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Generation Iron Ben Pakulski Weightlifting and Smarter

Generation Iron Ben Pakulski Weightlifting and Smarter

Feed your brain with some preacher curls.

We’ve heard it all before. Bodybuilders are just meatheads with nothing on their mind except how much weight they’re gonna lift during their next workout. Frankly, we’re tired of the stereotype. Since when has working out been considered a bad thing? There seems to be the notion that because of someone’s “obsessive” drive to becoming a better version of themselves physically, that they neglect advancing their intelligence. We’re here to say: 1.) how truly dumb that is, and 2.) that pumping up will actually promote increased intelligence. To keep it simple, lifting weights can actually make you smarter…

A study conducted in Brazil shows the correlation between weightlifting and the growth of new neurons in the brain. The study included a number of exercises performed by rats that including running on a wheel both weighted and without. It gets a little technical here: both test groups had increased brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), but the group who ran on the weighted wheel not only packed on lean mass, but also showed higher levels of both BDNF and brain activity. The harder they worked the higher their brain function.

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Working harder will ensure increased blood flow through the body including the brain. Does that mean because you pump some iron for a few weeks you’ll become a genius? Hell no. What it does mean however is that the increased blood flow will heighten brain activity and functionality. Someone who’s working hard in the gym can translate all that energy they receive from training and transfer that into studying and research. You’ll be able to absorb information far easier than if you were lazing around on your ass all day.

It’s all about a certain type of lifestyle. A word that we throw around a lot here at Generation Iron. Bodybuilding promotes a rigorous and demanding focus to accomplish a task. That kind of focus, that kind of work ethic, becomes muscle memory. It becomes a part of you and translates into everything you do. Not just bodybuilding.

Whether you’re a pro bodybuilder or just a hobbyist who hopes to keep in shape, working out hard will always be a benefit on your brain’s functionality. Don’t cheat yourself and slack off in the gym. So next time you have a test, need to make a business plan, or just need some clarity, get your ass to the gym, lift some weights, and let your mental issues melt away.

Has working out helped your mental game? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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Monday Motivation: CT Fletcher’s Insane 870 Rep Triceps Workout

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Strength Wars Movie

The powerlifter commands your triceps to grow!

CT Fletcher is man that commands respect. The powerlifter has gotten to his level of renown not based purely on his personality, but his ability to push himself past the limits of exhaustion, past the limits of pain. He’s a man with no quit in him and he’s not afraid to tell it to anyone. He also may not be human.

When we say CT isn’t human we mean it with love and all due respect. The man is an advocate of high rep workouts ranging from light to heavy weight. He’s truly a man with a philosophy similar to the all time great Ronnie Coleman himself. CT is a man who believes in hauling heavy ass weight to get the desired strength and look many lifters and bodybuilders seek. There are many imitators out there, but one thing’s for sure, there’s no one quite like CT Fletcher.

The powerlifter posted a video of a routine that he routinely performs for his triceps. Nothing too crazy, just 870 reps, no big deal. The man could do that in his sleep. The fact that he not only talks big performs big is perhaps the reason why mister Fletcher has garnered so much attention. Check out the video below of the 870 rep routine that turned CT’s arms into cannons.

Make sure to hit us up on Facebook and Twitter to get the latest updates on everything GI and bodybuilding. Stay pumped.


Generation Iron

Generation IronTime to merge your love for lifting with some spastic metal tunes.

Another week, another snow laden forecast to brighten up your already pleasant winter experience. We don’t know about your area, but here on the East Coast, the weather has been less than kind. Maybe it’s an excuse to avoid going to the gym, but for us it’s just motivation, a way to challenge our resolve and prove to ourselves how badly we want to build the ultimate form. This week we have a song that’s sure to get you so pumped that you’ll be rushing over to the gym to get some sets in, icy roads or not.

This song will get you fired up in the gym to get all the gains you seek. Burn fat and pack on muscle with this track from Slip Knot. “Cigaro” is a high intensity track off the popular groups album Mezmerize.

This Week’s Pick

Song: Cigaro
Artist: System of a Down
Album: Mezmerize



Crank up some System of a Down and hit the iron hard. You’ve got no time to be lazy. Get those gains!

