Take Your Workout on the Road: Make a Plan by Hugo Rivera

Planning and Preparation are key to your success!

The key to keeping up with your natural training and dieting while traveling, provided you are determined enough to do so, is planning and preparation. If you do not plan ahead and fail to prepare in advance it may be nearly impossible for you to keep a healthy and fit lifestyle as you travel. The steps below will make the process of planning and preparation simpler.

Training During Travel

Before you go on your next trip, ensure that you have a place to work out. The following steps will aid you with your planning:

1. Find out if the hotel that you are going to stay in has a small fitness facility or at least a set of dumbbells. Call the hotel and see what they have available as far as fitness equipment. Gather as much information as possible. Most of the time however most hotels are just equipped with some stationary bikes and a “universal type” weight machine at best.

2. If the hotel does not have a suitable fitness facility, then find out the location of the closest gym and plan to work out there. The Internet is a great way of finding out what is nearby the hotel you will be staying at or you can even ask the customer service person from the hotel over the phone to lead you in the right direction.Once you look at the list of gyms – unless it is a well known chain – call and ask for daily rates, times of operation and type of equipment. If you are staying over 5 days, also ask if they have a special rate for just one week as opposed to paying for a daily pass each day. This may save you some money.

3. If there are no fitness facilities in the area, then take with you some exercise bands, which is better than nothing. If this is the case, you can do a maintenance type of routine like this exercise band and body weight traveling training routine.

Also read Travel and Your Fitness Program: Maintaining Proper Diet.


HUGO RIVERA is an ISSA Certified Personal Trainer, engineer and international best selling fitness author with over 20 years of bodybuilding experience. He is also the New York Times About.com Guide to Bodybuilding and continues to educate others on how to use bodybuilding in order to achieve their goals. Hugo is the author of Hardgainers’ Bodybuilding Handbook as well as the co-author of the best selling Body Sculpting Bible for Men and Body Sculpting Bible for Women.


Try this Fruit and Yogurt Treat for Breakfast or Dessert

Yogurt-Granola Parfait


1 3/4 cups plain or vanilla yogurt

6 tablespoons honey

8 ounces fresh berries (blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and/or strawberries)

2 Cameo apples

2 1/2 cups granola



Stir together the yogurt and 4 tablespoons of the honey in a small bowl. Pick over the berries to remove any stems or leaves and halve or quarter larger berries. Put the berries in a medium bowl. Quarter and core the apples and cut them into 1/4-inch dices. Stir the apples and the remaining 2 tablespoons of honey into the berries. Spoon a few tablespoons of the granola into the bottom of each sundae dish or wine glass. Top the granola with a few tablespoons of yogurt, then add a generous spoonful of the apple-berry mixture. Repeat the layering 1 more time, drizzling any remaining juice from the fruit over the top.


Reprinted with permission from Farmstand Favorites: Apples. ISBN: 978-1-57826-358-5 $5.95 (paperback). From Hatherleigh Press. Distributed by Random House.


Nutrition Strategies for Optimal Fitness Results by Stew Smith

When to eat and what to eat are constant questions that affect your fitness and health goals as well as your weight loss desires. The answer will vary depending on your goal, but understanding the After, Before, During (ABD’s) of workout nutrition will better help all groups (performance athletes, weight losers, general health clients) reach their personal goals.

This understanding of what foods and drinks work best for fat loss and health gains requires a constant search for the individual. Here are some suggestions that will help you figure out what to eat and when to eat it.


For the Health and Fitness / Body Fat Reduction Goal:

If you are trying to drop some unwanted pounds and get healthy, proper nutrition and a well arranged workout plan are vital to you achieving that goal. You have to experiment with the types of exercise that will create a good caloric burn, as well as find sources of lower calorie foods that work best for your energy level. Keep track of how you feel during workouts whether they are higher intensity resistance training or lower intensity cardio since it will typically measure if you are eating enough quality foods. If you have significant weight (40+ lbs) to lose, try some non impact cardio options like biking, elliptical gliders, swimming, aqua-jogging, rowing etc.


