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If You’ve Hit A Weight Training Plateau, Read This Important Report

Have You Hit a Weight Training Plateau in Your Program?…

We’ve all experienced it at one time or another…  Our training efforts are running along nicely and with each week we’re successfully adding more weight to the bar, more pounds to the scale and more muscle size and thickness to our bodies.  Then without warning those gains come to a screeching halt and our muscle building and strength gaining progress seems to have stopped dead in its tracks.

In the bodybuilding world, this is referred to as a weight training plateau.

The very idea of this should send shivers up the spine of any serious trainee, as this weight training plateau essentially means that despite our best efforts in the gym and in the kitchen, no additional progress is being made.  What does the typical lifter do in response to hitting a weight training plateau?  They immediately begin switching up their training routine haphazardly in an effort to “shock” their muscles into new growth. They change their exercises and rep ranges, or they implement new “advanced techniques” such as forced reps, negatives and static holds in an effort to break through the plateau into new levels of growth…

STOP!

While exercise variety can sometimes be a reasonable option here, these plateaus happen for more fundamental reasons that usually have little to do with the repeated use of the same workout.  In the majority of cases, the weight training plateau is simply the result of OVERTRAINING.  All we have to do is review some basic physiology in order to see why this is the case…

When we train intensely we are damaging our muscles, and each set that we perform digs a “hole” into the body’s recovery ability.  When we leave the gym, the body needs rest and nutrients in order to rebuild the damaged muscle and to fill up this hole.  Once the muscles have been remodeled back to their previous state, the body will then further compensate by building additional muscle mass as an adaptive response to all the training stress.  So far, so good, right?

Well here’s the critical factor that you need to keep in mind: as you become stronger and add more and more weight to the bar, the resulting “hole” that is being dug into the body’s recovery ability continually increases.  The advanced lifter who is bench pressing 300 pounds for 6 reps is placing his muscles and body under far more overall stress than the beginner who is benching 125 pounds.

What does this have to do with a weight training plateau?…

Everything!

See if you are consistently adding more weight to the bar and pushing your body to higher and higher levels of stress each week, you MUST compensate for this increase in stress loading by reducing your training volume and frequency.  If the stress from each individual set is constantly on the upward climb, yet you are still performing the same number of sets and training days, your body will inevitably be pushed beyond its ability to properly recover in between workouts.  Improper recovery means that the muscle is not being given an adequate amount of time to remodel and to increase its size and strength further.

This is why your gains slow down and eventually stop… because every time your body is about to compensate by increasing the size and strength of your muscles, you interrupt the process by placing them under more stress and digging a new hole into the recovery process.  If that hole never gets filled then you never progress forward and you’ve hit a plateau where your body can no longer build mass.  So what’s the solution?

As you become more advanced in your bodybuilding program, you must train less often and with fewer sets in order to avoid hitting a weight training plateau.

You see, training intensity and volume are DIRECTLY related, and are part of a balanced equation that determines your total net progress.  As one variable increases, the other must DECREASE.  So to all of you who are “stuck” on a weight training plateau, you must begin to carefully regulate your volume and frequency!

Decrease the number of sets that you perform for each muscle group somewhat, and consider inserting an additional rest day in between workouts.  If by doing this you begin coming back to the gym stronger than you were before, you’ll know for sure that you were overtraining.  A 25% reduction in weight volume and workout frequency is usually all that is needed in order to make steady, uninterrupted progress in muscle size and strength and either avoid or break out of a weight training plateau.

So instead of panicking and reaching for the latest Muscle Mag searching for some new “ground breaking” routine, simply understand that the body has a finite amount of recovery ability and that as you grow stronger, you will use up an increasingly greater amount of this reserve on each set.   So reduce the volume slightly, consider inserting an additional rest day, and that is most likely all you’I’ll need to blast yourself through any weight training plateau and right back into a new phase of awesome growth!

