Mike Mentzer Bodybuilding Routine
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Mike Mentzer Workout
When I first started working out, one of my idols was Mike Mentzer. He won the Mr. America, the Mr. Universe and many say he should have won the Mr. Olympia in 1979 and 1980.
When Mentzer first came on the bodybuilding scene, all of the top bodybuilders were training up to 4 or 5 hours a day six days a week. They would train twice a day once in the morning and again at night, especially before a contest.
But Mike was winning all the top contests and became one of the top contenders for the Mr. Olympia title training only 30 minutes a day four times a week. Even before a contest he didn't train any more than this.
Mike Mentzer's workout was called "Heavy Duty" which was his own version of the High Intensity Training that he learned directly from Arthur Jones. Really the only change Mike made was to use a split routine rather than the full body workouts that Jones recommended.
Due to the heavy weights and all out intensity that Mike used in his training, his physique had a different look than that of the other top bodybuilders of the time. While the volume trainers were big, they looked kind of soft compared to Mike, this is due to them using lighter weight and just pumping up their muscles all day. While Mike's muscles looked hard as a rock, with a look of strength, power and density that can only come from training heavy and hard.
Mike Mentzer's bodybuilding routine has made a lot of changes over the years and most people today think it means one set to failure working every body part as little as once every two weeks.
But in the 1970's he was training each body part twice a week for 4 to 6 sets each. Remember this was a time when the other bodybuilders were training each body part three times a week with about 20 sets.
I think the best version of Heavy Duty training comes from the updated version of the book that Mike released in 1993.
Here is the workout I used after reading the Heavy Duty 1 book.
Pec deck then with no rest do incline dumbbell bench press
Dumbbell lateral raise
Rear dumbbell lateral raise
Triceps pushdowns then with no rest do dips
Pullovers then with no rest do lat pulldowns
Stiff leg deadlift
Leg extension then with no rest do barbell squats
Staining calf raise
Seated calf raise
Each was done for 1 set of 6 to 12 reps to all out muscle failure.
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