By Joanne Sharkey

New 2019 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.

UPDATED 6/10/19

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

Thank you for joining us in loving memory of Mike and Ray Mentzer as we celebrate their lifetime accomplishments and all that they represented as the “men” they were and not just their bodybuilding accomplishments.

When Mike left the bodybuilding competition community, he went on to reveal the genius that he was through his continuous research and studies looking to improve upon his HEAVY DUTY™ high-intensity program – always checking his theories and looking to improve upon his works. He continued the evolution of HEAVY DUTY™ right on through his final written book “High Intensity the Mike Mentzer Way”. Here it is 18 years since they are gone, and HEAVY DUTY™ is still drawing in bodybuilders of all ages worldwide.

As his legacy continues, it proves just how much his works are valued as newcomers and long time supporters still seek out his wisdom. To say that he impacted productive exercising is putting it mildly. He is truly a LEGEND.

"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

All too often I write more about Mike, but this year I want to speak more about Ray in a brief summary of some of his accomplishments outside of his bodybuilding competitions and titles.

Ray Mentzer went in a different direction than Mike did when he no longer competed. He traveled the world conducting seminars and guest appearances. Ray owned a gym when he moved to Australia, and also had a gym in Redondo Beach, California. Later, Ray developed a keen interest in the rehabilitation of injuries. Ray did his Post Graduate at the Los Angeles College for Chiropractics and received a Certificate of Completion in Chiropractic Rehabilitation.

Ray also attended the University of Florida Center for Exercise Science and was accredited for completing the MedX Strength Testing Education Program which demonstrated his competency for operating the MedX Strength Testing equipment. There were some people (even Doctors) who could not pass this course. These MedX machines were not those found in the gyms today, but rather they were computerized state of the art diagnostic and rehabilitation machines founded by the Late Arthur Jones. What incredible machines these were and they had lasting results on rehabilitating the patients.

Ray was one of the best in this field. What good are pieces of equipment without the knowledge of knowing how to diagnose and treat patients with varying injuries? I was able to witness the patients’ progress, because I was the Administrator for Ray’s 5 clinics at that time. Having a lumbar problem myself, I was treated on the lumbar machine, and when I read my progress graphs comparing my strength and range of motion, I was astounded by the progress I made.

We also had a separate room filled with the original Nautilus equipment that patients would “graduate” into after completing their MedX protocols. Ray hand chose each piece for the benefit of the patients. It was quite an experience to see how these people fully recovered from their injuries.

There is just far too much to say about Mike and Ray Mentzer – they offered so much to so many people and asked for so little in return.

For me, it was an honor to develop our profound relationships and a privilege to continue on with the Mentzer Legacy these past 18 years!

With Appreciation to each of you for your support and loyalty,

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


New! TESTIMONIAL FOR A HERO -- Posted 6/10/19
By Brian Killigrew
Colorado, USA

When Mike Mentzer burst upon the bodybuilding scene in the mid 70’s, I was immediately impressed, not only by his herculean physique, but by his writings. They were quite revolutionary for the time. He taught intense, brief, and infrequent workouts which was pure heresy to the bodybuilding orthodoxy. Over the years, Mike’s writings got even more intense, and awoke something in me, a belief in myself.

When Mike discovered the philosophy of Ayn Rand, I learned about logic, reason and the importance of thinking for oneself. The combination of thinking for oneself and Mike’s Heavy Duty™ system of training was just what I needed in my life.

Brian Killigrew Posing
Brian Killigrew
Applying Heavy Duty™ principles changed my whole outlook on training. The results spoke for themselves as I was finally able to add muscle to my skinny body. I loved the intense workouts as they forced me to focus all my energy on not only each set, but on each rep. No longer was the gym a place to do a boring, hour-long workout, it became a place to wage war. Yes, it was hard, but the results were almost immediate. I grew stronger, and with it, my self-confidence grew even more.

Mike’s theories helped my training enormously, but it was my thinking that he changed the most. Not only did I learn the correct training theory, I learned the correct philosophy to apply it. Mike made training exciting for me again!

When I turned 38, I started thinking about being 40 years old. Most people hate turning 40, mainly because of the way they look. I didn’t want to be one of those people. I wanted to challenge myself and decided that I would enter my first bodybuilding competition at age 40.

Now, Heavy Duty™ took on a whole new meaning for me. I imagined myself training like Mike would, like a warrior. My whole persona changed, and the brief and infrequent workouts became even more intense. People started noticing me at the gym.

Living in New York City, I entered the Metropolitan Bodybuilding Championships, formerly the Mr. New York City contest, in the Mens over 40 Masters division. I finished in fourth place, and I have a big trophy to remember the occasion. Not bad for a skinny kid from The Bronx.