Check back next week for the GI song of the week and be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Super Food For Massive Protein You Never Heard Of

Generation Iron Kai Greene Super Food
Strength Wars Movie

It’s called a super food for a reason.

Protein is essential to a bodybuilder’s life. If you want to build muscle, then you better get that protein intake. But do you have to eat a giant steak to get that protein? Is chicken the only way you’re managing to bulk up? If you’re looking for a simple alternative then look no further. There’s one source of intense protein that you probably don’t know about and we’re ready to share it with you. It’s called spirulina and it has your back.

In case you didn’t know, spirulina is a blue-green algae that can be used as a beneficial protein for bodybuilders, particularly those that are vegetarians. Now hold on for a minute. Before you dismiss this as some pro vegetarian article (not that there’s anything wrong with vegetarians), let’s take a look at all the benefits of consuming the spirulina algae.

So exactly how much protein does spirulina have? The algae actually contains more than 60 percent protein, a crazy amount that any bodybuilder would appreciate. Imagine getting some spirulina protein powder, pouring a tablespoon into some water and obtaining a massive amount of your daily protein in one go.

Now we know you already have protein powders, you already have your lean steak for your protein intake, but spirulina also proves to be easier to digest and simpler to absorb as well. That’s not the only benefit of the blue-green algae. It also helps with the digestion and breakdown of food, making it a great pre and post workout drink. The food breakdown can translate into energy for the consumer and give you fuel to push through even the hardest of training sessions.

Your immune system will benefit from the algae as well. It boosts the immune system and can work as an antiviral medicine. The benefits on your workout will also be evident. Studies have proven that spirulina can prevent skeletal muscle damage which will prolong muscle exhaustion and ensure for a longer harder session in the gym. So maybe you should give this strangely named plant a try. At the very least it’s something new that can mix up your (most likely) repetitive bodybuilding diets.

Have you added spirulina to your diet plan? What did you think about it? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.


Generation Iron Mike Matarazzo Quote of the Week

Generation Iron Mike Matarazzo Quote

Breathe that fire again.

This week’s quote of the week comes from the late great Mike Matarazzo – and we can’t think of a more fitting tribute to a man than this amazing phrase he has uttered. The gym isn’t just a fun side project for us. It’s a business. It’s a passion. If you don’t have the fire. If you can’t scare the other “average Joe’s” around you – then you aren’t working hard enough. Take this one home with you. Take it to the gym. Get f#&king pumped.


You can see our entire library of quotes by visiting the Quote of the Week tab right here on our site. Stay pumped.


Generation Iron The Rock HBO

Generation Iron The Rock HBO

It seems like The Rock is really embracing his motivational spirit.

He’s at it again. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is a man of many talents. From wrestling to acting to bodybuilding, the man simply has a drive and charisma that has seen his star rise exponentially. The Rock is a man who truly thrives on seeing other people succeed; his Instagram and Twitter accounts being evidence of that. A great deal of the images, quotes, and foibles that he posts online have a great deal to do with motivating his followers to be the best versions of themselves they can be. It just goes to show how a man who was once down and out was able to turn things around through determination and sheer will.

After launching a reality based motivational television series Wake Up Call with TNT, it looks like The Rock is venturing further into the TV stratosphere. This time the former wrestler turned actor is heading to HBO with a new documentary series. The show will focus on a boot camp prison with the goal of reforming troubled youths charged with a multitude of crimes. The Rock took to Instagram to promote his new project. Take a look.

“ROCK & A HARD PLACE”. We’ve officially started production on our next @HBO Documentary Films project. From armed robbery to attempted murder, we’re taking you inside one of the most unique and successful boot camp prisons in the world. They break these young offenders down in a hard core way, only to build them back up to make them better men and women once they’re released. We partnered up with the producers of LOCK UP and HBO’s best documentary filmmakers to bring you a passion project of ours. With my multiple arrests, I was once one of these kids. One poor f*cked up decision after another. I turned my life around, and hopefully along the way we’ll help a few turn theirs around too. Production starts now. #HBODocumentaryFilms #7BucksProductions #44BlueProductions #DadeCountyFlorida #RockAndAHardPlace

A photo posted by therock (@therock) on



It looks like motivation is at the top of The Rock’s list when it comes to the bountiful perks of being a Hollywood star. The Rock, in a prison camp filled with wild disgruntled youths, his mission to help them to clean up their act to become well adjusted members of society? Hell, sign us up. With a premise like that, there’s no way we won’t be tuning into HBO.

