New 2016 Tributes and Testimonials In Loving Memory of

Mike Mentzer
(November 15, 1951 - June 10, 2001)
        Ray Mentzer  (August 2, 1953 - June 12, 2001)

The information on this tribute page was written exclusively for Mikementzer.com
and may not be copied or reused in any way without permission from Joanne Sharkey. © Mentzer-Sharkey Enterprises, Inc.


Thank you for joining in loving memory to celebrate the lives of both Mike and Ray Mentzer with these new 2016 Celebration of Life tributes!

NOTE: You will see some new photos that have never been posted on this site or possibly never shown anywhere, please do not download them and saturate your sites or other social media. I have given my word to the photographer(s) who owns these copyrighted photos that they will be exclusively shown on Mikementzer.com. For those of you who have not had the pleasure of knowing Robert (Bob) Gardner or his awesome works of photography, I'd like to let you know that he has always been one of the best photographers in more than one industry. When Bob had his studio in New York some years ago, he specialized in fashion and beauty. Lighting the male physique was a very different matter! He worked very hard at perfecting the art of lighting each muscle and capturing the definition that these athletes worked so hard at achieving. Just as Bob strived for perfection, so did they. Bob always respected the dedication and sacrifices the bodybuilding athletes made in their careers to be the best they could be. Bob's work is copyrighted and he and his dedicated wife, Gail, have given me permission to post a few of his photos on Mikementzer.com exclusively. Please respect his copyrights. Thank you Bob for giving me permission to share your photos to all visitors at Mikementzer.com as your tribute.

After the many statements I have made for past celebrations and communications with you, there isn't much more that I can say about the greatness of Mike and Ray Mentzer and their lifetimes’ accomplishments. They remain Legends worldwide on their own names and merits, and I've done my best to keep the light burning for all who seek their knowledge. However, following this are some new tributes that I am proud to post for your enjoyment.

In many ways at times, it seems surreal to me that 15 years have gone by since they left us. When I first accepted the responsibility as Successor-in-Interest to Mike's Intellectual Property Rights, I thought that perhaps after 5 or so years the demand for the Heavy Duty teachings would dwindle down, never dreaming that 15 years later I'd still be here at the helm of the Mentzer Legacy through Mikementzer.com - the only OFFICIAL home of the Mentzer Legacy, authorized retail products and teachings. Most important to me (and for the good of the legacy) has been to protect Mike's works and to ensure that his authentic works are not changed by anyone!

Mike Mentzer
Mr. Heavy Duty Mike Mentzer
Ray Mentzer
Ray Mentzer

My mission was never (and still isn't) for the purpose of personal financial gain or for personal recognition. No, it was (and still is) merely to keep my promises to Mike, then to Ray and the Mentzer Family members. All the hard work and perseverance has been successful in keeping the Mentzer Legacy alive and growing.

There are many more Certified Trainers and Gym Owners who have been strong advocates of Mike's Heavy Duty teachings and philosophy, whose loyalty and respect are not for selfish reasons or financial gains, but who are grateful to Mike for all they learned from him. Those who are truly loyal and credible always pay tribute to him by making sure to give credit back to Mike and not hang on to his name and reputation as a means to build their businesses. For decades Mike was referred to as Mr Heavy Duty (a title he earned for sure), and I want to confirm that referenced title has not been passed on to anyone else. The only other person who deserved to be called Mr Heavy Duty was RAY MENTZER who worked along with Mike for decades to fine tune and research the training program.

Never at any time have MikeMentzer.com or myself EVER asked for donations for any reason! Even when fans would offer money to help, it was never accepted even though the offer was greatly appreciated. I caution you that if you read on another site that is asking for "monetary donations" and that it is for Mike's Legacy, THIS IS A FALSE CLAIM -- THERE IS NO AFFILIATION WHATSOEVER BETWEEN THAT PERSON, HIS SITE AND MIKEMENTZER.COM or JOANNE SHARKEY/MENTZER-SHARKEY ENTERPRISES, INC.