Mike is truly one of my heroes because he changed my life, both my body and my mind. I had been working out for years, but until I found Mikes Heavy Duty™ system, I never thought about entering a bodybuilding competition. It is one of my proudest accomplishments.

Fast forward 22 years. At 62 years old, I was still training regularly. My wife and I live in Colorado, and we drove to Denver to see a bodybuilding contest. On the way, I got a frantic call from my doctor telling me that I needed heart surgery. I had recently taken a stress test and was told that I had failed badly. Just days before this, I was training heavy and had no pain. There was no sign of trouble, but trouble there was!

A few days later I had open heart, quadruple bypass surgery. It is hard to describe the intense pain I felt after the surgery. I spent five days in the intensive care unit (which I don’t remember), then ten more days in a hospital bed of hell. It was brutal.

I had a moment of clarity while I was in an opioid drug-induced state for the pain. “Brian,” I said to myself, “This is serious. You can’t accept this condition once you get out of here. You must set a goal, a goal that is as big as this pain. Something to strive for that no one else would do.” The answer came quickly, “In less than a year, I will enter the bodybuilding show I just saw in Denver.”

In the condition I was in at that time, this goal seemed impossible. I had lost 35 pounds, my muscles were almost gone because my body had consumed all the protein from them. My arms were probably about 12 inches around. It would be a difficult road ahead.

I finally left the hospital after 15 days. For the first two months, walking was the only thing I could do. Then I started cardiac rehab: treadmill, rower, etc. In the middle of this, I finally went back to the gym. My first set was a machine bench press loaded with all of ten pounds. But, that first rep was glorious! I was a shell of my former self, but I knew I was on my way.

I was highly motivated and started growing quickly. After six months, I had an epiphany. I was alone in the gym doing leg presses, still thinking about what I had been through, and that voice came back. “Brian, are you going to let the best of your life all be before surgery; are your best workouts all behind you? My brain shouted “no.” I put two more 45’s on the leg press. This would be my heaviest leg press ever, 807 pounds! Could I do it? My mind was like a laser. The weights never had a chance. Eight reps.

Less than a year after my surgery, I entered the Rocky Mountain Bodybuilding Championships, in the over 60 Masters division.

At the night show, I posed to the same music Mike had posed to in the 1980 Olympia, “Fanfare for the Common Man.” I became alive on that stage and my posing was right on. I took home a big second place medal. I may be the only person to ever have entered a bodybuilding contest after open heart surgery.

If it wasn’t for Mike Mentzer, his philosophy, and his Heavy Duty™ system of training, I would not have had the mental fortitude needed to do the nearly impossible. I wish I could thank him in person, but I believe that our stories help keep his spirit alive.

Brian Killigrew
Colorado, USA

By Steve Speyrer, “Mr. North America 2019”
Louisiana, USA

I had the pleasure of meeting Mike at his Seminar in July 1980...right before his last Olympia. Mike was very kind to me and broke the mold as being very honest and intelligent.

Steve Speyrer Posing
Steve Speyrer
Mr. Universe in Dec. 2018 – Age 52
I’ve met him and his brother Ray many times, and they were always very nice to me. Every question I had was met with one thing I admire the most...”The Truth”!

I asked Mike...why do I train like you...but look like Frank Zane and he replied - “Genetics”!

I started training at the age of 10 in 1977.

Over the earlier years, I tried High Volume Training, but I found that HEAVY DUTY™ worked much better! I learned so much from Mike’s principles and philosophy. Aside from the value of what all I learned from HEAVY DUTY, as far as productive exercise was concerned, one of the biggest things was that Mike taught me to "THINK" and to not be afraid to Challenge the Mainstream Views of things. Not just in Bodybuilding, but in Life in general. I learned to never be afraid to “stand on my own” and to turn my back to the crowd. TO BE AN INDIVIDUAL!!

Mike said: “In order to lead the orchestra you must first turn your back to the crowd.”

I hope my testimonial will help the aging bodybuilders to keep on going.

My new competition is “Time”! Onward to Las Vegas in Dec. this year!

Steve Speyrer, Mr. North America 2019
Louisiana, USA

New! STILL PROGRESSING, MAY 10TH, 2019 -- Posted 6/10/19
By Jozef Janotta, Business Owner – Management Consulting and Import/Distribution
Slovakia, Europe

Jozef Janotta Before
November 2017 March 2019

(ED: If you want to read Jozef’s previously posted testimonial, you will get the full impact of his incredible progress and determination to reach his goals. Click Here to read his 12/9/18 testimonial.

Let me post a short update on my progress. Since last time, we have made some changes to my diet and workout. My goal has been to stimulate maximum mass while recovering after my knee surgery. Through my Heavy Duty™ consultations, I have learned much and have continued to progress.