What are your thoughts on The Rock’s new project? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to follow Generation Iron on Facebook and Twitter.

GI Weekly: Top 4 Bodybuilder Cameos Ever

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The best times bodybuilders surprised us in small roles.

Welcome back to GI Weekly, your #1 source for everything bodybuilding. Of course, the big news this week was the hacking of Bodybuilding.com – which took down the popular website for almost an entire day. But let’s not focus on the bad and move onto the good. We all know Arnold Schwarzenegger is best known as a bodybuilder turned action hero on the big screen – but let’s move away from the obvious. There have been a hand full of times that bodybuilders have popped up in surprising cameos and kicked some major ass – you might not have ever even noticed them. That’s why we picked our top 4 bodybuilder cameos to ever grace movies and TV alike. Check it out in the video above.

Make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel so you can get constant updates about our new videos. You can also see our entire video catalog by hitting up the Episodes tab right here on our website.


Generation Iron

Generation Iron

It seems to be pretty clear what Planet Fitness’ agenda is.

When you have a hard training session at the gym it’s pretty typical to be grunting or making some kind of noise while pumping. It’s a way of gathering or releasing energy, all of it designed to give you that extra bit to get you through a heavy lift. Most gyms don’t have a problem with it, especially if the action isn’t obnoxious. But for some reason, Planet Fitness has taken up the battle to ensure that grunting and dropping weights in the gym is a thing of the past.

First off, this is probably the dumbest thing we’ve heard in some time. The whole point of grunting or dropping weight isn’t always about boosting your ego or trying to show off. Sometimes you need that grunt to get you through. Sometimes you need to drop your dumbbells simply because you can’t possibly grasp the weights for any longer. To tell someone they can’t grunt when they’re lifting heavy is pretty damn arrogant. In a way, you can liken it to subjugation. Yeah, yeah, it’s probably not that serious, but it’s plenty stupid.

Apparently we’re not the only ones who think so either. For true lifters and bodybuilders you need an alpha gym if you’re looking to make some serious gains. Planet Fitness caters to a certain kind of clientele and as such serious lifters need to take their business elsewhere. Chris Jones of Physiques of Greatness has his own take on the Planet Fitness situation.


For a place that claims to be a judgment free zone, Planet Fitness has a nasty habit of telling people what is and what isn’t allowed, almost to the point of negating their biggest marketing tool. It’s obvious they don’t want real lifters in their gyms and that’s fine with us. We’ll be too busy grunting and slamming our weights down at a gym that appreciates alpha mentality.

Have you ever lifted at Planet Fitness? Have your own stories on the gym? Well let us know in the comments below and be sure to follow Generation Iron on Facebook and Twitter.

Top 6 Bodybuilding Rivals Of All Time

Generation Iron Bodybuilding Rivals
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Breaking down the most exciting rivals in Olympia’s 50 year history.

Rivals bring out the best in us. They force us to dig deep down and push further than we ever thought we could go. They apply pressure, make us uneasy, never allow us to rest on our laurels – and the best rivals also give a pretty damn good show for the rest of us.

We have now celebrated 50 Mr. Olympia competitions. Many generations have come and gone. Many champions have stood on that magnificent stage. And many rivals have flexed side by side – trying to top each other for the #1 spot.

To commemorate fifty years of fitness, attitude, and lifestyle; we decided to recap the best bodybuilding rivals to ever grace the stage. For without them, we may not have had such massive and fantastic competitors – or so many glorious memories.

#6. Phil Heath vs Kai Greene

We’ll start off our list one of the newest rivals to hit the pro bodybuilding circuit. For four years Phil has been able to edge out the competing Kai in every Olympia competition. But Kai Greene is a classic underdog story – Generation Iron revealed the two personal stories of two very different men. Do you believe in The Gift or The Predator? Either way, their rivalry has pushed both beyond the limit and very well may still for the years to come.

#5. Rich Gaspari vs Lee Haney

When Rich “The Dragon Slayer” Gaspari appeared on the bodybuilding scene – the world all agreed that he would see a Mr. Olympia gold one day in his future. He was so incredibly buff, lean, and cut that he brought bodybuilding physiques to new extremes.

