Heavy Duty Testimonials
from Around the World
THE BEST IS WITHIN YOU -- Posted 10/25/17
Matthew Lavender, Certified UK Fitness and Nutrition Coach
In terms on my own testimonial to Mike, it was 1993. (I was 17 yrs old) when I saw an article in Ironman magazine, (I live in the UK) so we got them later than the USA back then. It wasn't a very long article. It was about the time that Mike had just come back into the PT business. Soon after Heavy Duty© came out. I ordered it via mail order in the UK and had it within about three weeks. I remember the day clearly as the postman had to knock on the door to hand it to me as it obviously wouldn't fit through the letter box. I was in bed at the time and answered the door. Upon realizing what it was, I took the book back to bed where I promptly read the entire thing in one sitting. We didn't have mobile phones back then, but I met my training partner at the gym and handed him the book, which he also promptly read in a day and returned. The next day we both started training the HEAVY DUTY training system and have never looked back since. My genetics never allowed me to compete, but my training partner did and promptly won his first Novice Show training in HD style.
I am now 40 yrs old and have at one time held ALL of Mike’s books. I still have The Wisdom of Mike Mentzer©, and his last book - High Intensity Training the Mike Mentzer Way©. I also have from way back the Heavy Duty Nutrition© short book. Unfortunately my original HD book got damaged in a house move about 10 yrs ago. I also had the original Heavy Duty Journal© and the Heavy Duty Arms© short book as well. I have read them all cover to cover many, many times.
Upon leaving the Police Service in the UK, I trained to be a UK Certified Fitness Coach and UK Certified Nutrition Advisor. What amazed me when I began my training was that the mainstream fitness industry worldwide still succumbs to the "more is better" approach when it comes to weight training. However, we can now see significant studies completed that do in fact back and support what Mike had been teaching all those years ago. I train all my clients who want to build muscle and burn fat in the HEAVY DUTY fashion that I have learnt from Mike's books, and ALL of them have made excellent progress and most have stated that they can't see themselves training in any other way again.
I would like to say thank you to Mike, Ray and of course to Joanne who continues to keep his legacy alive. I have learnt from Mike the best possible way to train the body, but in addition to this I learned to apply logical thinking to not only training but to other aspects of life and for me, this is the biggest gift he could have given. As Mike once said "the best is within you".
Many Thanks for being an inspiring Person.
Certified UK Fitness and Nutrition Coach
TRIBUTE TO THE GENIUS OF MIKE MENTZER -- Posted 9/28/14
Andre Kleynhans - Pretoria, SOUTH AFRICA
My name is Andre Kleynhans, I am 49 years old and I live in Pretoria, South Africa.
My interest in pumping iron started way back during the early 80’s when I was a skinny school boy. I can still vividly remember the feeling of excitement and anticipation each time I was fortunate enough to lay my hands on a copy of the Muscle & Fitness magazine! Never will I forget the impression which pictures of the bodybuilding greats of the time made on me and the sheer rush it caused within the mind and body of a young teenage boy. One of the greats who graced the pages of the magazine with his incredible physique was Mike Mentzer.
I had read about the unorthodox training techniques which Mike and his brother Ray advocated, but this style of training did not have much mainstream appeal at the time, and hence I stuck to the conventional methods of training.
Little did I know that I would come face to face with Mike Mentzer’s HEAVY DUTY™ approach to building muscle again more than 20 years later down the line! A serious injury stopped my weight training efforts during 2003 and after recovering from surgery my lifestyle changed for the worse. My gym visits became more social by nature and my eating habits caused me to gradually gain fat.
In 2013, I finally decided that enough was enough and committed myself to a 98 day body transformation challenge which commenced during January 2014. During this period I linked up with Kevin McNamara, one of South Africa’s bodybuilding legends, as I was in serious need of some training advice and coaching.
I was gearing myself up for long training sessions at least 4 to 6 times per week, but I was soon to discover that Kevin was a true HEAVY DUTY™ disciple who would introduce me to the philosophy and training principles of the great Mike Mentzer.
To my surprise, Kevin recommended only two training sessions per week instead of the more conventional approach which I anticipated. The training routine and approach went completely against my natural instincts and against everything I have been told before.
It took me some time and a lot of reading and discussion to get my head around the HEAVY DUTY™ Principles. I am legally blind and I was ecstatic when I found an accessible copy of Mike’s last book, High Intensity Training the Mike Mentzer Way, on Amazon. Reading this book with various assistive technologies allowed me the opportunity to discover “the road less travelled” in bodybuilding. It opened up a whole new world for me of Mike’s philosophies, exercise science and his incredible insight and experience.
In the meantime, I started training and applying the HEAVY DUTY principles under the watchful eye of Kevin. The training was supported by a balanced low calorie diet and my week on week progress was simply amazing. At the end of the 98 day challenge I have lost around 17 pounds of fat while gaining a pound of solid muscle.
Such was my progress that I decided to enter into the INBA (International Natural Bodybuilding Association) Africa competition which took place on 26 July 2014 in Johannesburg. To my surprise and delight I won two categories namely the Masters class, as well as the class for people with physical disabilities.
To top it all, my results lead to my inclusion in the South African team which will compete at the Natural Olympia in San Diego from 6-9 November 2014. I am currently preparing for this contest and trying to raise much needed sponsorship in an effort to make this dream a reality.
My BEFORE stats 14 Jan 2014:
Total weight - 209.4 lbs
Fat weight - 48.8 lbs
Lean weight - 160.6 lbs
Body fat % - 23.3%
My AFTER stats 04 August 2014:
Total weight - 184.4 lbs
Fat weight - 21.8 lbs
Lean weight - 162.6 lbs
Body fat % - 11.8%
I must admit that I initially found it very difficult to put my full trust in the HEAVY DUTY™ style of training, and I was often tempted to add more sets and exercises to my routine. Being an analytical person by nature, Mike’s principles however made a lot of logical sense to me and I decided to give it a fair chance. After all, the proof of the pudding lies in the eating!
At age 49, I am arguably past my best bodybuilding years and with the odds of building a good physique stacked firmly against me, I knew I had something to prove. While I have obviously not developed a Mentzer-like physique, I managed to make a huge transformation and I am currently probably in the best shape of my life. Employing the HEAVY DUTY™ training system allowed me to win the first bodybuilding competition I have ever entered into and I am now on the brink of competing in my first international competition. A year ago this would have seemed like a far-fetched dream!
Well I guess this is my story. One can safely say that I too have become a believer and a disciple of the Mike Mentzer HEAVY DUTY™ approach. Through my story, I wish to pay tribute to the genius of Mike Mentzer and I hope that it may motivate others out there to reach their full potential.
All Natural Competitive Bodybuilder
Pretoria, SOUTH AFRICA
HOW TRAINING HEAVY DUTY™ TO FAILURE LEADS TO SUCCESS!! -- Posted 7/23/14
Nathan Tebeck, Walla Walla, WA
I can remember at the age of about 19 (2 years into my weight training career) my training partner and I were browsing through a Joe Weider Bodybuilding book and exploring all of the secrets of my bodybuilding heroes, and of course at that time my biggest hero was Arnold. As you can imagine, anything I heard from him was gold, and during my entire training experience I thrived off of 2-hour workout sessions in the high volume manner. Although at the time whether I acknowledged it or not, I was stuck in a rut, I had gained some solid muscle over the couple years I spent training, but it had undoubtedly transposed, I had even considered taking steroids but decided the benefit wasn’t worth the risk.
There was a page at the end of every chapter of this book detailing the sets and reps of each of the top bodybuilding stars (the book was published sometime in the early 80’s) everyone had a listing of no less than five sets of each exercise. We eventually ended up running across Mike Mentzer’s HEAVY DUTY™ listing of sets and reps... and then laughing. “Yea right, like you could make any gains off of only one or two sets, how pathetic!” Of course I knew of Mentzer, but I never really studied his physique or knew his training methods. However after reading his reverse philosophy on training featuring his rest pause methods specifically, I was thoroughly intrigued, plus looking at Mentzer’s physique, he really was ahead of his time! Looking back at him during the 1980 Mr. O, it is truly astounding how much more development he possessed compared to his competitors in the lineup!