My left leg has recovered, and I have been lifting greater weights than before the surgery. The workouts have been far more challenging. The level of intensity is much greater just as Mike recommended. We are working with John Heart to maximize my muscle mass and so my workouts are extremely hard and short at the same time. On a week-by-week basis, we notice gains which have made me put away some clothes that don’t fit me anymore. Below are statistics on selected exercises with before and after figures being a year apart.

Before surgery (Apr 2018) Latest Aug. 25, 2018 Latest
Front Squats 154 lbs. 10 reps 198 lbs. 9 reps Dumbbell Flies 59.5 lbs. 70.6 lbs. 7 reps
Back Squats 209 lbs. 3 reps 220 lbs. 3 reps Bb Incl. Presses 110 lbs. 1 rep 132.3 lbs. 1 rep
Pulldowns 143.3 lbs. 7 reps 176.4 reps 2 reps

My current weight is 208.6 lbs, which is exactly 38 lbs more than in October. According to the estimate of body composition scales (Tanita), I have gained 18 lbs of muscle mass with small accompanying increase in bodyfat. My waist increased by 4.62 inches.

I really enjoy the process of using Heavy Duty and having a personal trainer coaching and teaching me, I am feeling like a bodybuilder getting ready for a contest! Having Mike Mentzer’s Heavy Duty™ teachings and philosophy which guide our steps, I have made good progress with consistent effort and total commitment. Every consult John surprises me with new adjustments, which I have not heard or read before.

Another important factor is motivation; while seeing “regular” people around me declining with their condition and looking at me like I am the crazy one, because I bring my own food and don’t eat that candy. Being in my forties, I see John as an inspiration who at his age keeps training hard and is a role model also for me. He keeps encouraging me to improve from workout to workout.

I appreciate what Joanne Sharkey does; she supports and cheers me up. Joanne keeps Mike’s legacy alive by keeping this website functional, including the store and providing the consultations together with John.

What I value about Mike’s Heavy Duty™ System is that it respects individual genetics and does not make one imitate others. Mike has taught us specific principles which when applied can help any person actualize THEIR genetic potential. Mike said often “Be the best you can be”, and I am on my way to becoming the best I can be.

Jozef Janotta
Slovakia, EUROPE

By Francisco Soares

Hello, I am here to demonstrate my first thanks to Joanne Sharkey for upholding this Heavy Duty philosophy created by Mike. I believe more every day that the results will always appear - both in the mind and in the body - because it is something unique that needs to be balanced.

I am a lover of bodybuilding, and I have been practicing in this sport for 17 years. I've always been behind the information out there and tried to increasingly specialize and have a thorough knowledge of everything that involves this world of bodybuilding. But, it seems that on training really I did not learn anything, except I always had a lot of information about Joe Weider's methods, and other coaches, but nothing really true! I managed to get gains and evolve, but I always knew I lacked something else, so I was stuck with the same training routine always.

It was about 2 years ago, I started to research more about bodybuilding systems and philosophies, and I came across Arthur Jones' HIT, but I did not discover it before because of the lack of information that we do not have in Brazil with few books, few articles. I liked Arthur's HIT, but it made me very exhausted at the end of training and tired during the week.

I continued to research and research ... I already knew by name “Heavy Duty” system, and I knew who Mike Mentzer was but I had very little information. You see, I'm Brazilian and the English books always were difficult to understand while I was researching, so never I had a deepened knowledge of its system and its philosophy of training. I found that once we read Heavy Duty, we do not believe that it is efficient, but then this is the problem we read once and never practice it, later I realized that we had really had only a general knowledge. I found that if we delve deeper and study Mike Mentzer’s HEAVY DUTY™ theory and practice of Heavy Duty we would gain the knowledge of using his program successfully.

I have two books by Mike, the “High Intensity Training THE MIKE MENTZER Way” which I have to translate it for my benefit a little at a time. I also have “The Wisdom of Mike Mentzer”. Mike's “High Intensity Training the Mike Mentzer Way” HEAVY DUTY™ method is a masterpiece of the genius of his training philosophy, and a lot of valuable information, especially because I really did not know anything about training. This is certainly the most rewarding book I have read about training.

Mike’s teaching and philosophy together with his brother Ray have built the best training system and the best philosophy to follow! Through his 49 years of life, we have gained 1,000 years of solid and true information. This flame of Mike’s will never go out, and in 100 years people will still speak about him and will train the Heavy Duty way.

Thanks Mike, always walking and taking one step at a time! As we speak here in Brazil, "Joanne continues in this footprint." Thank you.

Francisco Soares


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

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