I caution you – DO NOT FALL PREY TO FALSE CLAIMS. When in doubt, please contact me for verification of the trainer you are considering.

I have communicated with tens of thousands of you internationally and domestically in the USA, and a week never goes by without newcomers anxiously waiting to learn from Mike's teachings through his books. Nobody says it better than Mike! I want to also remind you that you simply cannot correctly learn Mike’s principles with only “bits and pieces” of information you picked up online through social media. You cannot properly learn from someone else’s experiments with their own training. If you truly want HEAVY DUTY to work for you, then you must have at least one of Mike’s books to study the principles and learn how to correctly apply them to your own training needs.

Throughout these past years, many of you around the world have become friends with me and whose support and loyalty have been never ending and invaluable. I couldn't possibly list everyone's name due to the vast number, but you know who you are and many in the Sport know who you are as well.

Thank you customers, fans, trainers and bodybuilding advocates for your continued interest, support and loyalty. Mike Mentzer's messages of TRUTH still prevail – The torch still burns!

If you sent in a Testimonial or Tribute in the past and it was not posted on Mikementzer.com, please resend it at your earliest convenience. Thank you.

Joanne Sharkey, CEO/President
Mentzer-Sharkey Enterprises, Inc.

"The purpose of my writing and communications with others,
in addition to providing rational training guidance, is to help
achieve an ideal society via a cultural revolution that will bring
men back to reason and logic, the only means of solving
the problems threatening our very survival."
---- Mike Mentzer


By Darryl Evan Williams
Certified Fitness Trainer, Certified in Exercise Therapy,
And Certified Specialist in Fitness Nutrition

At the end of 2008, I remember training diligently for a 16-week cycle performing anerobic training 5 times per week as well as an equally chaotic aerobic "routine". After taking some time off to reflect on my progress, I was amazed at how little progress I had made. I successfully lost bodyweight while at the same time lost muscle mass as well. But I noticed something even more importantly. Every day for the next week and a half, my body ached. Not due to a strenuous work schedule, but because I was SEVERELY overtrained. In my pursuit of knowledge on this subject (Rest and Recovery), the magazines as well as most information available was absolutely false!

When I reached over at a local bookstore and picked up The Wisdom of Mike Mentzer, my bodybuilding pursuits as well as my thinking changed for the better. Mike's knowledge, extensively studies and research was incredible! I literally felt like this was the "Holy Grail" I had been pursuing but unable to grasp and sometimes pondered if such a thing actually exists at all. But here it was. Mike laid out his many, many masterpieces in such a philosophical and intellectual way that you can read and re-read his books time and time again and pick up something more each time. Thanks to Mike and Ray Mentzer I learned very quickly just how effective the Heavy Duty Training System was, is, and always will be to those who truly understand the science of High Intensity Training-the Mike Mentzer Way.

Not only did my strength levels increase dramatically, but several close friends that trained along with me gained tremendously as well, and with every single workout - it never failed! An increase in repetitions, weights and sometimes both to our delight!

Mike Mentzer
Mike Mentzer
Fast forward to the present day, I still train Heavy Duty Mike Mentzer's Way using his 7 Principles as my guidelines: Identity, Intensity, Duration, Frequency, Specificity, Adaptation, and Progression. Were it not for Mike Mentzer, I would not be where I am today. He inspired me to finally focus on my goals of enhancing my mind and pursing my interests with a common sense and logical approach.

I am an ISSA Certified Fitness Trainer, ISSA Certified in Exercise Therapy as well as a Certified Specialist in Fitness Nutrition. I train my clients, friends and myself strictly with Mike's Way. It is the TRUTH of exercise/bodybuilding science. He has enlightened my mind beyond belief in my pursuit for vast factual knowledge and wisdom not only in the world of bodybuilding, but in all topics and issues period. He has instilled in me the importance of becoming a critical thinker and to use logic when attempting to discern fact from fiction.

