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Mar 28, 2019

Ben Pakulski (@bpakfitness) is an IFBB bodybuilding pro who’s competed in the Arnold Classic and Mr. Olympia, and now runs a successful muscle building program and gym in Tampa Florida called Mi40. He also offers business mentorship coaching, hosts the popular Muscle Intelligence Podcast, and travels the world speaking about the practical, scientific, and mental aspects of living a healthy, happy, and fit life.


Ashleigh sits down with IFBB pro bodybuilder, podcast host, and owner of a successful gym and coaching business, the bodybuilding yogi, Ben Pakulski for a deep dive about Ben’s work to change the paradigm of muscle building: to encourage fitness enthusiasts of all ages and backgrounds to approach their goals with as much introspection, mindfulness, and strategic thinking as possible. We cover topics like encouraging young people to find their own personalized approach to fitness; practical ways to reverse-engineer your goals in order to establish clear steps to achieve them; how pain and empathy helps you grow (both in the gym and the rest of your life); and some personal stories about how Ben became the muscle expert that he is—starting out as a skinny, vegetarian runner who was told repeatedly he would never find success in bodybuilding.


Minute Breakdown:


5 - 13 Intro to Ben’s background with and passion for bodybuilding, including the fact that he started as a vegetarian runner and gained 70 pounds in a year through food and training when he was 17


13 – 25 How Ben is trying to change the paradigm around muscle building through his work, including his plan to create resources for teenagers to learn the tools needed to develop their own personalized muscle building program. We discuss the importance of positive influence and direction for young people, and how he encourages his own kids to be fit and healthy


25 - 34  The limitations of our obsession with trying to quantify movements and exercises, and why most people need to focus on mastering the basics before worrying about details


34 - 39  The importance of sticking to the goals you set even when your plans change; knowing you can stick to your word is a base from which so much success and growth can happen. How to pinpoint what gives you joy and make time for those things and be intentional about creating joyful moments so you don’t crave quick fixes or seek comfort with distraction.


39 - 45 through a very personal story about Ben’s upbringing we discuss the importance of relationships, how to invest in them, how to communicate, and how this can inform your health. How pain can help you grow if you find gratitude in the learning experience and bring empathy and understanding to your interactions


45 - 58 – We discuss ways to reverse-engineer our goals by understanding and clarifying what value we bring to the table. A discussion of his work with business mentorship clients


58 -: In goal setting and achieving a happy, healthy, fulfilled life, we talk about how to “find your why” and identify not only what your goals are but why those are your goals, so you have a deep level of clarity when challenges arise



Show notes:


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Shrugged Collective is a network of fitness, health and performance shows that help people achieve their physical and mental health goals.  Usually in the gym, but outside as well. In 2012 they posted their first Barbell Shrugged podcast and have been putting out weekly free videos and podcasts ever since.

Along the way we've created successful online coaching programs including The Shrugged Strength Challenge, The Muscle Gain Challenge, FLIGHT, Barbell Shredded, and Barbell Bikini.

We're also dedicated to helping affiliate gym owners grow their businesses and better serve their members by providing owners tools and resources like the Barbell Business Podcast.

Find Shrugged Collective and their flagship show Barbell Shrugged here: