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Mike Mentzer

Mike Mentzer Bodybuilder

Mike Mentzer was born in Ephrata, Pennsylvania, and was a bodybuilding renaissance man. Renowned as much for his vocabulary and propensity to quote the philosophy of Ayn Rand as he was for the dimensions of his Herculean physique, Mentzer established himself first as a bodybuilding champion and then as a scholar of the sport.

Mentzer was an Objectivist and insisted that philosophy and bodybuilding are one and the same, integrating his philosophy with his writings. He adapted the concepts developed by Arthur Jones and Casey Viator in an effort to perfect them into his own theory of bodybuilding with a goal of achieving the full potential available to a drug-free individual within the shortest amount of time. Mentzer's Heavy Duty approach used high-intensity strength training, using brief, infrequent and intense bouts of exercise to maximize results and as part of his philosophy advocated for the use of reason to allow individuals to live happy, mature lives with diverse interests.

Mike Mentzer Training

Mike Mentzer training techniques mainly concentrated on high intensity weight training. Weight training, he insisted, had to be brief, infrequent, and intense, in order to attain the best results in the shortest amount of time.

Mentzer is a promoter of pre-exhaustion weight training. For example, leg extensions are done before squats, side delt raises before shoulder presses, flyes before bench presses, and stiff-arm pull downs before standard lat pull downs. Mentzer was also famous for going "beyond failure" with forced reps, negative reps, static holds, and forced negatives. In general, one only used 1-2 sets per movement, with no more than three movements per muscle group.

Mentzer and advocates of "high intensity" training (HIT) believed that one must train very hard, using the heaviest weight one can manage in good form and without injury. In general, high intensity trainers avoid the use of Olympic lifts, Olympic lift derivatives, explosive or ballistic lifts of any kind, including plyometric drills.

Mike Mentzer Workout

Sample Mike Mentzer routine for legs:

HIT Leg Workout

Leg Extension
with no rest do Barbell Squat or Leg Press - 2 super sets of 6 to 8 reps each.
Leg Curl - 2 sets of 8 to 12 reps.
Standing Calf Raise - 2 sets of 12 to 20 reps.

For more information visit the resources below:

Mike Mentzer DVD

Mike Mentzer Books

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