Remembrances of Mike and Ray Mentzer

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Mike Mentzer Truly was Heavy Duty
Posted 10/21/03

As a teenager, I was lifting weights attempting to get big. Like most, I started by using the "more is better" volume approach. Due to lack of progress, I was ready to give up, because I just kept getting skinnier! Ironically, it was about the same time that I started to read muscle magazines. I can't remember how or why, but I started getting really interested in Mike Mentzer's articles. They made so much sense and were so logical and honest that it seemed as if he was speaking directly to me! It did seem hard to fully believe at first. Seven years ago, I ordered a copy of Heavy Duty 1, and after reading the first chapter, "Bodybuilders Are Confused"; I was absolutely convinced that this was it.

Of course, I continued adding all of Mike Mentzer's books and tapes to my knowledge base, and I was a long time phone consultation client of Mike's. I could go on and on about my training success while using Heavy Duty, however, the real reason I'm writing this is to share with everyone what type of human being Mike Mentzer was as I experienced knowing him.

Over the years, I spoke to Mike many times over the phone. Mike was always very friendly and took the time to answer any questions that I had, whether I had a scheduled phone consultation appointment or not. But, Mike and I didn't just talk about training; he would ask me questions like, How are you? What's going on in your life? What do you do for a living? What's the weather like where you are? Mike even took the time to listen and gave me some great personal advice, when I was going through a rough time a few years ago, which I understand he did for many of his clients. Mike really cared for his clients on a personal level. That's very rare considering that most bodybuilders of Mike's rank wouldn't give the average Joe the time of day.

Mike Mentzer truly was Heavy Duty in every sense of the term. As a bodybuilder, a writer, a trainer, a philosophy student and teacher, a brother, and most importantly, a very sincere human being who cared for the health and well being of others.

During the past 2 years, I've spoken with Joanne Sharkey many times. At first, I realized that I was calling her, primarily because I missed Mike and needed to speak to the one person who I knew would surely understand. It was comforting to know that Joanne knew me from prior years as Mike's client and to know that Mike shared his thoughts about me with her and considered me his friend.

Thank you, Joanne, for carrying the torch for Mike and Heavy Duty. We appreciate it.

Jon Paris
Ontario, CANADA
* * * * * * *

What Jon Paris didn't mention is that he continually strives to give something back to Mike by spreading the Heavy Duty message in Canada. I know Mike would want me to acknowledge your loyalty and devotion, Jon. Thank you. ---- Joanne Sharkey]

Eternal Love and Respect for Mike
Posted 10/21/03

Even though you are now gone, you will never be forgotten. I first came across Heavy Duty when I was 16 years old (I am 26 now), and it changed my life. I was a troubled kid, always in fights and generally causing mayhem. I had a solid body and the attitude that came with it. Mike taught me that I really didn't know squat and made me reconsider everything. I spent a year in juvenile detention back then, but thanks to Mike teaching me not only how to workout, but how to think, I've been on the straight and narrow for 10 years.

Mike Mentzer made it possible for me to make my life better. For that, he has my eternal love and respect. I'll never forget you Brother, you inspire me to this day!

Todd Martin

"We have enough young people in the world! Go find me the fountain of smart!"

An Awesome Man and a Caring Person - Mike Mentzer
Posted 11/22/02

I usually would not write to anyone, however, in reading all your columns, I thought it was appropriate. I began bodybuilding in 1978 at the age of 16. It was then I read about Mike and his revolutionary ideas. I began my quest to be the best I could be by using his principles.

I want you to realize that this writing is not about bodybuilding, but about life. During this time my mother became very sick with cancer. This went on for 4 years. In that time, I developed a small phone relationship with Mike. Every few months, I would call him and tell him about my progress, and he was gracious enough to help out. In 1982, Mom died, and then 1 year later my father died. I am an only child and this was a large burden for a 20 year old kid to take on - bills, a house, and organizational skills that they never teach in college.

It was right after this that I called Mike and related the story to him. He took a few seconds than began speaking to me like I was his kid brother. I told him the only sanity I had left was my training, and I was having difficulty doing that. He began quoting Ann Rand and some others on philosophy, goals, and consequences. I knew all the road blocks he had encountered since his last Olympia and was rejuvenated to go on, alone, but with confidence and a renewed sense of well being. I could go on and write this story for a long time and tell about how, at 41 years old, when things get rough, I still go back to those lessons I learned as a kid. Mike was a great bodybuilder and leader in that community. He was an awesome man and caring person and that outweighs all else he did.

It really is true that you are remembered not so much for what you did or made but how you related and treated other human beings. Our loss is God's gain. Good luck in your endeavors.

Tony Nicolino
Special Education Teacher
Head Football Coach
Old Heavy Duty Trainee
Maple Shade High School
Maple Shade, NJ 08052

Tribute to Mike Mentzer
Posted 10/07/01

I was 15 yrs. old when I saw Mike Mentzer for the 1st time. He was on the cover of Muscle/ Builder/Power - it was May 1976, Mike Mentzer Mr. America. It was more than the rugged physique and confident look that came across to me; it was like he was talking directly to me. In an instant, I became a bodybuilder.

I followed Mike's career closely. He won the Mr. Universe in 1978, came within a few points of winning the Mr. Olympia in 1979, and in 1980 presented a physique that sent shock waves through the bodybuilding world. In my opinion, he won the 1980 Mr. Olympia!!!!

I did attend a Mike and Boyer seminar, about three months after the 1980 Mr. Olympia in Brooklyn, New York. One of the first questions asked by me, a naive young wanna-be, was the classic, "How big are your arms, Mike???" Mike smiled and answered, "very big !!" Much laughter followed.

Mike was a crusader, someone who spoke the truth no matter what others thought. He walked the walk and talked the talk. Mike Mentzer will always be a role model and hero to me. The politics in the sport robbed us of what could have been our finest spokesman, not to mention the body he would have built in the years that followed.

Rest in peace "Heavy Duty King", your place in bodybuilding history is secured!!!

Bobby Bigone
West Palm Beach, Florida

Motivation from Mike Mentzer
Posted 10/03/01

I haven't lifted weights since high school in the late seventies, but there's one person I remember most when I was lifting -- Mike Mentzer. He was and still is my absolute favorite body builder. Besides having the perfect body, he was strikingly handsome beyond words.

I've been out of shape for years and needed a catalyst to start up to gain my maximum potential again. As God is my witness, the sorrow of his death has all of a sudden motivated me to work out again, eat right and be healthy. I just put up two enlarged pictures of this great man on my bulletin board and fridge to give me the motivation to look as great as this guy did. Truly a life taken too soon, as the good die young.

Al Sanchez
West Hollywood, California

Remembering Mike Mentzer
Posted 9/10/01

I first started having phone consultations with Mike about 4 years ago after reading both Heavy Duty I and II. Mike's books and articles are so above and beyond the rest of the bodybuilding field that I wanted to try the system to a T.

I'm not writing to tell about my own gains from using Heavy Duty, but to pay respect to not only a bodybuilding legend and a genius, but also a very caring and warm human being. Although I never met him in person, Mike treated me like I was a personal friend of his. We didn't just talk about bodybuilding. Mike helped me with some personal problems that I was going through a few years ago, and he even called me once, during that time, just to ask me how I was doing. Every time I called Mike to ask him a question about training, we would end up having a general conversation which once lasted for over an hour. Mike and I had a lot in common.