The Fat Burning Workout:

If your goal is to burn fat, your workout should get you into a fat burning zone by the time you are finished exercising for the day.  The arrangement of your workout should be calisthenics or weights first followed by steady, aerobic cardio of your choice. Basically, go hard the first half of your workout and burn your blood sugar (anaerobic activity burns glycogen) as your prime energy source first. This can take about 15-20 minutes of intense workout depending on the amount of food you have eaten before the workout of the day. Once you are feeling burned out from that section of anaerobic activity, it is now time to go aerobic and get into fat burning mode.


When is the best fat burning time? —- The ideal time is immediately after waking and before having any food.

AFTER WORKOUT: Here is where you can stay in fat burning mode a little longer. If you delay eating carbs immediately after your workout for another 30-60 minutes you will be fine and actually still be using fat as your primary energy source. Throughout the next several hours of the day your metabolism will be higher thus burning more calories than having NOT exercised that morning. After a while, you will need to eat good carbohydrates (fruits and vegetables) and a protein serving to recover from the workout. Limit the carbohydrates in a day and try to eliminate sugar. Find what carbs and proteins work best for you and your energy requirements for the day (work, home, kids, etc). For a quick fix and in replacement of food in a pinch, you may choose to have some whey protein powder in milk. You still need to prepare for the next workout session by eating something even though you are trying to lose weight.

BEFORE WORKOUT: If you are working out to lose weight and get healthier, depending on your workout intensity, you may not need to have a pre-workout meal. (If your goal is to get into fat burning mode, the fewer carbs you eat prior to workout will decrease the amount of time and effort required to get into that fat burning and low glycogen mode). If you like to work out immediately after you wake up, you are at your lowest in blood sugar for the day. Now is the time to take a short burst of intense exercise then follow it with what is called conversational paced cardio. If you can talk and be a little winded you are in prime fat burning zone.

DURING WORKOUT: Unless you are working out for extended periods of time to get used to 8-10 hours of some sort of specialized training, food intake during normal hour long (or shorter) workouts is not needed. Just drink water to stay hydrated and if you are sweating profusely in the humid, summer heat you should follow with a serving or two of electrolytes to replace what you lose while sweating.


Here are some great ideas for protein, carbs, and fats:

Carbohydrate Options: Multi grain breads and pastas, brown rice, cereals, good carbs like vegetables (romaine lettuce, broccoli, asparagus, carrots), and fruits, (tomatoes, strawberries, apples, berries, oranges, grapes, and bananas ) make great carbohydrates for energy. Stay away from white breads, pastas, rice and any flour baked products. Sugar is your killer – eliminate or at the minimum reduce sugary drinks and replace them with water and unsweetened drinks.

Protein Options: Meats, fish, chicken, eggs, nuts, almonds, beans, milk, milk shakes with additional whey protein powder (optional), peanut butter.Try eating boiled eggs and salads in between meals during snack time, or have a few servings with a main course of meat or fish for a good balance of plant and animal protein.

Fat Options: Fish, nuts, olive oils, omega 3 fortified products (milk, margarine, peanut butter).



Anyone who works out needs to hydrate during workouts to stay cool and avoid over-heating and/or dehydration especially during excessively sweaty workouts, but you also need to add electrolytes (sodium potassium, magnesium, calcium as well.) Foods rich in many of these elements are essential to your recovery from significant water and electrolyte loss. Read How to Recover Fast from Hazy, Hot and Humid Workouts for tips on staying hydrated.


STUART FISCHER, M.D., a graduate of Yale University, completed his residency at Maimonides Hospital in Brooklyn, and served as an Attending Physician at Cabrini Medical Center in New York City. He also worked with the late Dr. Robert Atkins as the Associate Medical Director of the Atkins Center. His expertise in alternative medicine, nutrition, and weight loss, is complemented by his strong traditional, hospital-based education. He is the author of The Little Book of Big Medical Emergencies and The Park Avenue Diet.