But like any irrational thinker that is the average bodybuilder, I took his advice with a grain of salt. Instinctively my training partner and I had always trained to muscular failure and even applied forced reps, it just felt right, so I guess we had that on our side. The reduction in training that Mike advocated is what my body really needed! I reduced my training from a split routine in which I worked out hitting chest and back twice in the week to only hitting them once, but I was still training 5 days a week. I immediately progressed the next week so I realized I was on to something. After months of doing that, I noticed I had no energy after the first two workouts of the week.
Fortunately for me around that time, my training partner had ordered a copy of High Intensity Training the Mike Mentzer Way© book. After reading more in depth about Mike’s HEAVY DUTY™ training, we were nothing but convinced that applying his methods would work for us, and our faith was rewarded! I went from a semi-muscular 200 lbs to a solid 226 lbs after only a few months time of applying Mike’s principles with an 8% bodyfat! My training frequency had been reduced to one time every 4-5 days depending on how I felt recovery wise, and I had never been stronger! My deadlift, Incline, curls, dips, everything soared! Unfortunately just as my training was reaching new heights, I smashed my rotator cuff playing paintball of all things. Instead of resting, in my zeal: I had to continue working out! So a torn rotator led to a torn pec! Even training with the solid form of Mike’s HEAVY DUTY with a preexisting injury was just plain stupid.
So after surgery and a year of recovery, I had digressed to a bodyweight of under 200 lbs! Lucky for me in the past, I had already mastered HEAVY DUTY training, so going back into training, I was able to rehabilitate my injury and gain all of my weight back quicker than before! Not to mention, during that time I was able to get a gym opened and off of the ground in my hometown Walla Walla, Washington in which all of our personal training clients are taught HEAVY DUTY™ HIT! To say that Mike had it figured out is an understatement! Bodybuilding is a science and Mike took all of the guesswork out of productive training for us. There is no reason for everyone to repeat every other bodybuilder’s mistakes!
BEFORE & AFTER
1/2/13 Leg press 600 x 5 reps
8/30/13 Leg Press 950 x 8
10/11/13 Close grip palms up pulldown 220 x 6 reps
3/7/14 Close grip palms up pulldown 290 x 8+2 forced
5/1/13 Weighted dips 55 x 7
12/6/13 Weighted dips 95 x 6
5/5/13 Deadlift 355 x 11
4/16/14 Deadlift 480 x 5 rest pause 1
Whether you are a fan of philosophy or not, you still have to understand that in order to make any kind of measureable progress, you must base your approach on sound logic. The seven fundamental principles (I refer to as the magic 7) Mike lays out for us are anything but magic; they are a result of calculated and precise thinking, and if you follow them to the letter you will make remarkable progress! In my personal journey, Mike Mentzer gave me the confidence in training to be able to become a personal trainer and without his teachings I would have never been able to open my own gym facility and become a business owner.
If you have been searching for the answer to the body you want, it lies within the pages of any of Mike’s various books. I encourage, no—I implore you to learn more about HEAVY DUTY™ high intensity training -- you will not be disappointed with your results!
“Successful individuals view mistakes as valuable tools for self-correction that motivate them to actively seek the knowledge necessary for further mastery.” ---- Mike Mentzer
NATHAN TEBECK - Gym Owner & Trainer
Walla Walla, Washington
STRONG ADVOCATE OF MIKE’S HEAVY DUTY™ TRAINING -- Posted 4/9/14
Kevin McNamara, Owner Kevin’s Gym, Pretoria, SOUTH AFRICA
I have studied and used High Intensity training since the early 1970’s when I came upon Arthur Jones, and I learned of Mike and Casey Viator training with him. I met Mike personally in 1977 and 1978 when he was training for the Mr. Universe at Gold’s Gym. It was then that I started to read and study Mike’s HEAVY DUTY™ training system. It was easy to see that Mike used science to support his theories of Heavy Duty training, and as I studied further, I understood his principles and the logic behind them. It was then that I started to teach all of my training clients Mike’s HD principles and training.
As for myself, I have only been a Heavy Duty person for all these years and continue to be a strong advocate of all that Mike taught me. You can imagine how excited I was when Dorian Yates won the Olympia after training with Mike in the 90’s.
Another trainer I know here and myself strictly use Mike Mentzer’s HD training methods on ALL our students and they are now also Mike Mentzer students – we use no other training method except for HEAVY DUTY.
I have just finished reading Mike’s HEAVY DUTY II: Mind and Body© book for about the 60th time and I love it!!! It still gets me really excited.
If you are a newcomer to Mike’s Heavy Duty teachings, then I strongly urge you to get started on his program now!
For some time now I have been communicating with Joanne Sharkey to let her know that we all appreciate the fact that she has kept Mike’s legacy alive and growing and his books available to all – even here in South Africa.
Kevin McNamara, Owner Kevin’s Gym
Pretoria, SOUTH AFRICA
A REGULAR GUY AND MIKE MENTZER'S HEAVY DUTY REST/PAUSE REPS -- Posted 3/3/14
Robert Leigh, Manchester, UK
I am an ordinary, working man and am blessed to have a beautiful family: my good wife (the better half) and two cheeky children. Weight training is a life-long love of mine. I don’t have any aspiration to step on stage or be super ripped. All I want to do is be as strong as I can be. I train in my dusty garage, have squat stands, rusty iron plates, and a bench.
In 2008, I became interested in Mike Mentzer and studied his work on exercise science. I was sold. Since then, I have always gravitated toward his consolidation routines. Strength and size have always been a fascination of mine, so Mike’s HD consolidation routine, being strength based, is right up my street.
Recently, Kevin Dye, a good friend of Joanne Sharkey and well known to this website, encouraged me to use Mike’s HD Rest/Pause Reps technique, something I hadn’t done before. Mike used this technique in preparation for his contests in the late 70s. This technique involves using maximum poundage for four single repetitions, resting 15 – 20 seconds between each repetition completed, and for the fourth and final repetition reducing the weight by 20%. This equates to one all-out, intense set. This blows the intensity level through the roof.
Taking Kevin’s advice, I decided to include this technique in my training. Barbell squat and bench press are the corner stone of my strength training—they are the bread and butter of lifts. I am currently using the following routine based on the equipment I have available in my garage:
Barbell squat 1 x 4 rest/pause reps.
Hip belt calf raise 1 x set to failure.
Rest 5 – 10 days
Bench press 1 x 4 rest/pause reps.
V-bar chin up or Yates row 1 x set to failure.
Military press 1 x set to failure.
Mike believed that in order for a muscle to become bigger it has to become stronger first, and he was right. By implementing this technique, I am surpassing any previous best. My results have utterly blown me away! My strength and subsequent mass have increased. I am squatting and benching weight that is in new territory, and the majority of my clothes no longer fit me—I need a new wardrobe! Checking through my training diary from 9/12/13 to 12/9/13, I only squatted and benched six times in the three month period; yet my squat went from 130kg to 180kg and bench press from 100kg to 127kg, and I am continuing to make gains. My goal is a 200kg squat and a 140kg bench press. This technique will take me there.
Mike is ever right: train brief, intense, rest ample, eat well, and experience growth. It is simplicity at its finest.
In summary, as a customer myself, I strongly recommend you order Mike’s literature from this website. Learn the facts from Mike, not the fabrication from the magazines. Joanne Sharkey does an outstanding service here, providing efficiently for her customers and keeping Mike’s legacy alive.
All the best,
(Ed: Do not attempt this technique unless you have read and studied Mike’s HEAVY DUTY books.)
THANK YOU FOR TELLING US THE TRUTH, MIKE -- Posted 12/9/13
Andy Nieradko, Personal Trainer – Manchester, Connecticut
Like a lot of HIT trainees, I discovered Mike Mentzer's HEAVY DUTY™ high-intensity training after making a lot of mistakes.