I have a hard time accepting the fact that I'll never be able to speak to him again, let alone fulfill my dream of traveling to California and meeting him in person. I feel very honored to know that Mike Mentzer thought of me as a friend, and I will forever miss rushing to the store every month to get Mike's latest article.

Rest in peace Mike and Ray, God bless you.

Jon Paris

My Tribute to Mike Mentzer
Posted 9/10/01

In early January of 1993 I had a phone consultation with Mike Mentzer. Only being 20 years of age, and confused about how to train properly, Mike Mentzer explained to me in 60 minutes what no other person was able to do: Logically discuss the fundamental principles of exercise and how to put them into practice. I was astounded by Mike's clear-cut, explicit, confident use of the English language; he was a master at speaking (and writing). After listening to him for a couple of minutes during that phone consultation, I knew, for the first time ever, I was listening to the truth about bodybuilding training.

As the years passed, I would talk with Mike about various training issues and questions - and philosophical issues. Mike would always spend time discussing these topics. I would always look forward to calling him and would really think about and listen to what he said.

After talking with Mike and reading his materials, my eyes opened up. For the first time in my life, I TRULY began to think critically about training and EVERYTHING else in life. (I even began questioning Mike's latest stances on very abbreviated training application. However, Mike's point that training needed to be intense, brief, and infrequent was the bottom line.) I thank Mike for everything he has done. I'm glad I was able to tell him this one of the last times I spoke with him.

I am truly saddened by his passing and will always remember who Mike Mentzer was and the part he played in my life. He truely became a "model" to those who searched for the fundamental truth.

David Hirst

I Will Achieve My Full Human Stature
Posted 9/10/01

Dear Mike,

Even though I never had the chance to meet you, I always felt and still feel connected to you in a special way. Through your ingenious books and articles you have been my companion for many years now and had an immense influence on my life. You introduced me to "Heavy Duty", the only valid bodybuilding theory, and to Objectivism, the only valid theory of life. Thank you so much for saving me countless hours of non-productive volume training and for giving me the opportunity to gain an objective grasp of reality through the brilliant works of Ayn Rand. Thanks to your unselfish sharing of your knowledge with me, I will reach the upper limit of my genetic potential, both mentally and physically. Thanks to you, I will achieve my full human stature. Mike, I will always be grateful to you for that.

May you and your brother rest in peace. God bless you both.

I also want to thank Joanne Sharkey for being very kind and for taking her time for me.

Martin Schumacher, Basel, SWITZERLAND

Posted 9/10/01

In 1985 I had the privilege to meet Mike Mentzer in person at Gold's gym in Venice, CA. I was 15 yrs. old at the time, Mike signed his latest book for me, and a while later asked me for a spot! Me I said, yes you, he replied. I was so proud to aid my idol of many years but equally scared to mess it up. It left a lasting impression on me that will stay with me forever.

Mike and Ray will be missed and never forgotten or replaced. May our fallen heroes and champions rest in peace. P.S. the 1980 winner of the Mr. Olympia was Mike Mentzer.

Franck Lamonica, Upland, CA

Painting a Tribute to Mike
Posted 9/5/01

Paiting of Mike Mentzer by Steve France
Painting © Steve France
Click to enlarge
Though I never met Mike, I was quite upset to hear of his untimely death. He will always be one of my favorite bodybuilders!!!

I am happy to say that this painting of Mike is my best work to date! This is good, because I wanted to do Mike justice and pay my own special tribute to him.

Steve France
London, England

A Message from CASEY VIATOR

Posted 8/5/01

I had the privilege to know and train with both Mike and Ray. We all understood the meaning of training hard and getting worthwhile gains in a short period of time.

Mike had insight when it came to helping people in their training and writing a multitude of articles that helped everyone in the industry. He persisted for years, his brother Ray was also a great asset to the sport, and his rugged physique set the standard for today's monsters in bodybuilding.

The Mentzer Brothers put a great mark in bodybuilding history.

They were both my friends, and I miss them. God bless them both.

Casey Viator

Mentor Mentzer
Posted 8/8/01

Dear Colleagues,

What an emotional shock it was to read your note on your website regarding the loss to the World of Mike Mentzer. My sincere condolences to the Mentzer family and friends regarding their double tragedy.

My partner introduced me to Mike Mentzer's writings and training methods 3 years ago along with the legendary Arthur Jones and Dorian Yates. The results I obtained from Mike's high intensity training were spectacular to say the least! I watched the video of the 1980 Mr Olympia and was in awe of how muscular and proportioned he looked. I then read his Books (such great books!) and through his teachings of high intensity training and fundamental principles of bodybuilding he has become my mentor ever since (the videos, the tapes, the books, pictures - you name it, we've got it!). My dream (and also my partner's dream) was to travel to California and meet Mike and I often joked about how great it would be if we were fortunate to be one of his telephone training clients!

I enjoyed scanning the bodybuilding magazines to eagerly read Mike's writings, commentaries and frustrations on body building, supplements, philosophy and scientific factual information on training. Mike's writings are passionate to the core and you can feel his integrity oozing from the written pages. What is great about Mike is that he does not second hand information and is always in search of the truth. It is such a rarity these days to read writings of an intelligent man with all the misinformation circulating regarding body building. Mike operates in the true religious sense of life.

My partner is a personal trainer who teaches Mike's high intensity training and philosophy methods to all of his clients. My partner does not compromise his training methods learned from Mike with any of his clients. His clients get fantastic results. We have two photos of Mike watching over us in the gym and consider ourselves truly honoured to have been taught by such a great man. I've always wanted to write to Mike and thank him for unconditionally giving so much of himself to my partner and I. So love to you my friend and thanks to a historic genius.

Suzanne Schuh and Nigel Allerby
Brisbane, Queensland

Mike Mentzer
Posted 8/8/01

I just wanted to write to let you know my interactions with Mike and the impact his sudden passing has had on me.

I met Mike back in '79, when he came here to Adelaide Australia for a posing and seminar spot. He was my teen idol and I was in awe meeting him in the flesh, (a memory I have never forgot). Meeting your first pro bodybuilder, especially one as impressive as Mike, was, amd still is, a highlight of my teen years!

What first impressed me upon meeting him at the airport, was how his upper chest (his supposed weakness) jutted out the top of his shirt! Even his flared pants were stretched from those monsterous calves! He kindly signed my copy of the original Heavy Duty book and a picture I had drawn of him.

When Mike resurfaced in the early 90's I called him on a couple of occasions to discuss training and the upcoming Heavy Duty book. I was studying at the time so money was tight, but eventually I fulfilled a dream and became a phone consult client. Naturally, I enjoyed my interactions with Mike immensely, taping each consult to keep as memories.

In the late 90's we kept in touch via email, and it was always a pleasure to hear from Mike. I had written him an email the day before he died, I don't know if he ever read it but it was an effort to defuse the brewing feud between Brian Johnston [I.A.R.T.] and himself. I hated seeing what was going on and wanted to put a stop to it asap.

When Don Lemmon first posted me the devastating news that Mike had died, I hoped it was just another internet hoax, but when I read my other emails it confirmed Mike's death. I felt numb and didn't know what to make of it for over a week, it's a hurt I can't explain but it's painful! Even now I try and not dwell on it too much, otherwise it overcomes me.

