Why is Nutrition Important?

A few days ago a client came to me and thanked me for the meal plans provided. After following them, his results were showing.  But he still had the most common of questions and while he hated to ask … I’m glad he did.

“Why is Nutrition Important?” he said.

Frankly … this comes up a lot.  People blindly follow a routine or a meal plan without understanding even the basics of why nutrition is important.  If they do not grasp the concept, it is very easy to stop following it.  Once you understand the importance and characteristics of a good nutrition program, you will be more inclined to follow it.

“Nutrition is what gives us the raw materials for recuperation, energy, and growth. Without a good diet, your dreams of achieving your ideal body will never be reached.” – Hugo A. Rivera, CFT, SPN, BSCE

The following article was submitted by Hugo Rivera, author of The Body Re-Engineering System.  See The Body Re-Engineering System for more information on packing on quality muscle mass.

What Should A Good Nutrition Program Consist Of?

1) It should favor smaller and frequent feedings throughout the day instead of smaller ones.

Why? Because when you feed your body several times a day, your metabolism increases. Therefore, you burn more fat. Frequent feedings are of particular importance since after three to four hours of no food your body switches to a catabolic state (a state in which you lose muscle and gain fat!). The body believes that it is starving and it starts feeding itself on lean muscle tissue and it prepares to store calories as fat. Bad scenario!

Therefore, in order for your program to work, you will eat between four to six meals (depending gender and goals) a day spaced out at 2-1/2 to 3 hour intervals.

2) Every meal should have carbohydrates, protein and fat in the correct ratios.

Having a meal that is not balanced (for example is all carbohydrates) won’t yield the desired results. Every macro nutrient has to be present in order for the body to absorb them and use them properly. Without boring you with the effect of food on the body’s biochemistry, let’s just say that if you only eat carbohydrates in one meal without anything else, your energy levels will crash in about 30 minutes and your body will be storing any carbohydrates that were not used into fat.

Conversely, if you only eat protein, you will lack energy and your body will not be able to turn the protein into muscle because it is difficult for the body to absorb protein in the absence of carbohydrates. In addition, the ratios for each particular macro nutrient have to be correct in order to get the results that you want.

The ratio of our diet will look like the following:

40% Carbohydrates
40% Protein
20% Fats

(Note that for every serving of carbohydrates, you get a serving of Protein. You can use Bill Phillips Method of creating meals which is to count a portion of carbohydrates as the amount of food the size of your clenched fist and a portion of protein as the amount of food the size of your open palms.)

3) The calories should be cycled.

I strongly believe in caloric cycling as this will not allow the metabolism to get used to a certain caloric level; something that leads to stagnant results.

Therefore, bodybuilders in search of just muscle mass should follow 5 days of high calories (lean body mass x 15) with two days of lower caloric intake (lean body mass x12). Bodybuilders in search of losing fat while building muscle at the same time should follow 5 days of lower caloric intake (lean body mass x12) with 2 days of higher calories (lean body mass x 15).

Note: If you build muscle and lose fat at the same time you will not gain muscle as fast as you would if you just concentrated in muscle mass. However, you get to get both goals accomplished at the same time.

People interested in body sculpting should alternate between two weeks of lower calories (around 2000 for men and 1000 for women) and two weeks of higher calories (around 2700 for men and 1700 for women).

Nutrition Basics

There are 3 macro nutrients that the human body needs in order to function properly.

A) Carbohydrates:

Carbohydrates are your body’s main source of energy. When you ingest carbohydrates your pancreas releases a hormone called insulin.

Insulin is very important because:

  • It grabs the carbohydrates and either stores them in the muscle or stores them as fat.
  • It grabs the amino acids (protein) and shelters them inside the muscle cell for recovery and repair.

Most people that are overweight and are in low fat/high carbohydrate diets got into that condition because they are eating an overabundance of carbohydrates. Too many carbohydrates cause a huge release of insulin. When there is too much insulin in the body, your body turns into a fat storing machine. Therefore, it is important that we eat no more carbohydrates than necessary and that we eat the right amount of carbohydrates.

Now that we have talked about the importance of having just the right amount of carbohydrates, let’s talk about which are the best sources of carbohydrates.

