#98: Ben Pakulski – on Developing Your Mental Game, Happiness & Big Muscles

3 min read


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In this episode, we have the one and only Ben Pakulski – the modern day bodybuilding and wellness legend!

We catch up at the Health Optimisation Summit London, where Ben just wrapped up his talk and what marked the start of his 2019 European tour. Buzzing from the learning, curiosity and intellectual debate of this event, we managed to grab Ben in a reflective and philosophical headspace.

It was a true pleasure, even if in a loud and hot arirbnb (that’s central London for you!). Sorry upfront, but it does as a certain ambience to the audio. 😉


Ben Pakulski has redefined his career to one focussed on thriving, wellness and living your best life. His podcast and overarching website Muscle Intelligence is considered one of the best resources out there, and has a huge loyal following. Ben pairs experience, drive, intelligence, and an insatiable curiosity to make for great conversations of discovery and reflection.

Ben is on a mission to navigate and curate the burden of noise in the self-optimisation space, in order to personally find and share the true value with his audience. He is not only looking for the what, but also the who. “Who does this apply to?…”

As expected, an awesome conversation. I wish we had more time, but we managed to have a deep and valuable conversation. There are some powerful concepts shared by Ben in this episode, that have the potential to move the needle in your Mindset, Life and Training– immediately!


Here’s what we discuss:

  1. The need to challenge your BRULES, Current Reality and Beliefs – It’s taxing to challenge constantly, but worth it
  2. The Big Brother Reality of today and the near Future – AI, Biometrics, Algo’s and Homo Deus
  3. Ben’s state of Equanimity – avoiding the rollercoaster of emotions
  4. Ben’s value for Love, Gratitude and making the most of every moment
  5. What are negative thoughts? – and how do we mindlessly manifest them without realising daily
  6. Ascend your first mountain, to transcend external pursuits – Ben talks about the hollow victory of his bodybuilding triumphs and the lessons
  7. Can you be both constantly happy and ambitious at the same time? – What is happiness?
  8. Steve gets personal on his level of current happiness and fulfilment – Ben turns the mics on Steve!
  9. Why do we see pain as a negative thing? – Ben share’s his appreciation and perspective on Pain
  10. Ben’s happy place when training – “In the deepest depths of your darkest set, smile!”
  1. Progressive Overload is NOT the most important thing when building muscle!
  2. The importance of standardising the Quality of Every step first
  3. What is Muscle Centric Movement? – and how people’s focus is wrongly placed on the weight
  4. Why every millimetre matters when muscle building
  5. Qualifying the stimulus before attempting to Quantify the stimulus – Periodisation is worthless until…
  6. The importance of stability and tension for hypertrophy
  7. Is injury par of the course when bodybuilding?
  8. The currency of Muscle Building is Tension – maximising tension in the target muscle through maximal ROM
  9. It’s ALL in the FEEL! – and not in the retrospective analysis
  10. Muscle building on a Ketogenic Diet – the solution Ben and Danny have created to help make this a reality


Where to find BEN PAKULSKI and his work:

Referenced Third Parties:


AdapNation Useful Links:

  1. #HyperWorkouts – Expertly written Weight Training blocks, with video guides, print-outs & HeavySet import
  2. Steve’s Body & Mind Progress Journals – Follow Steve’s real-world progress, following all the principles within the Podcasts
  3. AdapNation Website – Where you will find articles, videos and journals on all things wellness, training and mindset
  4. AdapNation Instagram – To see what’s going on in our world across business, training and family
  5. Facebook Community – To get into conversation with like-minded folk wanting to be their best
  6. AdapNation Butler – An Online Personal Assistant that can inspire easy and tasty Home-cooking
  7. AdapNation Food Diary – 100’s of Tasty Healthy Meal Ideas, that are focussed on helping you thrive


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