Author: Ben Pakulski
Format: E-Book, Online Video (Electronic Delivery)
Bonuses: Training Manual, Nutrition Manual, Supplement Manual, Exercise Manual, 7 Hrs. Online Video, “Size Secrets” Audio
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So, would you listen to an overly-muscled IFBB pro bodybuilder tell you, the natural trainer, how to build muscle?
Ordinarily, I wouldn’t.
The superior genetics coupled with the steroids would limit the applicability of their experiences to mine.
Ben Pakulski, however, is an exception.
Pakulski has had great success training natural bodybuilding competitors and after reviewing his program, “MI40”, that isn’t surprising. This is an impressive program.
It is not for beginners. Somewhere on the sales page it subtly discourages beginners. I won’t be subtle; this is a program for serious intermediate or advanced trainers, NOT beginners.
It assumes basic training and dieting knowledge and is simply beyond what the new trainer needs or is ready to employ.
The “MI” stands for Mass Intentions. This is the core principle of the training portion of the program. It is a different way of approaching your training. Instead of the “heavy weight” mentality where you are loading up the bar as heavy as possible, Pakulski has you instead focusing on how to achieve maximum tension on your muscles for the duration of your set.
Now, time-under-tension concepts aren’t new to bodybuilding. What Pakulski is doing, however, is increasing your tension not just through slow, no-pause reps but through small changes in how you are performing your lifts. This is interesting stuff that you really get a feel for when you watch the videos.
A lot of programs include videos and, to be honest, I pretty much snooze through most of them. They are often a waste of time. But the MI40 System ones are exceptional. You watch Pakulski taking guys through workouts and with each exercise he explains how to get the maximum tension out of it.
You see his trainees really struggling despite the fact that they are using half as much weight as they normally would. Exercises are finished off with NOS sets (NOS is Neurological Overload Sets, a variation of drop sets). The workouts can be brutal.
The only thing more brutal might be a drinking game where you take a drink every time Pakulski says “irrefutable”. He really likes that word.
Kidding aside, Pakulski comes off sincere and knowledgeable. He is convincing that his way is the way to bigger muscle, that the saying you’ve heard, “muscle doesn’t know how much weight you’re lifting”, is something you should be taking seriously.
Regardless of your experience level, you will learn a lot from the videos.
The 40 in “MI40” is a number that is used throughout the program. There are 40 exercises, 40 second rest periods, 40 minute workouts, the program is 40 days long. (Not just a random number, Pakulski explains the science behind using 40 in each case he does).
Overall you are training 5 days a week with 40 minute workouts. On days where you are working 2 body-parts Pakulski encourages you to split the workout if possible (do one body part in the morning and one at night). You can however work both body-parts together in a slightly extended workout. Rest days aren’t complete rest as intense cardio is prescribed.
The dieting portion isn’t necessarily complex (or, I might say, it isn’t unnecessarily complex. Pakulski keeps it simple and therefore doable). A huge emphasis is placed on intra-workout, pre and post workout nutrition. This makes a lot of sense when you think about it.
We all know the studies that tell us that these are the most critical times for muscle growth but how many of us truly give our nutrition at these times the priority these studies suggest we should? Pakulski’s approach in the MI40 System demands that you do, providing a detailed plan to ensure your nutrition is allowing you to maximize your muscle building.
One thing Pakulski says that struck me as a great truth was that when you get to the top rung in the fitness world, the elite bodybuilders and fitness models, you don’t find these people doing anything particularly complex. You instead find them following very simple, known, proven rules and strategies (such as an emphasis on pre and post workout nutrition). The reason they get great results? They follow those rules day after day and aren’t distracted by the fads and gimmicks.
Sometimes we assume those elite trainers employ secret strategies or are working impossibly hard. This isn’t necessarily the case. They beat us mostly by simply keeping their focus.
It’s a good thing to always keep in mind.
Pakulski’s coverage of supplements is about what you would expect from a competing bodybuilder, someone who lives and breathes bodybuilding. He is a big, big fan of BCAAs. He also recommends a lot of under-the-radar supplements that are what I would consider potentially helpful but pretty low on the bang-for-your-buck scale. He does pare his recommendations down to the minimum for the budget conscious.
Overall, it’s a solid look at intelligent supplementation. However, I found it extremely odd there is no mention of creatine at all? I checked and re-checked, I searched, it isn’t there. How do you talk supplementing for muscle building and not mention creatine? I can’t explain that.
5 of 5 Stars: This is an unabashed bodybuilding program. It is all about size and symmetry gains. It is for the advanced trainer.
On the things above, this program hits the mark. I can’t imagine any serious trainer not learning some new things and finding great value in “MI40“. It is excellent.
Because I review a lot of programs, it has become pretty rare that one gets me excited. “MI40” definitely did that for me, I was ready to rush to the gym after a couple hours of reading and watching. That’s about as big of an endorsement as I can give.