And another important aspect of effective bodybuilding training is your pre-workout meal. Make sure that you’re eating correctly before every one of your workouts in order to achieve maximum muscle gain…

To learn more insider techniques for building a powerful, muscular body, check out Sean Nalewanyj’s The Muscle Gain Truth No-Fail System. Also be sure to grab a FREE copy of Sean’s terrific new Training e-book: “8 Things You MUST Do To Build MAXIMUM Muscle” available in the ‘Free Bodybuilding Program Books’ section on the right side of this page and get the full scoop on avoiding a weight training plateau in your workout routine.

Fuel Your Body Building Training With the Proper Pre-Workout Meal

Effective body building training always requires that you eat a specific pre-workout meal before going to the gym…

You know how the old saying goes… “if you fail to prepare, then you are preparing to fail”.  No truer words can be spoken about body building training and for each and every one of your workouts.  Every session in the gym needs to be treated as a battle, and just like any other battle you must enter it with proper mental and physical readiness.  Before you can enter this battle you need to prime your body with the proper pre-workout nutrition loading.  A carefully planned pre-workout meal will ensure that you enter the gym at peak strength, and will provide your body with the necessary fuel it requires to battle the weights as effectively as possible…

The 3 main goals of any body building training pre-workout meal are as follows:

1) Maximize your strength potential.

2) Provide a steady stream of balanced energy for your mind and muscles to use throughout the body building training workout.

3) Minimize muscle breakdown and provide the raw tools for your body to begin the recovery process once the workout is over.

The first thing to make sure of is that you are properly HYDRATED before beginning your workout. Water plays a vital role in keeping strength and energy levels peaked, so always ensure that you’ve consumed an adequate amount of water in the few hours before you begin your body building training.

Around 30-45 minutes prior to entering the gym you should consume your pre-workout meal.  The first component of this meal is, you guessed it, protein.  This protein will keep your body in an anabolic state throughout your workout and will help to prevent muscle breakdown as you train.  I would recommend that you consume 30-40 grams of high quality protein, ideally coming from a mix of whey protein and casein.  This can best be accomplished by mixing 25-30 grams of whey protein in 300-400ml of skim milk.

Whey protein makes for a great pre-workout meal because it is naturally high in BCAA’s, which help to prevent muscle catabolism during your workout.  Mixing your whey with milk is a good idea because this will slow down the release of the protein and provide your body with a steady stream of amino acids throughout your body building training.

Along with your protein shake you should also consume 1-2 portions of LOW-GLYCEMIC carbohydrates. Low glycemic carbohydrates are ideal before the workout because they are broken down and absorbed gradually in the bloodstream, providing your body with a steady stream of energy throughout your workout.

When you consume high glycemic-type carbohydrates (sugary energy bars, etc.) which are rapidly released into your bloodstream, your body will respond with a surge of insulin in an attempt to level out your blood sugar.  This will result in a quick rise in insulin levels followed by a sharp fall.  The drop in insulin will leave you feeling weak, tired and sluggish, and this is the LAST thing you need in the middle of a high intensity workout!  So stick with carbohydrates that won’t cause this rapid fluctuation in insulin levels at any point in your body building training session.

Pre-workout carbohydrate choices such as oatmeal, apples or brown rice will provide your body with a steady stream of sugars throughout the workout and will keep your energy levels peaked at all times.  This pre-workout meal should be fairly small to allow for easy digestion and to prevent you from feeling sick when you train

You should NEVER workout without a solid body building training pre-workout meal in you first!

So, to recap:

For a meal taken 30-45 minutes before your body building training session:

1) 25-30 grams of whey protein mixed with 300-400ml of milk
2) 1-2 servings of slow release carbohydrates (i.e. Oatmeal, brown rice, apple)

I also like to throw in a cup or two of coffee before my workouts as I find that this increases my energy and amplifies my focus nicely.  There are also 3 other highly important times throughout the day to pay special attention to the foods and supplements that you consume.  Visit my body building training website to learn more.

You might also want to read this post about hardgainers and their special dietary requirements.

