New 2011 Tributes and Testimonials to Mike and Ray

(Note: We will continue to add more tributes and testimonials to this celebration page as we receive them and have a chance to prepare them.

These Tributes are exclusively written for for the 10 year Celebration of Life for Mike and Ray Mentzer.

My First True Hero -- Posted 8/23/11
By Alen Radonja

Michael John Mentzer, my first true hero, who blasted my conception of what man is and should be; the model of a rational and creative human being, Man the Hero; he who I never met and never knew beyond the words on the pages of his books; the greatest friend I never had, the fountainhead of my strength.

I dedicate all the best within me, now and to come, to the legacy of a true giant among men.

Alen Radonja

The Sky is the Limit -- Posted 7/25/11
by Joe Carmona – Dallas, Texas

Joe Carmona
Representing for the “light weights” in bodybuilding, as training partners for over ten years strong, we can honestly say that we have tried every type of training program from training every day to cardio and every other thing we could find in any magazine article that would promise us results.

After years of frustration and trial and error just at the point of giving up on our goals, my friend Jaime Alvizo (black shorts in the photo) stumbled upon Mike Mentzer's HEAVY DUTY© book, also known as HEAVY DUTY 1. As soon as we started putting Mike's principles to work, our bodies began to respond. The use of a training journal to document our strength gains and realizing the importance of even a one rep gain from our last workout has changed our lives for the better! We now understand that muscle must be stimulated to grow and allowed the proper rest for recovery. Our workout routine is now once a week for about 30 minutes each. After also incorporating Mike's 60% carbs, 25% protein, 15% fat ratios in our balanced diet, we can finally manipulate our body fat percentage at will to show our muscle gains.

Jaime Alvizo, my training partner over the past ten years is a Personal Trainer in Garland, Texas, and between the two of us, we both always give praise to Mike for showing us the way to true success in bodybuilding and good health in general. My partner has a natural bodybuilding show coming up at the end of this month in San Antonio at which we hope to represent with our HEAVY DUTY™ high intensity training. We have worked out once a week for the last three years with constant steady growth and progress.

The sky is the limit for us and anybody else that can grasp the concept of Mike Mentzer's HEAVY DUTY™ High Intensity training program, a little common sense goes a long way.......

Thanks Mike.

Joe Carmona

Tribute to Mike Mentzer -- Posted 6/14/11
By Dave Smith, Ph.D.
Department of Exercise and Sport Science
Manchester Metropolitan University, England

Mike has had a very positive influence on not only my training but my life in general. Prior to beginning weight training in my late teens, I was both thin and light, weighing in at around 133 lbs at 5’9” tall. My doctor had advised me to start weight training to help rehabilitate an arm injury, and I found that I took to weight training straight away and really enjoyed it. However, having no knowledge of the subject, I assumed that the more I trained the better my results would be. How wrong I was! Spending 5 days a week in the gym for up to 2 hours at a time yielded little in the way of visible results. I then had the good fortune to come across an article of Mike’s in Muscle & Fitness. I was immediately impressed by the logic of his approach and switched to training high-intensity style, mostly using the workouts detailed in the revised Heavy Duty and, later Heavy Duty II. Two years later, my body weight had increased to approx 200 lbs., and I had outgrown my clothes wardrobe several times over! In fact, when I started training, you could have fit your fist around my upper arm, and after this training period it measured well over 16”. My strength also increased enormously, going from a point where I struggled to bench an Olympic bar with no weights on it (no joke!) to benching over 250 lbs and squatting over 500!

Much more profound, however, was the influence Mike had on my mind, and particularly my subsequent career. My physical transformation led to me training a number of bodybuilders who were very impressed with my gains, and eventually led me to consider a career in the field of sport and exercise science. Another important motivator for this was my discovery (again, through Mike) of philosophy, and reading Ayn Rand in particular helped motivate me to achieve my full potential in life. I gave up my dead-end job in which I had worked since school to pursue this goal, gained a PhD and now work lecturing and researching in this field, which continues to fascinate me. It’s a career that I love and has given me a lot of satisfaction, enabling me to find out and disseminate a lot of interesting information, travel the world and help a lot of people.

Whilst studying for my PhD, I was fortunate to have written articles for the old Heavy Duty Bulletin and had the chance to thank Mike for the positive influence he had had on my life. I would have loved to be able to work with him further now, and of course that will never happen. However, once again I want to say: Thanks Mike!

Dave Smith, Ph.D.
Manchester Metropolitan University, England

Tribute to Mike & Ray Mentzer -- Posted 6/10/11
By John Balik
Publisher, Iron Man Magazine

Two very different people with amazing genetics, and while Mike was the better known because of his writing and of course his "perfect score" of 300 when he won the IFBB Mr. Universe contest in Acapulco, Ray, in fact, had a greater potential.

