Shrugged Collective

Barbell Shrugged  — If You Can’t, Then You Must w/ Ben Pakulski  —  315

Ben Pakulski a.k.a. Pak-Man, is an IFBB professional bodybuilder and winner of the 2008 Mr. Canada competition. In the IFBB, he finished 2nd twice in 2008. He also placed 2nd in the 2013 Arnold Classic competition, and 11th in the 2012 Mr. Olympia contest, which was his first-ever.

Ben began his interest in nutrition at 12 years old, when he read about vegetarianism and experimented with it for two years. At 15, he started lifting weights in Macks Gym in Toronto. Today, he is an accoladed athlete, competitor, coach, and creator of #1 Muscle Building program, MI40.

In this episode Ben Pakulski takes us through his mindset shift as he went from being a high level competitive bodybuilder, to an entrepreneur, and father. He shares with us the story of how he was initially successful in bodybuilding by accident. He also explains how he developed a competitive mindset, why he treated everyday like he was going to be on stage, and more.


– Mike, Doug and Anders

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Getting efficient with muscle gains

Ben takes us through his new perspectives on nutrition, as well as taking us through the motions of how various diets affected him. He also touches on the importance of recovery and offers a few tips on how to optimize and get the most out of training.

Ben advises his athletes to always find the weakest point of your game, and not only make it adequate, but encourages them to work hard, and make that the absolute best part of their body. Ben prioritizes the connection between body and mind, he explains how focusing on the muscle while training, as well as meditating after training, will have a massive impact on gains.

“I did well purely on hard work.” — Ben Pakulski

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  • Down regulation: Anyone who cannot sit still for 20 minutes is the person who needs it most  —  After training, Ben recommends all his athletes sit for 20 minutes in complete silence and meditate. The process allows you to leave a sympathetic state, and enter a parasympathetic state.
  • We can lose the idea of doing bench for chest and curls for biceps  —  Being dogmatic about the type of exercises we do is unimportant. It’s all about muscle tension. Get the muscle under tension and take it through range of motion.
  • The gas and the brakes  —  When it comes to pre-workout supplements, Ben likes to focus on the brain, and nootropics are his main focus. Post-workout, he likes to hit the breaks and unwind, and he focuses on letting the body recover mentally and physically.
  • It’s not about the macros  The numbers associated with macros are not important. We should be solely focused on what we can absorb. If you are stressed, you are not absorbing nutrients. It is critical to get into a parasympathetic state after training to optimize nutrient absorption.
  • Know YOUR Body  —  Each exercise has a different impact on each individual. For example: One person may experience upper pec stimulus from bench press, where another person will experience stimulus in the shoulder. Do not watch and mimic other athletes. Play with various exercises and learn what works for YOUR body.
  • Stop stretching  —  Our bodies are incredibly intelligent. If we have tight pecs, its likely because there is some instability in the shoulder and scapula. Rather than stretching tight muscles, mobilize the joins that your body may be protecting.

“You don’t have bad genetics, you just don’t know how to train.” — Ben Pakulski

Connect with Ben Pakulski

Connect on social: Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter

Resources: Ben Pakulski, Hypertrophy Mastery

Doug Larson Fitness

Doug’s new website is live! Check it out at DougLarsonFitness.com

The Bledsoe Show

The Bledsoe Show (Mike’s personal show) is back! Check out new episodes and the new website at TheBledsoeShow.com

Check out our FREE 50+ page OLYMPIC WEIGHTLIFTING GUIDE! Includes: The Basics, Sample Programming, Links to Technique Videos, and more!


Train smart,

Mike, Doug and Anders

Mike Bledsoe

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