Thank you, Joanne Sharkey, for continuing your dedicated pursuit in keeping Mike and Ray Mentzer's legacies alive not only for us in the past years, and today, but also for future generations as well. You are at the top of the lighthouse shining the beacon to all of us "lost" in the seas and waves of fitness falsehoods, gimmicks, and marketing schemes. You have my heartfelt gratitude and appreciation for all your hard work and carrying Mike's torch held high.

Mike was a noble, hero, genius and his legend as light shines brighter today and more brilliant than ever before...and continues to grow more so as each day passes. Thank you personally, for my continual pursuit of never ending bodybuilding perfection in the shortest amount of intense time.

Mike, thank you for us no longer being called "gym rat" and wasting countless hours and precious amounts of time lost in the gym, but rather doing exactly what you aspired us to do and inspired us to do...train intensely, rest, recover, grow, come back better than we were before, and spend our extra time living life, sculpting and perfecting not only our bodies but our minds as well.

"I had the torch held high and all the others continued to crawl backwards, away from the light into the darkness” was one of Mike's favorite quotes, and one that Joanne Sharkey continues to hold the torch high after Mike’s tragic and sudden passing.

I strictly follow Mike Mentzer's Heavy Duty “authentic” training and principles ONLY! May each of us no matter whether a bodybuilder, fan, philosopher or any other categorization, title or label society may classify us as, respect and credit Mike Mentzer for the ever-burning flame of the Mentzer Legacy and continue to spread the truth and think outside the confines of an illusional box.

Eternally Grateful,
Darryl Evan Williams (Mentzerite)
Victoria, Texas

By Kevin McNamara, Owner, Kevin’s Gym

June 10th marks the 15-year anniversary since Mike Mentzer passed away and he is truly missed. What a legacy he has left on earth for us.

  Ray Mentzer at the Beach
Ray Mentzer
Although I only met Mike on a few occasions, he had really touched my life. I have been a Mentzer disciple of his since seeing him prepare for the 1978 Mr. Universe. I was lucky enough to have helped him on a few occasions, when he was training alone, with a few forced reps to intensify his sets.

A few friends and myself really expected him to pull it off in 1980 with the Mr. Olympia which of course did not happen. Mike seemed to disappear to us here in South Africa. This did not stop us from training with Mike’s Heavy Duty system, which worked very well for all who were prepared to train very hard.

How excited I became hearing Mike was a hero to Dorian Yates and that Dorian was training on Mike’s Heavy Duty system at that time. I predicted 2 years before Dorian won the Olympia, that he would take over from Lee Haney, which he did.

I was so pleased when one of my pupils spent time in America training with Mike at the same time as Dorian Yates. Dorian went on to win the Mr. Olympia, while my pupil (Nick van Beeck) won the NABBA Mr. Universe 1994.

I have read and studied all of Mike’s books and have to say that not only has he helped me and all my pupils with our training but also our outlook on life. We all seem to have a very precise answer to all of life’s difficulties which are numerous in today’s times.

I first heard of Mike when the president of the South African Bodybuilding Association came back from Canada and the World Championships saying to me "forget Robbie Robinson, who had won, look at Mike Mentzer”.

I had seen him at the 1971 Mr. America when I had been training those years on the Arthur Jones’ system. In 1977, I met Mike at the Mr. International when I had entered against Mike’s old training partner. Then in 1978, I spent some time in Santa Monica, California and I happened to meet up with Mike again.

Mike’s brother, Ray Mentzer, was a huge man and I competed with him once. Ray, you too are missed and in our prayers.

Mike, I still feel your spirit around today and rest assured your teachings and philosophy will live strongly in me, and when I am not around, my son who is also a pupil, will carry it on here in South Africa by spreading your teachings and message. Mike R.I.P. you are always in our thoughts and prayers.

We are lucky that Joanne Sharkey has been left with Mike’s legacy, and when we feel a bit lost without Mike, she is there to help with all things pertaining to Heavy Duty.

