The following is a excerpt from an article Mike Mentzer wrote which appeared back in the Sept. 96 issue of Muscular Development Magazine:
One of my favorite success stories involves a very advanced bodybuilder by the name of Todd Britton. His is a favorite precisely because he was already advanced when he started as my phone consultation client. Advanced bodybuilders, it′s typically believed, can′t progress at the same rate that a beginner can. When Todd had his first phone consultation with me on June 10, 1995 he weighed a hard 255lbs. My first bit of advice to Todd was that, since he had been overtraining till out call, he take a two week lay off, which he did. Upon resuming training, Todd trained once every 4 days, with each workout averaging but 20 minutes in length, except his leg workouts, which lasted 10-12 minutes.
By October 28, 1995, Todd′s bodyweight was up to 275lbs. and his Deadlift had improved from 525lbs. for 5 reps to 575lbs. for 4 reps. At this point, Todd and I decided to reduce his workout frequency to one workout every 5 or 6 days depending on how well recovered he felt. I had explained to him that as the weightshe lifted grew progressively greater, of course the stress on his physiology would grow progressively greater at the same time until, finally, unless he inserted extra rest days to compensate for the increasing stresses, they would reach a critical point and would constitute overtraining-and result in a cessation of progress. Todd was easy to work with because he made it a point to study and gain an understanding of high intensity theory. This made him amenable to my suggestions.
By December 18, 1995, Todd′s bodyweight was 290lbs. and his Deadlift 605lbs. for 4 reps, with comparable strength increases on all his exercises. His initial performance on the Barbell Curl was 175lbs. for 7 reps and 210lbs. for 6 reps by December. Todd did report that while there was a diminution of muscular definition, his abs were still visible and there were cross-cuts on his outer quads in December. Therefore, Todd′s gain of 35lbs. of bodyweight in 6 months was predominantly muscle. What makes this even more interesting and exciting is the fact that Todd′s previous high bodyweight was only 265lbs. a year and a half prior- and that was achieved with the use of steroids, while his more recent progress was achieved without the help of steroids!
Steve Volk is another of my bright phone consultation clients. In fact, that is an understatement, as Steve has a degree in zoology and his D.D.S., but gave up the field of medicine and is now listed as the founder, president and CEO of Integral Peripherals, a 100-million-dollar computer peripherals company. Despite his educational background, Steve allowed himself to be duped into trying the 20 sets per bodypart, 4 days per week, and 8-10 hours a week approach when he first started bodybuilding- and he was chronically exhausted, made no progress and, in fact lost strength.
Frustrated by hiis failure to make progress, Steve was about to quit bodybuilding entirely. Then heard an audiotape on which I explained the cause and effect relationship between intense exercise and muscular growth; and, why, in light of the body′s limited tolerance for the exhaustive effects of intense physical stress, such training must be brief and infrequent. With his background in biology and medicine, Steve readily grasped the unassailable logic, and called me to sign up for a long-term phone consultation relationship in July of 1995. The following are quotes from an article by Richard Winett Ph.D., in the June issue of Master Trainer, which is about Steve Volk′s bodybuilding renaissance:
“Feeling he had nothing to lose, Steve called Mike mentzer for a consultation. Mike immediately had Steve take a 3 week break from training. After this recuperation period, Steve began a program that called for training only every 4th day. Each exercise was done to failure for one set… Each bodypart was trained very hard but very briefly once every 12 days.”
Steve′s results were extraordinary. Within a matter of weeks, he was using weights he never thought possible for him. For example, in 2 months, Steve′s pulldowns increased from 140lbs. to 210lbs., pec dec from 130 to 170, dumbbell curls from 45′s to 60′s, leg extensions from 150 to 225, and smith machine squats from 225 to 300. These were his training weights, not his maximum weights. During this period, Steve′s bodyweight increased from 154 to 168.
The esteemed Mr. Volk is still my client, and now a friend who visited me recently so I could in-person, personally supervise one of his workouts, as well as discuss his growing interest in philosophy-largely as a means of understanding the moral significance of capitalism, the only moral social system in man′s history. Steve is still growing stronger and larger, with his bodyweight just phoned in at 182.
If the stories of Todd and Steve don′t blow your mind, wait till you read next about the progress of 16 year-old Allison Labeau of Spencer, Mass. While in her home town last October to conduct a bodybuilding seminar, I met Allison at Bruce Derosier′s Guaranteed Fitness gym, where she is trained by Bruce. Bruce is an innovative entrepreneur, who endorses only Heavy Duty, high intensity training at his facility. When Allison signed up for her first weight workout on June 12 of 1995, she could Deadlift 135 for 11 reps, Bench Press 115 for 8, and Squat 135 for 17.
Today Ms. Labeau works out with 335 for 4 on the Dealift, 155 for 6 on the Bench Press, and 255 for 12 and 315 for 2 on rock bottom squats. Her best competition lifts for a single rep maximum efforts are 325 in the squat, 175 in the bench press and 370 in the deadlift! All world records in the 139lb. class, by the way.
The results recounted above are not freakish, otherworldly, or exaggerated. They were included to provide the reader with a firm idea of what is realistic, what is possible with an understanding of the Law of Causality- and the balancing of one′s physiologic account through the proper, practical application of the scientific principles of high intensity training.