Carbohydrates are divided into complex carbohydrates and simple carbohydrates. The complex carbohydrates give you sustained energy (“timed release”) while the simple carbohydrates gives you immediate energy. It is recommended that you eat mainly complex carbohydrates throughout the day except after the workout where your body needs simple carbohydrates in order to replenish its glycogen levels immediately, something that will aid faster recuperation and rebuild of the muscle. Below is a list of good sources of carbohydrates:

There are two types of carbohydrates:

Complex Carbohydrates:

Starchy:

Oatmeal (1 cup dry)
Sweet potatoes (8 oz baked)
Potatoes (8 oz baked)
Rice (1 cup cooked)
Pasta (8oz cooked)
Corn (1 cup canned)
Peas (2 cups cooked)

Each serving approximately equals 40-50 grams of carbohydrates.

Fibrous:

Broccoli (1/2 cup raw)
Carrots (1 cup raw)
Cauliflower (1/2 cup raw)
Green beans (1/2 cup raw)
Lettuce (5 cups raw)
Mushrooms (3/4 cups raw)
Pepper (1/2 cup raw)
Spinach (3-1/2 cups raw)
Zucchini (1 cup raw).

Each serving approximately equals 6 grams of carbohydrates.
Simple Carbohydrates:

Apples (1 apple)
Bananas (1 banana)
Grapefruit (1 grapefruit)
Grapes (22 grapes)
Oranges (1-1/2 orange)
Pears (1 pear)
Pineapple (3/4 of a cup)

Each serving approximately equals 20-25 grams of carbohydrates.

B) Protein

Every tissue in your body is made up from protein (i.e., muscle, hair, skin, and nails). Proteins are the building blocks of muscle tissue. Without it, building muscle and burning fat efficiently would be impossible. Its importance is paramount. Protein also helps increase your metabolism every time you eat it by 20%! It also makes the carbohydrates timed release, so you get sustained energy throughout the day.

Everybody that is involved in a weight training program should consume between 1 gram of protein to 1.5 grams of protein per pound of lean body mass (meaning that if you are 100 lbs. And have 10% body fat, you should consume at least 90 g of protein since your lean body mass = 90 lbs.). Nobody should consume more than 1.5 grams per pound of lean body mass as this is unnecessary and the extra protein may get turned into fat.

Good examples of protein are eggs (I use Egg Substitute: 1-1/2 cups liquid), chicken breast (cooked, skinless and boneless: 6 oz), turkey (cooked, skinless and boneless: 6 oz), lean (90% lean) red meats (6 oz), and tuna (6 oz). Each serving size equals approximately 35-40 grams of protein.

C) Fats

All the cells in the body have some fat in them. Hormones are manufactured from fats. Also fats lubricate your joints. So if you eliminate the fat from your diet, then your hormonal production will go down and a whole array of chemical reactions will be interrupted. Your body will then start accumulating more body fat than usual so that it has enough fat to keep on functioning. Since testosterone production is halted, so is muscle building. Therefore, in order to have an efficient metabolism we need fat.

There are three types of fats:

Saturated Fats: Saturated fats are associated with heart disease and high cholesterol levels. They are found to a large extent in products of animal origin. However, some vegetable fats are altered in a way that increases the amount of saturated fats in them by a chemical process known as hydrogenation. Hydrogenated vegetable oils are generally found in packaged foods. In addition, coconut oil, palm oil, and palm kernel oil, which are also frequently used in packaged foods and non-dairy creamers are also highly saturated.

Polyunsaturated Fats: Fats that do not have an effect in cholesterol levels. Most of the fats in vegetable oils, such as corn, cottonseed, safflower, soybean, and sunflower oil are polyunsaturated.

Monounsaturated Fats: Fats that have a positive effect on the good cholesterol levels. These fats are usually high on the essential fatty acids and may have antioxidant properties. Sources of these fats are Fish Oils, Virgin Olive Oil, Canola Oil, and Flaxseed Oil. We like to refer to these type of fats as good fats.

Twenty percent of your calories should come from good fats. Any less than 20% and your hormonal production goes down. Any more than 20% and you start accumulating plenty of fat. The way that I get my fats is by taking 1 teaspoon of Flaxseed Oil three times a day (I put them in my protein shakes).

Good sources of fat are canola oil (1 tablespoon), natural peanut butter (2 tablespoons), olive oil (1 tablespoon), flaxseed oil (1 tablespoon), and fish oils (1 tablespoon). Each serving size contains approximately 14 grams of fat.

D) Water

Water is by far the most abundant substance in our body. Without water, an organism would not survive very long. Most people that come to me for advice on how to get in shape, almost always underestimate the value of water.

  • Water is good for the following reasons: Over 65% of your body is composed of water (most of the muscle cell is water).
  • Water cleanses your body from toxins and pollutants that would get you sick.
  • Water is needed for all of the complex chemical reactions that your body needs to perform on a daily basis. Processes such as energy production, muscle building, and fat burning require water. A lack of water would interrupt all of these processes.
  • Water helps lubricate the joints.
  • When the outside temperature is up, water serves as a coolant to bring the body temperature down to where it is supposed to be.
  • Water helps control your appetite. Sometimes when you feel hungry after a good meal this sensation indicates a lack of water. Drinking water at that time would take the craving away.
  • Cold water increases your metabolism.

In order to know how much water your body needs a day, just multiply your lean body weight by .66. This would indicate how many ounces of water you need in a day.


Hugo A. Rivera, CFT, SPN, BSCE

Hugo A. Rivera, CFT, SPN, BSCE. is a lifetime natural bodybuilder, multi certified personal trainer, industry consultant and fitness expert who not only knows training and nutrition theory, but also applies it on a daily basis as evidenced by the fact that he’s always in shape and by his awards and high placings at numerous national level bodybuilding competitions.

He is also an internationally known best selling fitness author with a very successful franchise of books called “The Body Sculpting Bibles” which collectively have sold over a million copies. Hugo is also the author of the very popular “Body Re-Engineering” e-book, which teaches you how to gain lean muscle mass and get lean without drugs, or fancy expensive supplements, using the secrets he devised after many years of weight problems as a child.

See Hugo’s ebooks online here:

Body Re-Engineering
www.losefatandgainmuscle.com
A complete guide to bodybuilding supplements and eating to gain lean muscle

Shape Up Now
Click Here to Download Your FREE Copy of Shape Up Now
50 page compendium of quality information on getting in shape

Hugo Rivera Interview: Part 2

Marc David’s interview with bodybuilding and muscle building expert Hugo Rivera continues (from part one). In part two you will learn the most important supplement of in a bodybuilding program, how often to change your routine, Hugo’s personal feeling on fat loss supplements, nutritional tracking and much much more.

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Hugo Rivera Interview: Part 1

Hugo Rivera is the creator of the Body Re-Engineering system, one of the most documented and precise bodybuilding manuals available.  Hugo not only has over 18 years of personal experience in training himself but he is also a certified trainer and sports nutritionist. He also holds multiple natural bodybuilding competition titles, including a 4th placing at the NPC Team Universe, where only the elite champion natural bodybuilders from all over the country get to compete.  Hugo is also an internationally acclaimed author of the very success franchise of fitness books called “The Body Sculpting Bible.”   Hugo’s style of writing is very logical and extremely easy to follow; as Hugo’s background is in computer engineering.

In part one you will hear the latest scoop on full body workouts or split routines, or something in between?… Hugo’s reaction to being asked if he’s really all natural… the truth about your genetics and bodybuilding… Hugo’s training frequency… the biggest 5 nutritional blunders almost every bodybuilder is making or has made and more. This interview is packed with valuable info! Read this one in study mode for sure and then watch for part 2 coming soon!

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Bodybuilding with Hugo Rivera

Hugo Rivera

During my 17 years of bodybuilding, I’ve run across many natural bodybuilders.  It’s rare when you see a bodybuilder of Hugo’s proportion and attention to detail.  Hugo walks the walk and talks the talk without a doubt.  His placement in non-tested bodybuilding shows is even more impressive.

I’d like you to meet Hugo Rivera.

1. Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

My formal education background believe it or not is in Computer Engineering. I graduated from the University of South Florida back in 1998. So the question is: how did I end up from engineering to being a competitive bodybuilder and best selling fitness author?

