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.


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
squats with no weights
lunges with no weights
calf raises with no weight
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


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!






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.


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.


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!





most-muscular-1Based on the amount of emails that I have been getting,
I can see that there is a huge amount of confusion regarding
the amount of carbs to consume in order to grow.

Thus, today I will be sharing an article from Ben regarding
how many carbs you need to grow in order to gain lean
muscle while burning fat.

Pay attention as this strategy is an incredible one…

The Truth About How Many Carbs You Need to Grow
by IFBB Pro Ben Pakulski

What you do now affects your body down the road. If you cram yourself full of carbohydrates on a daily basis, regardless of type of carb (even low GI carbs), your body must process these carbs and your insulin sensitivity will be decreased. Over time, insulin resistance (the inability to use carbohydrates) is inevitable for 98% of the population. Your cells just won’t work as well as when you were younger and it has little to do with “age.” It has to do with the level of abuse you have put on your pancreas and the cells of your body
with high sugar foods and massive carbohydrate consumption.

Emulating your favorite IFBB pros’ carb intake is not always an
advisable approach. Pro athletes alike are typically not only
gifted physically, but also in their ability to utilize

Yes, carbs are absolutely necessary for growth and optimal

Yes, massive amounts of carbs in the short term will make you grow
at faster rate than lower carb protocols, but this growth rate will
be short lived.

Eventually, fat will start to accumulate as cells will start to
become resistant to insulin and growth will slow down dramatically.
The unfortunate part is that sometimes you may never be able to
gain that same sensitivity back again.

Typically, once your cells stop functioning optimally or loses the
ability to efficiently utilize insulin, your pancreas is forced
into overdrive and pumps out more insulin in response to elevated
blood glucose (if your cells are resistant to insulin, your blood
glucose remains elevated because the cells wont “accept” the
glucose). Your cells simply won’t take up anymore glucose, so you
store it as fat.

Depending on the level of insulin resistance, it may take a very
long time to regain sensitivity again.

I wont be so bold to say you may never gain it back, because all of
you reading this are obviously intelligent, active, and
hard-working people. Diabetics aside, with hard work and
intelligent nutrition you can absolutely regain insulin
sensitivity. It just may take a really long time, and typically
only last as long as you maintain the strict regiment of exercise
and low/moderate carb that you used to gain it back.

So, what do I do about it?:

Exercise is a great way to improve insulin sensitivity in the short
term, but cramming a bunch of simple sugars into yourself post
workout and out the window goes insulin sensitivity again. (This
is why taking in whey protein or BCAAs without
carbs has become so popular).

Now, of course, the amount of carbohydrate that is necessary to
cause insulin resistance is completely variable from person to
person. For some people it may be 20g at a time while others may
need 100-120grams. Some may take 1 year while others 10 years. A
lot of that is genetically correlated, or dependent on your youth
(blame your parents).

An extended period of low carbohydrate intake is also a great way
to improve insulin sensitivity. Anywhere from 4hrs to 3 days on low
carb has been utilized by intelligent people with great results.
WARNING: Any longer than that and you could be looking at some
metabolic shutdown.

Carbohydrate cycling, or varying your intake from day to day, has
become an effective method for fat loss because it allows people to
optimize carb sensitivity and maximize carb uptake and utilzation,
all while seeing minimal metabolic shutdown(metabolic damage).

A common example of carb cycling is: two low carb days, followed by
one high carb day.

By the way, just as a friendly reminder, this coming Tuesday
I will be re-opening my Hypertrophy Max System, which is a
full year worth of muscle building workouts and coaching!
And for those of you who sign up via Hugo’s Newsletter you
will also get tons of valuable bonuses. Be sure to not miss
out as I will be taking new members from Tuesday to Friday only.

[Hugo Note : be sure to check out my review of H-MAX here:
H-Max Review and Bonuses for You]

—————-END OF ARTICLE—————-

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:]

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.

Here is a great article from my friend Todd Kuslikis on the
subject of gaining solid muscle with only bodyweight

[Read more…]

In this article I discuss how to take care of your joints in order to prevent injuries and to practice natural bodybuilding pain free for many years to come. [Read more…]

In this natural bodybuilding article I discuss how to keep up with your natural bodybuilding training and dieting while traveling. [Read more…]

Natural Bodybuilding 35-Minute Arms Workout

This week I want to share with you a 35 minute natural bodybuilding arms workout that I absolutely love! This workout only requires a set of dumbbells and a floor mat (optional) to get the job done so it can be done at home or at the gym (at the gym you can use a bench). You will experience a massive pump from it as it is fast paced in nature so be ready to have your heart muscle working hard as well! [Read more…]

In this natural bodybuilding exercise video I show how to perform hammer curls properly so that you can get big, wide and ripped biceps. [Read more…]

In this article I talk about what natural bodybuilding exercises women can do to shape up the legs & abs at home without equipment. [Read more…]

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