I first photographed Mike in Maryland and was always taken with both his personal warmth and deep probing intelligence, we instantly connected, whereas Ray was always a bit of a mystery to me, more guarded. Both had the potential to be a Mr. Olympia but fate stepped in to deny them of that glory. Ten years--The death of both of them is still difficult for me to "metabolize."

Mike Mentzer Ray Mentzer

John Balik
Publisher, Iron Man Magazine

Tribute to Mike Mentzer -- Posted 6/10/11
By Steve Holman
Editor in Chief, IRON MAN Magazine

Mike Mentzer became my favorite bodybuilder after I saw the first article on him in the mid-’70s. In fact, in my late teen years I had a poster of Mike on my wall, a photo taken by John Balik who is now my employer at Iron Man magazine. As for Mike, I admired his rugged Herculean build and his often brutal honesty, but most of all, I admired his scientific dissection of bodybuilding training.

Mike Mentzer

Even today I reread Mike’s writings and apply what he said to the current research. He was right on many levels, and I applaud him for forcing bodybuilders to think rather than follow the herd. He and Arthur Jones are the ones who awakened my training experimentation and development of my own full-range mass-building method. Without Mentzer and Jones, Positions of Flexion would not exist. I have so much respect for Mike and wish he were still with us. I miss his thought-provoking articles. Luckily, he left a large legacy of books, articles and videos to keep HEAVY DUTY™ alive for every new crop of thinking bodybuilders.

Steve Holman
Editor in Chief, IRON MAN Magazine

Tribute to Mike on the 10-year Celebration of Life -- Posted 6/10/11
By Wayne Gallasch
Photographer and CEO of GMV Productions, Inc.

Mike Mentzer
Here is a never-before seen photo of Mike
taken by Wayne Gallasch
I would like to tell of a photographic experience with Mike that has never been written about before. Back in July, 1977 I had my first ever shoot with Mike at the Marina Beach at Marina del Rey. This film footage was used in the DVD #1 titled - "On The Beach", "At Muscle Rocks", and "In The Oil Field". We started out shooting on the beach under a cloudless blue sky on what was a perfect summer’s day in Southern California. It was around 9:30 when we started with the sun at just the right angle for photography. From the beach, we moved to the breakwater rocks at the side of the boating channel that leads out to sea. This was another dramatic location for posing and getting some amazing footage, as Mike flexed, tensed, oiled and pumped before hitting more dramatic poses.

After each posing segment on film, I got out the still camera to record all that we had done in photos, both B&W and in colour. It made it a long session and just before midday we were both about done. As we were walking back to the car, Mike said to me,” have you seen the oil well that is just a short distance from the beach?” It was an innocent question and being inquisitive, I said “no, please show it to me”. I immediately saw the potential of doing a little more film and taking some more photos when we got there. The obvious power of the oil well with the massive walking beam and the huge cranks which drove the horse head up and down was fascinating. I saw the similarity between this massive equipment and Mike’s brutal rock hard physique, and immediately posed him in front of the oil well. Mike also loved the overall concept of brutal raw power, and we got some wonderful footage.

The only small downside was that it was by now just after midday, and the sun being overhead was not ideal for photography. The shadows were dark and harsh, as you can see from the attached photo. However this only added to the dramatic effect of the whole occasion and did not spoil it at all. We were so spent by the end of the filming that I only took B&W photos after shooting Mike’s posing on super 8 film. We vowed to come back another day, early in the day to do some colour shots, but sadly it never happened. This was certainly a day I was never to forget.

We all miss Mike and Ray very much and both men have left a legacy on film – now DVD, in photos and in Mike’s books. On this the 10th anniversary of Mike death, it is good to remember some of the great times we shared together.

Mike and Ray, you will never be forgotten, RIP.

Mike Mentzer 15th November 1951 - 10th June 2001
Ray Mentzer 2nd August 1953 - 11th June 2001

Wayne Gallasch

Mike Mentzer: Mentor and Friend -- Posted 6/10/11
By Greg Anderson, Certified Personal Trainer and co-owner of Ideal Exercise
Seattle, Washington

It is difficult to believe that a decade has passed since we lost Mike. During the years that I enjoyed Mike’s friendship, I was constantly amazed at the depth of his knowledge on a variety of subjects. Often Mike would call to discuss an article or column that he was preparing for one of the bodybuilding magazines, and what would start as a brief discussion of his current writing project would turn into a long conversation about philosophy, art, politics, or psychology. Mike never spoke to me as if he was an “authority” on any subject, but rather as a friend with whom I shared hours of intellectual exploration. I miss those talks.

