MI40 is a complete program for dedicated bodybuilders who want to build muscle to their full potential.
This review of Ben Pakulski’s program will reveal to you how this program works, what “MI40 Intentions” are, who this plan is for, what benefits it offers, and what the pros and cons are.
Who Is MI40 For?
The way MI40 was designed means that this program can be unusually hard even for someone who regularly works out, but it can be a real challenge for beginners.
It is suitable for motivated bodybuilders with some experience. IM40, though sound and valid, take for granted that you should have some sort of workout experience and have already gone through regular training routines to be able to withstand it.
However, the implementation of these techniques could be too much to handle for some people, not just beginners. The outward or inward torque on the bar while pushing or pulling the bar in a controlled way is challenging to master.
The mental effort required to perform these extra tasks while pushing or pulling could detract from correct weight progression because you have no way to exactly know how much torque/resistance you apply inward or outward on the bar while performing the exercises, it can fluctuate.
By contrast, straight, regular movements never lie. You know that if you have a 200-pound bar to push up or pull down, it is 200 pounds. Always. You know that if you go to 210 pounds you are getting stronger.
But with outward or inward torque you do not really know where you are on progression, at least not until you have mastered the technique. Basically, you need to rely on feel on top of the straight poundage, you have to master the way you feel your muscles.
However, in order to build an accurate feel for the extra stress involved and get the most out of these techniques, it takes time and effort and if you are a beginner you should do a beginner program first to prepare yourself for the high-intensity techniques of MI40.
But if you are an advanced or at least intermediate bodybuilder you have better chances to adjust to these extra neurological and muscular stresses. In any case, NOS and Intentions require a drastic reduction on the usual poundage normally used.
The workouts too, while lasting just 40 minutes, are based on a 5 a week split routine. This leaves little room for flexibility. You have to really plan your weekly activities well in advance, or else if you skip a workout you’ll have few body parts lagging behind others on the schedule.
Having said all this, MI40 is an effective program for intermediate to advanced bodybuilders for extra muscle gains.
What Does MI40 Stand For?
MI40 stands for Mass Intentions 40, a reference to this particular number as a foundation to all the aspects of the program workouts and to the conscious effort required for performing the exercises.
According to author Ben Pakuski, muscles do not “know” pounds but only “feel” torque. It does not matter how many pounds are loaded on a bar, what is important is the way muscles move the bar in a full range of motion under tension, better still, maximal tension.
The techniques Pakulski devised to implement this challenging approach are two: Mass Intentions and Neurological Overload Sets (more on these below). Instead, the number 40 is the constant factor that refers to anything involving this program: 40 seconds to complete a set, 40 seconds of rest, 40-minute workouts, 40 exercises, 40 days program, and so on. 4 is also the number of the last drop set in a group of 4 sets.
This means that 40 is not a fancy number trick born out of fantasy, but the net result of years of experience and real-life results to support this practical approach.
What Are MI40 Intentions And How Do They Work?
As the name implies, Intentions and Mass Intentions are just that, a unique voluntary and neurological input applied when performing a resistance movement against weights that consists of creating an extra artificial torque in compound movements by pushing outwards on the bar with your hands while pulling and by curling inward on the bar while pushing.
This means that while you perform lats pull-downs, for example, you should consciously push with your hands outwards on the bar while at the same time pulling down as normal. This creates complete new stress to the muscles, increasing the torque and forcing you to drastically reduce your normal poundage for any given number of reps.
Conversely, while you perform a bench press or an overhead press, you should also push inward your hands on the bar while pushing away from your body. Again, this requires a complete adjustment of your normal poundage.
NOS – Neurological Overload Sets For Mass Building
The second key technique used in the MI40 program for optimal muscle stress and testosterone and growth hormone, hence muscle growth, is a revisited version of the good old drop sets repackaged in a more scientific way.
How many times you have walked out of a gym feeling that you did not really give everything you had, or that your typical straight-set workout challenged your muscle to some extent, but not really that hard.
This is because neurological adjustment sets in, the endocrine system is not stimulated enough to produce extra testosterone and muscle growth, your muscles are not really challenged and stagnation sets in.
Revisited Drop Sets For Extra Muscle Gain
The Neurological Overload Set, a drop set performed as the fourth final set of a group of 4 sets of a given exercise, pushes the muscles to a level of complete failure way beyond the limits of a mere straight set. Total failure is achieved by dropping the poundage 20% off the previous poundage every subsequent drop for a total of 4 sets without rest between them.
The repetitions are also performed in a 4010 fashion, meaning 4 seconds in negative and 1 second in positive without stopping at the top or bottom, bringing every rep up to 5 seconds and a set of 8 up to 40 seconds.
Every subsequent 20% decrease in weight should be performed as strictly as possible for as many reps you can get and even performing half reps (the lower part of the range with the muscle fully stretched) until the next drop is allowed.
This is a drastically hard technique guaranteed to kick the endocrine system, testosterone, growth hormone, and muscle gain into overdrive.
The program is also structured around variation. No workout is the same so as to keep you motivated and your muscles challenged even within the foundation basics of time under maximal tension, torque intentions, and extended drop sets for neurological overload.
Does MI40 Work? Is It An Effective Muscle Building Program?
Ben Pakulski’s MI40 program is a well-structured muscle building, workout, and nutritional regime that requires commitment and discipline. While the workouts last only 40 minutes, they are very demanding not just on your muscles but also on your nervous system.
