Body Re-Engineering was the product of a guy who, much like the rest of us, was not born with great natural genetics…
Hugo Rivera was overweight throughout his childhood, and since he’s got the pictures on his site to prove it… I guess I believe him! During his teen years, Rivera became seriously afflicted with anorexia trying to change his body simply by starving himself. He then spent years after his recovery studying every book on exercise and nutrition that he could find — testing and documenting what worked and what didn’t. The end result of all this intensive learning effort was not only a championship physique, but also a system that Hugo devised for himself — which he now shares by way of his Body Re-Engineering program. That’s the product that we’ll be taking a look at today.
The problem with a lot of fitness programs is that they are static, ‘one size fits all’ knock-offs of each other that are applied universally — disregarding the unique problem-set that each morphic type of individual needs to have managed properly in order to see serious results in the gym. Body Re-Engineering takes a different angle on this problem, one that tailors workout schedule and diet to the individual, rather than being enslaved to some holy “system”…
Body Re-Engineering takes a unique approach to muscle building
What I like about Hugo’s BRE approach is that it deliberately seeks to prevent the body from getting acclimated to any single workout routine or any particular diet — and it does this by way of a clever CYCLING process. Body Re-Engineering outlines a full 21 weeks of varying training routines and diets for all various different body styles (frames). Every week the program changes and advances in an orderly manner — actually taking your body almost to the brink of over-training before allowing it to recover. This is what Hugo claims to be his Cycling Principle: establishing a balance between maximum stress-load and recovery time in order to provoke the same sort of vigorous and natural muscle growth that Rivera was able to create for himself… and then later pass on to his bodybuilding students.
We all know that human body cannot simply be stressed in the exact same manner all the time if it is to continually build mass. It simply adapts and seeks a steady state. Therefore, training and diet-wise, a program that remains pretty much the same will only work as long as it takes for your body to get used to it. Once it learns to cope with the initial stresses imposed by Program X, your gains will pretty much cease. This is the dreaded “plateau” effect that all bodybuilders hate.
The most effective way to make your body respond to weight training on a continuous basis is via the correct variation of exercises… their VOLUME (number of sets times number of reps), INTENSITY (how heavy the weights are)… plus the all-important REST periods between both sets and training sessions. Programs that lack this sort of controlled progression are unable to provide equal results for everybody. This is where Body Re-Engineering really excels.
Body Re-Engineering lays out specific recommendations regarding training type, frequency and recovery. If you are a “hardgainer” for instance you will NOT be training as frequently as someone who’s an endomorph, nor in the same way. An endomorph (a person who stores fat easily and gains weight fast, a naturally heavy person) can train as often as 5-6 days a week with FULL weights, whereas an ectomorphic hardgainer (naturally thin person) should train no more than 2-3 times per week at modified weight levels in order to avoid losing too much body mass — which is a major problem for this morphic type when it comes to gaining muscle and not just getting wiry.
Your individualized workout schedule is also adjusted for the particular PHASE of the program that you are currently in. There are three Body Re-Engineering phases: Loading, Growth and Active Recovery. Each of these is repeated over and over again and is intended to push the body to the brink time and again by not allowing it to become over-acclimated to any one particular routine — thus insuring the maximum gain in weight and muscle mass PER CYCLE.
The Loading Phase is characterized by high volume with short rest in-between sets. Training volume is gradually increased over a three week time frame in order to stress the body almost to the point of over-training, then it switches over to a Growth Phase where all major stimuli is produced via the use of heavier weights. Again, all in a strict progression that keeps the body guessing. Finally, an Active Recovery Phase allows the body to fully re-charge its energy stores, undergo physical and mental recuperation and build new muscle tissue.
Body Re-Engineering’s Nutritional Component
Several different diet regimens are suggested for various body types. Once again that skinny hardgainer needs more calories and a higher carbohydrate base than the endomorph who has a slower metabolism. Whereas a gifted mesomorph (a naturally muscular person) requires a diet that lies somewhere in between an ecto and endomorph in terms of both composition and portion / eating frequency. Rivera’s Body Re-Engineering gives you ways to troubleshoot your caloric intake as well if you’re not getting the desired results. If after a week of maintaining the recommended amount of calories you see that you lost 5 lbs. instead of gaining mass (if that’s your goal, for instance), the system teaches you how to fix that.
Speaking of which, too many calories are often consumed by bodybuilders in a cheap and easy attempt to build mass. You’ll soon learn that only hardgainers need to calorie-load — most people will only need to consume around 500-700 calories ABOVE maintenance, making sure that for two days out of 7 their calorie intake is significantly lowered. Otherwise everything starts getting stored as fat!
What I like about this diet too is that it’s centered around normal foods that can be purchased at the grocery store, rather than those expensive whole foods. And also because it’s NOT a low carb program that’s impossible to follow! Carbohydrate intake in fact makes up about 45% of the total calorie load, depending on body type. Suggested supplements consist of nothing more exotic than multi-vitamins, minerals and some essential fats, so that’s easy on the wallet as well.
I think this is a complete program that will serve all your training and fitness needs. I recommend you give Hugo Rivera’s outstanding Body Re-Engineering program a look and see for yourself. And while you’re there grab a copy of his outstanding FREE e-book: 1 Sneaky Trick to Triple Muscle Mass. You’ll also want to take a look at Hugo Rivera’s post about hardgainers and their special training and dietary requirements.
Hugo Rivera CFT, SPN, BSCE… is an internationally known best selling fitness author with a successful franchise of books called “The Body Sculpting Bibles” that have collectively sold over a million copies, in addition to his internet-based Body Re-Engineering program.