I discovered weight training after losing over 70 lbs when I was 33. I read tons of bodybuilding material. All of it was big on the "no pain, no gain" approach. My body took a lot of the former, but not much gain. From reading the muscle mags (not realizing they're targeted at an audience half my age) I gathered I didn't "want it bad enough." I kept pushing myself harder, and harder, but the injuries and forced layoffs kept showing up more consistently as well. While recovering from one of the many joint injuries and muscle strains, I read constantly.
I vividly remember book shopping at Borders. I picked up a copy of High-Intensity Training the Mike Mentzer Way. Not only was the massive bicep of Mike Mentzer on the cover intimidating, but I had a visceral reaction to the word "Intensity." I assumed, ironically, that this was yet another book that would tell me that I wasn't training hard, or often enough, and that I didn't "want it bad enough." I put the book back on the shelf. Weeks later, I was doing some internet research and stumbled across the name Mentzer again. When I saw that what he was saying wasn't so much train harder, but train smarter, I was intrigued. I went back to Borders (boy, does that date this story.) I devoured that book. It changed everything about my training. Everything I'd read in the muscle mags was turned on its ear. For the first time, I felt like I was hearing bodybuilding truth. I'd never heard any of the "experts" talk about muscle size potential and genetic limitations.
I'm 6'4" with short muscle bellies on long limbs, the idea that if I just "want it bad enough" I could look like Jay Cutler is ridiculous. As I trained for my body type, and maximized my potential with HEAVY DUTY™ training, my confidence grew along with my body and spirit. I got certified as a personal trainer and started my own business. I created a home studio, because Gold's Gym just got to be depressing. Watching people hurt themselves and over-train is completely uninspiring. In the last two years, I discovered I enjoy distance running. I began experimenting with different programs, but they all seemed to tout that familiar "no pain, no gain", train every day, macho attitude. So I came up with my own running programs. I'm not setting any world records, but I've completed two full (26.2 mile) marathons. I did it without injury, and without losing much muscle mass.
HEAVY DUTY™ training has allowed me to be in better shape at 40 than I was at 20. I heard a lecture where Mike Mentzer stated that if there’s one contribution to bodybuilding science he wanted to be remembered for, it was the idea that as you get stronger you don't have to work out more you have to work out less. Thank you for telling us the truth, Mike. You will always be remembered.
“The question you should be asking yourself is not how much exercise do I need, but how little do I require.” ---- Mike MentzerAndy Nieradko, Andy Nieradko Personal Training
MIKE MENTZER'S HEAVY DUTY™ TRAINING LIVES ON!!!!
AND, HIS GENIOUS EVEN MORE!!! -- Posted 11/18/13
by Shanon Boutin, Personal Trainer and Heavy Duty Student - Quebec, CANADA
Well it’s been nearly three years since my last tribute and testimonial to Mike, Ray and their HEAVY DUTY™ training principles, but I have continued to try and spread the word around concerning Heavy Duty™ training and directing others to MikeMentzer.com
It’s the least I can do as a Personal Trainer and High Intensity student to help keep the legacy of Mike and Ray alive!!!
I’ve gone on to compete in two contest for the UFE "Ultimate Fitness Events" in 2012, where I placed 3rd in May of 2012, and all the while using Mike’s Consolidation Routine with four total exercises that used up only 20 minutes of my time with one set to failure, training once every 4 to 7 days I’m now using Mike’s Ideal Routine, training once every 6 to 7 days, sometimes a longer rest period, and still progressing on my reps and weight used. Following are some of my stats regarding my continued progress:
Leg Press from 240 lbs. to 540 lbs.Don’t despair, I encourage everybody and anybody to step up and take the challenge of trying Mike’s and Ray’s HEAVY DUTY™ training so they can see for themselves!
Seated Dumbbell Extension from 70 lbs. to 95 lbs.
Pec-Dec from 100 lbs. to 130 lbs.
In closing, a special thanks to Joanne Sharkey for her continuing efforts and personal encouragement.
Shanon Boutin, Personal Trainer and Heavy Duty Student
HEAVY DUTY™ TRAINING "STILL NOT JUST FOR MEN"
A STEP CLOSER TO THE LIGHT!!!! -- Posted 11/18/13
by Isabelle Sage, Masters Bikini Winner and Natural Athlete - Quebec, CANADA
Since my last testimonial in 2011 to Mike Mentzer’s HEAVY DUTY™ High Intensity training, I‘ve gone on to compete in 3 other competitions, with a switch into the Bikini category, that has turned out to work hand in hand with my genetic potential in a much better way!!!! And, I still continue to use Mike Mentzer’s Heavy Duty™ training with the devoted help of my personal trainer.
In April of 2013, I went on to win a second place in the Masters Bikini Competition! My trainer is SHANON BOUTIN. To my surprise, other competitors asked about my training methods, diet etc. They all seemed shocked by how little I actually trained in terms of days and time in the gym, all that took approximately 25 minutes with only two sessions per week of actual weight training!!!
Here are examples of exercises and how I progressed during my competition prep. These exercises were performed in preparation for the Quebec Open 2013 on April 4th. My Body Fat percentage decreased from 19% to 15%.
Leg press – from 160 lbs. to 180 lbs.I have to thank my genetics for my quick recovery ability and over all progress not to mention Mike’s Heavy Duty™ training for my second place win!!! That being said Heavy Duty High Intensity training does just as well for women as for men, and I feel a step closer to the light of progressive training for health and total fitness!!!
Pull-down – from 40 lbs. to 60 lbs.
Dips – from 40 lbs. to 60 lbs.
Hyper Extensions from 10 lbs. to 25 lbs. plate on chest
With special thanks to Mike, Ray and Joanne Sharkey for her continued encouragement.
Isabelle Sage, Masters Bikini Winner and Natural Athlete
SKATEBOARDING MEETS HEAVY DUTY™ -- Posted 10/25/11
by Peter Henslowe - New York City, NY
I began street skating 4 years and 8 months ago. Judging by how all the pros skate and their achievements, I enthusiastically started skating every day. I made some progress, but unfortunately, it was the most physically demanding period in my life, plus living in a 5th floor walk up and working in one, I suffered enormous injuries. For a total of 3 years, I was clearly overtrained.
As a personal trainer who has been using Mike’s HEAVY DUTY™ training on my clients and for my own training, I remember Mike’s words in the back of my head about when using aerobics you have to be very careful not to over do it. Thinking that possibly I was over doing it, I decided to categorize skateboarding as aerobics, but I genuinely had slight skepticism of how a weight training theory can really affect a sport which could not be further removed from lifting heavy weights and developing big muscles.
As I thought about overtraining and what Mike had taught me about genetics, I crafted a routine to my genetics and recovery ability. I still do not skate as much as I would like to, but I have competed in a game called “skate”, where you challenge another skater in how many tricks you can land versus how many tricks they can land. I have won 20 games out of 20 and lost 2 unofficial games, but keep in mind that everyone I challenged, skates TWICE as much as me. More importantly, I have not sustained one injury since skating HD. Skating HD is also time efficient. This is considered an extreme sport where broken bones and sprains are common place. All of my skate friends have been injured over the past 3 years, but as I mentioned above, I have had not one injury since I implemented some of Mike’s HEAVY DUTY™ principles into my skateboarding.
Mike’s brilliance is really not limited to weight training! I can’t say how fulfilling this has been for me, and I fully expect to flourish with continued success with this. I can’t fully describe how much Mike and his HEAVY DUTY™ teachings have impacted my performance with skateboarding, but I expect it to continue to be beneficial to the point that I will have continued success.
And now for some more good news!! My testimonial letter is featured in the biggest skateboarding magazine in the United Kingdom, Sidewalkmagazine, Issue 180. It will also be available in the USA, and they have their own web site and APP, so if you are a skateboarder and are interested you can look this up. By the way, I have been awarded the article of the month. Joanne, you have inspired me to finally get the job done right, and Mike and you are most deserving of credit for helping me to reach my goals.
RIP Mike and thank you!
New York City
HEAVY DUTY™--THE TRUE LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS OF IGNORANCE AROUND FITNESS/BODYBUILDING -- Posted 9/27/11
by Wilbur G. Colaco - Adelaide, AUSTRALIA
"I remember a saying from an interesting book by Rollo May called Man's Search for Himself - Rollo says, “In today's society the opposite of Courage is not Cowardliness, it is 'Conformity' - People acting like everyone else, without knowing Why or without knowing Where they are going".