 

To learn more insider techniques for building a powerful, muscular body, check out Sean Nalewanyj’s The Muscle Gain Truth No-Fail System. Also be sure to grab a FREE copy of Sean’s terrific new e-book: “8 Things You MUST Do To Build MAXIMUM Muscle” available in the FREE Body Building Training Books section on the right side of this page.

Zuzana’s Fast Death Workout

Anyone up for a little fast death workout?… What a way to go baby! You’ve got to be kidding me… this girl is just amazing to watch.   How can you NOT be inspired?  It doesn’t hurt that her body is just an absolute work of art either, I suppose.
Watch her on the rings – just stunning.  Ripped yet still very feminine…
 

The Truth about Dietary Fats, Good vs. Bad

How to distinguish between good and bad dietary fats

Some of the following facts that you’re about to learn in this post may be a bitch-slap to the politically-correct idea that ALL dietary fats are bad and should be completely eliminated from the dinner table as much as possible.  This is simply NOT true, not even slightly.  There is a difference between natural and artificially-altered fats, and it is a critical one to understand.

An adequate supply of healthy dietary fats is VITALLY important for your overall health maintenance.  Fats are one of the main components of the cellular membranes throughout your body, therefore if you eat enough natural dietary fats your cells will be healthy and youthful and your metabolism continue to function normally.  Load your body with too many heavily processed, chemically altered fats (highly-damaged fats) however, and your cellular function will gradually become impaired as these damaged fats become woven into your cell membranes.  This sets the stage for a galaxy of degenerative diseases as you age…

Bottom line: keep eating the wrong sorts of dietary fats and you are engaged in slowly poisoning yourself!

cringe every time I hear these so-called health experts recommending the arbitrary restriction of dietary fat — claiming that a simple low-fat diet is the key to good health, weight loss or the prevention of degenerative diseases.  Not true: an over-restriction of any single  macronutrient (protein, carbs, or fat) in your diet will only lead to problems.  All three basic macros serve important roles in the creation and maintenance of a lean, healthy and disease-free body.  Dr. Mary Enig Ph.D, one of the leading dietary fat researchers in the world, notes in several of her books that there is little scientific evidence supporting the assertion that an indiscriminate high fat diet is always bad for us.

If this were true then why do traditional Pacific Islanders for example, who typically obtained 2/3 to 3/4 of their total daily calories from fat (mostly from coconut fat), remain virtually free of heart disease, obesity, and other modern degenerative diseases?… (at least until Western influences overwhelmed their little island paradises!)  Or what about Eskimo populations who consume up to 75% of their total caloric intake from pure fat — mostly whale blubber, seal fat, organ meats, and cold water fish?  Why don’t THEY display the same sort of tendency towards heart disease or obesity that western society does?

How about members of the Masai tribe in Africa, who remain free of many Western-style degenerative diseases and maintain low body fat percentages on diets consisting mainly of raw whole milk, blood, and meat?  Or the Samburu tribe of Africa that consumes an average of 5 times the daily recommended quantity of dietary fat mostly from raw whole milk and meat?  Or how about those traditional Mediterranean diets, which are known to be very high in fat (sometimes 50-70% fat content), but are generally considered to be healthy?

The problem is that in the collective consciousness our good dietary fats (natural, unprocessed fats) have gotten lumped together with these deadly processed fats which make up a large percentage of the processed food sold at your local grocery store, restaurant, deli, fast food joint, etc.  These deadly processed fats are literally everywhere and almost impossible to avoid unless you know what to look for and make smart choices in what you feed your body with.

Please note that I’m not recommending an extreme high fat diet or anything like that.  Active individuals who exercise on a regular basis certainly need adequate supplies of healthy carbohydrates for muscle glycogen replenishment as well as good sources of protein for muscle repair.  The above examples of the high fat diets of these traditional populations and their corresponding excellent health were provided simply to prove the point that you don’t need to be AFRAID of dietary fats, as long as you make them of the healthy natural variety and strive to remain within your daily caloric range to either maintain or lose weight, depending on your goals.