Sweet Honey Walnut Shrimp Recipe

Honey Walnut Shrimp


1 tablespoon butter

1 cup whole shelled walnuts

3 tablespoons sugar

3 tablespoons mayonnaise

1 tablespoon honey

2 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk

1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

1 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup water

2-3 cups good-quality cooking oil, for the wok

1 pound shrimp, shelled and cleaned



Heat the butter in a pan over medium heat until melted. Add the walnuts and stir constantly for one minute. Add 2 tablespoons sugar and continue stirring all these ingredients together for 2 minutes.


Mix together the mayonnaise, honey, sweetened condensed milk, and lemon juice. Set the sauce aside.

Shrimp Batter:

Mix together the flour, remaining teaspoon of sugar, salt, and water. Stir ingredients until smooth.


Heat 2 to 3 cups of cooking oil in a wok. Add shrimp to the batter and, using a fork to pick them out, shake any excess batter off and place into the hot oil. (It is recommended to use 8 to 10 shrimp at a time to avoid overloading the wok.) Cook the shrimp until they become a light golden brown color. Repeat and when each batch is ready, place them on paper towels to soak up the excess oil. Once the shrimp are all cooked, stir them into your sauce and serve.


Reprinted with permission from Farmstand Favorites: Honey. ISBN: 978-1-57826-406-3 $9.50 (paperback). From Hatherleigh Press. Distributed by Random House.


Get in Shape this Summer: Cardio and Nutrition by Hugo Rivera

The Two Ideal Times For Aerobics

Another important point is that in order for aerobic exercise to be an optimally effective fat burner it needs to be performed at the appropriate times. There are two ideal times that aerobic exercise is most effective for burning fat.

The ideal time is first thing in the morning on an empty stomach after drinking 16 to 24 ounces of water in order to prevent dehydration.

When performed at this time Swedish studies suggest that you can burn up to 300 percent more body fat than at any other time in the day because your body does not have any glycogen (stored carbohydrates) in the system to burn. Therefore, it has to go directly into the fat stores in order to get the energy necessary to complete the activity.

The other time that aerobic exercise is effective would be immediately after a weight training session as your glycogen stores have already been depleted. Because of this, once you start doing your cardio, you will start burning fat as soon as you elevate your heart rate since it is the only fuel that will be available.

When aerobic exercise is not performed first thing in the morning or right after the weight training workout, make sure that you wait three hours after your last meal so that you have some depletion of your carbohydrate stores. Otherwise it would take your body approximately 20 to 30 minutes to start burning fat because that is how long it takes the body to deplete its glycogen stores and switch to a fat burning environment.

How Much Cardio?

For this program, the most you will be doing is three sessions lasting between 20 to 40 minutes each at the most. For Weeks 1 & 2, 20 minutes of aerobic exercise per session should be performed. For Weeks 3 & 4, perform 30 minutes of aerobic exercise, and for Weeks 5 & 6, perform 40 minutes. You can perform these sessions on Wednesday, Saturday and for the quickest results an optional one on Sunday as well.

What Type of Cardio?

Good forms of aerobic exercise include:

1. Riding a stationary bike.

2. Fast walking (this can be done on a treadmill).

3. Climbing on a stair stepper.

4. Swimming

5. Using an elliptical fitness rider or rowing machine.

6. Using any good cardio tapes or even jumping rope.

7. Or any other form of cardiovascular activity that raises your heartbeat to the fat burning zone.

Note: If you choose fast walking as your cardiovascular activity, ensure that you move your arms in order to get an enhanced aerobic effect.


Body Sculpting Nutrition

Keep in mind that without a good diet, your chances of achieving your fitness goals and getting your abs are slim and next to none. Therefore, make sure that you put an equal amount of emphasis in your nutrition program as you do in your training.

A great diet, is a diet that contains all of the macronutrients listed below in the right quantities and ratios:

Carbohydrates are the body’s main source of energy, and on a body sculpting diet they should come mainly from complex slow releasing sources such as oatmeal, grits, brown rice, sweat potatoes in combination with fibrous sources such as green beans and broccoli. Approximately 40% of your calories should come from carbohydrates.

