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Ray Mentzer
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MotorFed

California, USA

Dr. Darden,

I was wondering if you had any more stories or insights on Ray. I feel that he is extremely overlooked by many and often wonder why? He had a great physique and from what I also read was a very nice, intelligent person. Just wondering if you could shine a little extra light on him.

Thanks
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DTS

I had heard the opposite... that he was kind of a jerk. Yes, what was he really like Dr. Darden?
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Ellington Darden

Motorfed,

Matter of fact, I do have some neglected Ray Mentzer stories and photos that I'll be using in the New HIT 2. I'm working on this book now and it will be available in the fall of 2005.

Ellington
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ZEZ

Dr.Darden,
You mentioned that Ray was one of the strongest men you ever trained.Despite not reaching the same heights as his brother,do you feel he had even greater potential?
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NeuroMass

ZEZ,

I don't think Ray could have been genetically better than Mike physiquewise. Mike has better muscle shape and proportion than Ray although I must admit that Ray was BIGGER or can be a lot BIGGER than Mike. I rememeber than even Mike was quoted as saying that at one time he cannot beleive how BIG Ray became. I think that was after he trained with Arthur Jones in the early 80's. As for strength I read once that during the mid 90's before he was diagnosed with his kidney problem he (Ray)was able to squat 900 lbs. DRUG-FREE!

PEACE.
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noone

New York, USA

When I meet with Mike Mentzer a few years ago, he said Ray had been living in Australia. I have the Mentzer HIT video with the "bonus material" and Mike and Ray are sitting at a table talking for a while.

Bret
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HeavyHitter32

Agree with Neural.

Mike always displayed better shape and symmetry.

However, for sheer size, Ray had more potential. Also, I don't believe Mike's arms ever got bigger than around 18.5", where as Ray was able to crack 20". Also, Ray was three inches taller than Mike --- an advantage for his size in this case too.
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marcrph

Portugal

Dr. Darden

You made my day! Many Thanks! The release of your new book in the Fall of 2005 is anticipated. I've read almost all of your books, starting with "How To Lose Body Fat"(a classic), and ending with "The New High Intensity Training."

I've enjoyed your accounts from days gone by, especially about the Quonset Hut. I was wondering if there was any forthcoming accounts of the days when many athletes came to Deland, and trained at the Quonset Hut.
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Ellington Darden

Marcrph,

Yes, there will be more stories about the DeLand Quonset Hut days in the New HIT 2.

Ellington
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eintology

California, USA

*Only because you guy's are interested in Ray Mentzer, and Mike Mentzer's name came up simultaneously.... I did meet a woman a few months ago, she came up to me actually (I know, I know), because she recognized the style in which I was training as familiar to her! And she told me that she had trained with Mike Mentzer for several months...

...Now this is not me talking here, as that is not, nor has it ever been my style, so please don't castigate this if you know otherwise, and I sincerely hope you do. I am only repeating what she said, as her comment took me slightly off guard. However I have to say, the woman did seem somewhat insightful. After I merely asked her how that went for her, training with Mentzer and all? Without hesitation, and with no apparent ax to grind whatsoever, she calmly told me he was one of the most unhappy individuals she had met in her entire adult life. Now again, I did not in any way, shape, or form bait, that sort of response. I was interested more in the training aspect, as I was not asking her with the intention of baring his child. I was however slightly curious about her comment, but for an entirely different reason. It was more because I had read he was an avid follower of the philosopher Ayn Rand, and I was wondering if someone could have a sense of contentment if that philosophy were carried to it's fullest. As they say in basketball, "No harm, no foul."

Erik
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noone

New York, USA

I meet with him a couple years before he died. He seemed OK. I know he constantly had battles/arguements with people on Heavy Duty. I was told by the front desk attendent at Gold's Venice that he was kicked out, but didn't go into detail. I met him at Fitness Forum in Marina Del Ray. Same place that his video was shot. It had a different name in the video. I am fortunate to have meet with him. I thought for sure I was training to failure before I meet with him. After I met with him I realized I was not even close. It was a great learning experience.

Bret
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BRUCELEEWANNABE

Florida, USA

Ray squatted 900 w/o drugs? No Way Jose! Don't believe it for 1 sec! The drugs wrecked their bodies. Look what happened to them! They were popping pills like they were vitamins. Outright crazy!
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BRUCELEEWANNABE

Florida, USA

Quonset Hut. Never have read about this. What was it?
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marcrph

Portugal

BRUCELEEWANNABE wrote:
Quonset Hut. Never have read about this. What was it?