One aspect of Mike’s personality that I particularly loved was the man’s sense of humor. Mike could turn on a dime from discussing the epistemological foundations of HEAVY DUTY™ training to making fun of some nonsense that he had seen in the gym. He once asked me about the mania for “stability ball” training. I replied that I did not believe that training on an unstable surface was safe or productive. “So, Mike said, it’s nothing but mysticism... Pure bullshit.” We then spent the next half-hour discussing ways to “give ‘em what they want” by making the training area really unstable. We settled on random gunfire as the method of choice (letting several wolverines, or perhaps an adult tiger loose in the gym was in second place). Mike had me laughing so hard that I could barely breathe.

During our many discussions about high-intensity exercise, Mike and I would occasionally disagree on some derivative aspect of training, usually repetition speed. Mike would assure me that my advocacy of very slow (10 second) repetition cadence was unnecessary, and that a four-second cadence was adequately slow. He was right, of course, but I reminded him that by asking for such slow performance I am really likely to get about a 5-7 second cadence. As our mutual friend Dr. Doug McGuff is fond of saying: “The perfect is the enemy of the good.”

Sometimes Mike would needle me with: “What the hell do you know about bodybuilding? You’re a football player who turned himself into a personal trainer!”

“Well, I would reply, I know that you got screwed at the ‘80 Olympia.”

Mike would burst into laughter and say “Okay, I guess you do know something about bodybuilding.”

It was always like that with Mike. He could bring his considerable intellect to a laser-like focus and be very serious when it came to explaining the tenets of Heavy Duty training. He also possessed a quick wit, loyalty, and generosity.

In 1998, Ideal Exercise hosted a training seminar at The Seattle Center, with Mike as the featured speaker. At that time, Mike was just beginning to talk about an advanced approach to HEAVY DUTY™ called the “Consolidation Routine”. Several of the gym owners in attendance expressed skepticism that such a brief routine could be commercially viable. Today, my wife Ann-Marie and I supervise 9000+ workouts each year, many of which are 2-3 exercise consolidation workouts. I credit Mike with providing us with the intellectual ammunition to move our training business in this direction. I regret that he isn’t here to share in our success.

Mike will always remain in our hearts as a friend and mentor. In addition to this remembrance of my friend, I would like to express my gratitude to those who keep the Mentzer legacy alive. People like Joanne Sharkey, John Little, Dr. Doug McGuff, Drew Baye, and others continue to promote Mike’s ideas and for that they have my thanks.

Greg Anderson
Seattle, Washington

Thank You, Mike! -- Posted 6/10/11
by Florian Broda- Bremen, GERMANY – Competitive Bodybuilder
2nd Place - Body 1 Grand Prix of North Germany 2011 NAC
1st Place Win - Men’s Athletic NABBA / WFF German Championships 2007

By using Mike Mentzer’s HEAVY DUTY™ books, interviews and articles written by Mike Mentzer, I learned a way to pursue bodybuilding with little time spent in the gym and with success!

Florian Broda
Before using HEAVY DUTY training, I was never a fan of extremely high voluminous training, but in this year's bodybuilding contest preparation, I used a training plan that called for me to train 5-6 days for 1.5 hours in the gym. It took less than three weeks and I was overtraining with that system!! I felt limp all day, I was tired and had difficulties to concentrate on everyday life. So I reduced my training (I should have taken a rest break of several weeks, but due to the preparation for the contest, I decided not to), but I went back to what I learned from Mike Mentzer's writings. I conducted a short and intensive training, my internal (global) reserves were exhausted and I wanted them back into balance.

I trained 2-3 times a week and spent more than 80 minutes on the training surface. A trainer at my studio could hardly believe it, she said that there are many members who train almost every day for several hours and not look nearly as good as I do. These are also the people who look at me skeptically if I am only 20 minutes exercising, and then to the shower or go to the counter for social talk and entertainment.

If someone asks me how often and how long I train, I often hear them say that it would not be worth it even for such a short time to go to the gym. I then try to always explain that it is the results and not the presence in the gym that will motivate me to bodybuilding.

In preparation for the contest I used Mike Mentzer’s older Heavy Duty routines, my cardio was up to 3 short sessions in the gym, exclusively of walks with my dogs. My diet is vegetarian and consisted of many carbohydrates. I paid no attention to a specific carbohydrate, protein and fat ratio. I learned from Mike Mentzer who emphasized a well balanced diet and then sufficient carbohydrate nutrients will be available.

I have now started using Mike’s IDEAL ROUTINE, and I am thinking that in the autumn season, I will enter another bodybuilding competition. I will start all things in a different class. This time, I will prepare as described in Mike's book "High-Intensity Training the Mike Mentzer Way".

I thank Mike Mentzer for the knowledge that he has given to bodybuilding and to me.

