I have never been a fan of Occam’s Protocol workouts. I personally have never followed it because my goals always have a component of athleticism for the sports that I play and coach, and Occam’s would not help me with that goal. I did experiment with Joe Defranco’s a”Westside for Skinny Bastards” program for a month, I had some small gains but felt that my cardio suffered so I went back to the Crossfit Football WODs (Workout Of the Day).
I previously reviewed Mike Geary’s Truth About Six Pack Abs e-book. I did like it and thought it might be useful for some people that want a more detailed guide to follow than what is in the 4 Hour Body. In the e-book Mike refers to a program called “No Nonsense Muscle Building” by a guy named Vince Delmonte. I did not buy that program (yet) but I did sign up for his newsletters because he has some great info for free. A while ago Vince helped his coach Ben Pakulski create a program as well. I some how was able to view a video on vimeo of Ben giving a talk at a conference that Vince put on last year. This was a really good presentation. Any bodybuilder will have a good grasp bio-mechanics and nutrition, but I was thoroughly impressed with Ben’s. When someone says things like “humans were really only meant to consume meat and vegetables” and “bicep full range of motion requires the triceps to be contracted at the bottom” I immediately take them a bit more seriously. Ben also has a degree in Kinesiology from the University of Western Ontario, a pretty good Canadian University. His is also one of the top IFBB bodybuilders in the world. He recently came in second at the 2012 Flex Pro, and just the other day came 4th in the Arnolds. I have never been a huge fan of bodybuilding, but I have paid attention to it a little bit. Ben has previously competed in the Mr. Olympia but this year qualifying is more difficult and placing 4th in the Arnold’s left him one spot out of qualifying for this years Mr. Olympia.
I usually would not recommend following an elite level body builders program. In my opinion this program is different that a workout that you would find in your latest issue of Muscular Development or something like that.
- Ben actually trains regular drug free clients as well. He has experience as a trainer and trainee.
- I think Ben understand physiology very well and I really like this quote from his sales page “maximizing recovery, controlling inflammation and balancing hormones”
- Ben is not a genetic freak like other high level bodybuilders like Arnold or Dorian Yates or Jay Cutler. This seems to be the consensus on what others say in the bodybuilding community as well. Ben just works smarter and harder than the rest.
I bought the package and skimmed through it a few months ago. I just recently took another serious look at it, specifically the nutrition section. Now there are some really interesting explanations of endocrinology for building muscle while minimizing fat gain. Specifically carbohydrate timing, which is one of the things I frequently criticize the 4 Hour Body for missing. There is a catch 22 problem when timing carbs for muscle gains and fat loss. Dietary carbs cause insulin release which is anti-catabolic for muscle, something I have talked about before. But keeping carbs low pre workout will increase growth hormone release so how do we optimize growth hormone without being in a catabolic state which causes muscle mass? Ben has a really good plan for carbohydrate timing specific for this outlined in his nutrition manual of the Mi40 package.
Ben, like Tim, talks about time under tension a lot, he likes to call it ‘intensions’. He uses a common 4-0-1-0 tempo that is common in bodybuilding programs, but a bit different than the 5-0-5-0 tempo that Tim suggests. I like how Ben explains tension and how to optimize it. I really like this quote “Muscles do not know how much weight you are using. They only know how much tension is actually going through them at any one moment.” Never thought of it like that, and in a quest to get stronger have always lifted more than I probably should have.
There is also an extra that Ben adds on to his sets that he calls NOS which is short for Neurological Overload Sets. This is pretty much a specifically calculated drop set that you do on your 5th set. I have always been a huge fan of drop sets, they have always worked well for me and know there is some explanation as to why. Ben has some video’s explaining NOS that I will embed below.
And he wears vibram five fingers, got my respect from that alone.
Here are some links to so free info you can get from Ben.
Just to be thorough in my review, here are some of the things I don’t like about the program. First the info is a bit scattered, because there are 8 different PDFs it is hard to quickly skim through and get the necessary info. Also the writing in the program still feels like I am trying to be sold something, I am not sure why but a lot of it feels like filler. I would rather it be shorter and more concise. The upsells I did not buy so I am not sure how good or bad they are. Also the price is a bit high, there is a sale on right now because of the Arnold’s but it will be over in a few hours.
So I do recommend this to ANYONE that lifts weights, not just those trying to bulk up. Why? Because the nutrition info included is for optimizing muscle gain and fat loss, what most people are trying to do. I would NOT recommend this program for someone that has a lot of fat to lose, that is a slightly different physiological approach in my opinion and The Dark Side of Fat Loss would be my recommendation. Ben’s scientific approach makes sense to me and is backed up by all the other reading that I have done, add in his practical guide to follow and you’re set. I am going to put in some serious effort into this and report back after I complete the 40 days. Check out some video’s below.
Ben Explaning Intentions
Ben Explaning NOS (Neurologica Overload Set)