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replied on 8/4/2003 8:46:55 AM [ profile ]
Good Morning Gentlemen,
I wanted to speak on the issue of Consolidation training for just a bit. First off, I fear now that Mike Mentzer¡Çs is gone we no longer have his expert advice and direction. I¡Çm sure that he would be able to address alot of our questions and I¡Çm confident he would answer them correctly and sufficiently so that no doubt is left in your mind to guide your training. I speak with Joanne Sharkey on occasion and she has related to me that John Little does not hold exactly to the principles of HD. Not knowing all of the details, John Little¡Çs ideas or position are blended into Mike¡Çs latest book and since Mike wasn¡Çt around to review it before publication, we don¡Çt know what would have been changed or removed. A number of people claim that Mike contradicts himself regarding certain issues, but as long as I knew him personally and trained with him, there was never any contradiction. He always strived to make HD better, more precise and productive. If you take for instance, HD II, Mike wrote that book exclusively on his own and was able to fully review it before it went out into publication. That wasn¡Çt the case with his last writing. Joanne Sharkey has spoken to me about people who have come along, who studied under Mike and have gone off to sell their own version of HD. John Little, as I understand from Joanne, was a great friend to Mike and agreed on many of his principles and consulted with Mike on many training issues, however, he has formed his own training routines which deviate from HD.
I was such a person who utilized the routine listed in HD 1, when it first came out. I made gains each workout, training Mon, Wed, Fri, however I gained on each exercise by only 1 or 2 reps. At that time, Mike strongly believed that progress could be even better and continued to study and evaluate his principles and the progress of his clients. It wasn¡Çt until HD II that his client¡Çs progress skyrocketed. I was such a person, who within 4 months went from 175lbs to 218 lbs. My fat composition was probably about 10%, all of which did not occur during my training with HD, as I already possessed a very small degree of adipose tissue. I remained extremely vascular with excellent muscle definition and separation. I used the routine outlined in HD II exactly as it is stipulated and made significant gains. As Mike has so adamantly pointed out, as I continued to get stronger, as I did every workout, my progress would eventually slow down and then come to a halt if I didn¡Çt do something to compensate for the ever growing stress on my body. On HD II I was adding 20 lbs each workout plus 2-3 additional reps on all bodyparts except triceps/biceps. Those bodyparts increased by 10lbs each workout with 1-2 additional reps, so they didn¡Çt grow as fast. At some point I had to reduce my training volume and frequency. That meant that eventually I had to eliminate the pre-exhaustion supersets, which led me to the Consolidation Routine. While training on the Consolidation Routine, I gained an additional 15 pounds over another two months. I followed the routine just as Mike listed and never experienced any regression in my size and strength.
Just like anything else, it¡Çs all about trial and error. Mike¡Çs routine in HD II was the result of a compilation of all his training clients, where he was able to emphatically say that each and every one of them made superior progress with his routines. Never once did he say that the initial routine was infallible, that it would work for every single individual. He knew that the underlying principles of HD were scientific and sound, they were tried and proven, so it was more than just a theory, it was FACT. You can¡Çt train as many people as Mike or I have trained and see results with each and every person. Every person has to make modifications until they witness progress from workout to workout. It¡Çs that simple. I have had clients who could only perform one set a workout, just like Mike had long before me and although they were literally just a handful, they made tremendous progress every workout. Strength and size are directly related. Atlhough most people will not witness any visible size increase each time they workout, size will enivitably be yielded. Think about if you made a 10 lb pound increase in a one month period. If you divide that by 30 days, there is no way you would notice a visible increase from day to day. You¡Çre literally talking about an ounce or less a day, which is negligible. If you did witness that type of growth you would reach your genetic potential in about two months. I haven¡Çt seen anyone who grew noticeably from week to week from the onset of their training.
No matter how reluctant anyone is to use the Consolidation routine, if your goal is to keep growing on a regular basis, you will eventually have to reduce your volume. You can¡Çt keep doing pre-exhaustion forever. Your progress will surely suffer if you don¡Çt make an adjustment. I realize all to well about people¡Çs reluctance to do that. It¡Çs so hard for most people to give up what they have been taught about volume training. The so-called evidence and results of volume training are enormous to young people. They see all of the people in their gym doing it and all of the pro-bodybuilders, who are the extreme result (genetic freaks). With all of this visible evidence it¡Çs no wonder that people think the way they do. I understand that completely, because I was there once many years ago. I also was convinced by the surmountable physical evidence of all the big guys in the gym. All of them, without exception, I learned later, were on all kinds of steriods. It¡Çs true they were blessed with great genetics to begin with, but on top of that they were using dangerous drugs to propel them to the top of the sport. I¡Çm sure these guys would have still developed very well without drugs but the peer pressure and notarity is so great that these guys would sell their souls.
