I had no time to do cardiovascular
exercise, I would superset antagonistic muscles in order to get some sort of cardiovascular effect (refer to my abbreviated bodybuilding plan at the end of this article). That is all I could afford to do at the time. I always tried to get my training in before work, but if for some reason I would miss it in the morning, then I always had lunchtime to make it up or later in the evening after work. Worst case, there was always the weekend for makeup sessions. Regarding meals, I always brought in all of my meals with me pre-prepared and also enough Meal Replacement Powders for those times that I was really on the run.

Some of you for whatever reason may not even be able to do more than three sessions a week. If this is the case, then no issue; make the most out of the time that you do have available to train. The key to making lasting bodybuilding gains at the end of the day is that you have a realistic plan that can be executed consistently, not trying to follow one that looks really good in paper but cannot be executed. You will get to where you want to go, it may just take a little bit longer depending on how much time you can dedicate to reaching your goals.

Achieve Bodybuilding Gains by Adopting the Mindset of a Successful Bodybuilder!

_DSC7424-9-1signHere is what the mindset of a successful bodybuilder looks like:

1. The successful bodybuilder analyzes his/her time commitments and creates a bodybuilding plan that suits his/her situation.

2. He/She prepares all meals in advance along with liquid meals in order to prevent missing meals.

3. If the plan is affected for whatever reason, instead of being depressed about it and leaving it, a modification is made in order to continue execution. So for instance if a training session is missed, then it is performed on the following day. If a meal is missed, then it is consumed as soon as possible. If an unscheduled cheat meal is consumed, then the bodybuilder gets right back on the diet on the following meal instead of blowing the diet for the whole day, or week.

In a nutshell, for any challenge that the bodybuilder faces, a solution is researched and executed in order to continue with the bodybuilding lifestyle.

There is no room for frustration nor thoughts of dropping the bodybuilding plan in the mindset of a successful bodybuilder. Always think damage control, never “falling off the wagon”, so to speak, as once off, you run the risk of never getting back on.

In my fifteen years involved in bodybuilding, I have noticed that this is the mindset of the most successful bodybuilders. Successful bodybuilders always look for solutions while the non-successful ones always look for excuses.

Abbreviated Bodybuilding Split Workout Routine For Busy Bodybuilders

This routine I used with tons of success during my busy years working as an engineer. If lack of time to workout is an issue, this workout plan will bring you awesome results!

Workout (A) – Chest/Back/Abs

Triset #1:
Incline Bench Press 3 sets of 10-12 reps
Wide Grip Pull-ups to Front 3 sets of 10-12 reps
Crunches 3 sets of 15-20 reps

Triset #2:
Chest Dips 3 sets of 10-12 reps
Close Grip Chins (Reverse Grip) 3 sets of 10-12 reps
Hanging Leg Raises 3 sets of 15-20 reps

Triset #3:
Incline Flyes 2-3 sets of 10-12 reps
Low Pulley Rows 2-3 sets of 10-12 reps
Bicycle Crunches 2-3 sets of 15-20 reps

Workout (B) – Shoulders, Biceps, Triceps

Triset #1:
Upright Rows 3 sets of 10-12 reps
Triceps Pushdowns 3 sets of 10-12 reps
Incline Curls 3 sets of 10-12 reps

Triset #2:
Bent Over Laterals 3 sets of 10-12 reps
Concentration Curls 3 sets of 10-12 reps
Lying Dumbbell Triceps Extensions 3 sets of 10-12 reps

Triset #3:
Lateral Raises 2-3 sets of 10-12 reps
Hammer Curls 2-3 sets of 10-12 reps
Overhead Dumbbell Triceps Extensions 2-3 sets of 10-12 reps

Workout (C) – Thighs, Hamstrings, Calves

Triset #1:
Squats (Medium/Wide) * 3 sets of 10-12 reps
Lying Leg Curls 3 sets of 10-12 reps
Standing Calf Raises 3 sets of 12-15 reps

Triset #2:
Leg Press (Close Stance; feet and legs together) 3 sets of 10-12 reps
Standing Leg Curl 3 sets of 10-12 reps
Calf Press 3 sets of 12-15 reps

Triset #3:
Leg Extensions 2-3 sets of 10-12 reps
Stiff Legged Dead-lifts or Lunges (Pressing with heels) 2-3 sets of 10-12 reps
Seated Calf Raises 2-3 sets of 15-20 reps

*Note: Perform squats with a medium stance and when you hit failure, then change to a wide stance and keep the reps coming until you hit failure again. If you suffer from back problems you can substitute for a leg press machine and use the same technique.

NOTES:

CIMG1445Workout Frequency

This routine can be performed as little as 3 days a week and as much as 6 days. All you have to do is rotate workouts A, B, and C.

Rest in Between Tri-sets

After each tri-set you can rest 1 minute to 90 seconds at the most. Keep up a fast pace. Also remember that there is no rest between the exercises in the tri-set. So for instance, you will go from Incline Bench Press to Wide Grip Pull-ups to Crunches and then rest 1 minute before starting again.

If you find the information of this website useful but you need more direct help in order to achieve your goals, sign up to my online coaching program below.

Until next time, take care and train hard!

hugo_sign

 

 

 

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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.

hugo-rodzilla-double-bis

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!

hugo_sign

 

 

 

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
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!

How To Get Motivated To Stay On Your Bodybuilding & Fitness Program

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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Ten Secrets to Making This New Year An Amazing One!

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.mi-40.com

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!!!!

How Much of a Factor Do Genetics Play In Bodybuilding and Other Sports?

How Much of a Factor Do Genetics Play In Bodybuilding and Other Sports?
Learn How Much Genetics Influence Your Ability to Be Successful in Bodybuilding.

In this interview conducted by Alex Sorokin, I cover how much of a factor genetics play in bodybuilding and other sports. [Read more…]

Lee Labrada Exposes The 10 Items That Stop Your Bodybuilding Progress

In this bodybuilding article from my friend and IFBB legend Lee Labrada, you will learn what are the 10 top items that limit your bodybuilding progress.

Lee Labrada Exposes The 10 Items That Stop Your Bodybuilding Progress

by Lee Labrada, IFBB Hall of Famer

Do Not Make These Bodybuilding Mistakes Putting on muscle is easy if you have the know-how and combine it with hard work. But even if you have the right training program and work hard, staying on course can be challenging at times.

[Read more…]

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