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Episode 8: Muscle Building Mistakes, Health Optimization, & Living Your Greatest Life with Ben Pakulski

podcast Apr 01, 2020

You can find Ben Pakulski on his website, Instagram @bpakfitnees, and his podcast Muscle Intelligence Podcast, or on Facebook in the Muscle Intelligence community.


Ben has dominated the world of muscle building, both as a coach and IFBB professional bodybuilder for more than 20 years, competing in Mr. Olympia and the Arnold Classic, and winning Mr. Canada.

Today, Ben is focused on providing the best information on intelligent muscle building and mindset mastery through his Tampa, Florida based gym, MI40; online coaching, mentorship, and programs; Muscle Camp workshops and public speaking around the world; and the popular and growing Muscle Intelligence Podcast.

Through his extensive platform and offerings, Ben's goal is to help you master your body and your mind, and create a happy life in a body you love.

GIVEAWAY for today’s episode is brought to you by Perfect Keto

3 winners will EACH receive a box of keto bars, a 25-pack of Keto Coffee single serves, and one container of Collagen. You pick your flavors! Perfect Keto is one of my favorite companies because they put out really great products that are delicious and always super high-quality. The founder, Anthony Gustin, is a good friend and he is a stickler when it comes to quality ingredients which is why 100% trust this company and the products they make.

To enter:

  • Subscribe to the MetFlex & Chill podcast
  • Leave a rating and a review mentioning something you learned or took away from this episode.
  • *Note: If you have already left a rating and review for a previous episode, you can still enter this giveaway by taking a screenshot of the episode, posting it in your Instagram story, and tagging @rachelgregory.cns for a chance to win!

In this episode, we talk about the biggest mistakes people are making when trying to build muscle, Ben’s six pillars of a lean and healthy body, and how to improve metabolic flexibility.

“If you want to achieve success, you have to have a target and a purpose...a massively transformative purpose.” Ben Pakulski

Episode Top Takeaways:

  • Mindfulness and mindset are the foundation of effective muscle building. Become more present, challenge your muscles, and spend time where you’re weak.
  • There are few components (the Six Pillars) that factor into the success level of creating a lean, healthy, and muscular physique.
  • The best tips to improve metabolic flexibility are breathe, walk, meditate, and eat more protein.
  • Carbohydrate intake may vary from individual to individual and should be adjusted accordingly.
  • If there’s a habit you want to create, your environment is going to create that habit. 

Show Notes:

  • [2:30] Ben pursued bodybuilding for seventeen years, nine of which he was professional and in the world’s top ten.
  • [2:58] “That wasn’t the path to happiness and fulfillment for me, it was a great opportunity for me to develop skills, habits, and character. But there was a lot more I could do with my life ... and give back to the world.”
  • [3:50] Ben’s business teaches people how to build muscle in the most healthy way for the greatest life
  • [6:10] The Three Biggest Training Mistakes: 1. Training mindlessly is the easiest way to stall progress. Mindful training is the key to results. Become present.
  • [10:15] 2. Completing repetitions rather than challenging muscles. What matters most is working a muscle correctly, maximally challenging every inch.
  • [11:50] 3. Not spending time where they are weak.
  • [12:40] “It doesn’t have to be hard; smart work has to proceed hard work.”
  • [16:30] Muscle training is like playing the piano, it requires time and training in specific movements and skills. Learn a small number of skills very well, then build from there.
  • [18:15] Ben’s Six Pillars of a lean, healthy, and muscular physique: 
    • How we move,
    • What we eat,
    • How we breath,
    • How we think,
    • How we sleep,
    • the Environment in which these are done.
  • [21:10] Practical action items for each of the Six Pillars.
  • [24:40] Ben’s training for the Mr. Olympia competition as a teenager gave him a target which helped develop the habits that led to success.
  • [28:15] Measuring an individual’s biometrics can, to a degree, determine the level of success they will experience with a strict ketogenic diet
  • [32:30] One simple self-assessment: measure your BOLT Score
  • [34:30] Improve BOLT score by consciously breathing through the nose, expanding the diaphragm. Practice breath-holding before training.  
  • [38:10] Two useful roles that carbohydrates play: 1. modulate stress, 2. fuel performance
  • [43:00] “Protein is important.”
  • [55:00] Meditation is key. In a society that is always doing, it is important to take time for being. 
  • [57:10] Ben’s new stance on carbs.
  • [1:00:30] Improved breathing improves the body's use of carbohydrates and also the ability to become more metabolically flexible.

Listen to the full episode HERE. 


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Rachel Gregory (@rachelgregory.cns) is a Board-Certified Nutrition Specialist, Strength and Conditioning Specialist, and Author of the best-selling book, 21-Day Ketogenic Diet Weight Loss Challenge. She received her Master’s Degree in Nutrition & Exercise Physiology from James Madison University and Bachelor’s Degree in Sports Medicine from the University of Miami.

Rachel helps her clients transform their lives by starting with the physical (body), realizing the power of the mental (mindset), and ultimately gaining massive confidence that bleeds into every aspect of their lives (family, relationships, work, etc.).


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