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Started By 500lbJones (Plano, TX, U.S.A.)

Started on: 1/24/2006 12:15:20 AM, viewed 4475 times

Have been lurking for a while and thought I′d share some feedback on Mike Mentzer. I met the man, trained near him and his brother at Gold′s on Hampton in the early 80s and visited with him by phone or in person during the early 90s.

Mike was an interesting man, well read and he was wise enough to learn as he went along. For example, Heavy Duty II had no resemblance to Mike′s original HD booklets he sold through Weider′s mags in the 70s or early 80s. Far, far less work and more recovery. HD was a work in progress. Who knows where it′d be today if he was still alive. Perhaps not training to failure? Inclusion of two work sets?

But to believe either of the Mentzers built their physiques on HIT or HD–check again. When Mike first appeared on Joe Weider′s Muscle Builder magazine in 1975 or 1976, he′d already built the physique we all remember. It was only after that appearance did Mike meet Arthur and learn of HIT, etc. Neither Mike, Ray, Casey or even Ellington built their physiques via HIT or HD. The bottom line is Mentzer′s programs didn′t build the Mike Mentzer physique…nor did Joe Weider build Arnold′s. (Even though Vince Gironda probably had more to do with the final package than anyone.)

When I was training at Gold′s during Mike′s days there in the 1980s, neither he nor Ray nor their training partner were using HD. Lots of sets, lots of reps. Just like David and Peter Paul, Casey Viator and the rest. Mike and I talked about this in 1993 and he noted he′d strayed from his philosophy during that period, but, Ray and Casey have said in many Ironman interviews that you can′t train via HIT or Heavy Duty constantly or you run the risk of burn out or injury. And both Mike and Ray reportedly had some serious joint issues.

One guy who programs and physique I′ve admired over the years, Serge Nubret, had commented to Bob Kennedy of Muscle Mag International about all of the routines that involved heavy weight training–from Arnold′s to Mentzer′s. He kiddingly told Bob that he′d still be training in his 60s and beyond, injury free, while Arnold and the rest would unfortunately be suffering the ills of their approach.

I haven′t seen Serge for a while but I have heard from others who have and told me he still looks incredible.

Just keep all of this in mind when you set up for your next workout..

This Topic has 49 Replies: Displaying out of 49 Replies:

B-WINE (Maastricht, Limburg, Netherlands) on 1/24/2006 9:18:39 AM

These messages always tire me somewhat. Why would anyone come here and actually spend some time talking negative about Mike and/or his Heavy Duty system?

I never met Mike in person (though I did have contact with him per e-mail a few weeks before his passing), but I sincerely believe that what he wrote in his books was true. At least he really meant it, because I believe he was a very sincere man of integrity.

Currently, I′m re-reading his book ′The Mentzer Method to Fitness′ from 1980, which he co-wrote with Ardy Friedberg. In it, Mike explains how he got to the point where he was a that time, after winning the Mr. Universe in Acapulco, Mexico, in 1978. And, YES! he build his awesome physique via Heavy Duty, or HIT!

Mike started training at age 12(!). He started training each bodypart three times a week with three sets on non-consecutive days. After three (the ′holy′ number three again…) years of training, he began to look like a bodybuilder (with 15,5 inch arms already!). Then, he made his first grave mistake by copying the routines of the champions and he started training more frequently with more volume (up to 18 hours a week). Of course, the results slowed down and eventually came to a halt, but, he was told, ′that is what′s supposed to happen′. Although he began to question this approach (he always felt very tired, i.e., overtrained), it wasn′t until 1971, when he first met Casey Viator, that he was introduced to Arthur Jones and HIT. Shortly after, however, he hurt his right shoulder in a freak-accident and only trained sparringly for the next few years.

But in 1974, when he was in the worst shape of his life, he ressumed training again. This time, in HIT-style: only three times a week for no more than an hour (later rarely longer than half an hour). His new training system was a succes and he got 3rd in the Mr. America contest of 1975. After that, he was constantly trying to perfect his revolutionary approach to bodybuilding, until his death in 2001.

Of course, the routines he was following in the late seventies where longer and more frequent then the ones he would later promote in the nineties. But, in short, yes, his post 1971-physique was a DIRECT result of Heavy Duty training in combination with a well-balanced diet, consisting mostly of carbohydrates.

KR0ME (London, S, England) on 1/24/2006 11:54:37 AM

"Neither Mike, Ray, Casey or even Ellington built their physiques via HIT or HD. The bottom line is MentzerŒs programs didnŒt build the Mike Mentzer physique"

Yes of course that proves beyond a shadow of a doupt that HIT or HD doesnt work. Right? Wrong.

dafortae (a, a, U.S.A.) on 1/24/2006 1:17:43 PM



500lbJones (Plano, TX, U.S.A.) on 1/24/2006 3:14:29 PM

I′ve shared this on other boards and have seen the same reaction…a shame. It is easy to read a book and believe what the author claims. After all, at one time I believed Arnold built his physique on steaks and the programs outlined in Muscle Builder magazine.

And I′ve met Mike. I′ve trained next to Mike. Even paid him to train me. He was a great guy and one of the few intellectuals who would argue on a objective vs. subjective level.

But, I′d ask if anyone was at the Gold′s in Hampton the year Mike left Weider′s organization after he "lost" to Arnold? Anyone? I was. BTW, I′m *not* going to say Mike should have won…I saw Zane and he was the one that looked the best going into the contest. Not Arnold, Boyer, Dennis or Mike. Frank Zane.

Sure, HD provided some gains when I tried it out but long term, I couldn′t see using it the way Mike recommended. I was too tired, too burned out after a training session.

I′ll ask the respondees: did I say HIT or HD doesn′t work? Scrolling back, I don′t see where I wrote that.

"…in his books was true. At least he really meant it, because I believe he was a very sincere man of integrity."

How about Charles Atlas? People responded the same way to criticism thrown his way…and it turns out Atlas trained at a gym in NYC and admitted in court that he lifted weights.

Bodybuilding is not an honest game…remember HMB? The miracle supplement that would have us all looking like Dorian Yates? Or how about the Weider Anabolic Paks which the FTC had pulled because they were bogus? Or Steve Michalik′s volume program promising us all mass and strength?

Has anyone read Ellington′s latest HIT book where he notes Mike was strangely absent when the workouts rolled around?

And Mike was NOT doing HIT/HD in 1971. After high school, he spent four years in the United States Air Force.

1969 or 1970 Graduated from High School

Four year enlistment would have him separating from the service in 1973 or 1974. He writes (at least in my copy) of HD1 that he was training for upwards of three hours a day in the Air Force.

Mike himself told me he didn′t truly start using what he would call HD until after he got out of the service and even then he′d use regular training methods.

And if you think his physique was the result of HD and a well balanced diet, I am assuming no one saw Mike′s articles in the late 1970s on the use of steroids?

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