Following then is a list of some of the healthiest fat-based foods (and some of them may surprise you!)… as well as some of the deadliest types of dietary fats to be avoided at all costs:

The Healthy Dietary Fat Choices:

* Coconut fat: Coconut fat is approximately 92% saturated fat, yet surprisingly, it’s considered a very healthy fat.  The health benefits of coconut fat lie in its composition of approximately 65% medium chain triglycerides (MCTs), and about 50% lauric acid — which has very potent anti-microbial properties that help to enhance the immune system.  Medium chain triglycerides are more easily utilized for immediate energy by the body instead of being stored.  Coconut oil is also an excellent cooking oil for stir-frying since saturated fats are much more stable and do not oxidize like polyunsaturated oils when exposed to heat and light (which creates damaging free radicals, btw). The best sources of healthy coconut fat are organic coconut milk, virgin coconut oil (available here), or fresh coconut.

* Extra virgin olive oil: Olive oil is approximately 71% monounsaturated, 16% saturated, and 13% polyunsaturated.  Always choose extra virgin olive oil, which comes from the first pressing of the olives and has higher quantities of antioxidants.  Try making your own salad dressing by mixing a small amount of olive oil with vinegar.  This is healthier than most store bought salad dressings, which are usually made with highly processed and refined (chemically damaged) soybean oil extracted with industrial solvents.  Unlike most other oils on supermarket shelves, extra virgin olive oil is not extracted with the use of harmful solvents and is one of your healthiest choices for liquid oils.

* Dark, bittersweet chocolate (>70% cocoa): The cocoa bean is a very concentrated source of antioxidants and responsible for part of the health benefit of dark chocolate. The fat portion of the cocoa bean (cocoa butter) is a healthy natural fat, composed of approximately 59% saturated fat (mostly healthy stearic acid), 38% monounsaturated fat, and 3% polyunsaturated fat.  I’I’ll limit the description of healthy chocolate to ONLY dark bittersweet chocolate with  greater than 70% cocoa content.  Most milk chocolates are only about 30% cocoa, and even most dark chocolates are only about 55% cocoa, leaving the remainder of those products composed of high amounts of sugar, milk fat, corn sweeteners, etc.  Look for a quality dark chocolate that lists its cocoa content like Chocolove Extra Dark (77%) or Dagoba New Moon (74%), which contain mostly cocoa and very little sugar.  Keep in mind that although dark chocolate can be a healthy treat, it is still calorie dense, so keeping it to just a square or two is a good idea.

* Avocados or guacamole: The fat in avocados (depending on where they’re grown) is approximately 60% monounsaturated, 25% saturated, and 15% polyunsaturated.  Avocados are a very healthy natural food that provides many nutrients, fiber, and healthful fats, while adding a rich flavor to any meal.  Try sliced avocado on sandwiches or in salads or use guacamole in wraps, sandwiches, or quesadillas.

* High fat fish such as wild salmon, sardines, mackerel, herring or trout: Just about any fish or seafood are good sources of natural omega-3 polyunsaturated fats, but the higher fat fish listed above are the best sources of omega-3’s.

(Due to the radical switch in modern processed foods to a higher proportion of omega-6 polyunsaturated fats like soybean oil, corn oil, safflower oil, etc., the average western diet is currently way too high in omega-6’s compared to omega-3’s — which wreaks havoc with your body. This is where good omega-3 sources like high fat fish, walnuts, and flax seeds can help bring you back into a better ratio of omega-6/omega-3.)

* Nuts (walnuts, almonds, peanuts, cashews, macadamias, etc.): Nuts are great sources of healthy unprocessed dietary fats as well as minerals and other trace nutrients.  Macadamias, almonds, and cashews are great sources of monounsaturated fats, while walnuts are a good source of unprocessed polyunsaturated fats (including omega-3’s).  Try to avoid nuts that are cooked in oil.  Rather, choose raw or dry roasted nuts.

