Ben White: Zeroing In On The 2011 Flex Pro.

Never one to back down from onstage battle, the ever-improving and phenomenally strong Ben White has proven with each show he has entered since he turned pro in 2007 that he can hang with the best the the IFBB has to offer.

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IFBB Pro Show Champion Ben White Talks Self-Improvement And Name Taking

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Never one to back down from onstage battle, the ever-improving and phenomenally strong Ben White has proven with each show he has entered since he turned pro in 2007 that he can hang with the best the IFBB has to offer.

With a compact physique heaped with a mountainous supply of some of the most densely packed and ripped to shreds muscle ever seen outside of Hollywood computer generated graphics, complete with arguably the smallest waist in the pro division, White has built a body that is reflective of the stupendous weights he routinely hoists in preparation for his assault on pro bodybuilding's elite.

With a 700 pound raw deadlift - done while dieting, no less - and 675 pound bench press under his belt, White's size can be attributed, at least in part, to his power-bodybuilding approach. However, for the 2011 pro season the 2010 Pro Bodybuilding Weekly Championships winner and candidate for World's Strongest Bodybuilder has decided to break with convention and, you heard it here first, lower his weights while increasing his rep range to 25 per set. And it has worked wonders. The champ has never looked better.

Ben White At The 2010 Europa Battle of Champions. Ben White At The 2010 Europa Battle of Champions.
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Ben White At The 2010 Europa Battle of Champions.
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Three weeks out from the inaugural Flex Pro competition and White is 255 pounds of solid muscle and reportedly in better shape than ever this far out from a major bodybuilding event. With improvements having been made to his - formerly criticized - hamstrings and calves White has also brought up his arms, shoulders and improved his conditioning. No longer does his physique display any signs of over dieting, or water retention due to excessive cardio, but, rather, he is full and cut, a state he expects will become further refined as the 2011 Flex Pro approaches.

While the 2011 Flex Pro will feature some of pro bodybuilding's biggest and best warriors - including respected stalwarts such as Dexter Jackson and Dennis Wolf - Ben White - yet to be tested by such a magnitude of competitor - will face probably his toughest battle yet. But, typical of the tough New Yorker, he has done his homework and is ready to fight to the finish. He expects he will not only qualify for the Olympia on his first outing of the season but will also take a few names in the process.

I recently asked White how he feels he will stack up against bodybuilding's best. The following interview gives his thoughts on how he expects he will fare, along with insights into how he has achieved his best physique yet.


[ Q ] It is now three weeks out from the 2011 Flex Pro contest. How is your training going Ben?

My training has been going good; my weight, at 255 [pounds], is the leanest it has ever been. So this is the biggest and leanest I have been so far and I'm looking forward to getting onstage and showing my improvements.


[ Q ] At this point you are expecting to be the best you have ever been on an IFBB pro stage?

This is the best I have looked throughout my pro career. I won the show last year but the way I look now it is like night and day almost.


[ Q ] You told me this time last year that you were in the best shape of your life, though you did mention having a few weak body parts. What muscle groups have you managed to address since 2010?

I would say my hamstrings, shoulders and arms and calves. But I would say my improvements have been in overall mass to where everything is now looking the best it has ever looked.

Ben White At The 2010 Europa Battle of Champions.
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Ben White At The 2010 Europa Battle of Champions.
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[ Q ] So in improving your overall size you have enhanced your balance?

Yes, that is right. And I will be about five to ten pounds bigger with the same waistline.


[ Q ] And what has been responsible for the improvements you have made?

It was the ketogenic diet - Dave [Palumbo's] diet; it has been a full year that I have been working with him and that's what I needed. I needed low carbs and high protein in front of me to make my body work right and that's what it's doing.


[ Q ] No prizes for guessing where you expect to land come February the 19th?

The whole point of me doing this contest is to have the Arnold Classic committee invite me to the Arnold show. I either need to win the show [the Flex Pro] or place in the top three so that's what I'm gunning for.


[ Q ] Based on the competition as it stands, do you really feel you have a good chance of winning the 2010 Flex Pro contest? There are some pretty heavy hitters competing. Dexter Jackson and Dennis Wolf will certainly make things difficult for you.

Right now, the way I look, yes, I can win.