Then when I heard Ray also had passed away two days later, it was such sad news that two of bodybuilding's best were gone so suddenly and unexpectedly, just like that. It brought home my own mortality, something like this is so hard to believe, yet will eventually happen to us all. Life will never be the same since Mike and Ray have left us, but luckily I was fortunate to have spoken and met Mike (at least) which will be fond memories I will keep for life!

Like Bruce Lee and his sudden demise, Mike's influence was innumerable to mention on so many trainees worldwide, I for one feel honoured to have known him, as briefly as I did.

Regards, Kevin Dye

Deepest Sympathy
Posted 8/8/01

For someone like myself that has been away from the glitz and glamour of bodybuilding but never stopped training in 22 yrs. To pick up a magazine and find that first Steve Reeves and now the Mentzer boys are dead is both horrifying and unbeleivable...

My thanks in their memory is for the inspiration I received as a boy. My deepest sympathy to their families and friends.

Darren.......a fan (UK)

Condolences and My Experiences
Posted 8/8/01

First let me offer my condolences. It is an understatement to say this must be a very tough time for you. I find it very noble that you are going forward with keeping the Mike Mentzer Company and his dream alive.

I would like to share my experiences with Mike. I started reading about Mike when I first started getting serious about lifting weights in 1996. I bought his book Heavy Duty II and later its predecessor. When I had questions, I found his telephone number and gave him a call. What an experience! This man started not only to tell me about his life and experiences in bodybuilding but about politics, government and philosophy. Not only did he discuss these topics in an obviously intelligent manner, what I remember most is that he did so with PASSION. I remember calling Mike from time to time and being an active listener and finding we shared a common set of values in our political beliefs. Even though we hadn't met at that point, I considered him a friend.

In 1998 I made the trip to train with Mike at the Marina Del Ray fitness club, and he put me through a brutal workout. I still remember the excitement I had in meeting him, and more than just his intelligence, the good humor and "regular guy" attitude he had when we met.

I later trained in a variety of methods, some successful, some not. Mike's death made me very sad. Although I hadn't talked to him in years, it was his influence and guidance that caused physical fitness to be such a large part of my life. I recently began reexamining my training logs and looking back to what worked best. High intensity, infrequent workouts with heavy poundages like Mike advocated is what made me my strongest. I still have the writings he gave me, a picture of us together and my autographed HD II.

I hope that Mike's writings are not forgotten, and that others who trained and learned from him, will carry on the torch. A true pioneer and iconoclast has left us.

Goodbye Mike and Ray Mentzer, you will not be forgotten!

Garth D. Landers

Posted 8/5/01

I would like to take a moment to express my sympathy and utmost respect concerning the passing of two great bodybuilders and mentors in the field of excercise science Mike and Ray Mentzer.

I had always enjoyed the articles and books that Mike had produced but it was not till November of 2000 that I called his office and set up phone consultations with Ray. I had never heard much about Ray and knew little about him, but I was very anxious to get started. I can not begin to say how much of a fountain of information that Ray was and how many of his personal experiences that he told me about that helped me out in my own training.

I find it very frustrating when I hear or read about some so called expert trying to disprove Heavy Duty, so I would just like to share a couple of real life results. One of the first things that Ray told me was to slow my rep speed down, and this was some of the best advice I have ever had. The results in strength were immediate and excellent. My calf raises went up over 110 pounds in about four to five months. I can accurately account for 16 pounds of muscle in about 5 months as Ray's client. I also lost some bodyfat as well as showing tremendous improvements in muscle maturity. Ray also commented that since I am only 24 years old, I have much more potential than I once thought.

I had to attend a funeral two months ago and a lot of my family that had not seen me in about a year all commented on how much size I had put on. And also as a result I have two friends from work that I have put on Heavy Duty and they have both had improvements in the leg press of 100 pounds in two workouts. That is real life success using Heavy Duty.

In closing I would just like to also thank Ms. Sharkey for her outstanding professionalism in dealing with this tragedy. I have spoken with her on the phone and she has been nothing but great to deal with. Mike and Ray will be missed but it is summed up well in the Bible where it states, "For we brought nothing into this world and it is certain we can carry nothing out." Mike and Ray are carrying nothing out but are leaving behind a legacy.

Kevin Coates
Roodhouse Illinois

Posted 8/5/01
Remembering Mike

I was deeply saddened and shocked to hear about the deaths of the Mentzer brothers. Although I have never actually met either of them I have been a huge fan of Mike's work over the years.

I can clearly remember the first time I came upon one of Mike's articles many years ago. The article was entitled "Effort". I was immediately gripped by Mike's writing style and started seeking out information about him and his work. It was then that I came across the Heavy Duty books.

Up until that point I was fanatically interested in exercise and diet and was interested in building my fitness and increasing my lean muscle. I considered myself something of an expert as I had numerous books on the subjects and regularly gleamed the various Fitness, Health and Bodybuilding magazines. Boy, did Mike's books bring me down to size.

I knew next to nothing of proper exercise and how important it was to properly regulate it. I was totally blown away by Heavy Duty 2 in particular and began to make drastic, much needed changes to my own training. However, the book included so much more than just training advice. It made me re-evaluate my own thoughts and start to look at things with a critical eye and not just accept them as so.

Since this time I have become a frequent visitor to the Heavy Duty website and my girlfriend recently bought me Muscles in Minutes which I thoroughly enjoyed. I was very excited about the upcoming video that was to be made and John Little's book on Mike's life as these would have given me a chance to put a face and voice to the man and gain some small insight into Mike's world.

Sadly Mike is no longer with us. I know he will be sorely missed by those who knew and loved him. However, he will also be missed by the thousands of people like myself who were inspired and motivated by his work. I personally never tire of reading Mike Mentzer and seem to pick up something new with each read.

I'm sure Mike's ideas will live on and I'm positive we will start to see the influence he had grow. Slowly but surely more and more casual and competitive athletes will begin using Heavy Duty HIT methods.

Mike is gone but he will not be forgotten.

Carl Phillips, ENGLAND

Posted 8/5/01
I Remember

The truth is, what a long strange trip it has been. My name is Stephen Schaffer, an I.A.R.T. Certified Resistance Trainer. I am 51 years young. I purchased my first bodybuilding magazine in March of 1967 and still have it today as a tribute to my naivety. It is titled, “Muscle Training Illustrated,” with Bill Pearl on the cover and an article titled “The Copy Cat System,” utilizing 10 sets for unmatched biceps development.

Then the Arnold Era. For others like me, claiming the title of bodybuilder, these were murky times. Extremely confusing at best, it seemed like a time before any intelligent life had even surfaced. Sets, reps, supplements, vitamins, minerals and advertisements filled the magazines we all read.

Some were known of the likes of Casey Viator, Sergio Olivia, Arthur Jones and Nautilus machines. Sam Loprinzi of Loprinzi’s Gym in Portland, Oregon had them, but it was as if nobody knew how to correctly use them.

I first met Mike Mentzer in May 1977 after witnessing 2 free seminars held in Portland, OR. A dynamic, driven young champion bodybuilder shocked us all. Yes, I had read of him and his first startling perfect score of 300 in the Southern Cup Bodybuilding Championships, and that he used a low protein diet to attain this tremendous physique. After one seminar, Mike lectured my brother and me for an hour or more, just the three of us. His logic, intelligence, passion and conviction won us over. We chose a new direction that day. We read books from then on, because as Mike had pointed out to the crowd, magazines had to be registered as catalogues. No wonder things had been so confusing.

