Mike Mentzer’s Workout: What Are the Principles Behind His Schedules?

Mike Mentzer’s Workout: What Are the Principles Behind His Schedules?

Mike Mentzer, the professional bodybuilder from the US who impressed everyone with his intense workouts and the way he competed during the 1970s and 1980s, had some very strong principles to back up his training schedules. Born in 1951 in Ephrata (Pennsylvania) and passing away just 50 years later, Mentzer emphasized the concept of ‘Heavy Duty’ training.

During Mike Mentzer’s career, he won competitions such as Mr. Universe, Mr. America, and Mr. Olympia. The bodybuilder focused more on short but intense workout sessions instead of long workouts. He was a strong believer in the idea of training with complete physical effort in order to make his muscles grow.

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What are the ‘Heavy Duty’ basics?

The basics of the Heavy Duty program aren’t quite easy to understand by anyone, but the good news is that they’re well established. Here they are:

  • Always maintain the proper form
  • Rest-pause is a great way to transcend failure (yes, failure will happen at some point)
  • Push the sets past failure with stronger reps and negatives
  • Go for the full-rep failure in the case of the six- to none-rep range and try to grow stronger and stronger along the way.
  • Schedule two workouts for your body parts and let a pause of 48 hours between those workouts. For instance, you can perform workout A on Monday, B two days later, A for Friday, etc.

What is the ‘Heavy Duty’ tip sheet?

If you want to train similarly to how Mike Mentzer did it, feel free to take these tips into account as seriously as possible:

  • Train along a partner, and don’t be ashamed to assist each other in going beyond any failures.
  • Do the last warmup with about 75% of your working weight and halt the process before reaching failure
  • Don’t hesitate to use pre-exhaust supersets.

Feel free to leave us your thoughts in the comment section!


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