[ Q ] Other than the improvements you have made what else might give you the edge in three weeks from now?

I know Dexter is a former Mr. Olympia and Dennis has been in the [Olympia] top five, but with my conditioning I will be able to hang with both of them. These two placed in the top five at the Mr. Olympia so if they, by chance, come in out of shape and I beat them it will definitely catapult my career.

Dexter Jackson At The 2010 Olympia. Dexter Jackson At The 2010 Olympia.
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Dexter Jackson At The 2010 Olympia.
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[ Q ] And by being compared with these men you will gain a better idea of where you stand in the current rankings.

Yes, definitely.


[ Q ] Obviously Dexter is one of the best pro bodybuilders in the world right now. How do you think you compare to him as far as overall muscular development is concerned?

Me and Dexter both have small waistlines, but Dexter always comes in with great conditioning and fullness, and that is something I haven't been able to nail yet. But I'm thinking this time, the way I'm training and looking, that I have nailed it.


[ Q ] Dennis Wolf is another who is favored by many to win the 2011 Flex Pro. With his size and the improvements he is expected to have made to his shape, how do you feel you will overcome the pressure he presents?

Dennis has some pretty impressive attributes, but I'm coming in at my best. So if he has decided that he wanted to eat too much or not follow his training program then that is his fault and I will beat him on the day.

Dennis Wolf At The 2010 Olympia. Dennis Wolf At The 2010 Olympia.
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Dennis Wolf At The 2010 Olympia.
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[ Q ] Have you changed your training in preparation for the Flex Pro contest? If so, what changes have you made?

This time I have been doing high reps with medium weights so we are looking at 25 reps over five sets. No matter what exercise I'm doing I always try to do those 25 reps over five sets.

So curls, bench press, inclines, squats, triceps extensions - the whole body. I'm just doubling it up and pushing myself.


[ Q ] Why medium weights this time around?

I've kept the weights at medium to get more out of my muscles; to allow me to push them to exhaustion. Normally I would do relatively light, but this is a good balance between this range and kind of heavy.


[ Q ] You are known, Ben, for occasionally incorporating power lifting into your bodybuilding training. No powerlifting this time around?

No powerlifting, it has been strictly bodybuilding training.


[ Q ] And this approach obviously has not negatively affected your muscle density.

The reason I stopped doing the powerlifting is, first of all, I didn't want to get injured and, secondly, I needed to focus on either being the world's strongest bodybuilder or being the best bodybuilder. I decided to go after being the best bodybuilder being that Johnnie Jackson or Stan [Efferding] never beat me where it really counts.

Stan Efferding At The 2010 Europa Show of Champions. Stan Efferding At The 2010 Europa Show of Champions.
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Stan Efferding At The 2010 Europa Show of Champions.
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[ Q ] So, for the 2011 pro season you will be focusing on bodybuilding training all year round?

Yes, definitely. This is what will be my new method of training. With trial and error I designed this new training system. I did a whole lot of cardio in the beginning and got real lean, and then tried the powerlifting part of it and I got big but I was not as cut up.

So I combined both of them [both forms of training] together: I figured that if I wasn't going to go real heavy and went light to heavy, and did the same kind of reps to work the muscles, I would get the lines that I needed, and that's what has been working for me.


[ Q ] How do you currently address post training nutrition?

Right now I'm still on my protein shakes combined with fats in the form of almond oil. I use this in my protein shakes before and after training.


[ Q ] How many grams of protein do you consume each day?

Well, in my protein shakes I'm getting about 65 to 75 grams of protein. Throughout the day I'll take protein as I normally do; nothing here has changed. Each day I'll eat eight meals, which includes the two shakes.

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[ Q ] Have you changed your overall nutritional approach, as well?

Yes, it has [changed] because I used to do a carb diet where I was eating two cups of rice and two pounds of fish a day. When I turned pro I was pretty cut up but couldn't use the same formula, as my body had changed, so I had to change to something different.

The keto diet helps me to get cut up while giving me the calories needed to maintain my size and make further improvements in this area.


[ Q ] How have you structured your cardio to prepare for the 2011 Flex Pro contest?