Florian Broda

Thanks Mike Video Tribute -- Posted 6/10/11
By Drew Baye, Personal Trainer, Writer, and Speaker

Over 1,200 Documented Clients ON HEAVY DUTY™ -- Posted 6/10/11
By Joseph Andreula, CEO of CKO Kickboxing
Hoboken, New Jersey

When Bill W died, he left behind the alcoholic’s anonymous book which helped millions of people worldwide who on their own could not stop. In the book, it says that rarely have they seen someone follow the steps of the program and fail. The goal is to do the 12 steps. Don't question them, just do them.

Ten years ago, Mike Mentzer left behind his knowledge and experience in the book "High Intensity Training- The Mike Mentzer way". I have over 1,200 documented clients, who I or one of my trainers have trained from 2003-2011 using the principles outlined in his program. I can say the same as with the AA book - rarely have I seen someone follow the principles set forth in the book and fail to gain muscles.

I have read in fitness magazines how trainers vary the principles or use a couple of them. They have said they agree on this one but disagree with Mentzer on another one. Their argument is not with Mike Mentzer but with science. My advice is to follow the principles without question. Do the program by his book for 9 months and then evaluate your results.

My weight training clients who have seen the most incredible results were the ones who ironically had no background in bodybuilding. They didn't read bodybuilding magazines. They simply followed the routine that I gave them.

Joseph Andreula CEO - CKO Kickboxing

2 Months on HEAVY DUTY™ and What an Awesome Gain! -- Posted 6/10/11
By Jordon Boddam-Whetham, Competitive Bodybuilder and Personal Trainer

In my part of the world here in Sydney, Australia, there are not many people (that I know of anyway) who apply the theory of High Intensity Training to their own training efforts. It's unfortunate, considering how much more they could be gaining and with a fraction of the time invested in the gym.

Being a competitive bodybuilder myself and a Personal Trainer, I genuinely feel as though I have struck gold! The HEAVY DUTY™ principles Mike so passionately preached not only make complete and total sense and offer a clear cut view to progress, but they simply work!

Previously, I too made the mistake of training more than once a week (3 to be exact), and this wasn't because of some deep seeded fear of RE-gressing, but simply because the nature of the training is what bodybuilding is all about to me; gut busting efforts, do-or-die sessions, big weights, big gains, BUT done SMARTLY, not just followed blindly and doing 'x' amount of sets with multiple exercises so that I can "develop the outer-deeper bicep head for extreme separation and detail"... lol

As soon as I started inserting more rest days, my strength gains just sky rocketed! And within 2 months, I had already gained 3 kg (6.6lb) of lean muscle, which, as a natural - scrap that - for anyone, that is an AWESOME gain! It's just as Mike said, Bam! You wake up one day, and you're 4 to 6 pounds heavier". That was exactly true for me. At first I thought it was just fat, so I actually reduced my calories a little for about 2 weeks, did some fat tests, weighed myself first thing in the morning, all that stuff, and it has stayed at 95 kg solid, still fairly lean. I honestly couldn't believe it (I actually weighed myself 2 or 3 times throughout the day, just to make sure).

Anyway, once I started inserting more rest days, I got stronger and I am now just starting my prep for shows later in the year, sitting at a fairly lean 97kg (213lb), a total off-season gain of 5 kg (11 lbs) in a time frame of about 6 months since I started training HEAVY DUTY. And the more I thought about the actual science of muscle growth, the more Mike's teachings made sense. So it just reinforces what Mike taught, and what I now try to pass on to my clients.

I just find myself dumbfounded each and every time when I try to explain to typical volume trainers, and not only do they not listen, but they actually get quite offended! Here I am, trying to pass on the wisdom of Mike (free of charge mind you) to help them improve, yet they refuse to be helped - they think they know it all, which as Mike would say, is their main mistake (I was apart of this group not long ago, and now I’m forever scratching my head, wondering “why?”). In a quest to be perfect, they do exactly that which keeps them from their goal, because as any person with a sense of reason and logic would tell you, its the mistakes we make and the lessons we learn from them that help us to realize our full potential (perfection is overrated anyway, as I'm sure you'll agree. I feel it is not something that can be achieved, but rather a standard that must be maintained to make for a full and rewarding life). I rather love the fact that I keep making mistakes, because it means I can consistently learn and better my craft.

Oh how I envy you, Joanne - you truly are a lucky person. Often at times, I genuinely find a slight tear in my eye (like right now) when I realize the fact that I will never have the opportunity to meet Mike, and I mean that wholeheartedly. The effect Mike, Ray, yourself, and any others who have supported Mike's HEAVY DUTY™ methodology, have had on my life both in and out of the gym is so profound! I can’t even think of a word to describe it. Literally.

