Ben Pollack is a professional powerlifter and IFBB Pro. Through 2023, he has been recovering from a year-long injury. However, he is ready to return to the competitive bodybuilding stage. On Nov. 6, 2023, Pollack published on his YouTube channel, wherein he detailed his plans to qualify for the 2025 Olympia.
Pollack moved to Tampa, FL, for his mental and physical health, explaining that his mental fatigue led to his bodily injury. Changing his environment to feel at peace was his first step toward his competitive return. Along the way, he met fellow powerlifter and bodybuilder Jake Benson, who highlighted for Pollack the importance of overall wellness for avoiding psychological stress that can domino into otherwise avoidable injuries. Check out Pollack’s return to form in the video below:
Pollack weighs 225 pounds — quite a difference from his peak of 273 pounds — while training lighter over the past year while recovering from injury. Despite the lighter training frequency, Pollack maintains striated quads and hamstrings. However, his upper body has suffered a bit due to scapular imbalances sustained from his injury.
Although the 36-year-old Pollack has an elite powerlifting resume that includes a competitive best squat and deadlift of 320 and 370 kilograms, respectively, he feels his best powerlifting days are behind him. However, he believes he’s entering his bodybuilding prime. As such, he intends to qualify for the 2025 Olympia, presumably by winning an IFBB Pro League show during the 2025 Olympia qualifying season. The 2023 and 2024 Olympia qualifications required athletes to win a pro show to qualify for bodybuilding’s grandest stage — gone are the days of qualifying on points earned from consistent performances throughout the bodybuilding season.
Pollack is excited to challenge himself and feels he has more to contribute to competitive bodybuilding. That doesn’t mean he’s retired from competitive powerlifting. He intends to compete in sanctioned meets again once he reaches his 40th birthday to set Masters records. Pollack believes competing against the world’s best bodybuilders and Masters powerlifting are his avenues to further improve himself while avoiding future injury.
To prepare for the 2025 Olympia season, Pollack will train in Tampa and St. Petersburg and conceded that his early training will be boring — he won’t train as “nutty” as often. Nuanced programming over “balls to the wall” training will help him reach his goals without stymying his physical rehabilitation.
With a strict regimen and a more thoughtful game plan, we’ll see if Pollack can make a splash at the 2025 Olympia. Fortunately, he’ll document the progress in the interim toward his competitive physique.
Featured image: @phdeadlift on Instagram
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