MI40x is an extreme protocol designed by PRO bodybuilder Ben Pakulski for maximum muscle gains in the shortest possible time. This review will show you who this program is for, what the benefits, pros, and cons are, how the Cell Expansion Protocol works, and how effective it is.
It will also outline the crucial difference between mi40 and mi40x.
Who Is It For?
Ben Pakulski’s MI40X is the follow-up muscle-building strategy to the already popular MI40. It was designed to maximize sarcoplasmic muscle growth mainly for those with solid training history.
Though including a priming period for beginners, the program is really more suitable for advanced or intermediate bodybuilders at the very least.
What Is MI40X?
The MI40X muscle building plan is a high-intensity technique that revolves around extending your regular set into a 4-minute agonizing struggle against fatigue and pain by adding a static stretching posture while keeping hold of the weight and contracting the antagonist muscle, instead of dropping it and resting as normal.
After a certain amount of seconds (that feels very long) in the stretched position, you drop the start-up weight for a lighter one and repeat the process, then drop again and repeat for up to a total of 4 minutes.
Basically, it is a sort of drop set with the addition of isometric static holds in between drops, intra-set stretching so to speak, and very, very taxing. You only need to do this ONCE.
How Does It Work Exactly?
Ben Pakulsky showcases a handy demonstration video for one particular muscle group, but it stresses that each muscle group is different and requires specific, ancillary, and targeted techniques for best effect.
No muscle group is the same and results will be skewed if the very same technique for one specific muscle is applied exactly for all muscle groups. The net result is a pump that lasts forever and more importantly that causes an increase in cell size, hence a fast increase in mass.
This highly targeted technique causes your muscles to go in hyper recovery, that is to compensate with growth at a faster rate caused by the production of myo-satellite helper cells.
An added benefit and a welcome side effect of this particular method of training is that because your body muscles are forced to expand and grow in overdrive, they also start using body fat as fuel rather than just your meals, allegedly burning 90% of fat while resting.
Basically, the impressive growth rate causes such a metabolic boost that you actually burn fat while building muscle at the same time, making you ripped as well as big at the same time.
This is a bit of a holy grail in bodybuilding literature, most fitness programs are more inclined to split fat loss from muscle gain, especially if you have more fat to lose than muscle to build, because the common assumption is that you need to be in an anabolic state while building muscle and in a catabolic state for burning fat, so it should be done in 2 separate stages, as in the traditional bulking and cutting.
However, the MI40 Xtreme protocol is so taxing, demanding, and effective that completely reshuffles the standard expectations of bulking and cutting that work more or less well with regular training, albeit temporarily.
The Cell Expansion Protocol and the 4-minute CEP Training Principle are not regular training methods, they are in fact extraordinarily hard, if brief, so it is not so surprising to witness out of the ordinary results, like dropping fat while building mass at the same time, all done without cardio.
Cardio is not a fat burning method on Ben Pakuski’s agenda, neither is it a complicated diet plan, the CEP protocol and Intra-Set Stretching are apparently so effective that alone are responsible for your high metabolic rate and fat burning capabilities. As a consequence, the nutritional plan is a real-life, simple blueprint that is easy to follow.
This is an even more impressive point than just the muscle-building focus of the program. It is like the discovery of rapid and sustained mass gains also led to the discovery of fat loss, like shooting 2 pigeons with one shot.
CEP – Cell Expansion Protocol And Training Principle – What Is It?
The idea is that muscle cells are like little balloons, so if you increase the balloon size of the cells your muscles will also grow in size and strength while helping you burn fat, a win-win situation. This article explains it very well.
The problem is that anyone has a preset, certain amount of nuclei within his/her cells that prevents cell expansion under normal, standard stimulation unless particular stress is applied in order to increase this amount of nuclei.
What happens in these circumstances is that when an appropriate and specific stimulus is applied to your muscles, your body starts producing myo-satellite cells to repair muscle damage, leading to rapid and constant muscle mass gains.
