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The Hardgainer's Body Building Handbook: Workouts, Nutrition, and Results Paperback – March 8, 2005

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Hatherleigh Press (March 8, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1578261864
  • ISBN-13: 978-1578261864
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.6 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #827,962 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

HUGO RIVERA is an ISSA Certified Personal Trainer and fitness expert with ten years of bodybuilding experience. he resides in Clearwater, Florida. He is the coauthor of the hugely popular Body Sculpting Bible book series.

More About the Author

Hugo A. Rivera is a University of South Florida graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering. Hugo also holds a Trainer and Specialist in Nutrition Certifications from the International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA). He was born on December 5, 1974 in Bayamon, Puerto Rico.

As an overweight child he experienced at an early age the feelings of insecurity that come along with obesity as well as the scorn and ridicule from the people around him. After going anorexic at the age of 13 and losing a total of 70 pounds in less than a year, he was taken to a nutritionist by his concerned parents in an effort to stop the anorexic cycle.

This nutritionist mentioned one thing that would change Hugo's outlook on dieting forever: "Eating food will not make you fat; only abusing the quantities of the bad foods will." After listening to that statement, Hugo decided to kick the anorexic habit and to dedicate his life to studying the effects of foods on the human physiology.

By the age of fifteen Hugo's interest in how food affects the shape and the form of your body naturally led to an interest in the area of exercise, something that led him to become an avid natural bodybuilder.

Discovering early on that there wasn't much realistic or practical bodybuilding or fitness advice, he went on to start recording what worked and what didn't for him. After much trial and error, he started finding principles that he noticed worked on any healthy human being. The best part of it all was his discovery on the fact that there was no necessity to stay all day at the gym in order to get results! Upset at the fact that not many people in the industry cared about trainees actually reaching their goals, he decided to create a web site and start conducting personal training during his college years in an effort to spread all of the knowledge that he had acquired.

Eighteen years later Hugo holds several natural bodybuilding titles including a 4th place in the NPC Team Universe (the natural bodybuilder's highest and most competitive contest) and a 4th place in the Mr. USA.

Hugo is now considered an expert in the industry and he has dedicated much of his time to helping normal people achieve their dream figures by sharing sensible and practical knowledge that he has found over the years to work even on the most stubborn metabolisms.

In addition, holding for many years a steady hectic engineering job in addition to his successful online and personal training business enables him to offer practical advice that people who live a hectic lifestyle can follow.

Hugo has shared his knowledge through his web site, various TV, radio interviews and speaking engagements, as well as on several articles published in numerous magazines and web sites all over the world.

Customer Reviews

The success I'm having with this book amazes me.
It's just another generic bodybuilding book like a dozen others on my shelf, although it is a little less informative than most of those others.
Jarrod Brown
It is easy to understand, gives really good information about diet and supplements.
Dominic Cosmano

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

52 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Jarrod Brown on January 16, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book consists of:

71 pages of large print, illustrated, generic information. 15 of those pages cover the basic information about hardgainers, but probably nothing you didn't already know. The remaining 56 pages contain the same basic information you'd read in any Muscle and Fitness magazine or the like. Eat a lot, take these supplements, rest, work out.

The remaining 200 pages are photos (with one page explanations) of the same basic exercises anyone who has ever strength trained or bought a bodybuilding magazine has seen before: pure recycled material.

The workouts included are almost ridiculous, and even though I've been weight training for several years, I found most of them impractical. For example, 10 sets of 10 pull-ups with 1 minute rest in between (after 100 reps of inclined barbell presses with no rest). It's sort of like someone saying, "Oh, you want to build up your endurance--why don't you run 20km everyday then?" While the book explicitly states it is aimed for folks who have already been doing weight training for 6 months, I found that most of its workouts are simply impossible for even the above-average fitness buff.

Basically, this book is a waste of your money and time if you are really looking for information and a fitness program to put that 10 pounds on your frame that you've been hoping for. It's just another generic bodybuilding book like a dozen others on my shelf, although it is a little less informative than most of those others.

A much BETTER selection, both in terms of content and realism, is Mejia's and Berardi's Scrawny to Brawny.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Scannell on October 30, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book has great illustrations of exercises, nutrition plans, and workout plans but only for those who are exceptionally motivated. The nutrition plan is particularly hard to follow but I think if you use it only as a supplement to an already good eating plan it is workable. The workout plans are also very difficult to keep up with and to do in a traditional health club. I have to go as late as possible to my club because the supersets in the plan require alternating between equipment which stays very busy duing peak hours. I only rated this book three stars because of its difficulty for the busy adult to keep up with. However, if you are the self motivating type then you will benefit greatly from this book.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By M. Hamed on July 16, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
-Exercises are well described and illustrated with caveats to avoid and variations.
-A well organized plan for exercising.

-Lots of editing mistakes
-Using almost the same exercises over and over seems boring and counter productive
-The book recommends you to limit your exercies to one hour yet the workout routines at a minimum contains 14 exercises of 2 sets each even for the beginner. With one minute rest between each exercise and one minute for performing the exercise and moving/changing plates/waiting for the rack to empty/etc at the very minimum that's already an hour (especially that exercises are superset so you will be doing a lot of moving around). Add warmup set to that and you've got a lot more than you anticipated.
-Selection of exercises do not mention which exercises targets which muscles (i.e. only chest/back/shoulders). I would prefer mentioning what parts of the delts or which part of the chest.
-Follows from the previous point also the author says "You can replace with another exercise .." but doesn't tell you which exercise can be replaced with which. We know that not all chest exercise are created equal. Not enough information on that.
-No mention of warmup. For example in the breakin routine which is supposedly for beginners, the book specifies 2 sets of 10 for most exercises. Now I can't imagine going straight ahead to the gym doing 2 sets of each exercise with a heavy weight that only allows 10 reps. Definitely that's the shortest way to injury and soreness. Also as you do the first set of 10 without prior warmup , the second set will be easier and you can increase the weight. So is that the goal? just doing 10 reps of whatever you can? not enough on that.
-No mention of stretches prior or after workout.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Craig A. Rothe on December 7, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a review of the The Hardgainer's Body Building Handbook by Hugo Rivera. I was never sure if I fell into the "hardgainer" category, but with a short build and medium frame I figured this book might be one to try. I should note that I am 36, and I have been weight training on and off for 12 years. I have pretty much stayed in shape my whole life, but never focused on body building or serious weight training.

I found the book easy to follow, and although there were some obvious errors and generalizations with this book, I felt the book was focused enough for me. The strength of the book was its focus on the workout routines and individual exercises. It provided an explanation of the different program "phases" the reader is supposed to go through. The program includes a volume training phase, muscle-growth phase, strength training phase, and an active recovery phase (not in that sequence). Each phase is preceded by an explanation of what the goal is. In most if not all cases, the program involves workouts that use forms of superset exercises. The rest durations are clearly defined for each superset interval. I made my own spreadsheet of each workout in the book (used the same table format) and brought it with me to the gym.

The nutritional and supplement sections were interesting to read, but I felt that given my own dietary restrictions (type 1 diabetes), I would have to derive my own nutritional and supplement plans. Basically, I had to find a way to hit my calorie mark, but I could not consume all the carbohydrates that were prescribed.

So the workout began, and I gave this book my best effort. The book pushes you to never miss a workout, and it supported its recovery considerations by scheduling no more than two consecutive days of workouts...
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