Kevin McNamara (SOUTH AFRICA’S Best Built Man)
Owner, Kevin’s Gym

To read more about Kevin, click here for his previously posted testimonial.

THE LEGACY LIVES ON!!! -- Posted 7/30/16
By John Heart – Los Angeles, California

Mike Mentzer was, and continues to be, the greatest influence on my own training.

Mike Mentzer
Mike Mentzer
It’s no secret that Mike trained me in the early 90’s at Golds Gym/Venice. The training was brutally intense and brief in nature. I would meet with him once every 3-5 days for a workout that lasted no more than 17 minutes after warmups. Those workouts resulted in layers of new muscle being added to my physique, which had already reached an advanced level of development. Some would argue that simply performing a new routine brought new gains, and that simply changing to ANY routine would have brought new results (a habit that many trainees follow), but this was not my first experience with Heavy Duty training. It was a return to what I knew was right. As a teenager I threw cash (coins included!) in an envelope and sent it via regular mail to Mike in exchange for copies of his original Heavy Duty Training Manuals. My brother and I followed his routine verbatim until I moved to L.A.

The return to what I knew was right came after following the crowd at Golds Gym/Venice, where I trained mostly every day for 1-2 hours. The results with were unspectacular at best, with minimal progress after several years (!) of that type of training. It was only after contacting Mike Mentzer directly for help that I was set back on the right path, with progress kicking back up again with Heavy Duty!

Remembering my training mentor and friend on this anniversary of his death, I’m filled with gratitude for the benefits that I’ve experienced due to his life’s work:

--He helped start my personal training business, which has always been based on his Heavy Duty principles. Hundreds of clients and their training have been influenced directly from that business.

--Using those principles to continue to compete, winning my class in the Natural Mr. Universe as well as the overall Mr. America, and continuing on as a WNBF Natural Pro Bodybuilder to this day.

--The development of my personal intellect and ability to communicate thoughts into written words. I credit Mike in the beginning of every book I write on the subject of training and diet.

--Being able to teach my own children the principles of training that Mike taught me.

Although Mike has moved on from this world, his influence and legacy continues to live on in the form of those who continue to spread correctly his Heavy Duty teachings. While there are many trainers and trainees that are part of the legacy, THE driving force is quite simply Joanne Sharkey! Joanne is Mike’s Successor-in-Interest to his Intellectual Property Rights and heir to everything that is Mike Mentzer and Heavy Duty. Joanne has also been a trusted and loved friend to my family, and I stand next to her with 100% support in every way possible.

To all the Heavy Duty followers out there, I encourage you to share what you’ve learned…as a way of continuing Mike’s legacy. To those who have never known who Mike Mentzer is, or what Heavy Duty training is like, you are about to embark on one of the greatest journeys of your life!

Train hard and INTENSELY!

John Heart

(Ed: While John Heart has varied his own routines somewhat to meet his advanced needs, he still remains true to the basic fundamental principles of Mike Mentzer’s Heavy Duty training. For several years, he worked with my Heavy Duty phone clients successfully and made sure they correctly learned how to apply Mike’s authentic principles. Thank you John for your continued loyalty to Mike’s memory and for giving him the credit he deserves and also for your support to me.

By Kevin Dye - AUSTRALIA

To mark the 15th anniversary of Mike Mentzer's passing, one of the best mentors a body-builder could ask for, I'd like to share how Mike influenced my training outlook, and how I still dearly miss him. Those who've read my articles before know how I discovered Mike and his Heavy Duty system. I believe things happen for a reason, so it was no chance Mike came along when he did, during a period of my life where I was seeking knowledge and guidance to assist my efforts to grow bigger and stronger.

Mike and Ray Mentzer
Mike and Ray Mentzer
ray_mentzer_beach_jb.jpg What stood out most about Mike, versus every other champ of the day, was the logic and conviction he held about what was needed to trigger muscle growth. Instead of merely another variance of what other champs were doing—10 sets of 6 reps, 12 sets of 8 reps, 20 sets of 10 reps—Mike was his own man, able to logically think for himself. Such levels of logic were almost unheard of back in the 70's. What was “good enough for Arnold” ruled the day! After all, having the longest winning streak of Mr. Olympia titles, who dare question the #1 champion of the sport of body-building?