Right now I'm doing about an hour of cardio a day, low impact; I'm doing a 3.0 or a 2.5 incline to keep my heart rate at around 120 [beats per minute].


[ Q ] Is this cardio schedule a departure from last year's routine?

Yes, I think I was doing two to three hours of cardio a day last year. It was too much for me because every time I got onstage I was either stringy looking or I was full and spilling over. I never came in the middle. So it's definitely an improvement this year.


[ Q ] How long do your training sessions last at the moment?

Right now they are probably an hour to an hour and a half long.


[ Q ] And this could be attributable to the higher rep count for each set you do?

Yes, it is the higher rep count, and because I am on low carbs and it is taking a lot longer to suck up the air.


[ Q ] Are you feeling weaker than you have for previous contests?

I'm feeling weaker but I know it is working because I have put pictures on the board at the RX Muscle website and at Flex and the comments people are making, they have me in the top three or four.

Ben White At The 2010 Pro Bodybuilding Weekly Championships. Ben White At The 2010 Pro Bodybuilding Weekly Championships.
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Ben White At The 2010 Pro Bodybuilding Weekly Championships.
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[ Q ] Great feedback. And you will get even better between now and February the 19th I presume?

Yes I will get even better. I hope the Blade [Dexter Jackson] is sharpened because I am definitely looking to dull it.


[ Q ] You will be as conditioned if not more so than anybody onstage at the 2011 Flex Pro?

That's the only way I going to beat Dexter Jackson. I need to come in shredded.


Ben White's Training And Nutrition Plan


Training:

  • Monday/Thursday: Chest, Shoulders and Triceps
  • Tuesday/Friday: Hamstrings, Quads and Calves
  • Wednesday: Back
  • Cardio: 7 days a week, 1 hour per session (low impact)


Nutrition: Daily Plan

Meal 1:

Meal 2:

Meal 3:

Meal 4:

  • Same as Meal 2

Meal 5:

  • 10 oz meal of Fatty Protein
  • 1 huge portion Green Salad with Vinegar and Macadamia-Nut Oil

Meal 6:

  • Same as Meals 2 and 4


Supplementation:


[ Q ] You appear to be getting better with each passing year. When do you think you will stop making improvements?

Right now there is no limit. I can still stay at 255 and get even bigger from there. Before I would have to consider weight classes, whereas now I am putting on a lot more weight and my waistline is just staying the same. So if I can continue to grow while maintaining the same small waistline I will only keep getting better.


[ Q ] Were you larger during your most recent off-season compared with past off-seasons?

Yes I was; I was about 310 pounds, then I dropped to 290, then to 280.


[ Q ] That is pretty big given your height. You would be about five feet eight?

Yes, I am 5'8".


[ Q ] How has your mindset changed since you turned pro? You have always dreamt big and expected great things of yourself. Are you of the same mindset today?

The way I was looking at it was last year, I said, "If I don't win a show then I'm done," and when I won the show [the 2010 Pro Bodybuilding Weekly Championships] as well as getting two qualifications for the Olympia I realized then that if I put 100 percent in I can definitely be one of the top guys at the Mr. Olympia one day, and that's what I'm doing. I just blossomed late.

Ben White At The 2010 Europa Battle of Champions. Ben White At The 2010 Europa Battle of Champions.
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Ben White At The 2010 Europa Battle of Champions.
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[ Q ] Should you qualify for this year's Mr. Olympia where do you see yourself landing?

If I qualify for the Olympia I am going to do the Tampa show, because I won that show last year, then after the Tampa show I will take the rest of the year off. I will skip the Olympia, then do the [IFBB Europa] FIBO in Chicago because basically the same competitors will come over anyway, which will give us the chance to catch up. Because what can you really improve on in three weeks?

Then I will have another off-season, then I might get ready and go right back to the Arnold. I will keep doing the Arnold and the Olympia and as long as I keep moving up then I'll need to take some time off to readjust myself.


[ Q ] Do you think you will eventually make the coveted Olympia top five?

I definitely think probably in the next year to year and a half I will break into that top five.


[ Q ] What message do you have for your fans coming to watch you win at the Flex Pro in three weeks?

I am just glad that my fans are supporting me and believing in me. This is the best I have been to date and when they come out there they are not going to be disappointed.


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