* Seeds (sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, flax seeds): All of these seeds are great sources of natural unprocessed healthy dietary fats.  In particular, FLAX seeds have received a lot of attention lately due to their high omega-3 content. However, keep in mind that omega-3 polyunsaturated fats are highly reactive to heat and light, and prone to oxidation and free radical production.  Therefore, freshly ground flax seed is the only way to go!  Instead of using the store bought ground flax seed, you can buy whole flax seed and use a miniature coffee grinder to grind your own flax seed.  Try grinding fresh flax seed into your yogurt, cereal, or even your salad.  If you’re using a flax oil, make sure it’s a cold-pressed oil in a light-proof refrigerated container, and use it up within a few weeks to prevent it from going rancid.

NOTE… NEVER cook with flax oil!

* The dietary fats in organically raised, free-range animals: This is where many people have been misinformed by the mass media. Animal fat is inherently good for us, that is, IF it came from a healthy animal.  Human beings have thrived on animal fats for thousands of years.  The problem is that most mass produced animal products today do not come from healthy animals. They come from animals given loads of antibiotics that are fattened up with hormones and raised on un-natural feed.  The solution is to choose organically raised, free-range meats, eggs, and dairy.

The Deadly Dietary Fats:

* Hydrogenated oils, partially or otherwise (trans fats): These are chemically-altered oils that are subjected to extremely high pressure and temperatures during processing, which breaks down much of the natural nutrient value of the original molecules, and are subsequently contaminated with industrial solvents such as hexane… which are used in the extraction process.  Some even have a metal catalyst added to promote artificial hydrogenation, followed by bleaching and deodorizing agents.  These oils aren’t even worthy of your lawnmower much less your body! Yet somehow the FDA still allows this crap to pass as food.  Hydrogenated oils have been linked to obesity, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and dozens of more diseases.  Even small quantities have been shown to be dangerous.  If you care about your health, check the ingredients of everything you buy and if you see partially hydrogenated oils of any kind on the label, defend your body and choose something else!

* Refined oils: Even if the oils in question are not hydrogenated, many oils that you’ll find on your supermarket shelves are refined — especially many of these so called “healthy” canola oils.  Refined oils still undergo the same high temperature, high pressure, solvent extraction, bleaching, and deodorizing processes as do hydrogenated oils.  Anything labeled vegetable oil, soybean oil, corn oil, cottonseed oil, safflower oil, and even many canola oils have been damaged by this refining process (unless they say “virgin” or “cold expeller pressed”).  This damages the natural structure of the fats, destroys antioxidants, creates free radicals, and produces a very unhealthy end product.

* Anything deep fried: including tortilla chips, potato chips, French fries, donuts, fried chicken, chicken nuggets, etc.  None of this crap should even pass as real food in my opinion!

Understand that the explosion of heart disease in the middle of the 20th century coincides perfectly with the introduction and widespread use of hydrogenated and refined oils in our food supply.  Keep these products out of your body as much as possible and you will begin living a better and healthier life almost immediately.


For more about choosing the correct dietary fats along with the best carb and protein sources, read Mike Geary’s post on 55 Lean Foods

Learn more about Mike Geary’s Top Rated Abdominals Training Program: The Truth About Abs. It’s been the #1 selling abs workout program on the net for 5+ years. You’ll learn more about nutrition like this dietary fats discussion along with Mike’s amazing crunchless approach to building a great set of abs!

Every Bodybuilding Program Must Include Vitamin C

Vitamin C is the most treasured vitamin of any bodybuilding program

Everybody knows that consuming sufficient amounts of vitamins via their diet is an important way to maintain overall health and to keep the muscle building and fat burning processes within you functioning optimally.  If you are deficient in this one particular vitamin however, it can have negative effects all across literally thousands of different metabolic processes within your body.  While every individual vitamin plays an important role in human chemistry, there is one that definitely stands out among the rest… and especially when it comes to the specific needs of any hard-training bodybuilder program.

