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"Doing more exercise with less intensity,"
Arthur Jones believes, "has all but
destroyed the actual great value
of weight training. Something
must be done . . . and quickly."
The New Bodybuilding for
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MUCH of that "something."

 

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Dude77

Hello everyone this is the first time that I write in this forum, and I excuse myself in advance for my bad english.

I want to discuss my personal experience using heavy duty training, and I ask also for Dr Darden's opinion . I applied to the so called "ideal" routine form the book muscle in minutes for two and half months with great expectations and my results were almost spectacular...yes a spectacular failure. This is possibly the worst program I ever tried, after only two months I looked fat, flat and deconditioned, this experience led me to question the validity of Arthur Jones ideas on training. i looked in the nautilus bulletin 1 in search for answers when I stumbled on a paragraph named "Reciprocity failure".

In this chapter Jones consider the principle of reciprocity failure in photography and applies it to training,at the end of the paragraph he concludes
"....within a certain range?on a certain scale?then the
production of results can be calculated with a rather high degree of accuracy, but the upper and lower
limits of that scale must be understood and allowed for. In practice, in very simple terms, this means that
either ?too much? or ?too little? exercise will have much the same final results?and that in both cases,
these results will be poor"

This means that Mentzer was wrong when he preached that the lack of results can't be caused by too little exercise but only by too much, in reality too little exercise and too much produce the same poor results, that's in my opinion the problem with mentzer's programs. too infrequent, to little volume, and the use of split routine instead of the fullbody schedule. Has anyone of you had the same experience with this training method?And remember i'm not talking about the conosolidation routine but the "ideal" routine, back in the 90s Mentzer claimed that he was having great results with his training clients using this routine, I don't consider him a liar but after my experience i remain skeptical
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entsminger

Virginia, USA

== Scott==
My take on Mentzer or any other similar bodybuilder and what they actually did vrs what they preached is , don?t listen to them. You typically have a very genetically gifted individual who is also taking loads of drugs etc telling the average joe what he should do. With the exception of a few like Dave Draper most of these guys didn?t have a real job so they must try to make a buck conjuring up and trying to sell some bogus exercise routine . They really have no idea what a average joe would need to build muscle. What works for them has nothing to do what could work for you. I watched Mentzer workout . It was not at all what?s in his Heavy Duty systems and even if it was 99% of us won?t gain doing what he did or preached.
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hit4me

Florida, USA

Arthur Jones routines started with full body, about 12 exercises, 3x/week moving from one equipment to another with little or no rest in between the sets and then reduced to 2x/week.
Mentzers ideal routine is nothing like Jones methods of training.

I too tried Mentzers ideal routine many years ago, working out once week on a split routine and I agree it was terrible (for me)...however, I have seen on youtube that some have made progress with the ideal routine.

therefore, I started reducing the rest time and did a 3 way split m/w/f and added more exercises at different angles...and made better progress than the ideal routine

nowadays I prefer full body 2x/week, especially Darden's new method of 30-10-30...I have seen more progress with this new routine

the point of my reply was to point out the Jones methods and Mentzers are not the same...imo
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Fatso

I think we were all lucky that Weider promoted Mentzer because it brought HIT to a much broader audience - which included me! What most don't realise is that virtually all of his Heavy Duty concepts were taken directly from Jones. When Mentzer was left to his own devices he went down a path that was considerably off course with huge concept gaps. I also agree that his use of PEDs would have blindsided him to the response from the average trainee and easily skewed his thinking.
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Dude77

Yes absolutely, I think that Dr Darden fullbody workouts are way better tham Mike's programs,fullbody schedule are probably the best way to train. the only thing that i don't incorporate in my workout is the pre exhaustion principle, in my opinion is not of great value for people who are not strong, so instead of doing the leg exensions and then doing the squats with "piss ass" weights I do only the squat, and if I want to do the leg extensions I do them after.
Returning to Mike, I think that the 100% of what he preached was already discovered by Arthur Jones in the 70s, the only difference is the use of split routines insted of the fullbody, but that in my opinion was a step back compared to the classic hit workouts
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Nwlifter

A split or a full body can be just as good as the other, it's not how many muscles you work per session (your quads don't care if you worked your back that day also or not). It's 'what' you do, and how often you do it that counts.

Where a split shines, is if one cannot do justice to all muscles in one session with a full body (due to time or sustainability during that session). There is nothing magic about either, if a person can do what they need to do, for each muscle, and do them all in one session, that's great. If a person can't, no worries either.

Interestingly, I can't think of one Olympia contender that used full body all the way to the top, I think almost all people cannot handle full body with what's required at that level to keep making gains, but many used full body for a lot of the trip on the way up.
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Lioncourt

Isn?t there a story, not sure how real it is. But in the 90s some guy complained to Arthur how he couldn?t make progress on Mike?s routine and when Arthur heard how minimal it was he told him no wonder he made no progress.
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entsminger

Virginia, USA

== Scott===
Don?t get me wrong, I loved Mentzer and used to love reading Mentzer articles in magazines but It was mainly because he parroted what Jones had said . It was interesting how after Mentzer ran through what Jones had said his writings became shallow. He was a good writer it seemed but his ideas on building muscle were mostly copied from someone else but to be honest that?s just about every other person writing about building muscle. Dr. Darden used a lot of Jones ideas but he was smart enough to take those ideas many steps further over the years instead of just parroting old stuff Jones had said.
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HeavyHitter32

Nwlifter wrote:
A split or a full body can be just as good as the other, it's not how many muscles you work per session (your quads don't care if you worked your back that day also or not). It's 'what' you do, and how often you do it that counts.

