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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Natural Bodybuilding Tip: What To Eat Before And After Workout With Hugo & Rodzilla

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until next time, take care and train hard!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I hope that you found this video blog useful.

Until next time, take care and train hard!

7 Min Giant Set Home Natural Bodybuilding Chest Workout

Today I am going to share with you a natural bodybuilding chest workout that you can do from the comfort of your home with just a pair of adjustable dumbbells and a bench. This chest routine is guaranteed to put a nice pump on your chest muscles and induce some growth!

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

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

7 Min Giant Set Home Natural Bodybuilding Chest Workout

7 Min Giant Set Home Natural Bodybuilding Chest Workout

Giant Set:

1) Incline Dumbbell Press 2-3 sets of 6-8 reps (no rest)

2) Incline Flyes 2-3 sets of 8-12 reps (no rest)

3) Flat Dumbbell Press (using same weight as for the incline dumbbell presses): 2-3 sets of maximum amount of reps you can do with good form (no rest)

4) Flat Dumbbell Flyes (using same weight as for the incline flyes): 2-3 sets of maximum amount of reps you can do with good form (60 seconds)

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

Chest Workout Notes:

Chest Workout Notes:
1) Train the chest twice a week.

2) You can do your chest with other body parts as specified on the training splits below:

Bodybuilding Training Split #1:

Day 1: Chest, Biceps, Triceps

Day 2: Legs

Day 3: Back, Shoulders, Abs

Day 4: Rest

Day 5: Start Over

Bodybuilding Training Split #2:

Day 1: Chest, Back, Abs

Day 2: Legs

Day 3: Shoulders, Biceps, Triceps

Day 4: Rest

Day 5: Start Over

Bodybuilding Training Split #3:

Day 1: Chest, Shoulders, Triceps

Day 2: Legs

Day 3: Back, Biceps, Abs

Day 4: Rest

Day 5: Start Over

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

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

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

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

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

7 Min Giant Set Home Natural Bodybuilding Abs Workout

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

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

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

7 Min Giant Set Home Natural Bodybuilding Abs Workout

Giant Set:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bodybuilding Training Split #1:

Day 1: Chest, Biceps, Triceps

Day 2: Legs

Day 3: Back, Shoulders, Abs

Day 4: Rest

Day 5: Start Over

Bodybuilding Training Split #2:

Day 1: Chest, Back, Abs

Day 2: Legs

Day 3: Shoulders, Biceps, Triceps

Day 4: Rest

Day 5: Start Over

Bodybuilding Training Split #3:

Day 1: Chest, Shoulders, Triceps

Day 2: Legs

Day 3: Back, Biceps, Abs

Day 4: Rest

Day 5: Start Over

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

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

Sample Natural Bodybuilding Fat Loss/Muscle Building Programs

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

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

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

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

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

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

Natural Bodybuilding Video: Hugo Rivera and Ben Pakulski Talk Bodybuilding Training, Part 1

Natural Bodybuilding Video: Hugo Rivera and Ben Pakulski Talk Bodybuilding Training, Part 1

In this natural bodybuilding video, IFBB Pro Ben Pakulski and Hugo Rivera talk about bodybuilding training and ways to stimulate more muscle growth with some simple changes on the routine. Other topics covered are workout length and how much is too much. This is part 1 of 4.

For Part 2 go Here => http://www.hugorivera.net/natural-bodybuilding-video-hugo-rivera-and-ben-pakulski-talk-bodybuilding-training-with-mi-40.html

For Part 3 go Here => http://www.hugorivera.net/natural-bodybuilding-video-hugo-rivera-ben-pakulski-bodybuilding-nutrition.html

For Part 4 go Here => http://www.hugorivera.net/natural-bodybuilding-video-hugo-rivera-and-ben-pakulski-talk-bodybuilding-supplementation.html

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 [Read more…]

Weight Gain And Bulking Up Rules for the Natural Bodybuilder

Gain Weight And Muscle Mass As You Minimize Body Fat

While most of us who practice bodybuilding are trying to lose fat as we gain muscle, there are some people who are interested in just bulking up; which in simple terms means eating more and training heavier in order to gain muscle weight.

There could be many reasons for this:

1. A bodybuilder whose metabolism is so great that requires a plan just suited for exclusive muscle gain; the so called hardgainer.

2. A person who practices a sport, such as football, that may require a certain weight.

3. A bodybuilder who simply wants to go up a weight class (if he or she competes) or who simply wants to go on an exclusive muscle gain phase (like most bodybuilders do during Winter).

Like everything, there is a right way and a wrong way to do things.

[Read more…]

Natural Bodybuilding Tips for Making Bulking Up Work Without Gaining Fat

Natural Bodybuilding Tips for Making Bulking Up Work Without Gaining Fat

Because I have gotten tons of emails over the last few weeks asking about bulking up for gaining muscle, I decided to put this article together in order to clear up the confusion. [Read more…]

Don’t Stop Natural Bodybuilding During School Season!

When school season start, alot of bodybuilders mistakenly drop their bodybuilding programs in order to focus on school. While on the surface it may seem that putting your bodybuilding program on the back burner during the school year may be a great idea in order to save time and focus more on your studies, you may want to re-think that strategy. [Read more…]

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