I too first started like the rest, following all magazines, books and preaching from fellow bodybuilders in hope to see some changes in my body, until one day my eyes and intellect came upon the bible of training - Heavy Duty by Mike Mentzer. I, as an Environmental Scientist, was so impressed by the intellectual capacity and argument of Mike's philosophy that I at once decided not to be in the "Conformity" league, but to elevate to the next level & follow the Light of a logical synopsis backed by Arthur Jones, Casey Victor & Dorian Yates himself.
My journey into studying and learning the principles of HEAVY DUTY™, bought me from Australia to America, and Joanne Sharkey set me up for in-gym training with the trainer of her choice, John Heart. I was able to experience actual HEAVY DUTY™ training as Mike intended it to be used and as Mike taught in all of his 5 books. I am privileged to have read and understood all of them.
As seen in the photos within this testimonial, I have been using Heavy Duty training and principles since last 6 months ONLY, and you can see the progress I’ve made. (1st Pic 3 months into training, 2nd Pic 6 months into training). Not only am I astonished, but people in my gym, workplace, friends, family members & trainer (WNBF World Champion) are astonished by the progress and transformation they are seeing. And for me, this is only the beginning. I give all the credit to Mike Mentzer and his HEAVY DUTY™ system of training for my success.
I am once again sincerely thankful to Joanne Sharkey and to John Heart for all the assistance and great work they are doing to keep up Mike's work and legacy. God bless you all! Love and Regards –
Wilbur G. Colaco
HEAVY DUTY™ TRAINING--THE WAY TO GO! -- Posted 12/23/10
by Shanon Boutin - Personal Trainer - Quebec, CANADA
I have been training with the Mentzer approach for the past 4 years, and I have found it is truly the best way to train! Some will argue that it is a dangerous way to train and that it is hard on the central nervous system, but they don't realize that by using a full range of motion and at a 4-2-4 cadence you can't injure yourself!! Furthermore by taking sufficient time off between sessions, it allows you properly recuperate, come back stronger and rested!
The first few months that I used Mike's HEAVY DUTY techniques, my loads all went up dramatically and I wasn't cheating!!! Soon after, mass followed, and I gained 10 pounds within 3 months -- naturally at that! When I gained that 10 pounds, I also dropped to 11% body fat! My Deadlifts increased from 180 to 275, and my Leg Press went up from 270 to 450 pounds. The competition date was November 14th, and since that 10-pound gain, I've gained approximately 7 pounds of new muscle mass with 9 percent body fat.
I placed second in the Lightweight Division at the Pro-Gym cup competition in QUEBEC, and it was my first contest so I'm very pleased. By the way, I trained with Mike's Rest Pause technique, and it worked well for me! I intend to compete again in June 2011 using HEAVY DUTY training and hope to share information with you at that time.
As Mike experienced, I also have been criticized and received odd looks from others at the gym when training with HEAVY DUTY™, but I don't let it get me down, because as a trainer and trainee I know differently; the cause and effect is present.
Thankfully throughout the years, many trainers and trainee's have opened up to Mike's approach of training and finally people are starting to stop, analyze how they train, and they are making more rational and logical choices!
As personal trainers and trainees, we all owe a great deal of thanks to both Mike and Ray for bringing us a scientific, logical, rational way to train. And also a very special thanks to Joanne Sharkey's efforts in continuing to promote HEAVY DUTY™ training!
Shanon Boutin, Personal Trainer
THANK YOU IRON WARRIOR -- Posted 12/23/10
by William (Bill) Horton - Edna, TX
For the longest time I labored under the delusion that more was better. I trained 4-6 days a week and on occasion would train twice a day during that time. I lived with constant soreness and fatigue. These factors, I believed were part of the deal. "No pain, no gain" right? Never missing a workout, always experimenting with the latest trend in training routines and the newest supplements. The strength and muscle gains that I craved NEVER came. With an empty wallet and the same question - "Why am I doing this?" - thrived and consumed my mind and logic.
Over the years, I had read of Mike Mentzer in bodybuilding magazines and what I read was not flattering to me. To my own narrow mindedness, I thought he was a loudmouth with a high opinion of himself. I mean; one set to induce muscle growth? Come on, get real!
It wasn't until the latter part of 2008, my friend Darryl Williams lent me: "The Wisdom of Mike Mentzer". To say it was enlightening and refreshing would be a severe understatement. All the myths about bodybuilding supplementation, training routines, and nutrition were blown away. His book explained everything so that even a "chucklehead" like me could understand it. I am delighted to say that I was wrong about the man called Mike Mentzer.
Armed with all the information Mike graciously dispensed, I re-commenced training in January 2009. The following is a sample of my progress within a 60-day period:
Leg Press went from 140 lbs to 400 lbs.To the "high volume training faithful" these numbers may not seem impressive. Keep in mind that I trained once every 4-7 days, plus sometimes taking a few extra days to insure full recovery. Also, my job requires me to work about 60-70 hrs a week. Not once have I de-compensated, my strength levels have never dropped, and my motivation to train has never been higher and still is to this day!
Deadlifts increased 185 lbs to 305 lbs.
Dumbbell Laterals went from 15 lbs to 30 lbs.
Mike Mentzer was to bodybuilding as General Patton was to the military. There will never be another like him. It would have been an honor and a privilege to have met this fine intellectual gentleman and shook his hand.
Mike thanks for your extremely hard work and your unwavering commitment to the science of bodybuilding.
Rest in peace "Iron Warrior." Rest in peace.
William (Bill) Horton
SIX YEARS LATER - 46 POUND MUSCLE GAIN! -- Posted 12/8/10
By Adam Galvin – UNITED KINGDOM
“A rational approach to bodybuilding, one based on an understanding and implementation of the scientific principles of exercise and nutrition, will put you on a more satisfying path of regular progress”. –Mike Mentzer.Back in 2004, I received my copies of the HEAVY DUTY© 1, HEAVY DUTY II: Mind and Body©, Muscles in Minutes©, and High-Intensity Training the Mike Mentzer Way© books along with a personal note from Joanne Sharkey on my order receipt. That night, after reading High-Intensity Training the Mike Mentzer Way©, I could not sleep! An all new high of enthusiasm kept me awake. The logic and rationale of Mike Mentzer’s HEAVY DUTY™ training system was astounding; never before had I read any texts about bodybuilding or exercise that made such an impression on me. Suddenly for the first time, things made sense to me! It was no longer arbitrary guess work; it was there in black and white with valid reasoning from Mike. Unlike many equivocal books I have read in the past, I felt like I had found the holy grail of body building!
That week, I eagerly anticipated my next workout whereby I would start the Ideal Routine© as outlined in the High-Intensity Training the Mike Mentzer Way© book.
The first workout for chest & back was nothing like I had experienced before. I was out of the gym within a third of my previous workout time, however, my muscles felt exhausted like never before. With each corresponding workout, I saw an increase in either repetitions or weight, which led to progress that I thought was unattainable. I started to get questions from other members of the gym about how I was training.
Six years later -- 46 pounds of muscles heavier and significantly stronger in all exercises -- I have been able to reach a bodyweight of 210 lbs at 18% body fat!! All thanks to Mike Mentzer’s HEAVY DUTY™ teachings and thanks to Joanne Sharkey for keeping Mike’s legacy alive.
Mike’s books are much more than just bodybuilding books, they are deep and rich with art, science and philosophy. Each time I reread his books (I’ve lost count) there is always something new to be discovered.
Adam Galvin – UNITED KINGDOM
STRUGGLING TO LOSE WEIGHT? READ THIS!! -- Posted 12/8/10
By Nate Albrecht - Edwardsville, Illinois
“To settle for anything less than certainty about the truth of the ideas guiding you in the pursuit of your goals would be to leave your life literally to chance.” - Mike MentzerI first started reading Mike’s books when I was a junior in college. I had been training with the Weider/Schwarzenegger volume theory, and I was becoming very tired and unable to make strength gains.
