Mi40x Review: Ben Pakulski’s Workout Program Revealed
MI40x is a new muscle building program put together by Ben Pakulski. My general rule has been that most of the information regarding the workouts of pro bodybuilders doesn’t apply to the ordinary trainee.
Most. Not all. Ben Pakulski and his MI40x workout program is one of the exceptions to the rule. Ben Pakulski is a top professional bodybuilder from Canada, who also happens to be a trainer.
I have to admit, the fact that MI40x was coming from a pro bodybuilding was a big negative for me. If I had to pick one thing that turned me off about the program, this would be it. I may not have even looked at it but it was recommended by a friend of mine. But after looking into Ben and the program, Ben Pakulski is not your typical pro bodybuilder who performs the same old crazy workouts that only work for the genetically advantaged.
So what IS Mi40x anyway? Besides being a strange name for a muscle building program.
40 stands for the number of days in the program (40 days), the amount of time in a set (40 seconds), the rest between sets (40 seconds), and the number of exercises used in constructing this muscle building protocol.
Two important things in that sentence stood out for me that made me think this program had a lot of potential.
The first is that Ben Pakulski focuses on the amount of time the muscle is under tension. The concept of time under tension for the working muscle is crucial for building muscle mass. Most trainees don’t get nearly enough time under tension in the sets they do. Ben put this to work in his Cell Expansion Protocol (CEP), which focuses on this idea of muscle cell expansion within his concept of Neurological Overload Sets (NOS).
You see, for optimal muscle building most of your sets should get at least 30 seconds, and up to 50 seconds, of tension time for the muscle you’re working. Ben has nailed that in his program.
The second thing I really like is the short rest periods between sets. The rest periods are only 40 seconds. Most trainees either rest too long or their rest periods are haphazard, in that they don’t even time them, they just go by feel and so their rest varies between sets and from workout to workout.
While longer rest periods of 3 minutes or more are very important when building strength, much shorter rest periods are extremely effective when it comes to building muscle mass. Such programs like Vince Gironda’s 8 x 8 system, where you perform 8 sets of 8 reps (using the same weight load for all sets), with very short rest periods of 15 seconds to 30 seconds between sets, have stood the test of time because of their amazing muscle building success.
Short rest periods plus optimal time under tension serious muscle mass potential.
The 40 also represents 40 days, the length of the program, making it a shade under 6 weeks long. If you’re training with a lot of intensity, you should take a week off (or at least really cut back on volume and intensity) every 6 weeks or so, so that’s another point in its favor.
Most “skinny guys” are never able to add real amounts of muscle mass to their frame with traditional bodybuilding methods. It’s not until they do things like use shorter rest periods and longer tension times that they are able to start getting muscle building results. And this is something Ben focuses on a lot in his program.
Time under tension is crucial to your muscle growth! It’s tough to get it right, just using straight sets, which is why it can be important to focusing your workouts on time under tension extending techniques like supersets, tri-sets, drop sets, post set mini reps and multi-rep rest/pause sets.
Ben Pakulski discovered similar things and created what he calls NOS or Neurological Overload Sets. One thing that keeps many people from great muscle gains is nervous system failure which prevents them from achieving muscle overload and eventually muscle growth.
Maximum muscle overload is one of the crucial program designs of the NOS system. The entire system is geared toward overload the muscles as much as possible. This allows you to break down the most muscle fibers possible. By optimally tearing down the muscle fibers you are also able to maximize the release of growth hormones, as well as other growth factors inside the muscle cells.
Ben calls this the “overload-anabolic state”, and he feels that the failure to trigger the realest of growth hormone and these other growth factors is a big reason why so many trainees can seemingly train really hard without seeing any results in terms of muscle growth.
When you can create a greater overall stimulus in the muscle, you can potentially create greater muscle mass growth as well.
An “extended set” completes the muscle growth process within the NOS concept.
The point of the extended set concept is to prolong the length of the set for as long as possible and continuing to keep tension on the working muscle, as well as maintaining perfect form as well.
You’ll want to pick a starting weight that allows you to complete a total of eight strict repetitions of the exercise. Once you complete those eight reps, you should take twenty percent of the weight off the bar and then crank out as many more repetitions as possible with the lighter weight. The goal is to complete four total sets of this.
Say you can crank out 8 reps of the barbell curl with 100 pounds. Your workout might be 100 x 8 reps, 80 x 5 reps, 60 x 3 reps and 40 x 5 reps.
It’s important that you don’t allow your form to break down when doing the exercise. You may reduce the range of motion (while still being strict) so that you are doing partial reps but still be sure to start the exercise from the stretched position.
Another component of MI40x is 40 minute workouts! Now this is awesome! Keep your workouts short but intense (while packing a LOT of work into that short time period) is crucial to keeping your muscle building hormones (testosterone, growth hormone, cortisol) at optimal levels, while also helping to prevent over training.
Unless you’re a powerlifter or Olympic lifter doing tons of low rep sets with very long rest periods for your sport, your workouts should always be able to be completed in less than a hour.
On a side note, there is a great line from his free report, 5 Tricks to Double Your Gains, “It’s not a matter of, “You need to figure out what works for you…
Those are BS (he didn’t use BS but you get the point!) statements!”
I completely agree! Yes, there are different tolerance levels to exercise (and response potential as well), and body variations that make some people better at certain exercises, etc. but the core principles of resistance training and muscle building apply to everyone! No one is going to discover that running marathons is “what works for them” when it comes to adding slabs of muscle mass to their frame!
Mi40x is a powerful muscle building program backed by science with very specific protocols to follow.
However, it’s important to understand a few things. In order for this program to work,you need to be willing to follow it accurately. And it’s not easy. It’s a big commitment to follow Ben’s program. It’s brutally hard work. If you aren’t the self-motivated type with a lot of discipline, you’ll probably follow this program half-heartedly, start making changes that short circuit its effectiveness and then scream “SCAM!” when you don’t see incredible results!
But if you are really ready to give a muscle building program a try with 100% mental and physical effort and focus, you should definitely consider Mi40X. Ben has put together a top notch muscle building program for you.