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!

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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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.hugorivera.net/go/freeworkouts

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?
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…]

Today I am going to share with you a natural bodybuilding back workout that you can do from the comfort of your home with some adjustable dumbbells and a bench. I got a great back pump with this routine and I know that you will too!

As usual, this workout is short but intense! Two 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. Two giant sets will make this routine last around 7 minutes. If you add an extra giant set, then you will be looking at around 10 minutes. This workout will consist of the following exercises:

 

7 Min Giant Set Home Natural Bodybuilding Back Workout

Giant Set:

1) One Arm Dumbbell Rows 2-3 sets of 8-12 reps (no rest)

2) Two Arm Dumbbell Rows (Pronated Grip) 2-3 sets of 8-12 reps (no rest)

3) Two Arm Dumbbell Rows (Neutral Grip) (using same weight as for the previous exercise): 2-3 sets of maximum amount of reps you can do with good form (no rest)

4) Two Arm Dumbbell Rows with a Twist: 2-3 sets of 8-12 reps (60 seconds)

 

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

 

 

Back Workout Notes:

1) Train the back twice a week.

2) You can do your back 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 minutes in length.

 

Try this routine out and let me know how you liked it below!

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.

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.

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.

Today I will share another great article from my friend, Natural Mr. Olympia and Mr. Universe John Hansen. In this article, John shares 3 common natural bodybuilding mistakes that prevent gains.

1656217_650721681635986_1088226904_n (1)

3 Common Natural Bodybuilding Mistakes That Prevent Gains
by John Hansen, Natural Mr. Olympia / Mr. Universe
MP6 Program Creator

There are many excuses used in regards to the difficulty of building bigger muscles. Some say that you have to born with very rare genetics in order to have the ability to get big. Others claim that you have to use a lot of anabolic steroids to have any chance of building an impressive physique.

However, there are also many mistakes that can be made along the way to building muscle mass. These errors may be the real reason that so many aspiring bodybuilders find it so difficult to build more muscle.

Many of us make the mistake of following what the professional bodybuilders do in our quest for more muscle. This seems logical but the reality is that the pros often have advantages that most of us don’t have. Trying to mimic their training routines and nutrition programs often leads to frustration and failure.

I made the same mistake when I began lifting weights at the young age of 14 years old. I had no idea what type of training program I should follow to build bigger muscles so I simply copied the exact workout routine of the current Mr. Olympia. I was soon training twice a day, six days a week to speed up my muscle building gains. Unfortunately, my results were slow and disappointing.

Here are the three main mistakes that most bodybuilders make in their quest for building more muscle mass. If you are performing one or more of these training errors, this could be what is holding you back from building more muscle.

 

Mistake #1 – Doing Too Many Sets – The idea of “more is better” is common in our society. The harder you work and the more time you spend trying to achieve a goal, the more successful you will be. If you want to get better grades, study more. If you want to make more money, work more hours. If you want to build bigger muscles, do more sets and make your workouts even longer.

Unfortunately, building muscle doesn’t work that way. Muscles grow bigger in response to stress. This stress adaptation response can be compared to getting a sun tan or developing calluses on your hands. When the body is subjected to stress, it responds by adapting to that stress and becoming stronger. The skin darkens in response to the exposure to the sun, calluses develop in response to the friction against the skin and your muscles grow larger in response to the extra resistance placed on them.

If the stress is too intense or too long, the muscles may actually break down more than build up. This can happen if the muscles are not given enough time to recuperate from the workout or if too many sets are performed during a workout. When you do too many sets in a workout, the intensity level actually goes down because it is impossible to train extremely hard and long at the same time.

By reducing the amount of sets that are performed in a workout, you will be able to train much harder and put more into each set which equates to more stress on the muscles plus saving enough energy to rebuild the muscle tissues. The key to really building more muscle mass is to impose more stress on them by overloading them with more resistance and then giving them enough time to recuperate and grow. Using too many sets will burn up your energy reserves without helping you to build more muscle.

