Adding an interview
to your website or blog etc is a great way for your readers to
understand who I am and to build credibility which will in turn
help convert more sales.It's a good way to plug the e-book (s)
without it being to "salesy"
This interview comprises questions from numerous interviews I've
taken part in over the years, you are free to change the "Q"
to your own name or website to give it more focus to your audience.
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
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
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
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?
The 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
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
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
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
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
- 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.
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:
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