HD training is the most intense training of all. It¡Çs not true that if bodybuilders knew it was the most productive they wouldn¡Çt abandon it. From my vast experience with bodybuilders, the genetically gifted, they don¡Çt want to work hard. They like that they come into the gym and rarely break a sweat and build their bodies to enormous proportions. You¡Çre kidding yourself it you think they want to exert themselves. It¡Çs human nature to do what is easy. To take the easy road. As much as I love HD and know emphatically that it is the right way to train, I woul be a liar if I told anyone that I would rather strain hard at the gym rather than go through the motions and make the same gains. In all walks of life, people don¡Çt want to work hard. They want the easy life and make lots of money without doing anything for it.
I have trained several individuals who currently compete in natural bodybuilding championships along the east coast. The fact that most of my clients and Mike¡Çs don¡Çt compete doesn¡Çt mean that HD hasn¡Çt produced results worthy of competing. Many people have no desire to enter a contest but they like the look of a bodybuilder. My clients all have very muscular physiques, but they don¡Çt all compete, therefore they don¡Çt make a name for themselves and are part of the "underground" or "unknown" crowd. On the other hand, all of the notable bodybuilders in every magazine and on tv are all volume trainers so that is why volume training is espoused as the superior method of training. Just like Mike has said, there are legions of people, who are the real majority, who have failed using the volume approach. They are the overwhelming majority who don¡Çt exhibit any real development and are most likely vulnerable to giving up their exercise routine and quiting the gym altogether. You can walk into any gym across the country, or the world for the matter, and find legions of average looking people working out. When you compare them to the elite bodybuilders, they far out number the select few who make it to the top. I have no doubt that all of the top bodybuilders could have developed themselves much quicker had they not trained as much as they do or for as long. The drugs they take do wonders to make up for what would be gross-overtraining for the rest of us. I¡Çve asked bodyubuilders that in spite of the evidence of HD, why don¡Çt they train that way? 99.9% of the time they simply don¡Çt believe it without any explanation to back it up. Their minds are so SOLD on volume training that it is realistically impossible to convince them otherwise. I have been commended countless times on my development and have been the subject of scrutiny as other have watched me train and grow and refuse to believe, in spite of the evidence, that my results are from such brief training. If the physical evidence of HD doesn¡Çt make you a believer, nothing ever will.
hit4life (Harrisburg, Pa, U.S.A.) on 10/31/2003 3:57:19 PM
For the past 5 years I have continued to maintain my size by using the consolidated routine of dips/bench press, pulldowns/rows and squats/leg presses. Occasionally I will perform deadlifts. I do 3 sets of each exercise, but not to failure. I will terminate the set when I get within 1-2 reps of failure. My routine is split up into two separate workouts which are repeated every 7-10 days. I do just enough to maintain my strength and size, nothing more or less.
hit4life (Harrisburg, Pa, U.S.A.) on 10/23/2003 2:27:27 PM
I would alternate deadlifts with pulldowns. I made excellent progress while doing dips, pulldowns, and squats. I was never really receptive to deadlifts because of the very imminent dangers of injury. There is such a tremendous amount of stress placed on the lower back (lumbar region) that many individuals develop problems later on. I never had the experience of utilizing a hammer strength deadlift machine which is constructed with the handles parallel to the body, therefore you don¡Çt have the weight out in front of you and the pain associated with the bar rubbing against your shins. When it comes down to it, I would advocate doing pulldowns over deadlifts, but you can alternate them if your making good progress.
hit4life (Harrisburg, Pa, U.S.A.) on 10/27/2003 4:25:30 PM
These added techniques that you refer to certainly make a deeper inroad into your recovery ability while providing even more growth stimulation. At the same time, more rest is needed because of the additional exhaustive effects of the workout.
I worked with Mike Mentzer and through his instruction, we found that advanced techniques such as forced reps, negatives, statics, etc, were very helpful for individuals (myself included) who were near their genetic peak. The closer one gets to that point the harder it becomes to add more muscle. Muscle growth beyond normal levels literally has to be forced and that is what happens by training to failure. The "forced" concept becomes even more of an issue as you reach your genetic potential, so more frequent use of these techniques will be necessary.
"After all the smoke clears, all of those who still doubt the validity and effectiveness of Heavy Duty, will be the ones standing alone. All of these attempts to try and improve HD are futile. The individuals involved are going in the total opposite direction and will suffer the consequences in the end. They are merely delaying the inevitable and prolonging their progress because of their insistent refusal to accept that Mike Mentzer has perfected high-intensity training.