I remember sitting in the parking lot thinking, “Gosh, I’m so tired I don’t know how I’m going to do 20 sets today and then go to work.” I would drink NO-Xplode just to have the energy to make it into the gym.
For a time, I actually followed the advice I got in the gym: “Work out six days a week, two times a day, eat more, eat 2 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight, etc.” I was showing up late to work and class. I couldn’t get up in the morning.
After a year of eating too much food, protein shakes, and creatine, I was up to 188lbs at 25% body fat. I am 5 foot 10 inches tall.
In a supplement store of all places, I asked the owner if there was another training system that was different from Schwarzenegger’s system. I was tired of Schwarzenegger’s routine and I wanted to try something new. The owner suggested reading about Mike Mentzer. He said Mike was the opposite of Schwarzenegger, and I might like his ideas.
After two years of using HEAVY DUTY™, I’ve lost 28 lbs. and have made the following progress:
Weight: Down from 188 to 160 lbs. - lost 28 lbs.!And the list goes on! I am stronger in every exercise. I use 8 HEAVY DUTY™ reps (4 seconds up, 2 seconds hold, 4 seconds down) to failure for upper body, and 15 HEAVY DUTY™ reps to failure for legs.
Bodyfat: Down from 25% to 12%!
Concentration Curls: Curling 55 lbs. in each hand, up 20 lbs.
Bench Press: Pressing 190 lbs. - up 55 lbs.
Dips: Up 60 lbs.
Mike said that it is possible for a person to gain 5 lbs of muscle in a year. I have gained about 5 lbs of muscle in 2 years, but I was restricting calories to lose weight and wrongly doing a lot of steady state running thinking that it would help me lose weight.
If anyone is struggling to lose weight, I suggest reducing calories and refined carbohydrates. Do not rely on long aerobic sessions. Long aerobics sessions are counterproductive, because they burn muscle.
John Little said that Mike’s greatest contribution may have been that he gave bodybuilders back their time. With the extra time I have with HEAVY DUTY™, I am able to work a job, attend graduate school, prepare for medical school, and I make progress in each workout.
Joanne Sharkey has told me that Mike would tell his callers and clients that he would rather see them use their time productively by getting into and out of the gym. He would say that one should take a loved one to dinner or to a movie, read a good book, or play with the kids instead of being a “gym rat”.
“My advice to volume bodybuilders is that you discard everything you thought you knew about training, as you didn't really "know" anything; and take a fresh, new, unobstructed look at the subject of productive bodybuilding exercise.” -- Mike Mentzer, Heavy Duty II: Mind and BodyHigh-Intensity Training the Mike Mentzer Way is a book where I feel the authors tell the real truth and that is hard to find.
We owe Joanne Sharkey a lot for keeping Mike’s works available.
Good luck to all with your bodybuilding goals.
--- Nate Albrecht
INTEGRATION OF HEAVY DUTY™ HIGH-INTENSITY TRAINING FOR THE "TACTICAL ATHLETE" IN THE MILITARY SETTING -- Posted 8/12/09
By M.O. - Naval Special Warfare
I first began utilizing Mike Mentzer's HEAVY DUTY™ High-Intensity Training while on deployment back in 2003. I acquired a HEAVY DUTY™ High-Intensity Training book from you back then and read it over and over again. I have very much enjoyed everything about HEAVY DUTY principles. Mike Mentzer presents a well reasoned, logical approach to strength training. His pursuit of efficiency and insistence on doing what works and excluding what does not work provides huge benefits to those in a military setting who must develop strength. HEAVY DUTY also mandates recovery, which again provides multi-faceted benefits to those facing the tremendous demands of the military setting.
The primary benefits of following Mike's protocols are the gains in strength. I have kept an accurate training log book from the beginning. Mike emphasized keeping a log book to accurately record progression. Mike's emphasis on integrity in this discipline speaks volumes about his confidence in his scientific approach. Guys I work with have a hard time believing my workout routine but facts speak for themselves. In the course of just the past 2 years (where I have seen the greatest gains), I have had an 80% increase on Back Squat and Shoulder Presses increased by 65%.
Mike's HEAVY DUTY principles prevent "overtraining" and overuse injuries, while actually facilitating "recovery". HEAVY DUTY principles aren't just "efficient" - they provide an excellent protocol for strength development but maximize recovery. One of the most common, if not the most common source of injuries to those in a military setting is due to "overuse". Knees, shoulders and lower back are the primary joints assaulted by the demands of the job. HEAVY DUTY is an excellent protocol for developing strength and establishing recovery as a vital part of an effective training plan.
HEAVY DUTY principles as explained by Mike Mentzer are an excellent training modality for integration into tactical athlete strength and conditioning programs. Being a member of Naval Special Warfare for the past 12 years has forced me to intentionally evaluate the effectiveness of various workout philosophies. Anyone involved in Fire/EMS, Law Enforcement or Military settings understands the demands of the occupation and that a program that demands daily, multiple sets of movements is also a program that is very time-consuming and rigid. Not only is such a program not as efficient at building strength, but such a program is not always practical or even attainable at times. Mentzer's HEAVY DUTY high-intensity program integrates perfectly into these demanding lifestyles that require tactical training of various sorts.
I am no longer compelled or stressed if I "miss a workout". If military training and/or mission requirements don't allow me to work out that day, I am no longer bothered by that. I can focus completely on the mission. It is another "recovery" day. When I do work out, I have reached full recovery and following Mike's lead, I approach the weights with complete focus and intensity. I still come back stronger and improve my lifts every time.
Mentzer's HEAVY DUTY principles allow me to productively and efficiently increase strength while providing the time and the recovery to concentrate needed energy, time and effort on other aspects of military training and life. My exposure to Mike Mentzer, his philosophies and ideas has had a very positive impact on many areas of my life.
M.O. - Naval Special Warfare
18 LBS. FAT LOSS -- 10 LBS. MUSCLE GAIN -- IN ONLY 3 MONTHS! -- Posted 6/24/09
By Jordan Smothers - Chicago, IL
Hello from Chicago! My name is Jordan, and I would like to share with you my personal progress with using HEAVY DUTY™ high-intensity training.
I started training because of a bet! After high school, I spent 3 years sitting around, playing video games and eating. I had little ambition and there was little that motivated me to get up and do anything. I laughed at my friends who "wasted" their time with school and who read books rather than watch TV.
One night while watching a movie with some friends of mine, I noticed that a particular actor was in great shape. After making a few jokes about how "I could look like that in 6 weeks." We agreed to make a wager to see if I really could "look like that", and I set off on my weight loss journey. I was 5 feet 11 inches tall and about 220 lbs with 25% body fat. After doing some light weight training and a ton of cardio (about 2 hours a day 6 days a week total), I was washed out and sick of exercising. Not only was this way too much work, my progress came to a halt. And after 8 weeks (the amount of time specified for the wager), I had lost 30 lbs! However, I looked flat and still carried about 15% body fat. So I set out to find an easier way.
I then started a high volume weight training program. Actually, it was more of a "namby-pamby" affair. I went to the gym 3 or 4 times a week and worked out until I got a good pump. And after about 8 months, I had only gained about 10 lbs, some of which I'm sure was fat. My workouts were missing something, and I didn't realize what it was until I was online looking for inspirational pictures and found a particular one from the 1980 Mr. Olympia contest.
That's when I found a magazine with an article about Mike Mentzer and his Heavy Duty routine, and I was floored by the sheer sight of this statuesque man! Oh, what I would have given to look like him! But I read he recommended 2 sets one time a week! Was he for real? As I continued to read Mike's articles and books, I began to question my training habits and all my other habits for that matter. And for the first time in my life, I began thinking rationally and logically.
Eventually, I purchased the HEAVY DUTY™ Phone Consultations, and I was able to get a clearer understanding of Mike Mentzer's principles in order to apply them properly to my workouts. Before, I was never sore after a training session until I did a true HEAVY DUTY workout. I then realized why Mike prescribed workouts only once a week! At the start of the consultations, I was 5 feet 11 inches at 218lbs with 18% body fat, but I'm happy to report that I am now a solid 210 lbs with 10% body fat! That's an 18-pound fat loss and a 10-pound muscle gain in ONLY three months!