I have no doubt that Mike has positively affected the thinking of millions of others, like my brother and me. Mike dared to be different, to speak out, an individualist of the most rugged kind, taking on all comers from all angles. Mike Mentzer was intelligent, passionate, candid, noble and self-sacrificing. Never satisfied with anything but the absolute best results. Mike and Ray annealed, pushed, pulled, extruded and forged Heavy Duty into the most practical, productive system possible. Strength and physical development will remain a focal point as long as the human species exists.

Mike set the wheels in motion for many. Raise your glasses high ladies and gentlemen. This is the passing of a man, but not of a philosophy or a hero.

“Make somebody happy, make somebody strong” -- Carlos Santana

Stephen Schaffer

Posted 8/5/01
Condolences from India

This is to tell you that I mail from India - Bombay. I was a great fan of Mike Mentzer. I and my friends read his articles followed them blasted our workouts and had his poster in our Gym. We looked [up to] and admired him so much.

Hearing about his demise, felt surprised and astonished that he left so soon.

Will hope and pray for you all.

Luv and Regards,
Asheem Bakhtawar, INDIA, BOMBAY

Posted 8/5/01
Mike Mentzer

I would like to take a moment to offer my deepest condolences to the entire family and friends circle of the Mentzer brothers. I also wish to let everyone know that Mike's efforts in showing the world that there IS a scientific approach to bodybuilding was just beginning to really catch on. People were finally starting to open their eyes. I for one, have been personally inspired my Mike's theory.

In the last 9 months of using HIT techniques, my strength and muscle mass increases have been greater then they ever had been in my prior 7 years of training. I have started a HIT Club and the club is dedicated to keeping Mike's word and beliefs out there. I for one will continue to preach his words. I already have people in my gym asking how I achieved the gains in such a short time. I tell them, and now I see plenty of them doing nice slow sets and limiting their workout time.

Mike, thank you for all you have done for me and the entire bodybuilding world. You realized you had a theory that made perfect sense, and stuck by your guns despite the big name muscle organizations trying to shoot you down. Well, your efforts have paid off. Your words and techniques will continue to educate the bodybuilding world until YOUR WAY is THE WAY! This day WILL come Mike. God bless, and rest in peace.

John C.

Posted 8/5/01
Dear Mike,

The news of your passing away has come as a great shock to me, as I'm sure to many, many others also. I can honestly state that your writings, and their introducing me to Objectivism, have been the single most significant factor in the forming of my philosophy - and therefore my life! Thank you, Mike.

My thoughts are with your family, friends and associates: I have a great sense of loss despite never meeting nor communicating with you.

Yours sincerely,

John Roach

Posted 8/5/01

This is the worst news I ever heard. I love you Mike.

I owe all of my 50 plus pounds muscle gains in the last 4 years to Mike. His logic and honesty that is needed so much in today's bodybuilding. The world will truly miss him. I'll miss you, Mike!

Thank you, Sal Galeti

Posted 8/5/01
Deepest Sympathy

For someone like myself that has been away from the glitz and glamour of bodybuilding but never stopped training in 22 yrs. Then, to pick up a magazine and find that first Steve Reeves and now the Mentzer boys are dead is both horrifying and unbelievable....

My thanks in their memory for the inspiration I received as a boy....
My deepest sympathy to their families and friends.

Darren.......a fan (UK)

Posted 7/30/01
Totally Shocked

I'm speechless about the death of Mike and Ray Mentzer. This is so unreal. Last year, July 22nd, 2000 I lost my best buddy Denny Gable, who too was a super star bodybuilder, who trained with Arnold several years. We both knew Mike and Ray, and talked to them daily.

My name is Bud Pearson. I had the honor of getting to know Mike and Ray through Denny Gable and Denny Malloy, who used to workout with Mike all the time in the mid to late seventies.

Mike and Ray were super guys with big hearts and a love to help others succeed as they had, because of the love they shared for bodybuilding. Ray and Mike, Denny Gable, Denny Malloy, Bill Grant and myself used to always go places. A favorite restaurant was Germins restaurant in Venice. We could really hog down the food and have a few laughs.

There is so much I could tell about the best days of our lives. It's just so very hard to think right now, because of the loss of two very, I mean, very fine people. They were an inspiration in my life and many lives to bring bodybuilding to the forefront of society, to better educate people on the benefits of dedication and how you can persevere if you don't give up. They both were living proof of everything they stood for.

I left L.A. to go back to Iowa to open a gym, and sent Mike a t-shirt of my club, and he wore it while doing a training seminar in one of Muscle's issues. Until Denny Gable's death, myself and Denny Malloy used to talk about the old days at Golds Gym. With Mike, Ray, Arnold, Bill Grant, Dan Howard, Ken Waller, Pete Grymkowski, Tony Navack, Dave Draper, Bird Song and Kent Keen. And many others. I miss those days. I wish I could relive them. Tons of stories to tell.

To the Mentzer family, I'm so sorry for your losses. Words can never express what wonderful sons you raised, I feel your pain, cause when Denny Gable died one year ago, a big piece of myself died that day. I did get a beautiful letter from Arnold, which gave me a lot of comfort. I know Arnold is also totally shocked beyond belief, as are we all. God bless you Mentzer family. I know someday we will all be united in the presence of the Lord. Once again, I'm so very, very sorry for your losses.

Sincerely yours,
Bud Pearson

Posted 7/29/01
Tragic Death

I am in shock as I just found out 5 minutes ago that both Mentzer brothers passed away. Mike changed my thinking pattern about working out completely and also effected how I think about other aspects of life. It's such a shame that Ray's death had to follow and add to the tragedy. Keep his work alive. He is still the only rational man in bodybuilding. The respect I have for him because of his dedication to the truth about bodybuilding is boundless.


Tim E.

Posted 7/29/01
Mike Mentzer

I first saw Mike Mentzer in a comic book advertising his original Heavy Duty book (1st edition) back around 1978, I was 10 years old. Thank goodness I found Mike's information. I know he saved me thousand's of hours that I would have spent training unproductively and blindly like so many people I have seen over the years. I also learned from Mike that to think critically, one must also exercise his/her brain intensely. Let us not stop where Mike left off, but continue to improve and refine the one and only non contradictory training method on this planet today.

Thank you Mike and Ray for your contribution to our sport.

Mark Roden, Scottsdale, AZ

Posted 7/29/01
Dear Mike,

The news of your passing away has come as a great shock to me, as I'm sure to many, many others also.

I can honestly state that your writings, and their introducing me to Objectivism, have been the single most significant factor in the forming of my philosophy - and therefore my life! Thank you, Mike.

My thoughts are with your family, friends and associates: I have a great sense of loss despite never meeting nor communicating with you.

Yours sincerely,
John Roach

Posted 7/29/01
Mike & Ray: Men of Honor

I would like to say a few words in HONOR of two of the most dedicated MEN in the professions of Body Building, Personal Health, Nutrition, and Sports Medicine.

