The late Mike Mentzer won the Mr. Universe contest in , and he used Mentzer obviously thought high-intensity training a superior way to. The original high-intensity training system gets an update for today’s gym warrior. Duty training system, Mike Mentzer (–) had only one goal. This way the primary movers, the larger muscles of the group, will do. The principles behind Mike Mentzer’s high-intensity workout system. Rest- pause is another excellent method of transcending failure. Divide your body parts .

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The book is available only in Italian; I see an opportunity in an English translation. His workouts averaged less than 30 minutes each, twice a week. Pieter recommended that I read High-Intensity Training: The late Mike Mentzer won the Mr. Universe contest inand he used a high-intensity system. He says that at the time he won, his total weekly workout time was under 2. Mentzer came to high-intensity training after losing a contest and finding that the winner, Casey Viator, trained that way.

He previously had been spending up to 3 hours a day in the gym. The key to tje training is the promotion of intensity over other measures of muscle-building, namely volume, load, and frequency.

Volume entails many sets per body part or exercise. German volume training, for instance, advocates up to 10 sets for each exercise. Load means reaching for the heaviest weight possible. Power lifters do at least some of their training this way. Frequency means getting into the gym often. Some bodybuilders hit the gym literally every day of the week. Mentzer obviously thought high-intensity training a superior way to build muscle.

At a time, just as now, when serious bodybuilders spend many hours a week in the gym, Mentzer did not. He also won a contest against strong competitors using this system.

Then again, he later lost, and besides this, many other factors intervene in bodybuilding besides the training methods of the competitors, factors like genetics, diet, age, and steroid use.

However, as we saw above, the scientific evidence supports high-intensity training. Image below from reference 1 above. High-volume training generally requires more recovery time, which makes sense since more work is done while training. In my own experience, I have had lots of trouble with recovery, often feeling like complete crap two days after my workout.

The linchpin of this system is taking your repetitions to failure. Slow cadence is also important. I thought I was fairly good at eliminating momentum from my lifting, but truly getting rid of all momentum makes the lifts all the more difficult.

There should be no jerking of the weights or using the body to throw the weight around. Mentzer recommended a cadence of 4 to 5 seconds up, and the same down.

Recovery time needs to be increased. When a muscle is subjected to exercise intense enough to damage it, it takes a minimum of 4 days before its strength returns to baseline.

High-Intensity Training, Mentzer-Style

Mentzer trained some of his clients only once a week. He himself trained two to three times a week. Keeping yourself from going to the gym more often may be one of the hardest aspects of this system. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Off the top of my higy-intensity, this high intensity style sounds similar to Dr. Steve, yes, this is almost exactly Body by Science, with some tweaks for bodybuilders.


BBS recommends only the Big 5 or 6 compound exercises, while Mentzer does things like triceps extensions and curls as well. The common denominator with them that is absent from BBS is the extended recovery time. I trianing wait a week, and then do a workout whenever it fits within a 3-day window. This means I lift once every days. Anyone with 6 months of lifting experience should test the advanced protocols. Delta is a result of old people getting in my way between lifts.

I discovered that this meant I needed to rotate which lifts I started with or high-intwnsity the muscle groups in lifts high-jntensity the static rotation never developed. The one-set to volitional failure per bodypart, focus on time under tension rather than reps and infrequent training are all very different mentzrr how I have approached resistance training for the last 20 years. I have neither lost nor gained strength or size and my body composition has also remained stable.

The absence of any gains is not a negative given that my goal is maintenance rather than growth. I have not added a calorific surplus that would enable gains and if I had I may have experienced growth. The lower training frequency is a great companion to intermittent fasting IF since it provides additional non-lifting days well suited to fasting without worry of muscle catabolism.

The lower frequency is also liberating in the senses that rescheduling a workout day does not feel like an opportunity was missed and that the time required for resistance training is wya significantly reduced. Thanks to enabling strict control of movement and very slow movement the risk of injury does appear to be massively lower relative to conventional training. Campbell later switched to a Rippetoe style barbell program under the influence of Brett Osborne.

I just started a different approach. My new routine has me working out 3 times a week. I bench 3x, deadlift 2x and squat 1x per week.

Each day has a back exercise chin-ups or rows and isolation exercises in a rest-pause kind of style basically 1 set and then few seconds rest and more reps to failure.

I hate lifting more than 3 times a week, simply because i have trouble progressing because i cannot fully recover. I also feel that many people do way too many accessory lifts. I feel like working each muscle just once a week as mentzer suggests is too little, unless you are already close to your natural limit. My variation is that I do a basic full body lifting session once a week and a beauty session once a week. The latter being mostly shoulder, forearm, and bicep work that might make me look a bit better.

Each session only takes 30 minutes. You may look big and impressive, but end up unable to utilise your strength in a practical manner in day to day life, picking up heavy objects from the floor or pulling your own bodyweight around. I have nothing to back this up, merely conjecture, so more than happy to be proved wrong by some evidence. Could be true, Simon. My objection to the argument is not its truth value, but that I got along well without a lot of functional strength.

Most people also work sedentary jobs — hardly any ditch-diggers left. The entire HD training is an early marketing myth originally conjured up by one an only Arthur Jones. How is it your body gives a real shit if you leg press lbs or squat ? The only place where functional has any meaning is in elite athletics. Which means to train for the position—the job at hand. Yeah, just all blown up with fake muscles! Mike Mentzer did not develop his body with machines.


He used barbells and dumbbells and was well developed long before he started using Nautilus machines. Well developed meaning he had a world class physique by golden days standards.

It is accurate that he used Nautilus machines later in his career after building his foundation with free weights. Of all Mentzers routines, the consolidated and not the ideal routine is the best routine there is. So I did my first session of thisthis week and will record my progress, 1 set to failure per week 4 seconds up 4 seconds down. Have to say the slow cadence definitely makes it alot more intense I had to drop the weight alot to manage it especially since im going to failure.

Are you guys confident that deadlifts are an appropriate exercise to take to failure? I would not attempt to myself, fearful of what failure could mean for the lower back. Context is that I do have experience of herniating a disc in the lumber spine. Keeps the back much safer and allows for sets to be taken to failure.

Keep tight on each rep and lower the plates to the floor on each rep. Reset and make your next pull.

High-Intensity Training, Mentzer-Style – Rogue Health and Fitness

I was dropping a few hints to you in my previous comments! I started out with a strict Body by Science approach 1 year ago, and have learned one or two things that you may or may not! I found that 2 sets of each exercise, rather than 1 to be optimal: In terms of number of reps: Like you, I have traiming on a 2 way high-intensiyt, although for simplicity I just keep it Monday and Friday so I can schedule in those 2 days as my workout days. Doug takes BCAAs after his workout, also the next morning.

I do this too now: Doug works out fasted, which he seems to have picked up from Martin Berkhan apparently completely draining your muscle glycogen stores whilst working out leads to greater anabolism. I do the same, which necessitates taking 10g of BCAAs just before the workout not whey here as it is better to limit the calories until the post-workout meal.

Progression is vitally important, and should be the yardstick by which you measure your workout. I use free-weights at home, and I bought a set of very small 0.

The Rebirth of HIT | T Nation

As long as I am keeping all the above variables the same and am still able to either add another plate or add another rep, if I added the weight last week then as far as I am concerned it is working! Rob, thanks for the report. Sounds like your workout must take all of about 15 minutes. Thanks for the link to the BCAAs Dennis, I would be very interested to read it if you have another post on high-untensity subject planned.

Last modified: August 12, 2020