The Item: Career Updates, Contest Preparation, Andrew Oye's IFBB Pro Athletes Roundup

The Scoop: Just Announced: Canadian IFBB Pro Ben Pakulski signs an exclusive media contract. Of the signing, Pakulski says, "It gives me motivation to work even harder this off-season so that when I step onstage, I won't have any weak areas." A member of the (unofficial) "Quad Monster" club of IFBB Pro League athletes with outstanding legs like IFBB Pro Paul Demayo (a.k.a. "Quadzilla") and IFBB Hall of Fame IFBB Pro Tom Platz (a.k.a. "Quadfather"), Pakulski has been working toward achieving greater upper-body balance.

The "So What?": As reported in "Andrew Oye's Pro-Muscle Report," Ben Pakulski earned his IFBB Pro card by winning the Super-Heavyweight Class and Overall title at the 2008 CBBF Canadian Bodybuilding Championships. This latest career move to the company (with IFBB Pro Phil Heath in its stable) comes after a yearlong contract with another media outlet (with "Quadrasaurus" IFBB Pro Branch Warren in its stable). His pro debut at the 2009 IFBB Tampa Pro Bodybuilding Championships (won by IFBB Pro Dennis James) resulted in a 3rd place finish and qualification to compete at Joe Weider's Olympia Weekend, which he elected not to utilize in 2009 (when MUSCLE INK cover athlete IFBB Pro Jay Cutler won his third Mr. Olympia title, regaining the crown from 2008 winner IFBB Pro Dexter Jackson). The last stage appearance by the "Pak Man" was a 7th place finish at the 2010 IFBB New York Pro Bodybuilding Championships (won by IFBB Pro Roelly Winklaar).

Andrew Oye's Verdict: Ben Pakulski's recent relocation to southern California (the "Mecca of bodybuilding") should provide an encouraging contest-prep environment for his next stage attack -- the 2011 IFBB FLEX Pro Bodybuilding Championships in Los Angeles (February 26). But, before that, big Ben trades bodybuilding for powerlifting at the upcoming Olympia Expo, where he'll take part in the IFBB/NPC Pound4Pound (Pound-for-Pound) Challenge. Bringing some of the best overall legs (quads and calves) to the sport of bodybuilding, Pakulski obviously knows about powerful squatting. Once the attempt at strength sports is complete, he should quickly refocus on physique sports and working toward goals like invitations to the Arnold Sports Festival's IFBB Pro Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic Bodybuilding Championships and more Olympia qualifications.

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