Like I said, not many people here (that I know of) understand this simple, logical approach to productive exercise, so being able to converse with someone who does understand it is a bit of a "stress relief", if you will. These volume trainers are just so aggravating! Especially when you want to use the machine and they have "only 4 more sets" left to do. GRRRRRRR!

Thank you once again Joanne, thank you so much for your efforts. Thank you to Mike Mentzer for all that he has left behind for all of us bodybuilders and trainers.

Your Mike Mentzer fanatic from “down under”.

Jordon Boddam-Whetham
Sydney, Australia

Mike and Ray Mentzer–GENIUS TO MOST !! -- Posted 6/10/11
By Shanon Boutin, Personal Trainer and HEAVY DUTY Student
Quebec, CANADA

Shanon Boutin
It’s been 10 years since the passing of Mike and Ray Mentzer, and although they are gone, they will never be forgotten! Mike’s teachings are going stronger than ever before, but there is still a long way to go in reaching even more bodybuilders who are looking for a productive training system! As a personal trainer and trainee, I continue to spread the word of Mike’s HEAVY DUTY™ training and Mike to all in my corner of the world in hope’s that people will take the time to at least look up information about HEAVY DUTY™ high-intensity training!

In my opinion, both Mike and Ray were put aside from the bodybuilding and fitness world for years, simply because they told the truth about training, recovery, supplements and genetics - even though the findings were supported with logical scientific evidence to back them up! I guess some thought they were crazy, while others gave praise to their new concept and welcomed the HEAVY DUTY™ high-intensity training method.

In many cases, trainers and health professionals in gyms and supplement stores don’t tell people the all-out truth about supplements, recovery from training, and the role of genetics in fear of losing money; they don’t seem to realise that if they burn out their clients with high-volume daily training and excessive use of supplements, then their clients will get discouraged and may simply give up going to the gym all together!

Thanks to the efforts of Mike through his books, seminars, phone consultations, and official web site, HEAVY DUTY™ high-intensity training has spread world wide and now more people then ever train with Mike’s concept -- he was truly the “thinking man’s” bodybuilder! I also want to send a special thank you to Joanne Sharkey for keeping the memory of Mike and Ray alive. They are without a doubt very proud of her efforts!

May both Mike and Ray rest in peace!

Shanon Boutin
Personal Trainer
Quebec, CANADA

Heavy Duty Training! NOT JUST FOR MEN! -- Posted 6/10/11
By Isabelle Sage - Natural Figure Athlete
Quebec, CANADA

Isabelle Sage
Greetings! Like the majority of women I have the utmost desire in preserving my physical and mental health as long as possible. As an owner of a business, I have certain responsibilities that cannot be neglected; therefore, a volume 6-day training approach is impossible.

The HEAVY DUTY™ training system allows me to gain fast results without neglecting my business responsibilities. With the use of HEAVY DUTY techniques, I’m able to keep workouts to a minimum of 1-3 sessions a week depending on my needs, training no more then 25 minutes per session.

I had ignored the fact that HEAVY DUTY™ could be used effectively by women with fear of over developing in muscle size. Of course women can’t resemble men without the use of drugs, and I knew this but fear was still present. Soon after I put aside my fear and started training, I saw results using this system of exercise.

Combined with a balanced diet my musculature and waist line changed to my liking. After only 4 weeks of training to failure, I had acquired a new confidence and decided to compete at the Pro Gym Cup in Quebec on November 14th for the first time, as a 35 year old Natural Miss Figure Athlete, and it’s just the beginning!

Following are just a few of the changes I’ve experienced since using HEAVY DUTY training:

Body Fat: Dropped from 21% body fat to 19% body fat
Incline Press: Increased from 45 lbs to 70 lbs
Leg Extension: Increased from 55 lbs to 75 lbs
Nautilus Lateral Raise: Increased from 20 lbs to 40 lbs.

In regards to women, a solid musculature enables us to wear any piece of clothing we desire, such as tank tops and pull-over nylon stockings without excess skin/fat over flow caused by elastics.

It’s very interesting and pleasing to know that women can keep wearing these types of clothing at any age with the help of Mike Mentzer’s HEAVY DUTY™ training and a well balanced diet.


Isabelle Sage, Natural Figure Athlete
Quebec, Canada

Ideas DO Matter -- Posted 6/10/11
By Ad Ligtvoet, Certified Massage Therapist and Personal Trainer

I have been involved with strength training since I was about 8 years old. At that time, I participated in different sports and because I was skinny, I wanted to exercise to become stronger. So I worked out at home with e.g expanders and a bullworker (remember those) and also pull-ups. The funny thing was that I did these in the freezer of my father’s butcher shop long before “Rocky Balboa” used this idea to train in a freezer. Not much later I started with martial arts and got my first bench with some weights and a barbell. I was about 14 years of age when the first gym in the region where I lived opened its doors and I started to workout there. All very basic, but a good atmosphere. There was no real guidance in the gym, and I did what I saw the big men doing. Since I was the type of person that wanted to know as much as possible, I started to buy the muscle magazines (I think you all can relate to that habit) once in a while (these where not as available in my area as they are now.

