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This will help us keep our eye on the prize!
Please note the dates.
Started By dafortae (a, a, U.S.A.)
Started on: 3/16/2005 3:54:33 PM, viewed 4300 times
With how negative everything has been on the board lately, I′ve decided to share an email conversation I had with the great hit4life that used to post here. I REALLY hope he doesn′t mind, which I don′t think he would. I replaced specific names he had in the email, because I feel it′s not appropriate to name names. I′m doing this to motivate fellow HIT and HD trainees here. There has been a lot of negative talk, and I think this will REALLY motivate some people. Here is my initial email to him:
Hello fellow HIT expert,
My name is Darrell Fortae. You may remember me from Val′s old HIT forum at http://highintensity.net as ′dafortae′ (you were hit4life). I wrote a few
articles on there and you replied to a few of the posts. I hope I′m not disturbing you by sending you
an email. I was greatly saddened when you left the forum because you had REAL working knowledge of Heavy Duty and Mike Mentzer as well as real world
experience. I completely understand why you left however. I would get tired of telling the same things to people also. I also realize you felt you had shared all you could with us. I greatly appreciate
everything you DID share. Your posts had greatly motivated me, not only from a training stand point, but also a mental stand point. If you do not have the time or don′t feel like replying, I completely understand. The forum has gotten MUCH worse as far as Mike′s training methods
goes, and people seem to be experimenting left and right. I understand them wanting to do so, but I feel like a lot has been lost from the lack of posts from intelligent people that have tremendous Heavy Duty experience like yourself. Anyway, I was hoping to ask you a couple questions if that is ok.
1) I have gradually decreased my volume and frequency over the past year and a half of HIT. I am now to the point where I am doing a super-consolidated routine.
Each workout only consists of 2 exercises, 1 set each (similar to the Athlete′s routine). I am performing
them once every week to three weeks. I have many everyday stresses, that′s why I have sometimes gone up
to 3 weeks in between. A lot of people seem to be thinking this is too extreme. I HAVE made continual strength gains by following Mike′s advice and gradually decreasing volume/frequency. My question is, do YOU think I′m taking too much time off in between workouts, and do you think Mike would have had clients like myself working out so infrequently?
I don′t feel like I′m at my genetic potential yet. I′d like to hear your opinion on the limits of frequency and what we could maybe expect. Many others are suggesting INCREASING frequency, but that seems to contradict what Mike always said about gradually
2) Did Mike ever discuss anything with you about routines that were even less volume than the Athlete′s routine, such as a SINGLE exercise per workout? I have been thinking about a deadlift/clean & press workout routine. It would seem to me those 2 exercises would hit all the muscles in the body. Do
you see this as a problem?
I′m sorry my questions seem so "training" related, but I didn′t want to bother you with anything more
involved or intense. I′d love to hear ANYTHING you have to say about ANYTHING though. I feel I could
greatly learn from your wisdom and the close relationship you had with Mike.
Thank-you very much for taking the time to read this email.
This Topic has 50 Replies: Displaying 1 – 4 out of 50 Replies:
dafortae (a, a, U.S.A.) on 3/16/2005 4:05:56 PM
Response #1 from hit4life:
"One of main objectives, while posting on the High-Intensity.net website,
was to keep my articles very simple and to the point, so the average individual could easily understand the content and apply it to their training. The use of over sophisticated and involved terminology only serves to further complicate and confuse the reader and contributes
little to meaningful progress. I am a strong advocate of acquiring knowledge, ie., reading, experimentation, observations, etc., and the exercise of critical thought. I believe that certain individuals on the website took that to an extreme and clearly did not provide any benefit to the readers, as it was evident through the multitude of responses by those who remained in a state of quandary. One of the biggest culprit (xxx) posted numerous excerpts directly from physiology textbooks, which I found to be useless, as far as practical application was concerned. He, as well as others, were unable to take that information and articulate it in such a manner that a person could go to the gym and translate it into a productive routine that would yield consistent gains.
I am going to have break it off right here for now. Something just came up that I need to attend to. I will continue my thoughts within the next couple days. I got this far and didn′t want to start over so take it for what it′s worth for now and I′ll post an update. Take care."