The combination of high-intensity techniques like NOS (drop sets) and Intentions (additional inward and outward torque with your hands on the bar on a given exercise) are designed to exert continuous maximal tension on your muscles in a full range of motion and to exhaust them to utter failure, the like of which is not possible to achieve with regular, straight sets.
What Are The Benefits Of MI40?
MI40 is beneficial in that it gives bodybuilders a tested method for stressing muscles and kick them into growth. This method relies on torque and tension through the range of motion for more effective muscle and strength building as opposed to heavier weights thrown around with poor form, in complete contrast to what you often see in the gym.
The whole point of this approach is to throw away your ego and disbelieve the heavier the better approach but focus on quality resistance instead, so as to feel your muscles really working and see them growing. This approach has already worked very well not just for Ben, but also for scores of his customers and friends, first of all, world-renowned fitness expert and buddy Vince DelMonte.
Whatever technique requires movement control and correct execution is more effective for muscle building that ego-filled “free weight put shots”, so thumbs up for MI40.
Who Is Ben Pakulski?
The program is the creation of Ben Pakulski, a world-renowned pro-bodybuilder with a degree in Kinesiology and Biomechanics, the science of movement and muscle function, who is also the author of the new program MI40X, of which you can read a review here.
With over 14 years of expertise and top achievements in the bodybuilding world, he has developed a training and nutritional system focused on the body as a whole and on the importance of correct exercise execution for anyone willing to build muscle fast, particularly for a natural bodybuilder with normal recovery abilities.
The importance of correctly performing exercises for optimal results goes in stark contrast with the common mistakes that, he says, we all have witnessed in the gym now and then. The guy throwing the weight around with excessive poundage in an attempt to convince himself and onlookers of being stronger than he really is or simply applying the heavier, the better approach in the mistaken belief that heavier weights will lead to bigger muscles.
This approach leads to stagnation and even injury, you can see guys coming in the gym day in, day out for months without a single extra inch to show for while other guys seem to get twice as many results in a short time, and that’s not genetics, but the correct approach, he argues.
MI40 Workout And PDF – What’s In It?
Ben Pakulski’s program is a fully comprehensive guide coming in PDF, Video, and Audio formats covering all topics for anyone serious about gaining muscle. It is divided into 8 parts:
- The 40 Day Mass Intelligence Training Manual: a 33 page PDF manual with all the basics of Ben Pakulski’s training system and the foundations of his workout methods, where he explains the concepts of Time Under Maximal Tension, the Intentions, which is the deliberate manipulation of the torque needed to perform any lift by adding extra inward force in pushing movements and outward force in pulling movements. And of course, NOS, which stands for Neurological Overload Sets, an updated and more accurate version of the good old drop sets.
- The 40 Day Mass Consumption Nutrition Manual: this is a complete 53-page guide to nutrition for optimal muscle growth and fat loss structured in a 3 phase way. Phase 1, Intra Workout Nutrition, describes what you should eat during the workouts. Phase 2 is split into 2 main components, pre-workout, and post-workout nutrition. Phase 3 is concerned with your nutrition away from your workout time, during the day.
- The 40 Day Mass Instruction Workout Videos: a 7 hours instructional video set where Ben himself and top guys like Vince DelMonte, Matt and Emily Stirling, and Rob Terry perform the exercises so as not to leave any guesswork.
- The 40 Day Mass Proportion Exercise Execution Guide: one more 52-page manual concerned with the perfect execution of the workout exercises. Each exercise is displayed in a set of pictures illustrating the start and finish position and the full range of motion in between. These exercises are divided into Mass Construction and Mass Appeal Exercises.
- The 40 Day Mass Prescription Printable Workout Sheets: one of the most important aspects for a good outcome of any training program is accuracy, you need everything laid out for you for each workout. This part of the program consists of 23 printable sheets with all the workouts, exercises, sets, repetitions, rest periods, and execution speed from day 1 to day 40 to take you hand in hand through your workouts and not miss anything or do any mistake.
- The 40 Day Mass Pursuit Calendar goes hand in hand with the workout sheets above. It is a printable calendar where you can keep track of your progress and your shortcomings so as to keep you on track and strive to improve and adhere to the program.
- The 40 Day Mass Supplement Stack Protocol: a 19-page protocol of the best supplements out there to help you reduce post-workout inflammation and improve recovery times, like fish oil, Tumeric, and little known active ingredients.
- The Size Secrets Audio Interrogation: it sounds like a CIA interrogation, in reality, is simply an audio format interview by the same Ben who reveals little known strategies to help you gain even more muscle.
The Bottom Line
MI40 is a program designed to achieve maximal muscle gain in the shortest possible time with the use of high-intensity techniques like NOS and Intentions that require commitment and a desire to break through the “comfort zone” of regular straight-set workouts.
MI40 is, therefore, more suitable to someone with experience in bodybuilding or weight training rather than a complete beginner. However, it pays off big time for those who use it with above-average muscle gains and fat loss, helping cut through plateaus and stagnation.
Jay always had a passion for fitness. A former skinny guy, he built himself 35 lb of lean muscle over the years using different training strategies, going through failures and eventually succeeding, and now wants to share his knowledge with those who value fitness as a way of life (See all posts by Jay Fielding).