Well, I actually used to be very overweight as I was growing up so at an early age I experienced the feelings of insecurity that come along with obesity as well as the scorn and ridicule from some people. Since I kept hearing that the reason for my weight problems was food and that I had to stop eating, I took the advice to heart being sick and tired of how I looked and felt.

So this resulted in me going anorexic at the age of 13 and losing a total of 70 pounds in less than a year. My family, very concerned about my health, took me to a nutritionist in an effort to put some sense in me and stop the anorexic cycle.

This nutritionist mentioned one thing that changed my outlook on dieting forever: “Eating food will not make you fat; only the abuse of the wrong sort of foods will.” After listening to that statement, it all seemed to make sense. I then began following the diet she gave me and started to study the effects of foods on the human physiology.

By the age of fifteen my interest in how food affects the shape and the form of your body naturally led to an interest in the area of exercise.

2. So how did you get started with bodybuilding and what led you to become a fitness author with a website?

The reason I started bodybuilding is because a girl that I really liked back then told me that I would look better if I had some muscle on me. She said that though I looked good, I was too skinny. Keep in mind that anorexia left me weighing a bit less than 100-lbs.

So I asked my mom to get me a muscle magazine, the May 1990 Muscle & Fitness (which I still have to this day) so that I could educate myself on the subject. After I saw an article called: “How To Get BIG” written by the one and only, Arnold Schwarzenegger, I was hooked! To me, Arnold just looked perfect so I chose him as the role model to follow. I also got inspired by the physiques of Lee Labrada, Shawn Ray, and Francis Benfatto who were competing extremely successfully back then. To me, all of these guys exemplified perfection, real works of art. They all ate 6 times a day and trained hard day in and day out.

So I simply started with following the training program and diet laid out by Arnold on his article. As I was so underweight and skinny at the time, even with Arnold’s training, which was pretty much overtraining, I still gained 40lbs during the summer. A proper six meal a day diet and regular training with me being very underweight really pushed on the muscle mass even if I did gain a little fat as well, but it was amazing to me and all my friends thought I was on steroids! Yet, I did not even have a clue of what steroids where at that time!

Come to think of it, I guess that I was “on steroids” due to the fact that I was a teenager back then producing tons of hormones (yes guys, if you are teenagers then you are on the most powerful stack of anabolic steroids; the one produced by your own body! This, in conjunction with the fact that once I started to feed myself 6 times eating around 3,500-4,000 calories a day, made me grow beyond belief on a daily basis and I guess this is what got me really hooked and led me to become an avid natural bodybuilder.

After, gaining all that mass, I reached a plateau unfortunately; a sticking point I could not get past. As much as I loved Arnold I realized a natural bodybuilder like me could not keep up with the routines of professional bodybuilders who were taking drugs and so I took to reading countless books in my quest to find a perfect system.

The frustrating problem was that I started getting exposed to absolutely contradicting theories on how to best gain muscle and lose fat. Upset at the fact that no one could give me a straight answer I decided to take matters in my own hand and use myself as well as my training partner as guinea pigs in order to find out what worked. This was the first time I really knew that I was going to create my own system as I was going to test everything on myself, my training partner and friends in order to find out what worked and what didn’t so that I could then throw out the bad and keep the good.

I started my quest by recording everything I did down to the last detail. I’m quite analytical as a person, which is I guess why I became an engineer years later, but even early It showed as I read every book and article everywhere I could get my hands on. I was like a sponge for information, reading stuff from trainers from all over the world. I started to put together training routines and diet programs, and while some failed miserably some worked!

For instance, I will never forget what happened when I went from training 2-3 hours a day to training for 45 minutes. I went through a growth spurt again! So through endless training routines and diet combinations I started to really understand what worked and what didn’t for me and my training partners. I started finding principles and patterns of training that seemed to work on everyone I tried them on. Above all, the most exciting part of my discoveries was the fact that there was no necessity to stay all day at the gym in order to get results! Because I felt that not many people in the industry cared about trainees actually reaching their goals, I decided to create a web site and start conducting personal training during my college years in an effort to spread all of the knowledge that I had acquired.

Once I had dialed in the timing, frequency and the important details of training and nutrition cycling, that is when I decided to come up with the Body Re-Engineering System. It was at this point that I became passionate about sharing my knowledge with people as I fully understood I could help to double everyone’s results at the gym in half the time if they would employ my training and nutrition cycling principles.

Because I needed to put together a website in order to graduate from Engineering school (that was my Senior Project) that is how I started to post my first few fitness articles, and not much later have the first version of my Body Re-Engineering System. Notice that it took me from the time I was 14 years old to after I graduated from college to learn all the secrets to muscle building and fat loss on my own. However, with my Body Re-Engineering System, I am confident that I can save anyone from all the troubles.

3. What is it about bodybuilding that you love so much?

body re-engineeringThe fact that bodybuilding can instill in you an amount of discipline that can be applied to all other aspects of your life and thus make you successful. In addition, I love the fact that bodybuilding allows you to completely take control of your image and achieve a sculpted look that enables you to feel better about yourself and thus be more confident. This added confidence will serve to help you in achieving any goal you set for yourself. It will also help to improve your relationships and your career as well.

In addition, the health benefits derived from practicing bodybuilding such as higher energy levels, low blood pressure, good cholesterol and a better love life, just to name a few, make it all worth it. And of course, who cannot enjoy the feeling of a good pump at the gym???!!!

4. Tell us about your Body Re-Engineering System? What is this e-book about?

Body Re-Engineering is the culmination of over 15 years of trial and error of different training and nutrition strategies.

With the principles presented in Body Re-engineering, not only will bodybuilders double their results from each workout and cut their supplement bill, but they’ll also get to greatly accelerate results in terms of massive muscle gains and fat loss.

The key to Body Re-engineering is the cycling principle. Body Re-Engineering uses this principle in both the nutrition and the workout elements of the program.

Workouts are cycled in such a way that through the use of the right exercises and the manipulation of training volume, intensity, and rest in between sets, you create a unique metabolic situation whereby the body has to over compensate in order to adapt to the unique training phases. As a result, muscle mass gains and fat loss are accelerated dramatically.

The diet in the Body Re-Engineering program cycles calories, carbohydrates, and even protein to trick the body into releasing body fat while pushing nutrients into the muscle cell in order to increase size and strength. The diet is based on your individual metabolism and what your fitness goals are.

Body Re-Engineering is versatile as not only can it be used by those looking to gain muscle size and weight but also by the more casual lifter simply looking to lose fat, harden up and tone to look good for the beach. And best of all, it works equally well for men and women of any age and results are guaranteed regardless of genetics.

As you can see from the pictures of me as a kid on my losefatandgainmuscle.com site, I had terrible genetics; I was overweight and then very skinny, but despite bad genetics, if you have the determination to consistently apply body re-engineering, I guarantee you will achieve great results.

I wrote Body Re-Engineering in the manner I would have liked to have read a book back when I started. My ideal book would have included information on goal setting, visualization, training, nutrition, supplementation, rest and recovery, etc. In addition, the writing style would have been such that would be easy to read and above all, practical and easy to follow. One, two, three format so to speak and zero guesswork. If engineering taught me something was to be precise and to logically arrange information. Because of that, it was very easy for me to put a manual together that would meet of all these criteria.

5. Is Body Re-Engineering just for bodybuilders?

Well, my definition of a bodybuilder is anyone that uses weights, cardiovascular exercise, and nutrition to re-shape their physique. So by this definition, it is just for bodybuilders. However, if the question refers to the program just exclusively being for people who want to make large gains in muscle and hit low single levels of body fat for competition then the answer is no. Anyone can use this program regardless of what the goals are. If losing fat weight is your goal, then this system will help you achieve that faster than by just dieting alone. If your goal is competitive bodybuilding then this will help you get there as well.

6. Can you expand further on the topic of the Cycling Principle?bodybuilder

Absolutely.A big problem encountered by bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts is the fact that they plateau (stop making gains) after a few weeks of using a specific bodybuilding program. The way to do fix that is to make use of the cycling principle, which is the principle that forms the basis of my successful Body Re-Engineering program.

The routines of my Body Re-Engineering program change in an orderly manner that takes the body to the brink of overtraining and then allows it to recover, and thus, overcompensate (grow) in response to the stress. These changes are what the cycling principle is all about.