 

Mistake #2 – Relying on the Pump – Getting a good pump in the muscles is one of the best benefits to lifting weights. The muscles get larger when they are pumped up and it feels both mentally and physically satisfying to achieve this condition. Arnold Schwarzenegger jokingly compared getting a pump to a sexual orgasm in the film “Pumping Iron”.

Although pumping blood into the muscles is a factor in building bigger muscles, some bodybuilders mistake a pump for growth. The key to building more muscle mass is to subject the muscles to more stress than they are accustomed to. This increased stress will force the muscles to respond.

Merely pumping up the muscles by using less resistance may feel good but it does little for real muscle tissue growth. In order to get those muscle fibers to thicken up and develop, you have to place more resistance on them as opposed to just pumping them up with more blood.

It’s no coincidence that the biggest bodybuilders in the history of the sport got that way by training with very heavy weights. They may have changed their training philosophy AFTER they built their incredible muscle mass but they never would have gotten that way in the first place by simply pumping up the the muscles with light weights.

 

Mistake #3 – Not Keeping Track of Your Progress – Sometimes the emphasis with a training program is to just “kill it” or train very intense instead of actually making progress. Everyone wants to train hard in order to build more muscle mass. However, the bottom line should always be how effective is the workout?

Taking each set to failure, using drop sets and chasing the pump during a workout may make you believe that you are progressing because the workout was so hard. However, this may not necessarily be the case. Are you getting stronger week after week? Are your muscles getting progressively bigger over time? Does it seem like you are making progress because you are training so hard or are you actually making progress?

The best way to ensure that you are making gains and going in the right direction is to record your workouts and keep track of your progress. By writing down what you are dong week after week, you will be able to see for yourself if you are making gains with your muscle mass and strength.

The muscles will respond to progressive resistance. By consistently overloading the muscles, they will have no choice but to respond to the increased stress by growing and getting larger. You don’t necessarily have to train so hard that your eyeballs are bulging out of your head. As long as the muscles are working consistently working harder, they will get bigger.

 

—-END OF ARTICLE—-

 

If you found this article useful be sure to check out John’s program below:

Get the MP6 Program Today + FR E E BRE + John’s Podcast <<<

 

If you get John’s program through one of the
links in this email, or via the links on my video with John below,
I will get you a complimentary copy of my own
program “Body Re-Engineering” (valued at $39.99).

Furthermore, I will give you a NEVER BEFORE HEARD
Exclusive 60 Minute Podcast of John Hansen where
he shares solid tips on training, nutrition and supplementation!
[Editing interview as we speak so I will send it out
by Monday.]

Just make sure that when you pick up MP6 you forward
your receipt to hugo@hugorivera.net with the title
“SPECIAL MP6 OFFER” and I’ll get it sent over to you asap
(within 24 hours)! I will then send you also the podcast as soon
as I have it ready (Friday).

Note: Offer expires Sunday, Feb 23rd.

 

Get the MP6 Program Today + FR E E BRE + John’s Podcast <<<

 

And before I leave, for those of you who may have missed out on my last video, you can check it out below. Tons of great muscle building information!

Take care and train hard!!!

Today I will share another great article from my friend,
Natural Mr. Olympia and Mr. Universe John Hansen.
In this article, John shares a super important training
secret for getting non-stop gains.

1656217_650721681635986_1088226904_n (1)

And by the way, John sends a huge thanks to all of you
who have gotten his system which is on sale only until
Sunday at midnight! After that, the bonuses go away
and the price doubles so take advantage of this now!

Get the MP6 Program Today + FR E E BRE + John’s Podcast <<<

Remember that if you get John’s program through one of the
links in this email, or via the links on my video with John below,
I will get you a complimentary copy of my own
program “Body Re-Engineering” (valued at $39.99).

Furthermore, I will give you a NEVER BEFORE HEARD
Exclusive 60 Minute Podcast of John Hansen where
he shares solid tips on training, nutrition and supplementation!
[Editing interview as we speak so I will send it out
on Friday.]