My strength is skyrocketing and my musculature is better than ever, and I continue to get stronger every time I step foot in the gym. I achieved a 500lbs deadlift, and have maxed the weight stacks on many machines in my gym. I workout every 7th day or less and usually take a 2 week break every couple months. I'm only 23 years old, so I hope I have a few years of growing to do. Numbers are arbitrary at this point, but I will write an updated testimonial in the future. RESULTS ARE WHAT MATTER MOST! I'm healthy, strong, am now a rational thinking person, and there is no greater gift that Mike could have given to me.
I hope this testimonial helps to inspire others, as it would only be a small kickback to the inspiration Mike has afforded me. He truly has been an idol to me and the way I live life. I would also like to thank Joanne Sharkey for keeping Mike's memory alive through www.Mikementzer.com and his work in print for everyone. Also to John Little for the assistance and knowledge I gained during my HEAVY DUTY phone consultations.
Thanks also for passing to me a bit of the flame that Mike lit, so that I too can keep the fire burning brightly!
FINALLY THE RATIONAL WAY TO TRAIN -- Posted 6/14/09
By Jason Felter - Certified Personal Trainer - Wilkes Barre, PA
I was like every other sheep in the heard blindly following whatever was hip in the latest "muscle and fiction" magazine. Training in this fashion always put me to the same impasse in my training. I would gain for a bit, then suddenly stop and be left wondering was there ever a way that would keep me gaining and not in the gym endless, mindless hours a week! What more can I say but, as is talked about in Heavy Duty 2: Mind and Body, reading Mike Mentzer's books have served to enlighten not only my training, but my entire being.
Leading up to me purchasing my first Mike Mentzer book 4 years ago. All of this changed upon my reading of Mike's final written book, High Intensity Training the Mike Mentzer Way. This book changed my whole way of thinking regarding training within the first few chapters. Quickly through my reading, I realized that the exercise orthodoxy is completely wrong not even partially right in their prescription for productive exercise. Upon reading this book, I was convinced that HEAVY DUTY™ training was the way to go, and I quickly embarked on Mike's Ideal routine as outlined in Mike's books.
When I started on HEAVY DUTY 4 years ago, I began at a weight of 176 lbs at 5'9". Now at present day, I'm training on a version of Mike's Consolidation Routine, and I'm residing at the same height, but now weigh in around 210lb. To say that my progress has been dramatic is to say the least! Not only in the weight room am I through the roof on my prescribed exercises, but my entire being is totally changed as a result of Mike's works influence on my life.
Resulting from my first purchase of one of Mike's books lead me to purchase another one, then another, and now today I own and print up every bit of information I can find that Mike ever penned. His works also lead me to the reading of works by Ayn Rand such as the Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged books, which Mike speaks about himself with the highest regards in his own writings. These works in conjunction with Mikes works have put me on the path of enlightenment not only in the gym, but also in the game of life.
Today my life has a purpose; I know what I want and where I want to go and how I'm going to get there. Mike Mentzer has inspired me on many levels and will continue to inspire the rest of my life. I'm 100% that Mike Mentzer's legacy will last forever through his masterfully penned books which are not only physically enlightening but, mentally as well.
Wilkes Barre, PA
HEAVY DUTY BROTHERS FROM "DOWNUNDER" -- Posted 6/10/09
By Gavin Park - Amateur Bodybuilder - AUSTRALIA
I have been lifting weights for well over 10 years now using a high-volume approach to training. When my progress came to a halt, I accepted this to be my genetic potential. I was training 5 times a week for an hour each session, but my body had not changed at all for the past 2 years. I assumed that if I started training more, then the results would come, but I did not reap results.
It wasn't until a friend gave me a copy of the book, High-Intensity Training the Mike Mentzer Way, and he told me to give this program a try. After reading this book, I thought I would give HEAVY DUTY™ high-intensity training a try and start training once every 10 days. The first session was very intense, as I had chosen only 5 big lifts for my program. After the first couple of sessions, my strength went through the roof and my body weight started to increase again.
6 months down the track, my training partner and I are still going strong - gaining in muscle mass and strength with every session we complete. We are calling ourselves the Heavy Duty Brothers from downunder! Following are my big 5 lifts and gains:
The Program I followed for 6 months with great success:
Pec Deck - 6 to 10 reps
With no rest do Incline Press - 2 to 4 reps
Close Grip (Palm Up) Lat Pulldowns - 6 to 10 reps
Deadlift - 5 to 8 reps.
Rest at least 3 days.
Leg Extension - 8 to 15 reps
With no rest do Leg Press - 8 to 15 reps
Calf Raise - 12 to 20 reps
Rest at least 3 days.
Dumbell Laterals - 6 to 10 reps
Rear Laterals - 6 to 10 reps
Barbell Curls - 6 to 10 reps
Tricep Pressdowns - 6 to 10 reps
With no reps do Dips - 3 to 5 reps
Rest at least 3 days.
Leg Extentions - 8 to 15 reps
With no rest do Squat - 8 to 15 reps.
Calf Raise - 12 to 20 reps.
Rest at least 3 days.
Go back to Workout 1 to repeat the next cycle.
Below are my lifts used just to measure my strength increases. I did these lifts at the start of the program and then again 6 months later to measure my strength increases within that 6-month period:
Before Mike's Heavy Duty Program 6 Months After Using Mike's Program Deadlifts: 140kgs x 8 reps 200 kgs x 8 reps (60 kg increase) Bench Press: 100kgs x 8 reps 120 kgs x 8 reps (20 kg increase) Squats: 110kgs x 8 reps 160 kgs x 8 reps (50) kg increase) Shoulder Press: 70kgs x 8 reps 100 kgs x 8 reps (30 kg increase) Dips: Bodyweight x 8reps 10 kgs x 8reps (10 kg increase)
As you can see, my strength has gone through the roof and my muscle mass has also started to increase. I've included a photo of me and my training partner, Brian, who is also using Heavy Duty.
If it was not for Mike Mentzer and his wisdom, we would still be in the gym 5 days a week going nowhere!
[ED. Gavin Park is wearing the blue shirt and his training partner, Brian, is in the black shirt.]
IN 10 WORKOUTS - LOST 2 LBS. OF FAT - GAINED 8 LBS. OF MUSCLE -- Posted 6/9/09
By Christopher -West Yorkshire, ENGLAND
Since I was about 15 years old, I have kept myself in decent shape over the years training with weights but never with the intention of competing. I actually heard of Mike's HEAVY DUTY™ training system many years ago, but sadly I never applied it. Recently I decided that I wanted to get into the best shape possible. I purchased two of Mike Mentzer's books, because I wanted to learn more from him about HEAVY DUTY™ training. From what I read in Mike's books, I decided to use the Consolidated Routine allowing a 7-day rest period in between sessions. Each workout lasts less than 20 minutes. I have had 10 of these workouts totaling just 200 minutes of training with the following improvements in weight/reps:Before & After Stats:
Dips: 8 reps with my bodyweight - Now 10 reps with 30kg hanging from my belt (30kg increase)
Leg press: 130kg for 15 reps - Now 200kg for 15 reps (70kg increase)
Cable machine curls: 60kg for 9 reps - Now 80kg for 9 reps (20kg increase)
Wrist curls: 30kg for 15 reps - Now 90kg for 12 reps (70kg increase)
I have lost 2 pounds of fat and gained 8 pounds of muscle during this time, and every workout has seen increases in either weight or reps or both. I haven't looked and felt this good for years and with so little time spent in the gym! Several of my friends have switched to Mike's HEAVY DUTY™ system and are having similar results. Before, results always seemed like a random unpredictable thing using the mass of unscientific methods offered in the bodybuilding magazines. Mike's reasoning is scientific and logical, and the results speak for themselves!
I cannot recommend Mike's HEAVY DUTY training system highly enough; you owe it to yourself to try it!