Proteins, the building blocks for all tissues in the body, should come from chicken, turkey, tuna, and lean red meats. Approximately 40% of your calories should come from proteins.

Fats, which are used by the body to manufacture hormones, lubricate the joints, brain function and other essential items, should mainly come from monounsaturated and polyunsaturated sources. Canned extra virgin olive oil and flax seed oil should be the main sources of these. Approximately 20% of your calories should come from fats.

This sort of balanced approach to dieting seems to work best for the purposes of losing body fat while gaining some muscle. Depending on whether you want to mainly gain muscle and bulk up or mainly lose body fat, you will simply adjust your calories upwards or downwards accordingly.

For more information on this topic, please take a look at the Body Sculpting Bible for Men and Body Sculpting Bible for Women..


Final Thoughts

After six weeks of following this program in conjunction with a sensible diet program (such as the Body Sculpting Bible diet) you should be in considerably better shape. Note that the program changes every two weeks in order to prevent the body from adjusting to it providing you with the fastest results possible.

If you train at a commercial gym and have access to a more varied selection of exercises, then feel free to cycle the exercises as you wish in order for a more varied stimulus to the muscle in addition to prevent boredom.

Once you go through the full six weeks, just start over with week 1. Since you will grow stronger over these six weeks, once you start the program again, your weights should be heavier than the ones you used before when performing 12-15 reps.

If all you want is to firm up and lose fat, this routine will do the trick. Try it out and that lean summer body will be yours in no time.

Also read Get In Shape for Summer Part 1 — The Basics and Get In Shape for Summer Part 2 — The Workouts.


HUGO RIVERA is an ISSA Certified Personal Trainer, engineer and international best selling fitness author with over 20 years of bodybuilding experience. He is also the New York Times About.com Guide to Bodybuilding and continues to educate others on how to use bodybuilding in order to achieve their goals. Hugo is the author of Hardgainers’ Bodybuilding Handbook as well as the co-author of the best selling Body Sculpting Bible for Men and Body Sculpting Bible for Women.

Get in Shape this Summer: The Workouts by Hugo Rivera

Get In great shape with these body sculpting workouts.

Weight Training Workout

Below is a description of the weight training part of the routine. You will alternate between Workout (A) and (B) every time that weight training day comes around.

NOTE: You can find video demonstrations of proper technique for many of these exercises at the Get Fit Now YouTube Channel.

 Workout (A) – Monday/Thursday


Incline Dumbbell Bench Press

Wide Grip Pull-downs to Front (or Wide Grip Pull-ups to Front)


Flat Dumbbell Bench Press

Reverse Close Grip Pull-downs (or Reverse Grip Chin-ups)


Incline Flyes

One Arm Dumbbell Rows


One Legged Dumbbell Calf Raises

Two Legged Dumbbell Calf Raises

Workout (B) – Tuesday/Friday 


Dumbbell Curls

Lying Dumbbell Triceps Extensions


Incline Curls

Overhead Dumbbell Triceps Extensions


Bent Over Lateral Raises

Upright Rows


DB Squats

Lying Leg Curls



Leg Extensions

Abdominal Workout

Crunches (preferably performed on an Exercise Ball)

Lying Leg Raises


* Notes on Sets and Reps

This program varies the number of sets and repetitions on a bi-weekly basis in order to keep the body guessing and body sculpting results coming.

