Mike Mentzer’s Heavy Duty Training in Action

Previously on this website, we have discussed the heavy duty training protocols of men like Mike Mentzer and Arthur Jones. The ‘high intensity training’ of Jones, Mentzer and Dorian Yates is perhaps the least understood style of training to grace the lifting world. Critics cite a lack of volume, incomplete workouts and too much wheel spinning as some of the complaints underlining this approach.

From personal experience, few of us (myself included) can adequately match the intensity needed to thrive on a HIT program. It is thus very interesting to see Mentzer putting his own heavy duty training program in action. The video, available on Youtube, shows Mike and his brother Ray, train Markus Reinhardt at the Angel City Fitness gym in Los Angeles. Over the course of several videos, the brothers put Markus through three high intensity workouts:

1. Chest & Back.

2. Legs.

3. Delts, Biceps & Triceps.

What’s to be gained from the video?

First the focus on intensity. Many are guilty of spending a lot of time in the gym without actually training. Mentzer promoted a one focused mindset in the gym. Don’t waste time chatting to others during your workout (save it for after) and bring a serious attitude to everything.

Second, work the muscle you want to work. It’s a simple point but many of us are guilty of bringing external muscles into play during an exercise i.e. cheat curls when you want to isolate the biceps. This point is particularly important for bodybuilders or physique lifters.

Finally, if you watch the videos through, you’ll see that tempo means tempo! No speeding up when you’re tired.

Was Mentzer a disciplinarian in the gym? Perhaps … but I think we all need to bring that to our training again and again.

As always … Happy Lifting!


2 thoughts on “Mike Mentzer’s Heavy Duty Training in Action

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  1. Appreciate the video post. As I understand it, this was filmed only days before Mike & Ray’s deaths, so it’s especially important for archival purposes.

    1. Thanks so much. I was really happy to see it on YouTube so god bless the channel. Agree with you, it is so important to preserve these video clips. The few videos we have of early 1900s performers are all cherished so we know the value of this history

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