Anyone who TRULY believes and has TRULY mastered the fundamentals of Heavy Duty would not find themselves in such a state of confusion and plain ignorance of the immutable principles of HD. It¡Çs time to face reality and accept it for what it is. All of this needless experimentation with more frequency and volume is going to lead to a dead end. As I have said so many times, thousands of documented cases of HD training are irrefutable proof that it does have a universal application.
Anyone who finds HD ineffective are not properly applying the principles. If HD does not work for them, nothing will. They clearly have been "cursed" if you will, in the genetics department. Just as there are individuals who are completely unresponsive to medicines, for example, there can be those who are unresponsive to exercise. These individuals are an extreme rarity that it doesn¡Çt even warrant further consideration.
The absolute bottom line is Heavy Duty is the one true valid theory of bodybuilding science that will enable a person to actualize their genetic potential in the shortest possible time. END OF STORY."
hit4life (Harrisburg, Pa, U.S.A.) on 10/28/2003 10:17:12 AM
It is true that employing advanced techniques will, as I said before, make a deeper inroad into your recovery ability, but it is a necessary evil, if you will, in order to "force" the body to continue to adapt. I wouldn¡¯t suggest using them on every set of every workout, but as a person gets closer to their genetic peak, the workout should be reduced to just one set per workout. This type of reduction is perfectly consistent with the guiding principles of Heavy Duty ( intensity, volume, and frequency).
Through my years of teaching and experience under Mike Mentzer, I learned to regulate my clients workouts so that a plateau was virtually non-existent. Forced reps, negatives, partials, etc., were used less frequently when the volume and frequency were greater, but as those factors were regularly reduced, advanced techniques were incorporated more often.
Building muscle to inordinate levels is not natural. Possessing large muscles is not necessary for survival and the process of hypertrophy uses up a considerable amount of the body¡¯s limited resources. For this reason, it becomes extremely difficult to keep adding muscle tissue as one nears his/her genetic limit. The use of advanced techniques still has to be cautiously regulated, but incorporated more regularly to "force" the body to continue to grow.
hit4life (Harrisburg, Pa, U.S.A.) on 10/28/2003 1:24:30 PM
Despite all of attempts by individuals to try and justify performing isolation exercises, there will unquestionably come a time when they will have to reduce their training to just one set per workout. Many times people try and find ways to "convince" themselves that they need "more" exercises instead of reducing them. Ultimately they will find themselves fretting over the reality that they are not making continued progress, which can only occur when the principles are strictly applied and adhered to until one¡¯s genetic peak has been reached.
It is a FACT that every single person who engages in Heavy Duty training, despite how great their genetics may be, will eventually have to reduce their training to the point that they are doing the least amount possible per workout, in terms of volume. It¡¯s not a question of if, but when that will take place. I am a perfect example of someone with greater than average genetics who was no exception to the rule. Although I may have been able to train longer on the ideal routine and not have to reduce my volume and frequency as quickly as someone else, the reality was eventually I had to reduce my workouts in order to continue gaining. We can argue this until we go to the grave, but the logic of Heavy Duty training is unassailable, which is what makes it the one true, valid theory of bodybuilding.
hit4life (Harrisburg, Pa, U.S.A.) on 10/28/2003 2:28:06 PM
When you consider that Mike Mentzer has trained well over 2000 clients and without exception, not one ever failed to make significant and continuous progress. In my many conversations and meetings with Mike I reviewed countless records of his clients whose gains were significant to absolutely extraordinary. His clientele, just like mine (150+) have come from every walk of life. Mike, just like myself, have trained every race, color, creed, etc., who were never hand picked or "created" to respond to Heavy Duty. The clientele ranged from those who were genetic "morons" to genetic "freaks" and everything in between. The evidence to support HD is mind-boggling. Although there are variations in people¡¯s tolerance to exercise, the cornerstone of HD (intensity) remains universal. Every person requires a high-intensity stimulus, i.e., training to momentary muscular failure, to induce hypertrophy. The variations in people¡¯s tolerance to exercise requires a regulation in the volume and frequency, which seems to have created such a dilemma for people, apparently even for yourself.
I have been around long enough and trained enough people at this point that when I hear people say that HD does not, has not, or will not work for them is BS. It is in direct contradiction of the universal principles which make the logic and effectiveness of HD unassailable. I have had two such recent clients who went to great extents to promulgate how ineffective HD was for them. Both of these individuals possessed average genetics and after consulting with them, I found they, just like so many others, were training 3 days a week and doing split routines, upper body followed by lower body. I had to conduct an in depth assessment of these individuals to determine their training history and what, if any gains they had made over the course of their short careers.