But Lee Haney wasn’t ready to back down. The 8x Mr. Olympia champion never let Gaspari ever grab the covered Mr. Olympia title. While these two may seem like boring rivals on the surface, the amount of intense pressure that Gaspari put onto Haney year after year pushed both athletes to new extremes and led to wonderfully exciting competitions for the world to watch.

#4. Kevin Levrone vs Flex Wheeler

Born just over a month apart from each other – these two heavy hitters were destined to not only be two of bodybuilding’s best – but two perfect rivals. They first met in the classic heavyweight class of the 1991 NPC Nationals. Levrone bested Flex – but a year later Wheeler earned his way into the pro division and got his revenge in the 1993 Mr. Olympia competition.

This started a constant back and forth between the two bodybuilders for the rest of their careers. Each one flipping the script on the other as time passed. They never let the other one have a moment to relax – which made every competition an exciting one to watch for the fans.

#3. Frank Zane vs Franco Columbu

The greatest thing about the Zane/Columbu rivalry is how different their physiques, attitudes, and techniques were from one another. Zane representing the slighter build but perfect aesthetic, while Franco was beefy and stocky by comparison. What even further accentuated their differences were their attitudes towards each other – that is to say, they didn’t like each other very much.

To this day Franco claims to have defeated Zane “10 or 20 times” but the truth is these two were very evenly matched. In the end, Zane comes out on top with one extra Olympia win over Columbu’s two – but that doesn’t change the fact that these two were fantastic rivals.

#2. Jay Cutler vs Ronnie Coleman

Ronnie Coleman is the undisputed king of bodybuilding. He is an 8x Olympia winner and had a body so large and so seemingly impossible that many people consider him to be the greatest pro bodybuilder of all time.

Jay Cutler had a lot to put up with during this time. He consistently came up second to Coleman four years in a row – to the point where he has gone on record to say the only time he considered quitting the sport was the fourth time he came second to Coleman. It wasn’t until 2006 that Cutler was able to one up Coleman and take the Olympia title. It was a truly liberating moment. A titan and eight year champion was taken down – and a hungry underdog finally got the well deserved spotlight.

#1. Sergio Oliva vs Arnold Schwarzenegger

They first clashed in 1969 at the Mr. Olympia. One a tried a true legend, the other an iconic legend waiting to happen. And even though Oliva won the big O that year, one thing was for certain – things were about to get interesting.

In 1970 Arnold came back with a vengeance and took away the Olympia title from Oliva (Arnold also claimed the Mr. World title form him that year). The score was tied and everyone was waiting to see who would pull ahead in the next Mr. Olympia. Somewhat disappointingly, Oliva sat out the 1971 Mr. Olympia – so the world had to wait until the next year for the ultimate showdown.

The 1972 Mr. Olympia became, to many, the final decision on who was the best bodybuilder of the era. Both men appeared to be in peak form and the world waited in baited breath to see who would pull out on top.

In the end, Arnold took the title – but to this day the decision has been debated. Oliva himself has gone on record to say that the ’72 title was stolen from him. While Arnold went on to become a 7x Olympia champion – Oliva never stopped bodybuilding and was constantly outspoken about his skill and talent over Arnold. Even thought it’s been 40 years – bodybuilders across the world constantly pick sides – who deserved to win that last Mr. Olympia and who is the better bodybuilder. The answer may never be decided upon – making it the best bodybuilding rivalry of all time.


In truth, this list could have gone on much longer. So why don’t you all let us know which rivals you’d put on the list. Send us a shout on the comments section or through our Facebook and Twitter pages. Stay pumped.


Generation Iron

The Ultimate Muscle Barbie.

Megan Avalon also known as Muscle Barbie has been turning heads ever since coming onto the scene. An international fitness model, Megan is looking to use her passion for fitness to take her career to the next level. Generation Iron was able to get our hands on some of Megan’s exclusive footage from Grinders Gym, and we have it here on our fitness network. Feast your eyes on Miss Avalon.

You can also check out our complete video catalog by hitting up our Episodes tab right here on our site. Also, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter as well as subscribe to our YouTube channel for exclusive updates.