I remember that at one point I bought a German magazine when Lee Haney was a runner up for the Olympia . This magazine also had a course for getting big arms with the routines of about 10 different bodybuilders, and one of them was MIKE MENTZER. I looked at the arms of all the men and used to do the routine of the one that had (in my opinion), the most appealing arms (sound familiar?), and you might be surprised but I didn’t choose Mike Mentzer - his photo just wasn’t good. It was taken from a from a distance while doing a barbell curl so his arms didn’t look as big as they were in reality, and when I saw his routine I thought, well of course I thought that no one can build muscle with so few sets. I later realized that my decision was based on emotion. Impressed by the close up pictures of the other big men, I continued my high volume/frequency workouts with all its variations for a couple of years. Luckily, I came across an article of Mike’s describing his HEAVY DUTY™ method. The logic and reason of his was even more appealing than the big arms in the magazine I mentioned before. Since that moment, I’m involved in the method of high intensity training. I started to read as much as possible about Mike’s HEAVY DUTY™ method and his thoughts via articles and his book Heavy Duty© and the Heavy Duty Journal©. In 1997, I had several phone consultations with Mike. That initiated the urge to read/learn about the philosophy of objectivism and learn how to apply it to my life.

At that point in life, I just finished a study to become a Massage Therapist, and I worked also as a Personal Trainer part-time in my private facility. which I operated after my regular full time job.

In 2005, finally I was able to start to work full time in the exercise field. My real passion was about working with clients that have some form of physical problems that can be solved with proper strength training. The moments that I worked with these kind of clients were the most satisfying work related moments. At the beginning of this year, I was able to buy 10 Nautilus machines for my private facility. Now I’m able to provide a more efficient and safer way to exercise and on a one-on-one basis .This was a big step closer to my dream but also just the beginning.

Mike’s ideas and methodology influenced me from the first moment I was introduced to them, and I was able to change my life in a positive direction once I started to implement Mike’s teachings and philosophy in my life as well as in my training. Through his writings he always urged us to think logically on our own and he promoted the study of the philosophy of Objectivism. Mike perfected his HEAVY DUTY™ system by applying the method of logic to it since logic has to be used in understanding all the aspects of existence, including exercise. This was the link for me to see that logic has to be used in all the other aspects of my life instead of acting on emotions. I never gave much thought about these items before, because I always acted under the impression that my conclusions where the result of thinking. but the method I used to come up with conclusions wasn’t the method of logic. I guess it was my positive sense of life that gave me the impression that I used my mind correctly. However, since applying the method of logic to all aspects of life, I was able to come up with better goals - my goals - and values for my life. I became more certain about what I really wanted and got even more courage and self esteem to go after these values. Values are seldom achieved easily, and therefore the need of a strong mind and the conviction of being on the right track. There is a need for strong motivation and the right mindset.

Mike Mentzer wrote that he never wanted to win a popularity contest. He searched for the truth, and he didn’t care much whether the truth did or didn’t appeal to the majority. He probably could have made more money if he told what the majority wanted to hear or read. And without doubt, a few in the sport questioned him as to why he didn’t do just that because no one would care about his ideas many years later. He selfishly wanted to know the facts and acted on them, because to do otherwise would mean to betray his own mind and no amount of money could make make up for that betrayal. He also knew that there were many around the globe that were influenced by him as a result of his searching for and promoting of the facts of reality and not his primary concern. He was however very proud of the fact that he helped so many others to change their lives both in general and on a physical level. And as you have read above his ideas had not only an impact on my life many years ago, but also years after his death and up through today.

My story is a example of how ideas do matter and there are without doubt many, many others that have experienced the same in their life. I often read material of very bright minds in the exercise field and most, if not all, are somehow influenced by Mike Mentzer and use his fundamental principles on how to help other people get a fit and healthy body in a minimum of time. So you can see that his ideas influenced many more than those who directly read his material. That is the power of ideas.

You can read from this and my two other articles written for that Mike’s influence goes beyond training and has an impact on a greater scale. But the physical aspect was and is very important to me and I could improve my body by using heavy duty principles. Although not having the best genes to become heavily muscular which was my initial goal, I probably do have good genes to live healthy to an old age. So using Mike Mentzer’s fundamentals of high intensity training applied to my physiology will help me to stay as functional (and good looking) as possible up to that old age. Since this can be done while consuming very little time, I can and will be able to devote the rest of my time to all the other aspects that makes my life worthwhile. Again, ideas do matter.

