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Mike Mentzer Training Program

Mike Mentzer was no ordinary bodybuilder standing 5'8" and competing at 218 pounds of rock hard muscle it is little wonder that he won the many coveted bodybuilding titles that he did. Since Mike started training on a regular basis with his brother where he always believed in maximum intensity when doing a set.

But towards the end of his competitive career Mike was doing personal training for some top athletes like the up and coming Dorian Yates. In his own words he said that he soon discovered the kind of intensity he insisted on was not producing the required results, 5 or 6 sets per body-part was simply too much.

He then changed his HIT (high intensity training) to only include one or two sets per body-part, which got a lot of criticism at the time until followers of this type of training started to see results. Mike believed strongly in forced reps and peak contraction for a few seconds at the top of the movement.

Mike says it is all about intensity so that a maximum effort is always put into every set you do. He often included supersets in his workout in an attempt to turn up the intensity but he always stressed that a muscle needs to fully recover before it can start growing.

The example of Mike’s workout listed below which you will see often only has one set per body-part would need a day’s recuperation so that the muscles were fully recovered by the time he goes back to hit another body-part. He explained that full recovery will always precede any growth of a muscle.

The routine listed below is done twice a week with a full days rest before doing the next workout, which would be Back, Shoulders, Traps and Biceps also done twice a week with a day’s rest after the workout.

Mike Mentzer Workout

Leg extensions 6-8 reps ONLY one set
Leg presses 6-8 ONLY one set
Squats 6-8 ONLY one set
Leg curls 6-8 X 2 sets
Calf raises 6-8 X 2 sets
Toe presses 6-8 ONLY one set
Pec Deck or D/B flyes 6-8 ONLY one set
Incline presses 6-8 ONLY one set
Dips 6-8 X 2 sets
Pushdowns 6-8 ONLY one set
Dips 6-8 ONLY one set
Lying triceps extensions 6-8 X 2 sets

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