Ever since I was a boy, I knew the names Mike and Ray Mentzer. Growing up in the 70s, I read the various muscle magazines and watched as my own brother grew through his intense workouts. I was in grade school then, but soon found myself passionately learning about how to properly train my muscles to grow in a safe and healthy fashion. I began intense training myself at age 15, but didn't learn the Philosophy of Heavy Duty until Joanne Sharkey, my Aunt, formally introduced me to Mike Mentzer and his vision of bodybuilding. She had been dedicated to Ray Mentzer for years and was now building alliances with many professionals such as Mike Mentzer and Dorian Yates to create what is now popular across the globe - HD.

Mike's philosophy has greatly encouraged my belief that you CAN build a well defined, sizable body without the use of anabolic steroids. It takes the proper training intensity, nutrition, and mind-set... a true desire to be THAT which you plan on becoming. "Sculpting a body isn't solely accomplished in the gym, you must first be created in your own mind" - that's a bit of my own personal philosophy.

Many years ago I received my first copy of Heavy Duty and shortly thereafter its second edition. I read his dialog and instruction, followed his Journal, and kept up with the monthly articles that were published in the magazines - most recently of course, Ironman Magazine. I read other books that he recommended and broadened those "horizons" exponentially. Simply put, I agreed with his philosophy and incorporated his methods into my fitness regimen. If you really hear what he is saying, you'll understand that Mike isn't in this profession as a single entity any longer. He's not the competitor that he once was. He has proven he was the best then, and now he is here to help others accomplish their own goals at being their best.

I have always had that impression about Ray and Mike. They both were very passionate about the fitness industry and bodybuilding. Their dedication to its participants - no matter what the experience level - has never been less than honorable.

Years later, I can truthfully say that after speaking with Mike personally, while visiting my Aunt in California, he certainly was every bit the man I came to believe in. The way he spoke of family and life as well as the profession, he cemented all the philosophical views that were planted from his teachings. Ray and Mike have been a household name in our family for as long as I can remember. From the pictures I saw as a little boy in those magazines of the 70s, to the business alliances conducted with my Aunt in Florida, California, and across the world, to the plethora of reading material that I now hold as gospel.

Now that they have both left this life here on earth, I am sure many of you who are reading this will agree, that Ray Mentzer and Mike Mentzer will be alive forever in the profession(s) of Bodybuilding, Personal Health, Nutrition, and Sports Medicine. Their way has blazed a course for all to follow. I sincerely thank them for what they have be-stilled in me and my heart goes out to their families. Long live their legacy...

Mike and Ray Mentzer, you are true Men of Honor.

Damon A Palestra
Safety Harbor, Florida

Posted 7/29/01
May Prayer Be My Most Sincere and Deepest Condolence Expression

Rome, June 29, 2001
Feast of Saints Peter and Paul and Day of the Pope

I have just become absolutely shocked and deeply sad with the news of the almost simultaneous passing away of Mr. Mike Mentzer and his brother Ray Mentzer. Mike Mentzer and Ray Mentzer were absolutely exceptional, nice and precious people both as athletes and as human beings. They will be forever in our heart and on our mind as two of the great natural bodybuilders not only of the golden years (the late seventies and eighties), but as two of the best athletes of all times.

Even though I personally don't practice their sport - for personal reasons, and, above all for lack of time - I have always admired bodybuilding - the sport/art - since I was a naive, young, and a bit shy Catholic boy in Rio de Janeiro, now the second city of my Brazil.

I have always followed the most important events in the sport/art, and I deeply regret the lack of respect that so many new people reveal for the wise and healthy advices that Mike Mentzer and his brother the great Ray Mentzer restlessly tried to transmit to the younger generations. Due to their dedication to the natural sport/art of bodybuilding, Mike Mentzer and Ray Mentzer will remain forever as symbols of health, strengh, courage, joy, fellowship and "fitness for life" - as the late Steve Reeves put it in one of last books which I had the honor to receive with his autograph a few days before he passed away. That "fitness for life" that is absolutely necessary for us to live and survive in a healthy way in today's world.

May our merciful Lord receive their souls and bestow on them the everlasting peace of Jesus in the Holy Spirit. May the Most Holy Mary, Mother of God and of the redeemed mankind, pray for them. Per Christum Dominum Nostrum. Amem.

Please, Catholic friends and fans in America, don't forget to see that a holy Mass be prayed for their good souls eternal rest.

Humberto Gomes - ROME, ITALY - June 2001

Posted 7/29/01
Mike & Ray

For more than 20 years Mike Mentzer has been my main source for inspiration each time I went to the gym. Inspirational not only for his great physique, of which he deserved and was robbed of the Mr. Olympia title, but his spoken and written words that were every bit as inspiring as Mike's physique. And despite the relentless adverse and detrimental comments by the Bodybuilding Powers-to-be and their sycophant lemmings, never once did I waver from my belief in Heavy-Duty and more importantly Mike.

It is unfortunate that there is no one to pick up the torch, and I am sad that not only have Ray and Mike's lives come to a premature end, so have Mike's logical and compelling arguments for High Intensity/Heavy-Duty training.

Brian Horton
Bandit Fitness Equipment, Clearwater, FL

Posted 7/29/01
Memorium at

I wanted to express to everyone who was close to Mr. Mentzer how deeply saddened I am to hear of his death. I had a phone consultation with Mr. Mentzer several years ago and he literally changed my life.

I credit him with introducing me to Ayn Rand and Objectivism. Mr. Mentzer instilled in me the respect of logic and individualism.

I wanted to point your attention to I submitted information regarding Mr. Mentzer--and how respected he was, including how he was an ardent supporter of Ayn Rand. Mike was responsible for introducing hundreds, if not thousands, of people to Ayn Rand and Objectivism.

The aforementioned website has a memorium dedicated to Mr. Mentzer. I wanted to submit that information because he introduced so many people to Ayn Rand's philosophy and I felt that the objectivist community, as a whole, should know about his passing. Without Mike's influence I never would have become the person I am now--and I credit Mike with that.

My condolences,
Kevin Cory

Posted 7/29/01
Just got the information about the great Mentzer brothers. Glad to have had the pleasure of meeting them many years ago in their heyday. Great guys, just sad that the publishing and commercial world never fully accepted their methods, except when they could make a profit from it.

Even Casey Viator is from my neck of the woods and I know how much he inspired Mike and Ray. My best wishes to all of the Mentzer family and friends.



Posted 7/29/01
My older and younger brothers used the Mentzer System in the 80s to gain a tremendous amount of muscle. Many times I have perused Mr. Mentzer's web site to read his articles. I am sincerely grieved that a man who was the winner of the 1980 Mr. Olympia was so easily overlooked after his "defeat". I wish I had had the privilage of having met Mr. Mentzer. Perhaps those who control the strings of bodybuilding will feel a pang of conscience at the passing of an uncrowned champion. I pray that the Mentzer brothers found God in their quest for Truth.


Alex Cavuto

Posted 7/29/01
I'll keep this brief, if I can. I first read Mike's articles in 1978 and became an instant fan. He was my hero. I was an idealistic 18 years of age. I was a bit lost and confused at that age. Mike's influence sent me back to school with an ernest commitment and I did well. My life is better for his influence. I loved and continue to love him and his brother Ray.