Millions of men around the globe could change their life by using the ideas of other role models etc. I consider myself lucky that Mike Mentzer had the integrity to stay loyal to his convictions and that he had an impact on my life. That way I could conceptualise my sense of life and give it direction on the path toward a better and rewarding life.

May Mike Mentzer’s soul stay with us.

Ad Ligtvoet
The Netherlands

Forever Thankful -- Posted 6/10/11
By Corey DiNofia
San Diego, California

I have been eager to write you an e-mail for a few weeks now. I must tell you that I discovered Mike Mentzer through an article that was recently in Muscle and Fitness entitled "Failure is not an option." It was (of course) refuting his training principles. My only connection to Mike at the time was that my father who passed away taught me when I was young, a few techniques to train with - some of which were training to failure, using negatives, and strict form. I used and cherished these in my training, but of course, I was also practicing the blindly accepted high-volume training as well.

When I saw the title of the article I mentioned above, I was immediately offended, since it was a technique that I loved and practiced, and I might add, used with better results than the average Joe. I set out at once to find the truth. Google search: Mike Mentzer; Results:, Wikipedia, and YouTube videos. I started watching some video clips, mostly tributes of him posing, etc. Of course, I was impressed, but I was not looking for a montage. I needed to know what Mike Mentzer had to say.

Mike Mentzer
I came upon an old video, and I have to say that I was glued to my screen for the next hour and a half as I listened intensely. Not only was what he had to say logically sound, it was what I knew to be true in my heart. He filled in every gap I knew was missing in my training. I knew that all the answers had to be out there, but I never found them in a magazine or through a trainer. I laughed at the thought of how stupid I had been, how many hours, how much money, how much effort I had wasted feeding the machine of commercial bodybuilding! How blind I had been! I had not yet conducted one exercise in the manner which Mike explained, and yet I was sold. I have talked to a few bodybuilders on the subject and was met with skepticism and ignorance.

I placed an order for his books right away through I read "High-Intensity Training the Mike Mentzer Way", "The Wisdom of Mike Mentzer", and "HEAVY DUTY II, Mind and Body" and all in one weekend. My outlook on life and how to conduct my bodybuilding was swiftly changed for the better. That is an understatement, because I cannot eloquently describe (as Mike most certainly could) the sense of purpose I now feel both going into the gym and going through life in general. I very quickly felt a deep sorrow that I would never get the opportunity to know or meet Mike. Had I found his teachings and philosophy while he was alive, I would have happily paid the consulting fee just to be able to call him and just say "thank you."

I have now conducted a few weeks of Mike’s HEAVY DUTY™ training with fantastic results already and at 1/20th the time spent in the gym! I am afraid the world will never be ready for Mike Mentzer and his ideas, and my first thought was that the world needs to know this right now! I quickly found out it had already been put on display for the world to see and yet in many cases it is discarded quickly by the masses in favor of the traditional high-volume approach to training. It seems the world at its current digress will never find itself in parallel with Mike’s HEAVY DUTY™ methodology and Mike's way of thinking. What a sad thought! I will forever be thankful to Mike for what he left behind for the lost bodybuilders - like me.

When I placed my orders at, I was happy just to be able to make contact with someone supporting the continuation of Mike's ideas and work. I was delighted when I received hand written notes on my Order Receipt when I received my package. However, it was as if I had expected the notes to be there, in the very handwriting that is yours, Joanne Sharkey. Not only is that good business, but is also something in perfect harmony with my perception of Mike and to the person he would choose to be his successor to promote and to protect his Heavy Duty teachings. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Corey DiNofia
San Diego, CA

Video Tribute -- Posted 6/10/11
By Donnie Hunt

Watch a video tribute to Mike Mentzer by clicking here. Donnie Hunt

What an Incredible Learning Experience! -- Posted 6/10/11
By Big Andy
Eagle, Idaho

When RonnieB and I decided to do a body transformation publicly at, the plan was that we would each use different training systems throughout the experiment. After RonnieB spoke to Joanne Sharkey, he then decided that his training systems would be strictly using Mike Mentzer's HEAVY DUTY high-intensity training. His goal was to gain weight and muscle. My goal was just the opposite, because as a competitive Powerlifter, I was accustomed to high-volume training programs and eating a LOT !!! As a competitive Powerlifter, I held the APF Junior World Record for total @ 2250 for 6 years, and I had a 620 bench 920 squat and an 810 deadlift. However, my goal for this body transformation was to decrease bodyfat and gain muscle, and I had to find the best possible training system to help me reach my goals.

