The Mike Mentzer Workout Plan

Who Was Mike Mentzer?

Mike Mentzer was a top IFBB bodybuilder who competed in the 1970s, he won the 1976 IFBB Mr. America, the 1978 IFBB Mr. Universe and even won the heavy weight class at the 1979 IFBB Mr. Olympia. Mike Mentzer stood 5 feet and 8 inches tall and weighted 215 pounds of with rock solid muscle.

What Made Mike Mentzer Different?

Mike Mentzer was called the “Thanking Man’s Bodybuilder”, he didn’t just blindly follow the unscientific traditions that seemed to permeate bodybuilding at the time, which meant marathon workouts, twenty or more sets for each body part, training six days a week, up to 5 hours a day.

Instead he decided to study the problem like a scientist and found that it wasn’t the duration of the workouts that made muscles grow, it was the intensity of effort and if you trained as hard as you could you could not also train long.

What is the Mike Mentzer Workout Routine?

Mike Mentzer used High Intensity Training also called HIT, he called his own version of HIT – Heavy Duty Training. Many feel that Heavy Duty is the best way to increase your strength and muscle mass in the shorted amount of time.

Let’s find more about the Mike Mentzer  Heavy Duty Workout below. For full details on this workout including theory, exercise form, rep speed, etc. watch the Mike Mentzer DVD it’s like having Mike in the gym with you as your own personal trainer.

While many versions of High Intensity Training recommend full body  workouts, Mike preferred to follow a split routine and divide his body into three to four workouts. That saved his from getting too fatigued from the previous day work out.  The need for rest and recuperation underlies the theory of Heavy Duty Training, the logic is that recovery precedes muscle growth which is the ultimate goal.

The exhausted energy would first need to be restored allowing more energy and strength for next work out.

His Heavy Duty Split Routine is divided as follows:

Day 1: Chest & Back: Pec Deck or Dumbbell Fly super set with flat or incline DB press. Close Grip Palm Up Lat Pulldown.

Day 5: Legs: Leg Extension super set with Squats or Leg Press. Leg Curl and Calf Raises.

Day 9: Delts and Arms: DB side Lateral raises,  Rear Delt Laterals, Barbell Curls and Lying French Ppress super set with Dips.

Day 13: Legs: The same routine which was followed in day 5

Day 17: Repeating cycle with beginning from Day 1 i.e. working out for chest and back.

There was no specific rep goal for Mike Mentzer. All sets should be done to muscle failure for as may reps as possible., However, his preference was for 6-10 reps. And on reaching 12 reps with the same weight, adding about 20 percent to the previous weight for the next workout.

His this the most productive workout routine of all time? Why not try it yourself and find out.