I never wrote or spoke to the Mentzers but I felt a closeness and sympatico with them when I read their articles. I was glad they had each other and their mutual support. I was shaken by the news of their deaths. I'm frankly glad neither of their parents had to endure their early deaths. I'm sorry they never married or had families. I hope they were reasonably happy in the years subsequent to their heady popularity in the late 1970's.

Mike contributed a great deal to popularizing intense training. He has helped to establish a community of us who can share our love for weight training.

God bless you Mike and Ray. We will miss you dearly.

Craig Castanet, Atlanta, Georgia.

Posted 7/29/01
Mike's Reply

I was shocked to hear of Mike & Ray's untimely death. I had sent an e-mail to Mike a short while ago regarding training with a Heavy Duty routine and how that may effect martial art training. I was really surprised that Mike himself answered my e-mail. He was kind and very informative, I thought it really was a sign of the man he was. Here is someone who is internationally known and respected, a man who receives hundreds if not thousands of e-mails each week, and he took the time to answer me directly. Mike was a class act, if more bodybuilders could demonstrate his level of intelligence and logical thought they would not have the reputations they do today (all muscle, no brains). I did not always agree with Mike's ideas on training, but his conceptualisation and description of these theories were and are hard to refute.

Mike will be missed in the world of physical development training, as one sane voice in a chorus of chaos.

Gene Burke

Posted 7/29/01
I will not be sad that they are dead. I will rejoice in the fact that they LIVED! Thank you Mike. Your legacy will live on.

Greg Roude

Posted 7/29/01
Shocked in INDIA

I live in India and after many months I happened to open one of my favorite sites, and it was shocking to read that the Mentzers are no more. It took a couple of minutes for my tears to roll down, it's really really sad. Only after facing these encounters do I feel how short this life is and how uncertain. May God rest the souls of Mentzer brothers in peace.


Posted 7/21/01
I just wanted to one day shake his hand.

Adam Bragg

I am so thoroughly shocked to hear about Ray and Mike Mentzer's death that I need to write and express my sympathy and heartbreak. Growing up, it was my father who originally introduced me to the world of resistance training, but it was the writings and teachings of Mike Mentzer that honed the love I now have for bodybuilding. Not only where his words inspirational and monumental to me, they served as a guide in developing the way I think and my philosophy as an individual.

I am finding it hard to hold back the tears as I type this. I deeply regret to hear of his demise and know that I am not alone when I say that these great men will truly be missed.

Joel Carlo

Posted 7/21/01
Bye Ironmike From Your Fan in Italy

This is tragic news for me. Mike is the guru of bodybuilding forever!

Gaetano Lombardo from ITALY

Posted 7/21/01
Keep the legacy alive!

Bodybuilding and philosophy lost its two most herculean, knowledgeable and noncompromising advocates with the passing of Mike and Ray Mentzer.

I count Mike and Ray among my most admired and respected friends. As one who spent much time with them in the past 25 or so years, discussing the philosopy of Ayn Rand, the lack of moralism and intelligence within the bodybuilding world, advanced training methods and the potential future of the sport about which both men had unusual, penetrating and well thought out insights, it is with great sorrow that I say fairwell to them.

Although they are no longer on this earthly plane, their memory will be forever honored for the insightful knowledge they shared with a world that lacks leaders of their type. They willingly shared a form of rational intelligence with anyone willing to maintain an open mind (a commodity lacking in bodybuilding).

The intellectual ammunition they expoused changed the lives of countless individuals worldwide. As Mike and Ray would say: "It is a self evident truth that bodybuilding has lost its most philosophical, massive and intelligent individualists."

Keep the dream and the legacy alive!

Joseph Mullen

Posted 7/21/01

I want to express my deepest sympathy on the loss of the Mentzer brothers. It was Mike Mentzer that truly inspired me to train "very hard" and not give in. He will be missed.

I recall a day in August, 1979 when I was 17 years old and was traveling through Venice, California. I stopped in at Gold's Gym and there they were. Mike and Ray Mentzer training. All I could do is stare in awe.

My best wishes to the families and friends of both. I had Mike and Ray on my prayer list for over a year during this past year. God Bless.

Kurt Cannata, CRT
Prescribed Exercise by Cannata

Posted 7/21/01
A Note of Thanks

Shocked, saddened and miffed when reading of the most tragic loss of Mike and Ray Mentzer, I cannot adequately express my condolences to those in greatest need.

Mike was that voice of reason so desperately needed, that I, like millions of others, constantly tingled with anticipation to hear and read.

Thank you Mike; may God keep you warm in his embrace.

Eric Shrieves

Posted 7/21/01
Inspiration from Mike

I want to share a quick story about what happened during a phone consultation with Mike. I had been following what he told me to do and was experiencing good results. It came time for me to call him for an update to assess my progress. Well I did call him, but he was a bit concerned because my gains had stopped. The way that Mike thinks led him to ask some personal questions about my life. At the time I was going through a terrible break-up with my girlfriend and Mike simply asked me about it. We talked for a short time and he gave me some advice. He even gave me the phone number to a counselor that would be able to help me through a tough, tough time. He wanted me to take a couple of weeks off and then call him back to put together a new program. I have not looked back since.

Although I never met Mike face to face, he truly was a person who cared about people not just their training. I don't know anyone else in the muscle world like him. He will be missed tremendously.

TJ (Cleveland, Ohio)

Posted 7/21/01
My Cry from Brazil

My heart is broken, for I gave all my respect and training inspiration to the Mentzer's brothers. Since I read the first article about the heavy duty hit of Mike, wow!! I was terrified with his knowledge on bodybuilding. Even when I bought Schwarzenegger's encyclopedia, I was trying to get the shape, the density, the powerfullness of Mike and Ray - Because they were also powerlifters.

Let the training memories of both brothers echo inside our iron souls. They lived as bodybuilders, and this is the real meaning of being one.

Leo, São Paulo, BRAZIL
Young weightlifter who had admired and been inspired by the Mentzer brothers.

Posted 7/21/01
Tribute to the Mentzer Brothers

I would first of all like to extend to you and to the family and friends of Mike and Ray Mentzer my deepest sympathies.

I can at least be grateful for having had the opportunity to have met both Mike and Ray in the early 80's. Since then I have gone on to become a physician. I was very saddened by this tragic news as I was looking forward to having a phone conversation with Mike for the sheer purpose of getting more motivated to start training again. But now I realize that this will no longer be possible. While I am by no means a religious fanatic, I truly feel that the good Lord loved Mike and Ray so much He decided to keep them for Himself. I also feel that the Mentzer Heavy Duty Legend was definitely meant to continue as noted by the fact that they both lived long enough to complete their portion of the HIT video.

A quote taken from the bestseller Tuesdays with Morrie, "Death ends a life, not a relationship" comes to mind when thinking of how bodybuilding must now think of Mike and Ray, and it is with this relationship that forever lives within all of us fellow Mentzer disciples that we will continue to live our lives in search of the truth. For I now realize that HEAVY DUTY was not merely a training system but also a way of life! So at last I salute you both Mike and Ray for a job so well done that words could never express, as you both will always be remembered and will never be forgotten!

Most Sincerely,
Joseph A. Marotta MD

Posted 7/21/01
Mike, Ray and Me

I've met Mike Mentzer twice. Once as a nervous 20 year old queuing with hundreds of others for an autograph in London, England on a mild November night in 1980 and once in May 2001, 10 days before his death, outside Golds Gym in Santa Monica, California where he took me through a Heavy Duty workout.

