Natural Bodybuilding Workout, Diet and Supplementation Guide


Bodybuilding is following a lifestyle that uses weight training, cardiovascular exercise and nutrition to re-shape your physique through the increase of lean muscle mass and reduction of fat stores.

Can I Use Bodybuilding Even If I Do Not Want To Get Too Big?

But wait a minute! You never want to step on a bodybuilding stage, nor do you have dreams of getting that big anyways. If that is the case, not a problem! To me, a bodybuilder is anyone that uses weight training, cardiovascular exercise and nutrition to accomplish specific fitness goals.

In this bodybuilding site I share with you the knowledge I’ve gained through many years of practicing the bodybuilding lifestyle so that you too can achieve any physique goal you may have. How far you take your physique development or whether you ever get to compete or not are entirely up to you.

And if you fear getting too big by accident then believe me, that look will definitely not happen by mere chance. This is especially true for women since they do not produce the amount of testosterone needed to grow their muscles to the size that a man can accommplish. It takes years of strict adherence (almost to an obsessive level) to a bodybuilding lifestyle, in addition to calculated planning of your workouts and nutrition plan, to accomplish such an endeavor.

However, if getting really big and shredded (bodybuilding term for defined) is your goal, then no need to worry as in this site you will find all of the information you will need to accomplish that as well.

Let’s Get Started On The Path To A New You Through Natural Bodybuiding

To help you achieve your bodybuilding endeavors, whether these are to simply gain a few pounds of muscle and lose a lot of bodyfat to look good at the beach, to gain tons of muscle weight or to get ready for a bodybuilding competition, I decided to put together this resource guide that will point you to all of the relevant information that you will need in order to accomplish your goals.

You will find everything here: bodybuilding training routines, diet plans and bodybuilding supplements’ advice. Now there is no excuse for not accomplishing your bodybuilding goals in this New Year!

1. Set realistic and measurable goals and attack them with the right mindset. I always say, aim high but be realistic. For instance, if on the next 12 weeks you plan on losing 50 lbs of fat, then that is unrealistic. Instead, settle for a loss of 1.5 to 2 lbs on the average per week and that will equate to 18-24 lbs! Twelve more weeks of dieting and you will accomplish your long-term 50 lb loss. When it comes to muscle gain we really need to be patient. If you have 14-inch arms, do not expect them to be 18 by the end of 12 weeks. Instead settle for ¼ – ½ of an inch. If however, you are an advanced stage, like myself for instance, it took me a year and a half to get my arms from 18 inches to 18.5 inches. Therefore, the more advanced you are, the more patient you need to be.

In bodybuilding, patience and perseverance will be your best allies. For more information on goal setting and having the right bodybuilding mindset, please take a look at my articles below:


2. Select a training routine that fits your schedule and is designed for your goals and level of training. There are many factors to consider when choosing a training routine:

A) Training experience – How long you have been training for; are you a beginner, intermediate or advanced athlete?

B) Your training goals – Are you looking for fat loss with moderate muscle gain or are you looking to gain muscle exclusively? Or are you training for a bodybuilding competition?

C) The amount of time that you can devote to bodybuilding training – Can you train 3 days, 4 days, 5 days or 6 days? If your goal is bodybuilding competition, will you be able to train everyday?

Once you consider those factors, then you can feel free to select any of the routines down below and perhaps you can work on adapting them to your schedule if need be:

These Programs Can Be Used During a Bulking or Fat Loss Cycle

  • Beginner’s Bodybuilding Workout (3 Days a week) – Excellent for those people with no bodybuilding training experience.
  • Intermediate Bodybuilding Workout (3-4 Days a week as desired) – Excellent for those with 12 weeks of training experience.
  • Advanced Bodybuilding Workout Using Periodization (3-6 days a week) – This is for the trainee with at least 24 weeks of training experience who is really serious about getting huge muscles. The periodization, or manipulation of sets, rest and repetition parameters will ensure the fastest gains in muscle mass.
  • Advanced Bodybuilding Workout Using The 10 Sets of 10 Reps Training Method (3-6 days a week) – This is for the trainee with at least 24 weeks of training experience who is ready for another high volume phase and who needs to get past a plateau. The 10 sets of 10 reps bodybuilding training method has been used in bodybuilding circles for years in order to break through plateaus and gain new 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 increasing their lean mass quickly. I’ve used this method myself without fail since early on my bodybuilding career. It never ceases to yield great results.
  • Advanced Bodybuilding Workout Using The 5 Sets of 5 Reps Training Method (3-6 days a week) – This is for the trainee with at least 24 weeks of training experience who is ready for another heavy weight phase and who needs to get past a plateau. This method has also been used in bodybuilding circles for years for the purposes of breaking through plateaus and accumulating new lean muscle mass. The inventor of this method, according to what I have read from various sources, was no other than former Mr. Universe Reg Park who was Arnold Schwarzenegger’s bodybuilding idol and inspiration. Reg used this method quite successfully back in the fifties and sixties. This routine is best used after a high volume training phase, such as the one provided by the 10 sets of 10 reps method described above.
  • Hardgainer’s Bodybuilding Training – Periodized workout for people with an ectomorphic bodytype.
  • Advanced Bodybuilding Workout for the Busy Bodybuilder (3-6 days a week) – This is a non periodized workout that makes the most out of the time that you have to train. You can incorporate periodization by changing the repetition ranges periodically as shown on the Advanced Bodybuilding Workout above. You can also change your exercise selections as well.

Cardiovascular Exercise

Keep in mind that in order to achieve the best results out of your bodybuilding program you also need to incorporate cardiovascular exercise.

  • Basics Of Aerobics For Fat Loss – In this article, I cover everything that you need to know regarding how to use cardiovascular exercise to accelerate fat loss without losing lean muscle mass.
  • All Questions About Aerobics and Cardio Answered – I have received alot of questions lately on the subject of aerobic exercise due to a lot of recent research that has been conducted on the topic of aerobics regarding what is the best way and time to conduct them for optimal fat loss results while keeping the muscle. Thus, I decided to put this aerobics FAQ together in order to clear up the confusion.
  • Top 7 Tips To Making Cardiovascular Exercise More Enjoyable and Effective – Be sure to check out this article so that you avoid the boredom associated with cardio.
  • Jump Your Way To A Great Cardiovascular Workout – In this article, champion teenage bodybuilder and certified fitness trainer Anthony Alayon discusses how jumping rope can be a great way to getting a great cardiovascular workout.


3. Select a nutrition program that is designed to support your goals. Your nutrition program has to be properly designed to support your bodybuilding goals. Choose from one of the programs below based on the particular goal that you are pursuing:

Goal 1 – Fat Loss with Moderate Muscle Gain: A nutrition program that emphasizes fat loss with moderate muscle gain.

Goal 2 – Exclusive Muscle Mass Gain: A bulk up program that emphasizes muscle gain while minimizing fat gains. Also, please take a look at the Weight Gain and Bulking Up Rules for Bodybuilders.

Goal 3 – Carb Cycling Pre-Contest Program: An introduction to carb cycling which will allow you to go well below 10% body fat into low single digits. Note: Because of the individual nature of bodybuilding competition, this diet may need to be adjusted to fit your individual metabolism. People with higher metabolisms that are leaner can get away with more carbohydrates and less cardiovascular exercise while less leaner people with a more normal or even slow metabolism can benefit from the diet as is. I recommend that if bodybuilding competition is your goal, you hire a bodybuilding coach that can help you with this process of figuring out what personalized diet works best with your metabolism instead of following someone else’s pre-contest plan.

Just Starting Out –If you are just starting out and rather ease into a bodybuilding diet, instead of jumping in right away, then I suggest that you take a look at my instructions for Easing Into A Bodybuilding Diet and also take a look at my article on Bodybuilding Nutrition Basics.