It was not until I had a conference call with RonnieB and Joanne Sharkey that I got very excited about using the HEAVY DUTY™ system for my body transformation experiment. After consulting with her, it all made sense to me, and I was so pumped up to get started. I was warned that I had to make a 9-week commitment to stay on Mike’s HEAVY DUTY™ training system, and also the importance of cutting my caloric intake! Wow, how would I manage to change not only my need to be in the gym often, and at the same time, cutting my calories? But, I made the commitment knowing full well it would not be easy.

My first HEAVY DUTY™ workout was awesome!!! That's all it took to get me heading in the right direction. The most difficult part for me was trying to stay on a calorie deficient, especially my late night snacks and a beer. I can feel my body changing in just one week (by just eating correctly and doing the break in routine). This has become a lifestyle for me, and means so much more to me than just eating and lifting heavy. POSITIVE CHANGES!!!!

To you readers and Mentzer fans, I say - TAKE THE PLUNGE if you haven't already! Mike Mentzer's HEAVY DUTY™ teachings have opened my eyes and my mind, and there is so much for you to learn from him about "productive" bodybuilding. I only wish Mike was here for me to thank him for all that I've learned from his teachings and philosophy.

I have taken a layoff period right now, but I intend to get back to my training soon. We hope to do a second part to the Boise Experiment, because it not only has helped RonnieB and me to go forth in a different direction so that we can reach our goals, but it has helped so many visitors to our experiment who have found inspiration and an interest to learn from Mike Mentzer. After all, if we could do it – so could they!

After the first 9 weeks of the experiment, following are some of my stats:

Neck19 inches 21 inches
Forearm (3" from elbow)13.75 inches16.75 inches
Bicep (5" from crook)16.75 inches19.75 inches
Hip 46.75 inchesNO CHANGE
Chest 49.75 inches52.25 inches
Ab43.25 inches41 inches
Thigh (9" up from patella)26.75 inches29.75 inches
Calf17.25 inches 19.25 inches
*All measurements cold

Big Andy

This was truly one of the best experiences I HAVE EVER had with a training program. With not only the results in strength, BUT also with the time spent out of the gym and being able to spend it with my family were both SPECTACULAR!! As a young lifter, reading about Mike as well as his articles, it was special to me to be able to “experiment” with a great training program. Thank you Joanne for providing not only the knowledge of HEAVY DUTY™, but more importantly, the unconditional support to me in doing this experiment. Your kind words and encouragement and long distance “hugs” were always welcome! THANK YOU FROM EAGLE IDAHO!

Big Andy
Eagle, Idaho

39 Years Old - 9 Workouts - 21 Lbs Solid Muscle Gain -- Posted 6/10/11
By Ronnie B
Boise, Idaho

I have been working out since my teens and have seen many plateaus. In the beginning of my training, I was taught by the various fitness periodicals and high school coaches that an individual needs to devote hours to training daily to achieve a top physique.

This misinformation brought me to years of wasted effort and countless injuries, but the cycle was broken a little more than 10 years ago when I was introduced to Mike Mentzer’s HEAVY DUTY™ high-intensity training system. I have to admit, although my gains were quick and immediate, I still did not understand fully or implement correctly the true concept of HEAVY DUTY™. I was still too focused on volume and was not taking enough time off in between workouts, and because of this, I still did not achieve my potential.

In 2010, I read Mike’s final book High-Intensity Training the Mike Mentzer Way and decided this time I would embrace my fear fully and eliminate volume as much as possible and take as much time off as necessary in between workouts no matter what!

The results were amazing! In 9 workouts, I was able to add 21 lbs of pure muscle and my strength gains were equally amazing. On the deadlift, I went from 4 reps of 315 lbs with a 4-0-4 cadence to 6 reps of 365 lbs with a 5-0-5 cadence. My body weight went from 177 lbs to 202 lbs in about 60 days. With each and every workout, my strength gains went up in both reps and poundage added. Here are some of my before and after measurements:

Neck14.625 inches 17 inches
Forearm (3" from elbow)11.5 inches13 inches
Bicep (5" from crook)12.75 inches15 inches
Hip 37.25 inchesNO CHANGE
Chest 38 inches41.5 inches
Ab32 inches34 inches
Thigh (9" up from patella)21.375 inches24.75 inches
Calf14.75 inches 17.75 inches

Ronnie B

As you can see, the results speak for themselves. If you are looking to increase your strength and muscle mass in the shortest time span possible, there is no better way than with Mike’s HEAVY DUTY™.

Boise, Idaho

Read A Celebration of Life by Joanne Sharkey

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Remembering Mike Mentzer Hear a Special Audio Interview of Top Bodybuilders Discussing Mike's Legacy

This audio is used with permission from Dan Solomon

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