I wish to express my deepest sympathy to his family at this sad time. To train with him was an ambition I held for all of those 21 years and I'm glad that I had the opportunity to do so.

I spoke to Ray on several occasions and it is a double tragedy that both brothers died so close together. I found both Mike and Ray to be very friendly and informative at all times. I will miss the personal rapport I had with them both and hope to achieve the same with their successor.

May I take this opportunity of thanking Joanne Sharkey for her help in arranging much of the correspondence I had with the Mentzer brothers.

Jeff Shaw, Leicester, England

Posted 7/21/01
Thank You and God's Speed

I am an exercise physiologist who experienced the same shortcomings that the world of exercise science had taught me. The questions I asked were never answered and my results in the weight room showed why. After reading Mike's Heavy Duty II, everything seemed so clear, and in fact it was. I am a hard-core advocate of Mike's philosophy and my physique for the first time shows why. I was deeply saddened to hear of his death. For we have lost a great man. I will continue to train others according to his philosophy and feel proud to know it is the one true way!!

Michael Dusza (Exercise Physiologist)

Posted 7/18/01
Ms. Sharkey, I appreciate all that you have to do, your taking the time to respond to my last e-mail.

I would like to see Mike's Legacy continue, because in the personal trainer industry, trainers tend to care more about billable hours than results! One of the Court TV shows had one case wherein the trainer charged double his normal fee if the client stood him up; the judge was livid about such egocentric practices and the trainer did lose the case.

It is apparent your company's late founder cared more about results and performance than billable hours, and it is this type of character and integrity that is needed to educate our fellow citizens about proper exercise instruction. Rest assured, I applaud you for your caring dedication to the Mentzer Brothers and their Legacy, during this period of emotional adversity.

At your earliest convenience, please let me know when the HIT exercise video is done so I may spread news of its completion here in Chicago.

With My Best Regards,
Seth, Personal Trainer

Posted 7/18/01
Silence and Respect from Spain

I have been shocked to read the news concerning Mike and Ray Mentzer´s tragic death. I have been practicing bodybuilding for 12 years and they had always been my inspiration. They were the only ones writing with honesty and with great respect to the reader. Mike influenced me to read Ayn Rand. Her books have been of great help to me. Bodybuilding will never be the same. Now, I have no reason to buy any single magazines. I must confess that I was purchasing Ironman magazine only for Mike´s articles.

I do not know what else to say. My dream of meeting them one day is now vanished. At least, my words of admiration and respect will not be silenced. Wherever you may be, Mike and Ray, thank you very much for everything. The hole you have left can not be possibly filled. Let the candles burn for ever in the memory of Mike and Ray Mentzer.

Most sincerely,
Xavier Fontán from SPAIN

Posted 7/18/01
Mike always told me to train the right way and with his teaching I learned a lot of living in the complex way. Mike also told me not to immitate someone's training principles because everybody has to train in nearly exactly the same way.

Yesterday I had an accident with my car on the highway from Regensburg to Munich. I was hit against the reeling of the street when I wanted to go before a truck. The cause of this accident was going on his way with the same speed. I was near death and in this situation I learned, that life can end very fast.

I think that Mike and Ray are amongst us with their minds, because their bodies are still in another stage of energy and acregate. Every human being and animal has to die sooner or later, but our spirit always stays beyond us. With this thinking Mike told me, that nobody has to fear death.

In the last 8 weeks I gained about 20 Pounds of Muscle without much Training. I now train for 19 Years and 17 years of it I train with the Heavy Duty Principle. I also think that steroids are not the solution to gain muscle. They can help you reach your aims faster, but they are unable to push you up to your genetic recources without training and the right way of eating. There are so many Bodybuilders that train and eat the wrong way and hope they will gain mass. That is completely the wrong way.

Best regards,
Hubert Baumgartner
Waldmuenchen, Germany

Mike Mentzer. To me, his name will always be synonymous with inspiration, logic and reason. In the fitness industry, where marketing (and not substance) is king, Mike personified truth. He never cared about a marketing "angle" or what would sell… only what was accurate and honest. Having known him as both a friend and business partner (having published his book Muscles in Minutes), I know this to be irrefutably true.

I first "met" Mike on the phone in 1996 after finding his company’s phone number during an internet search. I was delighted when he personally answered the phone - having been influenced by his writings for decades. After ordering Heavy Duty II, I was instructed (by Mike) to read the book "2 or 3 times" and call him back to tell him what I thought.

Mike Mentzer in the absolute peak of condition at the 1980 Mr. Olympia Contest
Click to enlarge
After making wonderful progress following his advice in the book, I hired him as a phone consultant. During the phone calls that followed, I was transformed into an independent thinker and our friendship flourished. Mike implored me - as I imagine he did all his clients - to think for myself and not to take even his words as gospel. With renewed confidence, I experimented extensively with my training, always letting Mike know what was and was not working.

I am so very thankful for that gift of independent thought. I used to be quite normal in terms of training intellect - always following the latest book or article on exercise - and thinking that this new routine was the secret key to success. Mike freed me from those constraints. He helped me to fully realize that what I knew about the subject was just as important as what anyone else thought - perhaps more - since I had dared to try.

Mike had the uncommon gift of philosophical intelligence. He wasn’t an engineer, looking for finely detailed solutions in computer chips or software code, his brilliance radiated a different light. He could see a clear path to reason and logic where others could see nothing. A conversation with him was always intellectually stimulating - often punctuated with "Now I’ve got it!" and "Yes, that makes complete sense now!" I, and everyone who knew him, will miss that dearly.

For me, Mike Mentzer was a promise. A promise of morally and ethically sound principles that could withstand scrutiny. A promise of belief in oneself and in the greater good of humanity. A promise of conquering greater things than previously thought possible. Mike kept his promises, and improved the world in the process.

I love the man for who he was and what he stood for. Mike Mentzer only touched the world with his fingertip, yet his impact is felt around the globe. Yes, we all now know how to properly train and we’re grateful. But more importantly, we have received first-hand instruction on learning to think for ourselves. Mike indeed, did not "give us fish"… he "taught us to fish." That was his desire in life - and he achieved it ten thousand-fold.

Thank you Mike, and may God bless you. You have made the world a better place.

David Sears

It gives me great sadness to write a missive such as this. Many years ago one of my senior students (Sempai Deshi) informed me as to the great work being produced by Mr. Mike Mentzer in the field of exercise physiology and progressive resistance training. Since that time I have followed Mr. Mentzer's career and the literature and training system he created. In all my years of experience (40 Yrs., Traditional Karate-Do) I have never known an athlete to contribute more to the realm of weight training and fitness than Mike Mentzer. Along with the capable assistance of his brother Raymond, Mike Mentzer produced one of the most cogent forms of resistance training ever known. For this reason alone, they should be admired and remembered by all. However, Mike Mentzer went even further and introduced to the physical culture world the concept of blending physicality and an authentic philosophy. He displayed to all that these two endeavors are very closely related. In traditional martial arts, though the philosophy differs, we have the same concept. To learn one discipline brings about a deeper understanding of the other.

At this point all I can say is I shall never forget the outstanding Mike Mentzer and his brother Ray. Furthermore, I shall never allow their wonderful work to be forgotten by any student that trains under my guidance in future times.