Christopher - West Yorkshire, England
105 LBS. OF FAT LOST WHILE GAINING 10 LBS. OF MUSCLE -- Posted 2/6/08
Edward Alves - Ontario, CANADA
I have always been the "big kid" everywhere I went. Even my parents would ridicule me thinking that it would motivate me to lose weight. In high school, I dabbled with weights and lost a lot of weight but still was not where I wanted to be; then I got married and life became easier, and well, I got very fat. Last year, I weighed 354 LBS and with a shirt size of XXXL and waist size of 54 inches. I was very big and disgusting.
I joined the YMCA and had a membership for over a year but never went to workout, because I just could not find the motivation!! I read every kind of book and was determined to go, but I never did.
Last November, I joined a gym close by the house and hired the in-house personal trainer. I worked out for the whole month of November and December without seeing any results, so I stopped using him as my trainer. I then hired another gentleman who is an amateur bodybuilder, and he taught me about my dietary needs. I immediately began to see changes where no one else did. I set my goals small - one inch at a time. His workout consisted of two hours a day for four days. I was seeing development but was spending far too much time in the gym.
Just before the summer of 2007, I ran across a book that caught my eye, High-Intensity the Mike Mentzer Way© written by Mike Mentzer. I read the book about his HEAVY DUTY™ high-intensity training, and I thought this cannot be true, this cannot work, but then realized, hey for 20 minutes per workout (40 minutes a week), I will give it a try. I did and stuck with it for 6 weeks. The development and gains that I saw were remarkable in that 6-week period! Weight just seemed to melt off me and muscle started to show up. My workouts are so intense that I find I need to eat more on those workout days just to maintain my energy level in order to accomplish my normal everyday activities.
Just two days ago on January 23, 2008, I got on the scale and it revealed that I dropped 105 lbs of fat while gaining 10 lbs of muscle! I am so happy!! I have gone down from a size 54 waist to a size 38 and from a XXXL shirt down to a size XXL shirt - I still like them a little baggy. Lol
EDWARD JULY 2006
EDWARD JANUARY 2008
HEAVY DUTY™ is by far the best workout program that I have ever done and my gains have been so fast. Joanne Sharkey, I want to thank you for keeping Mike and Ray Mentzer's legacy alive, and I hope everyone looks at bodybuilding with an open mind and checks out what could give them their best gains - HEAVY DUTY™. As Mike Mentzer said:
"My advice to volume bodybuilders is that you discard everything you thought you knew about training, as you didn't really "know" anything; and take a fresh, new, unobstructed look at the subject of productive bodybuilding exercise."
--- Mike Mentzer, Heavy Duty II: Mind and Body
I've included some pictures as proof of what is stated in this testimonial - the proof is in the pudding.
BUY THE BOOKS -- Posted 10/8/06
Brian Blinstrup, Chicago, Illinois
I recently read Heavy Duty II: Mind and Body book - and once I picked it up, I could not stop. Interesting, enlightening, and most of all, intelligent are the words that come to mind about this book. The sport had only one true genius, and that was Mike Mentzer. My one regret is that I could not become one of his clients. It would have been an experience beyond belief. I truly idolize him. I now have Heavy Duty I, Heavy Duty II and High Intensity Training The Mike Mentzer Way in my library. These books are my bodybuilding "bibles".
I squandered my youth with a host of personal problems, and countless training mistakes to boot. Combined, the two caused me to quit bodybuilding for many years. At age 40, I began to pursue bodybuilding again, only this time with intelligence and wisdom - I had bought Mike's books, and it all became clear! If only I had followed the teachings of Mike in my early adult life!
Thanks for keeping Mike's legacy alive. His teachings will live forever.
NO ILLUSIONS-38-POUND GAIN IN 4 YEARS! -- Posted 6/10/06
Paul Skinner, MS - Registered Dietitian and Licensed Nutritionist, Certified Personal Trainer
During the past three years, I have been honored to write articles on nutrition for Mike's official website – www.mikementzer.com. In addition, I'd like to submit an updated testimonial showing my personal progression in muscle gains. I had written previously that at age sixteen I had made little or no progress with the volume training approach. After reading about Mike, I stopped overtraining - and at age 18 after using the HEAVY DUTY training program, I went from 165 to 180 pounds and could bench 350, squat 550, and deadlift 550.
I used Mike's basic Ideal (Principled) Routine and then later his Consolidation Routine. I gained 28 pounds of muscle in one year - with measurements as follows at age 41, at 5' 6" tall with 15% body-fat:
June 1, 2003 June 2, 2004 Weight: 174 lbs. Weight: 207 lbs. Chest: 43" Chest: 46" Neck: 16 ½" Neck: 17 ½" Bicep: 16" Bicep: 17 ½" Waist: 33" Waist: 34 ½" Thighs: 25" Thighs: 27 ½" Calves: 16" Calves: 17 ½"
I experienced a 38-pound muscle gain with 15% bodyfat in 4 years!
June 1, 2006 Weight: 212 lbs Chest: 47" Neck: 17 ¾" Bicep: 17 ¾" Waist: 35" Thighs: 28" Calves: 17 ¾"
These are all cold measurements using a precise tape measure I purchased at a health food store so that there would be no slack in the tape or the tendency to angle it to give the illusion of greater girth. I will be 44 years old this month, and I can certainly see that my consistent use of HEAVY DUTY methods all these years has paid off enormously!
[To read a new Tribute Article posted by Paul, click here]
MIND AND BODY -- Posted 6/10/06
Will Maruszczak - Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
I love to train - I mean I REALLY love to train! I'm not a bodybuilder, nor am I too interested in body image. I'm more interested in the functional purposes of lifting weights. I think of it as "soul building" -- a strong mind leads to the desire for a strong body -- and the result is a strong soul.
Because I believe in objectivity, after reading High Intensity Training The Mike Mentzer Way, I felt obligated to put it to the test and decide for myself if it works. And I'm a believer in absolutes -- in order -- in the one theory of muscle growth, because it is logical and because it works. I had tried EVERYTHING, every possible way of training: Volume training - 10 sets of 10 reps, 5 sets of 5, 3 sets of 10 etc. You name it - I've tried it. But I never really noticed much of an improvement considering the amount of time I was putting into my training. To borrow a term from the business world, my Return On Investment (ROI) was considerably low … not a good use of my time.
In my first attempts to utilize the principles put forth by Mike, I reduced the number of sets and exercises I was doing - and I started seeing some results. But the truth of the matter is that I was still doing too much training, too frequently. Therefore I reduced the number of exercises I was doing, to the multi-joint lifts- squats, deadlifts, benches, and chin-ups. My deadlifts went up from being barely able to lift 135 lbs to reps with 225 lbs!
The same with squats. On a 3-day-a-week routine, I was finding that I was tired all of the time and really lacked enthusiasm in the gym, so of course my progress ground to a halt. It wasn't until I read The Wisdom of Mike Mentzer and did more research, happily discovering that he recommends a Consolidated Routine of 4 exercises (deadlifts, squats, dips, and chinups/close-grip lat pulldowns), did I realize I was STILL overtraining.
After further refining my training by reducing the number of sets to 1 and increasing the days off in between to 5 (now 6), and sure enough, my lifts have started going up. The following reflects my progress:
Deadlifts: 225 lbs to 265 lbs for 11 reps. Squats: 215 lbs to 245 lbs. Dips: 25 lbs to 45 lbs Chinups: 7 reps Bodyweight: 152 lbs to 190 lbs (38-pound gain in bodyweight)
Talk about a ROI!!! The results have been nothing short of extraordinary! My bodyweight has skyrocketed in less than three years – rapidly enough that my mother-in-law felt the need to pull my wife aside one day and ask her if I was "taking something" to make my muscles bigger!
I am particularly fond of "The Wisdom of Mike Mentzer", which I've read cover to cover several times. You know what I've noticed? That when someone finally understands the theory of HEAVY DUTY, it all makes so much sense. No matter how one trains, in order to continue to grow and progress, one will eventually have to reduce the amount of work they are doing. I love HD training, I have done lots of training over the years and never before have I felt the way I do after a HD workout; my heart is pounding, my legs are wobbly, and I can feel a huge chemical reaction going on inside. I'm tired for a couple days afterwards, I don't seem to see much in the way of improvement, but then I'll wake up one morning and my muscles feel TIGHT and swollen, like they're about to burst, almost as though I just had a good "pump" workout, and my arms are bursting out of their sleeves! I love workout days. I wake up knowing what's coming, I'm excited, I'm electrified, I feel alive!! I know that even if I seem to make no gains, I inevitably am continuing to build my soul. I will always train this way, because it's SO MUCH FUN!!!! I LOVE TO TRAIN!!!!!