The Cycling Principle is the key to consistent and rapid increases in muscle mass and strength for the bodybuilder. This principle states that in order for the body to respond optimally, it cannot be trained in the same manner all the time and that the best way to make the body respond is through the correct variation of exercises, volume (number of sets times number of reps), intensity (how heavy the weight is), and rest periods between sets.

Workout parameters are going to be determined by the phase of the program you are in. There are going to be three phases that we will be repeating over and over again. The first week will be an “Active Recovery Phase”. In this phase you will only train with weights twice a week on a full body routine before you start the next phase which will be called the “Loading Phase”. The “Loading Phase”, which is three weeks in duration, is going to be a high volume phase with short rest between sets. Training volume gradually increases over the course of the three weeks in order to stress the body almost to the point of overtraining.

Then the next three weeks are going to be a higher intensity/lower volume phase (heavier weights) with longer periods of rest between sets. This phase is called the “Growth Phase”, as volume is reduced but weights are increased in order to let the body catch up and super compensate (grow muscle size and strength).

The Active Recovery Phase

The Active Recovery Phase has three main functions:

* First, according to leading strength expert Tudor Bompa, Ph.D., “you are trying to adapt the anatomy of the body to the upcoming training so that you can create, or produce an injury free environment”. Essentially, your tendons and ligaments should be strong enough to support the stressful periods that will follow.

* Second, this phase is a great time to address any strength imbalance that your body might have. This is the reason why mostly dumbbell work will be used during this phase.

* Finally, this phase will act as a great time in which the body will re-charge its energy stores and allow for complete physical and mental recuperation.

The Loading Phase

* During the Loading Phase the body is stressed with an increasing high volume of work that if kept for too long will eventually result in overtraining and injury. During this phase, three things will happen:

* The growth hormone output goes through the roof due to the short rest interval between sets and the high volume.

* Hypertrophy (muscle growth) occurs by the body increasing the levels of creatine, water and carbohydrates inside the muscle cell. This phenomenon is called muscle voluminization.

* The body’s recuperation capabilities are upgraded in response to the stress imposed by the increasing volume of work coupled with short rest intervals.

The Growth Phase

During the Growth Phase the body is not stressed by volume. This time the stimuli are heavy weights. If this phase would be kept for too long eventually the body would stop making strength gains and you would plateau. This is the reason why you always need to go back to a Loading Phase. During this phase the following three things will happen:

* The testosterone levels go through the roof in response to the longer rest in between sets and the heavier weights.

* Hypertrophy (muscle growth) occurs by the body increasing the actual diameter of the myofiber (the muscle fiber size) through increased protein synthesis (Note: protein synthesis is creating protein strands through DNA and RNA and it takes place in the cytoplasm of the cell.)

* Since your body’s recuperation abilities were built up to the maximum by the previous phase and the volume has gone down dramatically, these extra recuperation abilities are used to increase strength and build more muscle mass. The reason the body does this is in order to be prepared for another stressful period like the one it just went through. This adaptation mechanism is the one that ensures the survival of the species.

* Even if you are training for fat loss, your main goal should always be to stimulate growth. Otherwise, if you were to drastically reduce training poundage in order to perform a lot of high reps, there would be no reason for the body to keep the muscle around. Because of this, you should always train with muscle growth in mind and let the nutrition and the cardiovascular exercise take care of reducing your body fat levels.

About Hugo

bodybuilding
Hugo A. Rivera, CFT, SPN, BSCE. is a lifetime natural bodybuilder, multi certified personal trainer, industry consultant and fitness expert who not only knows training and nutrition theory, but also applies it on a daily basis as evidenced by the fact that he’s always in shape and by his awards and high placings at numerous

national level bodybuilding competitions. He is also an internationally known best selling fitness author with a very successful franchise of books called “The Body Sculpting Bibles” which collectively have sold over a million copies. Hugo is also the author of the very popular “Body Re-Engineering” e-book, which

teaches you how to gain lean muscle mass and get lean without drugs, or fancy expensive supplements, using the secrets he devised after many years of weight problems as a child.

To learn more about Hugo’s cycle training principles and Body Re-Engineering Program visit:
www.losefatandgainmuscle.com