A metal building in DeLand Florida. Inside was a high intensity training Paradise. Can you just imagine, hot, damp, sweat-filled air, low light, the room filled with prototype Nautilus machines. The sounds of humongous weight stacks moving, made possible by top-flight athletes, and in the middle was none other than Arthur Jones orchestrating the taining. This was the epicenter of high intensity training then. I wish we had an epicenter today to experience that atmosphere of high intensity training excitement! Anyway, I can't wait to read about this in Dr. Darden's new book.
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NeuroMass

BRUCELEEWANNABE wrote:
Ray squatted 900 w/o drugs? No Way Jose! Don't believe it for 1 sec! The drugs wrecked their bodies. Look what happened to them! They were popping pills like they were vitamins. Outright crazy!


BRUCELEEWANNABE,

I don't deny the fact that Ray did steroids during his competitive days and that may have contributed to his health problems. Anyway he did 900 lbs. squats much much later in fact this happened during the mid-90's when he was preparing for a comeback and was planning to join the MASTER'S OLYMPIA but unfortunately it was derailed when he later on was diagnosed with KIDNEY problems. Anyway I was just relating what I read in an interview he did.

PEACE.

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NeuroMass

BRUCELEEWANNABE wrote:
Ray squatted 900 w/o drugs? No Way Jose! Don't believe it for 1 sec! The drugs wrecked their bodies. Look what happened to them! They were popping pills like they were vitamins. Outright crazy!


BRUCELEEWANNABE,

I don't deny the fact that Ray did steroids during his competitive days and that may have contributed to his health problems. Anyway he did 900 lbs. squats much much later in fact this happened during the mid-90's when he was preparing for a comeback and was planning to join the MASTER'S OLYMPIA but unfortunately it was derailed when he later on was diagnosed with KIDNEY problems. Anyway I was just relating what I read in an interview he did.

PEACE.

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HeavyHitter32

Mike Mentzer was squatting 500 pounds and bench pressing 350 at 15 years old --- before he ever heard of a steroid (Mike told me this himself). I've also seen pics of Mike at that age and he looked amazing.
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liftnbig

Not to spread gossip but I know some of the reasons Ray came to Australia, and it isn't good. He was basically on the run and during his stay I tried my best to hook up with him to no avail. Still, the guy had genetics, like his brother Mike of course, and was smart enough to train sensibly to reach the highest mark he could with them.
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noone

New York, USA

The Nautilus advanced bodybuilding book has a story about Ray. Jones pushed him through a good one.

Bret
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BRUCELEEWANNABE

Florida, USA

HeavyHitter32 wrote:
Mike Mentzer was squatting 500 pounds and bench pressing 350 at 15 years old --- before he ever heard of a steroid (Mike told me this himself). I've also seen pics of Mike at that age and he looked amazing.


Performing that feat @ the age of 15?! NO WAY!
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NeuroMass

BRUCELEEWANNABE wrote:
HeavyHitter32 wrote:
Mike Mentzer was squatting 500 pounds and bench pressing 350 at 15 years old --- before he ever heard of a steroid (Mike told me this himself). I've also seen pics of Mike at that age and he looked amazing.

Performing that feat @ the age of 15?! NO WAY!


BRUCELEEWANNABE,

Why NOT? With the right GENETICS and training who knows what's possible?

PEACE.
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simon-hecubus

Texas, USA

The 900-lb squats were most likely done in half-squat fashion in a power rack. I know both the Mentzers did half-squats and quater squats from an article by Mike in M&F or Flex a long time ago. They did quarter sqats with something like 1,200 lbs.

Scott
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BRUCELEEWANNABE

Florida, USA

NeuroMass wrote:
BRUCELEEWANNABE wrote:
HeavyHitter32 wrote:
Mike Mentzer was squatting 500 pounds and bench pressing 350 at 15 years old --- before he ever heard of a steroid (Mike told me this himself). I've also seen pics of Mike at that age and he looked amazing.

Performing that feat @ the age of 15?! NO WAY!

BRUCELEEWANNABE,

Why NOT? With the right GENETICS and training who knows what's possible?

PEACE.


It just sounds like way too much wt. at such an early age, that's all. I don't recall ever hearing about that either.
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st3

Scott,

I read the same article and it had to do with quarter squats. I tried to find the issue but couldn't locate it. I'll keep looking.

Steve
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HeavyHitter32

Bruce,

Mike also stated this in an Ironman two-part interview back in 1992 or 1993 I believe.
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