Satellite cells are particular muscle helper cells that kick in only when highly stressed beyond the regular failure of traditional weight training.
Ben Pakulski likens the effect to your muscle being pumped and growing all the time, specifically at rest after your workouts, rather than just being temporarily gorged.
This particular, welcome effect, is the result of a specific kind of hard core training designed to achieve the greatest Time Under Tension stress in the shortest possible time, allegedly leading to unprecedented and fast muscle gains.
MI40X Vs MI40 – What’s The Difference?
The comparison is inevitable, so here is the answer. The original MI40 program employed for the first time the concept of Mass Intentions coupled with the “magical” number 40 intended as the structural key to the program settings.
This number permeated all aspects of training, which meant 40-second set duration, 40 second rests, 40-minute workout sets, 4 weight drops on the last set, and so on, hence the name MI40.
Also, in the original program, the Mass Intentions indicated a voluntary technique employed to increase the stress on muscles which consisted of exerting a torque force on the bar while pushing or pulling.
This meant, for example, pushing inward with your hand on the bar while pushing up in a bench press at the same time, or pushing outward on the bar while pulling down on a lat machine.
The extra torque generated would generate incredible stress and pump, leading to greater and faster muscle gains even though all of your typical resistance for any given exercise would have to be drastically reduced. This is in short the old MI40 Mass Intention principle, you can find a thorough description and review of the old program here.
The new MI40X (Xtreme) takes on a different route. As you have seen above, here the Mass Intentions are achieved by stretching and holding the weight after a regular set failure (while contracting the opposing muscle), before dropping down into the next lighter weight and keep repeating the process in drop fashion for up to 4 minutes non-stop, therefore dramatically increasing TUT (time under maximum tension), stimulating myo-cells production and exploding muscle mass gains.
So the number 4 is still a key factor of the program, but the way Mass Intentions are implemented is different and possibly even harder and more effective.
About Ben Pakulski
Ben Pakulski is the author of MI40X, the new Xtreme muscle-building program successor of the already popular MI40.
He is a very successful top bodybuilding champion with an engaging and motivational style who takes pleasure in helping all guys and gals from all walks of life build muscle, burn fat and drastically rearrange their body composition, aside from competing in top contests. Just Google him, his name is all over the place. (Ben Pakulski – Wikipedia)
The new program takes over from the previous MI40 and onto the next level, taking Mass Intention into a new dimension called Cell Expansion Protocol.
The idea behind the cell expansion as the key for an extraordinary and relentless increase in muscle mass in a fraction of time is the result of a scientific study, for which he provides documentation, showing how a “guinea pigs” group involved, made up of ten 20 to 30-year-old males, obtained superior increases in muscle mass, strength, and reduction of fat tissue comparing to a traditional style training group.
Mi40X Program Structure
While results are expected, they do not come without commitment, effort, and discipline, particularly in a program as demanding as this one. This means its implementation must be dedicated and meticulous, with 6 days a week of workouts and a rest-day regimen.
The blueprint comes in multimedia format, ranging from PDF manuals to video libraries, each revolving around 1-hour workout session, utilizing up to 8 different techniques. Upon purchase, you are redirected to a members’ page with a welcome video by Ben Pakulsky called:
- The Rapid Start Action Plan – this is a very important 5-minute video to set you up properly for the training waiting for you in order to avoid poor results and injury and get the most out of the program.
The PDF Manuals
- The Cep Training Blueprint – this is the muscle bible of the program and the core of the workout methods, including what you must NOT do and the wrong training methods that stop your muscle gains and even promote fat storage.