Just make sure that when you pick up MP6 you forward
your receipt to hugo@hugorivera.net with the title
“SPECIAL MP6 OFFER” and I’ll get it sent over to you asap
(within 24 hours)! I will then send you also the podcast as soon
as I have it ready (Friday).

Note: Offer expires Sunday, Feb 23rd.

Get the MP6 Program Today + FR E E BRE + John’s Podcast <<<

With that said, here is John’s article about non stop gains:

1 Training Secret to Non Stop Gains
by John Hansen, Natural Mr. Olympia / Mr. Universe
MP6 Program Creator

Building muscle mass is not like saving money. If you consistently
deposit money into a savings account, even one with a minimal
interest rate, your savings will continue to rise. However, if you
consistently weight train for many years, you will not necessarily
continue to build more and more muscle mass. In fact, it’s more
than likely that your body will actually resist the push to build
more muscle size as you become more advanced.

When we first began weight training, the results came so easy. All
we had to do was show up at the gym and start throwing weights
around. It didn’t matter if we really trained hard, if we used
proper form, if we did too many sets and reps. We could train every
day for hours at a time, doing endless exercises and sets for just
one muscle group (50 sets just for the biceps!) and our muscles
sprouted like flowers in spring time. It was a wonderful experience!

Unfortunately, the good times didn’t last. It might have taken a
year or perhaps only months but eventually the muscle gains came
screeching to a sudden and definitive halt! The disappointing
results may have made you take a closer look at your exercise form
or even cut back on the number of sets you were doing so you don’t
run the danger of overtraining.

However, despite doing basically EVERYTHING right, gaining muscle
can still be a frustrating experience for the advanced trainer.
Your body adopts the attitude “been there, done that” and refuses
to budge even though you are now doing forced reps, drop sets,
supersets and every other high intensity training technique you can
think of.

Yet, despite your years of training experience and your body’s
stubborn response to building muscle, there is a basic tenet that
applies to developing more muscle mass, whether you are a novice
beginner or an advanced bodybuilder. It is the Rule of Progressive
Resistance!

Even though your muscles may seem like devious little creatures
that bob and weave their way around your attempts to make them
bigger, the truth is that they don’t have a mind of their own. Your
highly sought after muscle cells are merely composed of fibers,
liquid and other sarcoplasmic substances. If they are stimulated
correctly, they will grow. End of story!

So, how can you make your experienced muscle fibers, who have been
through it all after so many years of consistent, hard training,
finally begin to respond again? The answer is to progressively
overload them with more resistance. Those stubborn muscle fibers
won’t have any chance but to grow bigger and stronger from the
overload placed on them.

The best way to consistently overload the muscles with more
resistance is to CYCLE your workouts. By slowly but progressively
adding more resistance to your workouts, week after week, the
muscles will slowly adapt by getting both bigger and stronger. If
you have been trying to “force” muscle growth by training harder
and harder, this may finally be the solution for you to start
growing again.

The muscles don’t know what “hard” training is. They just respond
to more stress. If you impose greater amounts of stress on the
muscle, it will have no choice but to respond by adapting to that
stress. The adaptation response in this case will be to increase
the size and strength of the muscles in response to that increased
stress.

Cycling your workouts will allow you to slowly impose more
resistance (stress) on the muscles over several weeks (a cycle).
This method of progressively increasing the resistance on the
muscles will naturally allow the body to increase strength without
trying to force the muscles to respond.

By using both a Power Cycle and a Mass Cycle, you will be
developing both muscle strength and size with the overall goal of
building bigger muscles. The key to developing either strength or
mass is in the amount of repetitions performed. More weight and
less reps (3-5 repetitions) will develop greater strength and
power. Slightly higher repetitions (6-10 reps) is more conducive to
building more muscle mass and size.

We always begin with the Power Cycle first because the goal during
the training cycle is develop more strength in the specific
mass-building exercises. The more weight you can use for the proper
amount of reps, the more muscle mass you will build. By devoting a
set amount of weeks to primarily building up strength, you will be
able to use that increased power to build more size.

For example, let’s take everyone’s favorite exercise, the Barbell
Bench Press, and illustrate how you could use the Power and Mass
Cycles to build more size and strength into the chest. To start
off, pick a weight that you can do 6 repetitions with in the
Barbell Bench Press. For example, if you could do 225 pounds for an
easy 6 reps, that would be a good weight to start off with in Week
1 of the Power Cycle.

Power Cycle
Week 1 – 225 pounds for 3 sets of 5 reps
Week 2 – 235 pounds for 3 sets of 4 reps
Week 3 – 245 pounds for 3 sets of 3 reps
Week 4 – 235 pounds for 3 sets of 5 reps
Week 5 – 245 pounds for 3 sets of 4 reps
Week 6 – 255 pounds for 3 sets of 3 reps

The Power Cycle will last a total of six weeks. The six weeks is
actually two 3 week cycles in which the resistance is gradually
increased over the length of the cycle. This gradual progression
will allow the body to slowly increase strength without getting
stuck by trying to lift too heavy of a resistance too fast. It’s
important to coax the body to get stronger on it’s own by using a
program that will accomplish the goal of increasing power.

The amount of repetitions to be used for the Power Cycle is
approximately 3-5 reps. This selection of reps is slightly below
what is normally used to build muscle mass. Again, the goal is
power and strength first and muscle size second. However, prepare
to be surprised on how much size you will develop in addition to
more strength when using the Power Cycle.

Doing the right amount of weight for the required amount of
repetitions and doing three sets of each exercise is one of the
primary factors for the success of this program. By doing multiple
sets with the same weight instead of doing just one or two sets and
pushing that set to complete failure, you will be using a technique
that many powerlifters use to build strength. It’s that practice of
doing set after set after set that conditions the body to build the
strength in response to the stress imposed on the muscles. That’s
why doing three working sets for each exercise is vitally
important.

After the Power Cycle is completed, it’s time to change gears and
employ the Mass Cycle. The amount of reps used in the Mass Cycle
will be higher (5-7 reps) than what was used in the Power Cycle.
The increased reps will bring in more blood flow and lactic acid
build-up in the muscles. The muscles will get more sore in this
cycle than the Power Cycle because the muscle tissues will be
damaged more from the greater volume (more on that later).

When structuring the Mass Cycle for your workouts, a good rule to
follow is to take the weight that was used on the FIRST Week of the
Power Cycle and use that same weight for the SECOND Week of the
Mass Cycle. For example, let’s again use the Barbell Bench Press as
an example to illustrate the change from the Power Cycle to the
Mass Cycle for the full six weeks for each phase:

Mass Cycle
Week 1 – 215 pounds for 3 sets of 7 reps
Week 2 – 225 pounds for 3 sets of 6 reps
Week 3 – 235 pounds for 3 sets of 5 reps
Week 4 – 225 pounds for 3 sets of 7 reps
Week 5 – 235 pounds for 3 sets of 6 reps
Week 6 – 245 pounds for 3 sets of 5 reps

Looking at the difference between the Power Cycle and Mass Cycle
above may not seem like a giant improvement. After all, you are
only doing ONE MORE repetition on the Mass Cycle than you were
using during the Power Cycle on some of the weeks. It may almost
seem like a lot of work and dedication for only a little reward.

However, the difference in the two different training cycles is
very apparent when looking at the TOTAL VOLUME for both the Power
Cycle and the Mass Cycle. The total volume is computed by
multiplying the weight used each set by the sets and the reps. For
example, on week 1 of the Power Cycle for the Barbell Bench Press –

225 pounds x 5 reps x 3 sets = 3375

Let’s take the same volume approach with the Mass Cycle on week 2 –

225 pounds x 6 reps x 3 sets = 4050

Only one more repetition has increased the total volume of that one
exercise by 675 pounds! That’s a 17% increase with only the
addition of one more rep using the same weight and the same amount
of sets.

When you see the difference in Total Volume for the Power Cycle vs
the Mass Cycle, the difference is even more dramatic. Using the
Barbell Bench Press example illustrated above, lets look at the
totals in volume for both cycles:

Barbell Bench Press

Power Cycle Mass Cycle
Week 1 225x5x3 = 3375 215x7x3 = 4515
Week 2 235x4x3 = 2820 225x6x3 = 4050
Week 3 245x3x3 = 2205 235x5x3 = 3525
Week 4 235x5x3 = 3525 225x7x3 = 4725
Week 5 245x4x3 = 2940 235x6x3 = 4230
Week 6 255x3x3 = 2295 245x5x3 = 3675

If you are ready to start making some serious gains in both muscle
mass and strength again, then begin cycling your workouts for both
Power and Mass. No matter how long you have been training or how
complacent your muscles may seem to be, they won’t have any other
option but to grow when you start subjecting them to progressively
more resistance. Get ready to start growing again!

—-END OF ARTICLE—-

And before I leave, for those of you who may have missed out
on my last video, you can check it out below. Tons of great
muscle building information!

Take care and train hard!!!

Today I want to share with you a video blog that shows you one of my natural bodybuilding 10 minute calves home workout routines.

While many trainees who train at home think that unless you have a calf raise machine, you cannot have a good calves workout, as you will see, this calves routine can be done with minimum equipment. For this workout we will be using some dumbbells and a technique called dropsets in which you take a weight, go to failure, lower the weight, hit failure again, and repeat the cycle 2 more times. The last part of the drop set will be performed with no weight.

In order to allow for full range of motion I will use a couple of 25-lb plates that I will put next to each other in order to put the ball of my feet on them and have my heels go down (thus giving me a much needed stretch). If you don’t have a way to create a raised surface, then not a problem. Simply use the floor in this case.

The key thing to remember is that calves recover quickly so it is essential to not allow much rest in between sets.

With that said, here is your 10 minute calves home workout routine:

[Note: For more videos, be sure to SUBSCRIBE to my YouTube Channel by either clicking on the SUBSCRIBE button on the video or by visiting my YouTube Channel here and clicking subscribe: www.youtube.com/hugoriverafitness]

10 Minute Natural Bodybuilding Calves Home Workout Routine
 

Home Calves Workout with Multiple Dumbbell Pairs

Standing Dumbbell Calf Raises 8-20 reps
Lower weight and immediately do
Standing Dumbbell Calf Raises 8-20 reps
Lower weight and immediately do
Standing Dumbbell Calf Raises 8-20 reps
Put the weights away and immediately do
Standing Dumbbell Calf Raises to failure with just the bodyweight

This is 1 set. Rest 20 seconds and repeat 2 more times.

Home Calves Workout with a Single Pair of Dumbbells

If you don’t have a collection of dumbbells like I do, then do the following instead:

Standing Dumbbell Calf Raises 8-20 reps
Put the weight away and immediately do
Do some Bodyweight Standing Dumbbell Calf Raises to failure with just the bodyweight
Pick up the weight back and do some
Standing Dumbbell Calf Raises 8-20 reps
Put the weights away and immediately do
Standing Dumbbell Calf Raises to failure with just the bodyweight
Pick up the weight back and do some
Standing Dumbbell Calf Raises 8-20 reps
Put the weights away and immediately do
Standing Dumbbell Calf Raises to failure with just the bodyweight

This is 1 set. Rest 20 seconds and repeat 2 more times.

Natural Bodybuilding Calves Workout Notes:

1) Use two 25-lb plates in order to allow for a heel stretch.

2) If you don’t have a couple of 25-lb plates, then simply use do the calf raises on the flat floor.

3) Do this arms workout twice a week.

4) For more information on different training splits please take a look 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

Bodybuilding Training Split #3:

Day 1: Chest, Shoulders, Triceps
Day 2: Legs
Day 3: Back, Biceps, Abs
Day 4: Rest
Day 5: Start Over

If you have found this knowledge useful you may want to check out the MI-40 program, which is jam packed with muscle building information. And if you choose to get it, I will also give you my Body Re-Engineering program (with over 21 weeks worth of workouts) for FR E E. For details and review of the MI-40 program click here.

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