Upon completing my assessment, I had both individuals take 2 weeks off from training and both of them were immediately put on a consolidation routine consisting of dips, pulldowns, and squats. Dips were alternated with bench presses and squats with leg presses. Considering their lack of progress thus far, I embarked on this experiment to see how well they would respond to High Intensity training. So far each client has been under my supervision for two months. Both clients train together and have completed a total of six workouts. I started them off by training every 10 days, with each workout lasting no more than 15 minutes. Warm ups are included within this time period.
Both clients were very lean to begin with and weighed in at 183 lbs and 195 lbs, respectively. As of this date they have increased their muscular bodyweight by 6 lbs and 10 lbs, respectively. Both of them made weight and rep increases on every set of every exercises. Their average increase was 20 lbs plus 2-3 additional reps each workout.
I will begin to insert an extra 2 days of rest to avoid any plateaus and continue to reduce their volume and frequency until they have reached their genetic limit.
Another thing to consider here is that I have had clients, just like Mike, who had to be reduced to just one set per workout before they starting making progress. The whole issue of volume and frequency is grossly underestimated. It¨«s hard for some to accept the fact that they may be cursed with bad genetics and not gain much from any program they do. The typical pattern for people is to mindlessly keep increasing the volume and frequency because they are under the notion that their muscle are stubborn and need to engage in marathon training to make them grow. The worst thing of all happens when this occurs, OVERTRAINING. The repeated bouts of exercises do nothing more than to exhaust the individual¡¯s recovery ability and result in atrophy, as opposed to hypertrophy.
hit4life (Harrisburg, Pa, U.S.A.) on 10/28/2003 2:49:05 PM
I have to step in on this one and verify that eliminating direct arm work has never, in my experience, resulted in atrophy to the arms. The consolidation routine, after all, eliminates any direct arm work and was devised to target the entire musculature without over taxing one¡¯s recovery ability.
I never atrophied during my progressive training period and none of my clients have either. I keep records on my clients and they have never regressed in size.
Direct arm isn¡¯t necessary to make them grow. There¡¯s a significant amount of stress imposed on the arms when engaging in compound movements. If anything, the arms get more stimulation than the primary muscle group being trained (ie. pecs, lats, quads). This is why I regularly have my clients do more forced reps, negatives, partials, etc., to induce greater growth stimulation to the primary muscle group. At the same time, the arms get massacred from the additional reps. It¡¯s a win-win situation.
I would love to train some individuals on this forum who gravitate towards doing more sets. I would introduce them to the real world of TOTAL MUSCULAR FAILURE.
hit4life (Harrisburg, Pa, U.S.A.) on 10/28/2003 4:38:15 PM
As long as I trained with Mike, the average range for all bodyparts was 6-10 reps. In most cases, clients did not go above 12reps on squats, leg presses, or calf raises. I have always had my clients stay within this range and there has never been a problem with making regular progress.
Started By hit4life (Harrisburg, Pa, U.S.A.)
Started on: 11/6/2003 12:19:39 PM, viewed 87 times Farewell
I wanted to bid farewell as I will no longer be posting in this forum. I have spoken my strong held beliefs as they relate to my very lengthy and personal work with Mike Mentzer which absolutely proves the validity and effectiveness of HD.
I have enjoyed reading many posts and wish everyone the best in their journey to reach their genetic potential.
I believe I have said all that I can to prove the validity and effectiveness of HD. Anyone who is earnestly interested in making the best progress possible can call me at 717-787-0892. I have recently contacted massman to talk with him personally about his training and views on Hd.
Take care and God bless .
UPDATE (by massman)
I spoke with Hit4Life today and asked him about a couple of guys he had told me about several months back, he was training them once every 10 days and had them doing squats, rev grip pull downs, and dips
are far as the squats go one of them may have been doing leg press I am not sure, anyway both guys had been working out before they began under Hit4Life, one weighed approx 189 the other approx 194 both over 6 feet tall, after 6 months they both had gained 44 pounds of muscle, and are now on a maintenance routine with the same exercises going a few reps under failure for 3 sets each once every 10 days, he said he has not been back to this board since he said farewell, I told him his name still comes up quite a bit, he feels he has said all there is to say, he also said alot depends on genetics some people can gain alot of muscle some just can¡Çt , he also said if you can¡Çt gain with HD you probably cannot gain at all, he also said after about a year of proper training you will gain all you are going to. Just thought you would like to know.