But Mike did, after discovering the catch-cry “more” had limited potential, following his ever dismal results from taking it to the extreme. If “more” was indeed better, his 12 hour workouts should have made him one of the most developed men on the face of the earth. After all he had the genetic blessings, that much is clear, but even with Mother Nature's embracing Mike he found every expanding time he spent in the gym was a path in the wrong direction. Fortunately he met Casey Viator—who came out of the same mould—and ultimately Arthur Jones, which completely changed Mike's mindset and training approach. For the remainder of his life, the name “Mike Mentzer” stood for the staunchest advocate for High Intensity Training the world has ever known!

In search of the most effective way to develop my 16 year old body, Mike’s articles stood out amongst the dogma which was standard fare back in the 1970’s. Mike was without doubt “the thinking man’s bodybuilder”. I appreciated how genuine he was to help others, and I quickly became a staunch Heavy Duty advocate for life. In 1995, I became one of Mike’s phone clients, which was a dream come true! It was a crucial period in the evolution of Heavy Duty; Mike was testing out new tactics in the development and perfection of his system. Static contractions were a new and exciting tactic. Mike was ecstatic with the success rate he was having with his clientele. Naturally they were included in my routines from then on, and it immediately became clear Mike wasn’t kidding about how productive they were.

Like Mike, I have trained a vast amount of avid bodybuilders over my life time. And those who kept an open mind and weren’t afraid to “turn their back on the crowd” all gained—and gained quickly. Mike wasn't afraid to stand out from the crowd, thankfully so for myself and the never ending hoards of trainees failing away on volume routines, burning out and getting nowhere.

Closing in on four decades of Heavy Duty training, Mike's teachings are as valid now as they were when I first heard about them back in 1978. With each passing year, I am fondly reminded how right Mike was. He wasn't infallible, but he also wasn't afraid to think outside the box in his never ending search for what works best. I will be forever indebted to Mike for enticing me to think for myself, instead of adhering to dogma just for the sake of it. Mike will always hold a special place in my heart; you never forget someone who profoundly impacts your life so significantly.

Rest in Peace Mike, you are sadly missed.

Kevin Dye

By Matt McDermott – Dallas, Texas

Mike Mentzer Posing
Mike Mentzer
Back in 1999, while reading the older version of Mike's site, I came across the interview with Paul Brodeur that Mike wrote. I called Paul and struck up a friendship which lasted for years during, and even after, the time he trained me at Metroflex Gym in Arlington, Texas.

Paul always spoke highly of Mike and he referred to Mike as a big influence on the HIT community. Paul reminded me to keep to abbreviated, infrequent training and focusing on progression with great form. He recommended specific sections from Heavy Duty II: Mind and Body book (at the time it was Mike’s latest book) that I should re-read and how Mike's example of eliminating "bells and whistles" from training would lead to consistent progress.

Many of Mike's teachings in his last book also have helped in recent years, especially maintaining muscle after dealing with injuries. The slower repetition speed, intelligent application of the advanced Heavy Duty techniques (rest-pause, pre-exhaustion, etc.) balanced eating, and ensuring systemic recovery (versus just localized muscle recovery) have helped tremendously. Lastly, many of his anecdotes and subtle suggestions in his last book, High Intensity Training the Mike Mentzer Way. were helpful as well in terms of motivation, emphasizing a greater importance of logic, and the mention of Selye's principles helped to maintain clarity in an industry where confusion is rampant.

Thank you to Joanne Sharkey for maintaining Mike's Heavy Duty teachings and recommendations for nearly two decades and for maintaining this alternative to the mainstream approach toward weight training.

Matt McDermott
Dallas, Texas

To read more past Tributes on Mike and Ray, click here.

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