1. For weeks 1-2 perform 12-15 repetitions per set and 2 sets per exercise.

2. For weeks 3-4 perform 10-12 repetitions per set and 3 sets per exercise.

3. For weeks 5-6 perform 8-10 repetitions per set and 4 sets per exercise.


Training Notes

  • Do not rest more than 1 minute in between supersets. As a matter of fact, try to lower the rest down to 30-45 seconds in between. This not only allows for a better pump and an even better cardiovascular workout, but it also builds endurance and will not affect the strength once your body adjusts since you are supersetting antagonistic muscle groups.
  • As you will later see, the Abdominal Workout is to be performed before the cardiovascular workout. Abdominals should be treated as any other muscle, so use the same set and repetition scheme described above.
  • Put your ego aside and ensure perfect form in all exercises feeling the muscle contract and stretch.
  • Take your sets to the point where performing another repetition with good form becomes impossible.
  • If you are a guy that is interested in gaining some muscle with this routine, do not fall for the myth that supersetting is only for getting ripped and that no muscle can be built while doing it. This is not true as most of my mass has been built through supersetting. In addition, great bodybuilders like Dave Draper and Arnold Schwarzenegger also built their physiques with plenty of supersets.


Also read Get In Shape for Summer Part 1 — The Basics and Get in Shape for the Summer Part 3 — Cardio and Nutrition.


HUGO RIVERA is an ISSA Certified Personal Trainer, engineer and international best selling fitness author with over 20 years of bodybuilding experience. He is also the New York Times About.com Guide to Bodybuilding and continues to educate others on how to use bodybuilding in order to achieve their goals. Hugo is the author of Hardgainers’ Bodybuilding Handbook as well as the co-author of the best selling Body Sculpting Bible for Men and Body Sculpting Bible for Women.

Get in Shape this Summer: The Basics by Hugo Rivera

Get In Shape With These Body Sculpting Workouts 

So you want to get in shape and get your abs looking great but you have no clue what workouts you need to use in order to accomplish that. If this is your situation then you have come to the right place.

How Much Time Will Your Workouts Take?

How long do your workouts need to be in order to get in shape and get great abs? Unless you are a competitive bodybuilder who needs to perform several sessions of 45 minutes of exercise a day (some sessions of cardio and some of weights) to achieve the results needed for a competition physique, the most you will need to be in the gym for your body sculpting workouts is 4 weight training sessions of 60 minutes with 2-3 cardiovascular training sessions of 20-40 minutes.

Why Not 2 Hours At The Gym?

Because after 45 minutes to 1 hour of training the muscle building/fat burning hormones of most people begin to deplete while cortisol levels (fat storing/muscle burning hormone) increase.

This routine is designed to be performed in the comfort of your home assuming that you have the following equipment:

  • Adjustable dumbbells.
  • Adjustable bench with a good leg extension/leg curl attachment.
  • Pulley that can be attached at the end of the bench to perform pull-downs or pull-up bar.
  • Determination to get things done.

If you have all that, then let’s begin.

Types of Training

We will use two types of training in order to re-sculpt our physique and get those abs in mint shape:

Anaerobic work: Weight training is the number 1 way to re-sculpt your body. No ladies, weight training won’t make you muscle bound as you girls do not produce enough testosterone to allow for such a thing to happen. Why is weight training so important? Weight training is far superior to any other type of exercise because it increases your metabolism (which in turn helps you burn fat) and gives shape to your body.

Aerobic work: Walking, stationary bike or doing an elliptical machine in your Fat Burning Zone (which is (220 – Age) * .75 = Fat Burning Heart Rate) is a good way to accelerate the fat burning process, as long as it is not overdone, and as long as it is only used in addition to a good weight-training program. Cardiovascular exercise should never be used as a substitute for weight training because aerobics cannot create muscle tone.

Calculate Your Heart Rate!

Take 220 and minus your age which is accurate to approximately +15 Beats Per Minute. You then take that number and multiply it by .75 – .85, which will give you your percentages of 75% — 85% of your Maximum Heart Rate.

(220-Age) x .75 = beats per minute (lower range)

(220-Age) x .85 = beats per minute (upper range)

This is the Target Range or Zone that you want to stay in when doing any type of cardiovascular (aerobic) activity. When in this range your body is getting an optimum workout with maximum benefit, and it stays in a Fat Burning mode.

Also read Get In Shape for Summer Part 2 — The Workouts and Get in Shape for the Summer Part 3 — Cardio and Nutrition.