4. Use bodybuilding supplements to help you attain your goals. As I have discussed in previous articles, the amount of supplementation that you will use will depend mainly on your goals, how serious you are about your bodybuilding program (for instance are you following your training and diet to the “T”?) and finally your budget. At the bare minimum, assuming that you are training and dieting correctly as well as getting enough rest, you will need a multiple vitamin/mineral formula, some chromium picolinate, vitamin C, and a source of essential fats such as fish oils, flax oil or extra virgin olive oil. Protein shakes are convenient too as for most of us it is hard to eat 6-8 real meals a day, however small they may be. For more information on the subject of supplementation, please take a look at the following articles:


5. Do not neglect the important aspect of rest and recovery. You need 7 – 9 hours of sleep each night in order for your body to run efficiently. Deprive your body of sleep and you’ll have lousy fat loss. As a bonus, you also get muscle loss, which in turn lowers your metabolism. You also get deprived hormonal production, which makes it difficult (nearly impossible really) to build muscle and as an added feature you’ll have to deal with lower energy levels, something not conductive to great workouts. The articles below further elaborate on this important subject.



Good E-Book Products That Will Help You To Achieve Your Goals

There are hundreds of programs out there and one of my goals is to bring to you the best programs that I have come across so that you do not waste your money on snake oil products.

Check out my page on Hugo Rivera Approved Products: Best Muscle Building And Fat Loss Products Reviews


If You Need More Help

If you need more personalized help, please check out my services page below as in it I offer my online training services:



Not a day goes by when I get asked: “What do you take to look like that?!” As you can see, it’s not a matter of “what do you take”, but more a matter of what do you do on a daily basis to accomplish your bodybuilding goals. I wish I could tell you that bodybuilding is easy and all it requires is that you show up to the gym and lift some weights. Successful bodybuilding requires a permanent lifestyle change that needs to be executed day in and day out in order to accomplish your goals. There are no shortcuts to a great physique I’m afraid.


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  1. For a late beginner like myself your website and you tube videos are a source of inspiration, easy to follow and encourageing.
    Thanks, this is what i need.

    • Thanks so much Richard! Best! HR

  2. I like this info to much but we need more for girls because we have alot og girls obesity and overweight. Thanks

    • Thanks for the comment! Best! HR

  3. Hugo , you have been a HUGE inspiration to me and my wife……i know your very busy and have alot going on so it might be hard for you to get this email but i just want to thank you for all the very inspirational emails…i live for your emails…..i am what you might call an amateur bodybuilder, i live the life but i dont have the courage to go on stage… wife is from puerto rico and says your workouts are fantastic. I am a trainer from CT, and when i apply some of your teachings to her and my workouts we get so much more of a better workout, i mean the 10×10, the 5×5, the superset workouts, the diet routine you have …….its all so awesome, i can go on forever!! But really, thank you Hugo, you have taught me alot and i really appreciate your guidance. Let me know if you ever come out with hugo t-shirts……lol i will buy one for sure……..take care buddy , and train hard!!


    • Dear Shane,

      Thank you so much for taking the time to write me this note. You just made my week! 🙂 Lets me know that I am on the right track with the articles I am posting.

      I wish you the very best to you and your wife my friend.

      Best always!

  4. Wow! Awesome your sharing! Thanks for your sharing.

  5. Hugo my friend i have to thank you once again!! You helped me with my right shoulder doing the hangs, and now your advice to me on my lower back has been exceptionally awesome..i do the prone leg raises with crunches on the ball and my back feels GREAT!! I wont get a big head yet to do stiff leggeds or dead lift, but my back feels so much better . Thank you my friend. Oh and i wanted to wish you a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY TODAY!! Your the best Hugo, your workouts have helped me beat plateus big time……God bless you and your family!!

  6. Good information. Thank you for sharing.
    I am 56 yrs old and have lost 115 lbs in 18 months
    I have grown to really enjoy weight training. Wish I would have started 40 years ago, but asit is said, better late than never.

  7. I do not understand how you can promote Lean body bars as a natural supplementation to any diet! They are full of junk: artificial color & flavor, sucrolose. ReaLLY. Who would want to put that JUNK in their body. Hugo, you claim to not put GMO’s in your body, then how can you justify promoting putting this junk in your body?? VERY disappointed.

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