With Respect and Admiration,
Sensei George A. Wilkie, 7th Dan
Chairman American Shotokan Karate Society Staten Island, New York

I was shocked to learn of the untimely deaths of Mike and Ray Mentzer. I had the good fortune of talking to Mike several times over the past 4 years. He was a caring and compassionate man who truly wanted to share his expertise in exercise science with all. What I will always remember most about Mike was his unadulterated enthusiasm. He truly loved working with his clients and was always pushing the envelope to develop and test approaches to anaerobic exercise. Although he may not have always been correct in his assertions, he was such a vibrant thinker and always challenged others to think things through important issues.

In a world stifled by myth and illogic, Mike's honestly, frankness and adherence to rationality will be greatly missed.

Even though I never had the pleasure of speaking to Ray, Mike told me that his brother was valiantly battling renal disease. I know that Mike was concerned about him and would do anything to help his brother recover.

Please accept my deepest sympathies.

Dr. Kevin Fontaine

Thanks, firstly, for allowing everyone to post their thoughts and feelings. Merely wished to add my name to the list; in my experience, Mike did more than any other bodybuilder to present the sport in its very best light, not just refuting the tired old "Bodybuilders have nothing between their ears" cliche, but also providing inspiration of the very best and healthiest kind to so many generations. I can't begin to conjure up the words that would make this terrible loss make sense (who can?), but I would at least direct your attention to the fact that a man who was loved so much, and who inspired so many, has clearly done something with his life that we all would aspire to, i.e. he made a difference. I don't think any of us could wish for a better epitaph.

Yours respectfully,
David Spedding

My trainer told me yesterday of the passing of both Ray and Mike Mentzer. I was shocked but moreso scared. I thought maybe HIT is too hard on the system. But then I thought of Howard Roark, the character in the book; The Fountainhead. Howard chose to believe he was a great architect, before everyone else realized it. So therefore I chose to believe that HIT is the only way to train before everyone else does. And That is what makes Mr. Mike Mentzer a great man. Most people would look at trying to change a world from a way of thinking and passing from this earth before it fully materializes as failure. But Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream that he himself, did not physically see. JFK had a dream of ending segregation that he started and it continues today (In different forms). That is what makes Mr. Mentzer a man ahead of his time. Now he's giving time a chance to catch up. His teachings like any great man will be honoured, followed and built upon respectively. I'm following Mr. Mentzer's principle's. My next show is April 2002, I will keep you posted. I just want to say thank you for the company, but more importantly the ideology you've built, keep up the good fight! Please email me as soon as the memorial fund is set up, so I can send a donation. Thank you.

Michael from Windsor, Ont., Canada

I am deeply saddened by Mike's passing last week. He had been a strong influence on my training and philosophy of life since I first read about him in Muscle Builder magazine in 1975. During trips to the U.S., I had the pleasure of meeting and training with him on a number of occasions in 1993 and '98. His integrity and personality were very engaging and his numerous writings and tapes were a breath of fresh air and reason in the morass of conflicting training information still prevalent today, despite his hard fought campaign to get the truth about productive exercise across. I was concerned for him after our last meeting in late 1998 - he didn't seem as vibrant as he was at our earlier time together and his physical condition had suffered. His untimely death still comes as a great shock. Ray's death, too, compounds the sorrow. I had met him at a seminar he conducted here in 1985. Mike was, without doubt, one of the most influential men in his chosen field, physically and intellectually. An uncrowned Mr Olympia. He'll be sorely missed.

Sean Bowring Melbourne, Australia


I first met Mike at Gold’s Gym in Santa Monica in the mid seventies. I was looking for an outstanding “new” physique star to record and promote through my super 8 posing films and photos. I found not just a star in Mike but also a legend and a friend for life. During a brutal filming session of endless pumping and posing in the hot summer sun at the Marina del Rey Beach or up at Muscle Rocks near Malibu etc., he never complained or asked me "how much longer?". As long as I had film in the camera, Mike would put out 110% effort. It was as if he had a sense of destiny and that I was the one privileged to record his fantastic physique at its peak during the period from July 1977 up to 1980. I shot posing or training moves of Mike on 6 occasions in this period – from the Marina Beach and oil wells to Muscle Rocks, to his apartment for a Heavy Duty training at home segment, plus guest posing for me in Australia. Then I had the pleasure of recording 2 more sessions, both with Mike and Ray together.

Firstly it was a high intensity workout shot in Jim Morris’ gym after midnight after the gym had closed. Then a duo posing session on the Marina del Rey Beach with the 2 brothers followed by a solo posing session with Ray.

Ray Mentzer on the beach in Venice, California
Click to enlarge
I will never forget these times we worked together in California, and without doubt, Mike has been the most recorded and most popular bodybuilder I have ever filmed and photographed over the last 35 years. He was the king – he will remain a legend. Mike’s physique was Herculean yet symmetrical and he exuded masculinity and strength. He was a standout in every way from his huge calves to his massive arms.

Several Mentzer connections with my home of Australia are worth mentioning. Ray Mentzer lived "down under" for a number of years after his retirement from competition. Sadly the diagnosis of his kidney problems forced his return to USA.

In mid-1980 I presented Mike in seminar plus posing in my home city of Adelaide. He brought the house down. Then about 4 months later he was back in Sydney, Australia, for what turned out to be his final contest, the 1980 Mr. Olympia. I had the good fortune to record this event too, which was the last contest for both Mike and his great rival, Arnold Schwarzenegger. The rest is history with Mike placing a controversial 5th. The year before he had achieved a class win, and took 2nd overall to Frank Zane in the 1979 Mr. Olympia.

Mike and I kept in touch by phone and email and in fact he called me just a week before he died to discuss advertising sponsorship of his new Heavy Duty HIT exercise video. This video was shot a few days later with Mike and Ray during a gruelling 5 hour session. Later that night, Mike passed away and tragically Ray died 2 days later. Mike and Ray lived and died as champions. Although both suffered from poor health I never heard a complaint from Mike and he was extremely positive when we last spoke. He told me about all the new projects he was working on.

Mike was a charismatic legend and the 2 Mentzer brothers will always be remembered as the instigators of high intensity, Heavy Duty training. They will never be forgotten. Rest in peace, Mike & Ray – you were the greatest!! You will be missed and remembered by all of us.

Wayne R. Gallasch, GMV Productions, Australia

Goodbye Mike

Tragically, Mike was not yet 50 and seemed to be really perking up after a series of health problems. In a recent email, Mike told me he was developing a new a career as a fiction writer and showed me some of his work. It’s apparent Mike was an excellent writer and likely would have achieved success in his new career.

I’m sure many people who got to know Mike will echo my words. Mike was always very kind and encouraging to me. He really got me to think more critically and to search for principles and mechanisms when trying to explain different phenomena. Such perspectives are invaluable in many different areas and Mike’s influence on people goes far beyond bodybuilding or for that matter even the philosophy that he espoused.

Some people may say that in his most recent training books and articles that Mike went too far and that he was taking a sound approach to an extreme. Time will only tell if that’s the case and points of criticism of Mike’s work are after all recognition of the central role he plays in these debates.

Mike had the intelligence and persistence to articulately challenge prevailing paradigms of training and develop a virtually new paradigm. Few people in any human endeavor are capable of such feats.

Mike will truly be missed.

Richard Winett

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