dafortae (a, a, U.S.A.) on 3/16/2005 4:07:09 PM
Response #2 (and final response) from hit4life:
"When I first joined the forum I very much enjoyed telling people about my experiences and lending advice to those that were in a crux with their training. I noticed a shift, with certain individuals, that began to deviate from the basic, hardened principles of HD. These same people regularly stated they were completely in accordance with the principles of HD, yet their comments regarding the right way to approach training, was in most cases, completely contradictory. Every since Mike passed away, that guiding light has diminished and people have resorted back to training methods that are non-productive and unscientific. Like the saying goes, "When the cats away, the mice will play." (You get the point). People all over, not just in the HIT forum, are polluting Mike′s teachings. I know he would be greatly disappointed, but nevertheless, if he were still here, he would continue relentlessly and earnestly trying to help people actualize their genetic potential, because he knew that he was in possession of the only valid theory of bodybuilding. His ultimate goal was to educate as many people as possible in HD, and from that, he derived great pleasure. He did successfully reach out to thousands, but those he did help were just a remnant of the total bodybuilding community. He knew everyone in bodybuilding was a sellout. The all mighty dollar is what the industry cares about most, and they truly don′t care about misleading or deceiving the consumer. Mike broke from that tradition, and by doing so, made countless enemies because he stood for what he believed in. I respect him greatly for sticking to his guns and telling it like it is. He was a man of true integrity and a great friend. As far as your training is concerned, as long as you continue to get stronger from workout to workout, you′re on the right track. Plain and simple. If it requires that you train every 2-3 weeks, then so be it. You mentioned that there are some people who think your training is too infrequent. What′s their explanation for such a statement? What are they basing their opinions on? The fact of the matter is, HD is so radically different from what we have been taught, people have an extremely hard time with continually reducing their training to the point that they could be training with one set per workout every 2-3 weeks. In addition, all you have to do is look at the fitness industry and see all of those who represent the orthodoxy. There are so many in bodybuilding who have great physiques, and that is what they use as proof that volume training is valid. As Mike was quick to point out, there are legions of people all over the world who have failed by using the volume approach. The ones who make it to the top are such a small number in comparison to the general population and they are all (AND I MEAN ALL) taking steroids. You can′t expect to compete with these genetic anomalies if you′re genetically average. I see people everyday in the gyms, slaving away, and showing nothing in return. There′s always going to be one or two that have extraordinary development, coupled with the fact, that they are in all likelihood, taking steroids. At least if they are competing. Mike had a few "genetic midgets" that he trained with one set per workout, about every 7-10 days and then even less as they became more developed. These individuals never attained any great development because they did not possess the prerequisites to become a champion. Although they did make progress, it just wasn′t a lot. I will tell you that your GENETICS play the biggest role in the speed and size of muscle development. Whether you like it or not it′s a FACT. I remember how xxx always liked to point out that he needed to train with more sets because HD wasn′t enough to stimulate a growth response, at least for him. He didn′t do any better on volume training and kept saying he was going back to HD, as he touted it as the "right way to train." I think he was in denial, as I remember, he was a very small guy and just by the measurements he gave (ie., height, weight, body measurements, age, etc), I knew that he just wasn′t going to develop very much. If he hadn′t packed on any real mass by this point in his life, it just aint going to happen, PERIOD. Everyone would like to think they′re capable of building a monster physique, because the muscle mags try to convince you of this, always siting that every single person has the ability to become a champion if they just hang in there long enough and consume sickening quantities of protein and every other supplement under the sun. They proclaim it takes years and years before you can see any real results. BULL. Your training should produce results right from day one and be consistent workout to workout until you have reached your potential. You are going to have to come to grips with your genetic potential and accept whatever limitations you may have. The last thing you can do is to reduce your training to one set per workout and regulate the frequency. I recommend you do dips, pull downs, and squats. You can alternate with bench presses, chin ups, and leg presses. Just stay with the compound movements and if you have a training partner, do forced reps, negatives, and partials, on occasion. The closer you get to your genetic potential the harder it becomes to produce growth. The body will naturally resist change. Building muscle to such extreme levels is abnormal and unnatural. It is not required for survival and becomes so metabolically expensive that the demands on your body have to become so great that the body really
has a need to change, otherwise you will remain status quo. You have to "force" growth and it does become very challenging, both mentally and physically to sustain the demands of each workout. Some people, like myself, were lifting tremendous amounts of weight that it took extreme levels of motivation to keep me going, especially for legs. There were times when I wanted to quit, but I had the right support team and was able to psyche myself into developing such a rage that I could blast through my workouts. I eventually got to the point where I was training with one set per workout every 14-21 days. I never got beyond that as I was already employing every "beyond failure" technique and did not witness any further progress. I believed that I had achieved my potential, or at least came extremely close. I ended up at a very lean 232lbs with approx 10% body fat. I was drug free and felt that based on my lack of progress I couldn′t go further. I am satisfied with my current status and don′t have any desire to reduce training beyond what I have done. Mike never got that far either, so I don′t know what is possible. You can continue to try reducing your frequency and see what happens. There will come a point where your reduction will be too much and you′ll experience a strength loss and if continued long enough, muscle atrophy. All you can do at this point is to experiment through trial and error. Above all else, don′t give in to other peoples negative assertions. Do what you know is scientifically sound and you′ll reap much greater rewards than if you listen to the popular majority and expend wasted effort. One last point I want to make is regarding the issue of strength and size relationship. I think it was xxx, who argued that the two weren′t related, which explained how people on HD would get stronger for extended periods of time with no noticeable increase in muscle mass, thereby stating that one can build strength without size. That is not the case. A stronger muscle is a bigger muscle. You and I cannot see exactly what′s happening in our muscles after we train, but we know that if we have induced the proper stimulus, a physiological change will occur, ie. growth. Even though you don′t witness a noticeable increase in size from one workout to the next, doesn′t mean the muscle is not enlarging. It takes some time before you will see an apparent change. When Mike said that strength precedes size, he was saying that the strength increases will be apparent before a size increase. He knew that a muscle became stronger because it hypertrophied first. You just don′t see the physical change right away. I have clients all the time that add 10lbs of muscle and you can′t see a real difference in their build. It′s too small an increase to make an apparent difference. A 20-30lbs increase is very apparent but it takes time to reach that point, all the while you are getting stronger workout to workout. I wanted to make that clarification because it was mentioned so many times on the website and I never sufficiently addressed it."