The training layout is split into different stages and up to 18 weeks, and it is flexible enough to be adjusted to beginners, intermediate, and advanced. Here is a concise breakdown:
- High Volume Phase – with an emphasis on sets volume and high and low reps movements alternated twice a week
- Hypertrophy Phase – using heavier resistance with a lower volume
- Strength Phase – increasing resistance even further up to 1 rep max
- De-loading Phase – resting your muscles and giving your nervous system a break
- Over Reaching Phase – training hard again after the de-loading
- Hyper Recovery phase – training with moderate intensity for optimal recovery
- The 7 Day Primer Phase – this is a mandatory stage to get your body used to the kind of stress waiting for you and it should be used in conjunction with the videos to completely understand the techniques.
- The 7 Day Detox Guide – this guide goes hand in hand with the Primer Phase, and is recommended by Ben to help your body get rid of all the junk toxins you have been eating before, preparing your body to absorb the nutrients it will need when under the high-stress CEP training. It can last up to 3 weeks, but even just 1 is enough before starting.
- CEP Practical Application Guide – this is a complementary extension of the Training Blueprint with extra tips and simple layman language to actually knows how to implement in real life all that the training Blueprint tells you.
- The Exercise Execution Guide – detailing every body part, exercise, and detail leaving all the guesswork out, basically telling you everything you need to do for your workouts.
- Workout Sheets – printable sets of workout sheets in beginner, intermediate or advanced formats to keep track of your regimen while at the gym and record progress.
- The Nutrition Guide – this section of the program is simple and down to earth. The point is that the massive impact of the CEP protocol on muscle building and fat burning on your body forces it to care for itself, eliminating complicated diet plans and keeping things simple, within limits.
- Supplement Guide – we are not very fond of supplements in general, most are money flushed down the toilet, however, Ben Pakulsky selectively gives only certain supplement recommendations that are the result of decades of expertise on what is genuine and useful.
- FAQs Guide – all questions typically asked that are not included in the manuals, answered by Ben.
The Video Libraries
In the program are also included 2 different video libraries:
1 – The CEP Training Video Library – a collection of all the CEP-based exercises for each muscle demonstrated by the same Ben Pakulsky for all levels. We liked that the videos are very high quality and are demonstrated for all levels of fitness, leaving you free to choose whatever muscle group you need to focus on.
2 – The MI40X Total Training Video Library – this library differs from the one above in that it contains ALL the exercises you need for your workouts, not just the CEP exercises.
This is because this technique can only be applied to certain exercises as demonstrated in the first Training library, not all of them, so in this second library you also get all the remaining regular exercises to complete your workouts. Ben Pakulsky advises not to apply the CEP technique for the wrong exercises as it could spell lack of results at best or disaster at worst.
What Are The Benefits Of The MI40X 2.0 Program?
Here is a quick breakdown of the main advantages of using this program:
- It is time-saving, the CEP principle takes only 4 minutes to implement at the end of the set, extending the TUT, time under tension, thus stressing the muscle to the limit in the shortest possible time.
- It is very effective in building muscle fast – it goes hand in hand with the time saving that the CEP technique blasts mass growth to the roof.
- No need for bulking and cutting – This high-stress protocol causes your muscles not just to grow but also to use your fat storage as fuel. This means getting ripped and big at the same time, no need for bulking and cutting.
- It is for everyone, men and women, young and older, and even though the full technique is for advanced, the program offers beginner and intermediate variations that are carefully described and demonstrated in the videos by Ben himself.
- It has a backup of a scientific study with results to show for, plus the expertise of Ben Pakulski himself on his clients. The test was conducted on a random group of people.
- It is safe as long as you strictly adhere to the blueprint and follow the very important Primer Phase that must not be skipped.
MI40X (Xtreme) 2.0 is a program designed to achieve the greatest and fastest possible hypertrophy in the shortest possible time with a revolutionary, high-stress technique called CEP that increases TUT up to 4 minutes at the end of the set.
The above-average muscle gains also promote fat loss simultaneously, eliminating bulking and cutting, and resulting in top physical condition in less time. It is, therefore, suitable to motivated bodybuilders with some experience, as long as the blueprint is followed to the letter, including the all-important Primer Phase.
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).