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


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.

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!

Today I want to share with you a natural bodybuilding question that I have been getting lately. The question is: Do fish oils cause prostate cancer?

Do Fish Oils Cause Prostate Cancer?

Is there really a correlation between fish oils and prostate cancer? Some study claims so. However, the key thing to understand is that this is an epidimeological study. This is a correlational stufy…it looks at things that people eat and gathers a whole bunch of data and tries to make a correlation. So this is not a biological study that took a whole bunch of prostate cells and studied the effects of fish oil supplementation.

While I am not stating that this study is invalid, I just want to make it clear that the results are based on statistical data gathering as opposed to a biological in vitro or in vivo study.

Based on the fact that there is a huge amount of evidence pointing to the safety and efficacy of fish oils, we have to be careful with making a decision to drop the fish oils out from our diet. Especially considering the fact that there is tons of scientific evidence pointing to the positive effects of fish oils in regards to insulin sensitivity, brain function, joint function, fat burning, hormonal production, etc.

Also keep in mind that every single food you consume (and supplement) probably has a study out there that may link it to some sort of disease. Heck, you can even link breathing air to cancer but I don’t think any of us will stop to breathe any time soon. Thus, always weigh out the various studies and the benefit that a food or supplement will offer you. If the positive outweighs the negatives keep it in your diet. When it comes to fish oils I certainly feel that the benefits completely outweigh the results of this one statistical correlational study.

Take care and train hard!

Natural Bodybuilding Question: What Should To Do If You Experience A Joint Injury?

I have lifted with that I thought was good form and also with moderate weight. Yet, my shoulders are killing me and I seem to have an injury since I cannot lift my arms past a certain point. What should I do now?

Answer: Sometimes, injuries still happen even when we do everything right. Life’s not fair sometimes. Dr. Raul Rivera (MD), my grandfather and orthopedic surgeon, taught me that what to do depends entirely upon the nature of the injury.

For Minor Injuries Use RICE

RICE is an acronym that refers to the following:

(R)est. This does not refer to laying in bed but instead stopping to do the activity that created the injury or at least stopping to do movements that cause pain. As a matter of fact in my personal experience and in my conversations with sports medicine doctors if you can continue training without pain the healing process will be faster. Keep in mind that the exercise promoted blood flow helps to deliver valuable nutrients to the damaged areas. The trick is to find exercises or angles of an exercise that allow for execution without pain. Dumbbell training is a valuable ally for training with injuries due to the versatility of the exercises that can be performed with them.

(I)ce. Using ice immediately after the injury is great for numbing the pain and reducing the swelling of the injure area. The quicker you apply this ice, the better. Apply the ice pack for 20 minutes, then remove for 20 minutes. Continue this pattern for as long as you want for 24-36 hours. For those of you who hate ice, at the very least attempt to do 20 minutes every hour for good results.

(C)ompression. Use an elastic bandage to wrap the injured area with a layer or two. You can apply the ice pack after the second layer and then continue the wrapping but make sure that you don’t wrap yourself so tight that you cut off circulation. However, make it tight enough to prevent fluid from accumulating in the injured area. This is the whole purpose of compression.

(E)levation. Get the injured area elevated above your torso. While tricky, this is something that can be done when you lay at night in bed.
Important Note: If within 24-36 hours you don’t see any improvements, and especially, if your condition worsens, please visit your doctor immediately.

If You Get An Injury That Causes Immediate Bruising Go To The Doctor Immediately

Bruising of the area with immediate swelling are signs of a serious injury; possibly in the form of a tear. Make sure that you go to the doctor immediately if this is the case!

Note: the best way to get the absolute fastest muscle gains and not get injured is to practice picture perfect form! for a GREAT programs with solid videos that teach the best exercise execution please take a look at my MI-40 review here and also find out how you can get my program Body Re-Engineering for FREE.]


Natural Bodybuilding Video: Hugo Rivera and Ben Pakulski Talk Bodybuilding Training with MI-40, Part 2

In this natural bodybuilding video, IFBB Pro Ben Pakulski and Hugo Rivera talk about bodybuilding training and how MI-40 helps you to gain muscle mass!

This is part 2 of 4.

For Part 1 go Here =>

For Part 3 go Here =>

For Part 4 go Here =>

Get Ben Pakulski’s MI-40 Program Here:

For my thoughts on Ben Pakulski’s MI-40 program go here:

Bonus: Natural Bodybuilding FAQ With Ben: How Do I Know How Much Work is Enough?

Bodybuilding Question: Ben, could you please tell me how much work at the gym you think is necessary to stimulate muscle growth? How do I know when I have done enough? [Read more…]

Natural Bodybuilding FAQ – Training Over 40

Natural bodybuilding expert and best selling fitness author Hugo River discusses how should bodybuilders over 40 train. [Read more…]

Natural Bodybuilding FAQ – Can You Follow The Pro Routines and Other Pro Advice?

Over the weekend I got the following question:

I read a lot of bodybuilding magazines and I read the routines and diets of the pros. However, some of my buddies at the gym say that all of that is garbage. Since you have been involved in bodybuilding for a while, I hope that you can help me.
[Read more…]

Natural Bodybuilding FAQ – Should You Train When You Are Feeling Tired?

Should you perform your bodybuilding workouts when you are feeling tired? [Read more…]

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