HUGO RIVERA is an ISSA Certified Personal Trainer, engineer and international best selling fitness author with over 20 years of bodybuilding experience. He is also the New York Times About.com Guide to Bodybuilding and continues to educate others on how to use bodybuilding in order to achieve their goals. Hugo is the author of Hardgainers’ Bodybuilding Handbook as well as the co-author of the best selling Body Sculpting Bible for Men and Body Sculpting Bible for Women.

Get Soft, Healthy Skin with This Moisturizer Recipe

Shea-Olive Moisturizer

Olive oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are naturally moisturizing and softening for the skin. Olive oil also has plenty of vitamin E, which is a powerful antioxidant and is effective for soothing dry skin. Shea butter is a wonderful moisturizer and penetrates your skin deeply to restore collagen and elasticity. It’s also packed with vitamins A and E, which are essential for skin health.

In her new book, Natural Beauty, beauty expert Elizabeth TenHouten lays out a philosophy of beauty that encompasses physical, mental and spiritual well-being, an integrated approach that addresses the whole person. Natural Beauty includes a wide variety of all-natural beauty tips and tricks drawing on everyday ingredients with amazing healthful properties. This Shea-Olive Moisturizer is one recipe included in the book:



1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon shea butter


Preparation and Application:

Mix both ingredients together and massage thoroughly over your hands, including the backs of your hands, which tend to be a drier area. The shea butter will melt into your hands as you apply it.


Reprinted with permission from Natural Beauty: Homemade Recipes for Radiant Skin & Hair. ISBN: 978-1-57826-446-9, $20.00 (hardcover). New from Hatherleigh Press. Distributed by Random House.

Try This Tasty Hummus Recipe

Hummus with Garlic and Lemon


1 can garbanzo beans

1/4 cup vegetable broth

2 cloves garlic

3/4 fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon finely minced fresh herb (such as parsley, basil, or thyme)

salt and pepper to taste



Heat the vegetable broth to medium in a medium-sized, shallow pan. Rinse the garbanzos in a colander and pour into the broth. Heat until broth has evaporated, about 5-8 minutes. Test the beans with a fork for tenderness about halfway through. Once the broth has evaporated they should mash easily. If they’re still hard, heat for a few extra minutes with a few additional tablespoons of broth.

Transfer the beans to a large bowl and mash with a fork until they are the consistency of a thick paste. Add the garlic and fresh herb and slowly add the lemon juice and olive oil. Season to taste. Stir until all ingredients are evenly distributed and the hummus has a coarse yet creamy texture.

Reprinted with permission from Cooking Well: The New Kitchen Garden. ISBN: 978-1-57826-331-8 $15.00 (paperback). From Hatherleigh Press. Distributed by Random House.
Delicious Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers Recipe

Here’s a great healthy anytime recipe for stuffed peppers! Fire up the grill and get cooking!

Stuffed Poblano Chilies


2 teaspoons olive oil

4 poblano chilies

1 medium onion, diced

2 tomatoes, seeded and diced

1 cup cooked black beans

1 cup cooked corn kernels

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 jalapeño, seeded and diced

1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup chopped cilantro

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 1/4 cups Monterey Jack cheese, shredded

Salt and pepper to taste



Preheat the grill on medium.

Cut and slice the chilies in half. Scrape out the seeds and set aside.

Heat the oil in a saucepan over high heat. Add the onion and sauté 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, black beans, corn, jalapeño, pumpkin seeds, cilantro, cumin, and cook until hot. Divide the mixture among the chile halves and top with the cheese.

Lightly oil the rack of the grill and place the stuffed chilies on the grill. Grill for 15 to 20 minutes or until the cheese is golden brown and the chilies cook through. If they start to burn, move them away from the heat source to finish cooking and then serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings.

Note: You may also cook the chilies in the oven at 375ºF for 15 to 20 minutes.


Reprinted with permission from Cooking Well: Healthy Vegetarian. ISBN: 978-1-57826-389-9 $12.50 (paperback). From Hatherleigh Press. Distributed by Random House.