A humble but enthusiastic student of Heavy Duty,
810 for 23 REPS ON THE LEG PRESS -- Posted 6/10/06
Peter Card - Lynn, Massachusetts
In memory and pay tribute to a man so deserving of it, I want to say thank you Mike Mentzer for all the valuable information and truth we now have through the HEAVY DUTY writings. I have been using the HEAVY DUTY training methods since 1992, but the newest books have helped me out a lot (HIT The Mike Mentzer Way and also The Wisdom of Mike Mentzer). I'm making my best gains, since I got and read these newest books!
On April 30, 2006, I did 810 for 23 reps on the leg press, and yes, they were full range reps and the seat was on the 1 setting. Because of the new books and Mike's advice in them, I am growing like a weed and my confidence is a lot higher now too - so thank you for keeping Mike's works available on www.Mikementzer.com and his legacy alive!
HEAVY DUTY HIGH-INTENSITY TRAINING: THE IRONCLAD TRUTH! -- Posted 6/10/06
Gerry Lefurgy - Natural Bodybuilder - Chilliwack/Fort St. John, British Columbia – CANADA
Weight-training took a hold of me when I was an impressionable 16 year-old. As the typical story goes, I started buying muscle magazines and hoping someday to emulate the physiques of the stars.
' The pictures that I liked the most were the classic black and white photos of Mike Mentzer in Gold's Gym or such in the late '70's and early '80's. Formidableness personified, he ground out rep after excruciating rep against the weights. Mike's writing ability in his columns also struck me as quite articulate. Mike's writings didn't rely on the assumption that the reader was gullible and/or naive enough to believe that simply because one has won bodybuilding titles that that constitutes expertise on the theory of productive exercise science.
Instead, Mike conveyed a sense of logic and non-contradictory reasoning that simply wasn't present in any of the writings of many other bodybuilding authors. While their work may have been useful, those who did not properly comprehend and thus acknowledge high-intensity exercise as an exacting science, (which directly flows, as Mike would write, from medical science), lacked a non-contradictory foundation for their arguments. In short, I could sense something very powerful and true in Mike's arguments that I couldn't quite put my finger on.
At the start, I was on a high-volume training program, and I labored away in the gym. As I progressively got bigger and stronger over the years, I noticed that I was not able to continue making gains in lean muscular size and strength by continuing to work out with the same exercise high-volume and high-frequency. I adjusted by decreasing these and every time I did, I noticed that my ability to generate intensity in the gym increased dramatically and so did my progress. I had stumbled upon the golden triumvirate of exercise science, albeit, in a halting and ad hoc manner.
It was only when I received as a Christmas present, High Intensity Training: The Mike Mentzer Way (Mike's final written book), did I fully discover and understand the seven basic fundamental principles of high-intensity exercise. Armed with this knowledge, my training partner and I took to the hills and were blown away by our progress! At 5'7" and 175 pounds, following are some of my current poundages after 18 months of properly indoctrinated HIT:
BEFORE AFTER Squat: 345 for three reps 375 for five reps Leg Extensions: 180 for eight reps 265 lbs for eight reps Dips: BWT.& 40 lbs for 3 reps BWT & 75 lbs DB around waist 4 to 6 Reps Front lat pulldowns: 180 lbs for 8 reps 240 for 7 reps Univ. Machine shrugs: 300 lbs for 6 reps 405 for eight to 10 reps Calf Press: 600 lbs for 12 reps 800 pounds for 10 reps
I obviously lost bodyfat and replaced it with lean muscle tissue, so my weight didn't change as it was kept stable by a simultaneous loss of fat and increase of muscular growth. My peers have noticed that I look leaner and more cut, yet I weigh the same as before. Obviously, then, I have acquired new muscular tissue, which I didn't have before I started HEAVY DUTY properly, in response to all those who say that HEAVY DUTY HIT only makes one grow stronger, not bigger.
At some point, I'll be moving on to Mike's Consolidation Training Routine as outlined in The Wisdom of Mike Mentzer: The Art, Science and Philosophy of a Bodybuilding Legend. High-intensity training methods have enriched my whole life as a human being. I never got the chance to directly thank Mike for that, and I was as saddened as anyone when he and his brother Ray passed away five years ago. However, I feel that as long as there are bodybuilders who have benefited from Mike's HEAVY DUTY high-intensity training, commence to train hard, have integrity and give of themselves, then Mike's legend lives!
The theory of high-intensity, anaerobic, bodybuilding exercise is not true because I or anyone else, no matter how many might agree, say it is true. It is the fact that the logic of the theory is unassailable which makes it true.Gerald Lefurgy
-- Mike Mentzer (HD II: Mind and Body book)
SKEPTICAL PERSONAL TRAINER SEES RESULTS! -- Posted 6/10/06
Dimitri Kalkanis - Personal Trainer - Whitestone, NY
I must say that when I first read of Mike's HEAVY DUTY high-intensity training routine, I was a major skeptic. I could not fathom how working out so infrequently and with such little time in the gym could be so effective. However, I was desperate enough to give it a try as my “volume training regime" was getting me little gains and, in fact, it was working against me.
When I began the HEAVY DUTY workout in February of 2005, as outlined in Mike's book, I honestly thought that it would be a waste of time. Nevertheless, I was willing to devote some time to it, as my usual training method had failed to yield any substantial results. Also, my "education" as a personal trainer completely contradicted Mike's theories.
After only using Mike's HD method for one month, I saw the results that were promised - but these results were never delivered by my previous volume-training method.
First off was a dramatic change in my strength. My chest fly with dumbbells was 60 pounds for about 8 reps on my first set prior to employing Mike's system. After only two workouts, it increased to 75 pounds! A 15-pound gain after two workouts!
My legs (always a weak point) produced far more dramatic results. Before, the most I could squat for 12 repetitions was 225 pounds. After only four workouts, the weight I could move rose to 270! An amazing 45-pound gain! The best part was that I actually had to increase the rest between workout sessions, which, of course, meant more rest/recovery time.
I use Mike's HEAVY DUTY system to this day. I no longer work for the franchise gym I used to, as they do not like the fact that I encourage my clients to actually put more rest time in between workouts. In fact, instead of referring those clients to the supplement center of the gym, I always told them to buy Mike's books instead! Now, I have all private clients, and they couldn't be happier about the results they have achieved utilizing Mike's system.
I'm a skeptic at heart, but I have seen first hand, the results of Mike Mentzer's training method, and I recommend it to anyone that is serious about building their physique and ultimately, their health.
Dimitri Kalkanis, Personal Trainer
20-POUND MUSCLE GAIN & 10-POUND FAT LOSS IN 2 MONTHS! -- Posted 6/10/06
Mark Holloway – LONDON, U.K.
My name is Mark Holloway, I am 40 years old, and I have been using Mike Mentzer's HEAVY DUTY Consolidated Routine outlined in The Wisdom of Mike Mentzer book.
Within two months, I have gained 20 Lbs of muscle, and I also lost 10 lbs of fat in the process!! I know it is muscle, because every day I used a “Bod Pod" and tanita machine which measures lean body tissue. Who would have thought that training once every seven days, performing only one set of two exercises in a workout, would have yielded such great gains?
Try telling this to other gym members, and it always invokes different responses, aggression, or genuine interest. In any case, I don't care, because I'm getting results. What is really exciting is to think of where I'll be in about 2 years time - I can't wait !!!
With every workout I am stronger; sometimes I scare myself with the weights I'm using now, especially the deadlift, which to me is the “King of the gym". If you don't deadlift, you have not exercised, it is so grueling, demanding, and yep, rewarding.
WELL DONE, MIKE MENTZER! RATIONAL THINKING RULES!
Thank you Joanne Sharkey and John Little for The Wisdom of Mike Mentzer book.
Mark Holloway, London
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