I’m talking about the water-soluble Vitamin C, the one vitamin that no serious lifter should allow himself to EVER become deficient in.  Here are 6 ways in which sufficient Vitamin C intake will benefit your bodybuilding program enormously…

1) An A+ powerful antioxidant…

When oxygen combines with other compounds as a result of intense exercise and natural bodily processes, it can form what are known as “free radicals”. Free radicals are metabolic waste products that attack cells, mutate cell membranes and that have also been linked with many diseases such as cancer and diabetes.  Antioxidants battle against free radicals by either preventing their formation in the first place, or by latching on and neutralizing their effects. Through its effects as an antioxidant, Vitamin C protects the body from free radical damage…

2) Vita C suppresses cortisol production…

Cortisol is a powerful catabolic hormone that is triggered as a result of stress, both from your workouts and from everyday life. Cortisol stimulates the breakdown of muscle tissue for use as energy, increases fat storage (particularly in the abdominal area), impairs nutrient transport into the muscles.  It also inhibits your muscle recovery in between workouts.  Vitamin C appears to have a measurable impact on reducing cortisol secretion in the body.

3) Assists in the formation of steroid hormones…

One of the major limiting factors that determines how much muscle a bodybuilder can pack on is their natural anabolic hormone levels. Vitamin C assists in the formation of these hormones, so if you’re serious about your own bodybuilding program and you’re looking to pack on mass, you must have adequate C in your diet.

4) Enhances the absorption of iron…

Iron is what allows oxygen to bind to hemoglobin in the blood, which is then delivered to the muscles to enhance performance. Low iron levels will decrease the amount of weight you are able to lift in the gym and how long you are able to maintain a high level of intensity during your workouts.

5) Increases the integrity of the immune system…

Those following any intense bodybuilding program should always be concerned with keeping their immune system functioning at optimal levels. This will help you to prevent sickness and to maintain top levels of performance throughout the week.

6) Reduces muscle soreness…

When taken immediately before or after workouts, Vitamin C has been shown to reduce muscle soreness. While this doesn’t’t really have any direct positive physiological implications, it can be beneficial for those who would prefer to eliminate that deep aching that is usually felt in the muscles following a hard workout.

Why Vitamin C is so important to your bodybuilding program…

It should be clear by now that consuming adequate amounts of Vitamin C each day is an important part of maximizing the results from your program, whether your goal is to build muscle or to burn fat.  The recommend daily allowance for Vitamin C is just 60mg, however, this is a guideline set out for average everyday individuals and not for hard training athletes or bodybuilders. Those who are following an intense muscle building and/or fat burning program will obviously require far higher amounts.

Should a bodybuilding program require megadoses of Vitamin C?

On the flipside of course, there are those who recommend taking “mega doses” of Vitamin C. Although Vitamin C is water-soluble (meaning the body can simply flush out an excess through the sweat and urine), mega-dosing is not natural to our biochemistry and could possibly interrupt other important bodily functions.  All things considered, I would recommend consuming Vitamin C in supplemental form in the range of 500mg-1500mg daily, spread out over 2-3 doses.

Try taking one dose in the morning, and another with your pre-workout meal. Most multivitamins will contain a small dose of Vitamin C in the range of 50-200mg, so purchasing a separate Vitamin C supplement is usually the best way to go.  You can also bump up your daily Vitamin C intake by increasing your consumption of natural foods such as tomatoes, apples, oranges and red/green peppers.

While you probably aren’t going to notice any instant effects to your bottom line progress as a simple result of Vitamin C supplementation, it still can and should be part of any complete bodybuilding program that will maximize your results over the long term.

Another important factor in any guy’s training is his testosterone levels. Watch this short video by Sean as he explains how to improve your own supply of this important hormone without the need of any supplements by using only natural food sources and paying attention to other factors in your life.

To learn more insider techniques for building a powerful, muscular body, check out Sean Nalewanyj’s The Muscle Gain Truth No-Fail System. Also be sure to grab a FREE copy of Sean’s terrific new Training e-book: “8 Things You MUST Do To Build MAXIMUM Muscle” available in the ‘Free Bodybuilding Program Books’ section on the right side of this page…

BBIO Product Review: Hugo Rivera’s Body Re-Engineering

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.

body re-engineeringHugo 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.

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