Where a split shines, is if one cannot do justice to all muscles in one session with a full body (due to time or sustainability during that session). There is nothing magic about either, if a person can do what they need to do, for each muscle, and do them all in one session, that's great. If a person can't, no worries either.

Interestingly, I can't think of one Olympia contender that used full body all the way to the top, I think almost all people cannot handle full body with what's required at that level to keep making gains, but many used full body for a lot of the trip on the way up.


Fully agreed.
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Average Al

Dude77 wrote:
Hello everyone this is the first time that I write in this forum......


I've seen a fair number of posts complaining about the results from Mentzer's consolidated routines, not so many about his earlier Heavy Duty routines. Very likely there is no routine that is optimal for all people.

I did find this quote from an interview that Dr Darden did with T-Nation a few years back, under the title "Rebirth of HIT":

-----
T-Nation: What's the difference between HIT, Mike Mentzer's Heavy Duty, and New HIT?

Darden: Let me put it this way, the 1970s' HIT routines are too long, Mentzer's Heavy Duty routines are too short, and the New HIT routines are just right!

Jones initially recommended as many as 16 exercises, each performed one set to failure, three times per week. This eventually proved to be too much overall exercise. Mentzer went the other extreme: consolidated routines, some of which required only 3 or 4 exercises to failure, once every 10 to 12 days. This was too little for maximum results, at least for the average trainee.

My New HIT routines apply between 7 and 12 exercises per routines, one set to failure, twice a week.
-----
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hit4me

Florida, USA

Nwlifter wrote:
A split or a full body can be just as good as the other, it's not how many muscles you work per session (your quads don't care if you worked your back that day also or not). It's 'what' you do, and how often you do it that counts.

Where a split shines, is if one cannot do justice to all muscles in one session with a full body (due to time or sustainability during that session). There is nothing magic about either, if a person can do what they need to do, for each muscle, and do them all in one session, that's great. If a person can't, no worries either.

Interestingly, I can't think of one Olympia contender that used full body all the way to the top, I think almost all people cannot handle full body with what's required at that level to keep making gains, but many used full body for a lot of the trip on the way up.


he was not an Olympian, but the only fella I can think of would be Reeves

the only contender that I heard of doing full body was Mentzer for the 80 Olympia...according to Schwab
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Dude77

Lioncourt wrote:
Isn?t there a story, not sure how real it is. But in the 90s some guy complained to Arthur how he couldn?t make progress on Mike?s routine and when Arthur heard how minimal it was he told him no wonder he made no progress.


yeah I saw that story somewhere in the web, but that was for the consolidation routine
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Dude77

Nwlifter wrote:
A split or a full body can be just as good as the other, it's not how many muscles you work per session (your quads don't care if you worked your back that day also or not). It's 'what' you do, and how often you do it that counts.

Where a split shines, is if one cannot do justice to all muscles in one session with a full body (due to time or sustainability during that session). There is nothing magic about either, if a person can do what they need to do, for each muscle, and do them all in one session, that's great. If a person can't, no worries either.

Interestingly, I can't think of one Olympia contender that used full body all the way to the top, I think almost all people cannot handle full body with what's required at that level to keep making gains, but many used full body for a lot of the trip on the way up.


in my opinion split are not optimal, maybe it can be used for specialization but only for few weeks. Jones once said that split make sense almost as sleeping with one eye open
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Nwlifter

Dude77 wrote:
Nwlifter wrote:
A split or a full body can be just as good as the other, it's not how many muscles you work per session (your quads don't care if you worked your back that day also or not). It's 'what' you do, and how often you do it that counts.

Where a split shines, is if one cannot do justice to all muscles in one session with a full body (due to time or sustainability during that session). There is nothing magic about either, if a person can do what they need to do, for each muscle, and do them all in one session, that's great. If a person can't, no worries either.

Interestingly, I can't think of one Olympia contender that used full body all the way to the top, I think almost all people cannot handle full body with what's required at that level to keep making gains, but many used full body for a lot of the trip on the way up.

in my opinion split are not optimal, maybe it can be used for specialization but only for few weeks. Jones once said that split make sense almost as sleeping with one eye open


Me, I really am not affected by who said what, it's what works for a person that counts.
Optimal: That that would be best gains over time right? For many, a full body does not lead to best long term gains, so not optimal for them. If someone can do heavy squats to failure 3x a week for months on end, recover & thrive etc.... man, that's a rarity!!!
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Nwlifter

hit4me wrote:
Nwlifter wrote:
A split or a full body can be just as good as the other, it's not how many muscles you work per session (your quads don't care if you worked your back that day also or not). It's 'what' you do, and how often you do it that counts.

Where a split shines, is if one cannot do justice to all muscles in one session with a full body (due to time or sustainability during that session). There is nothing magic about either, if a person can do what they need to do, for each muscle, and do them all in one session, that's great. If a person can't, no worries either.

Interestingly, I can't think of one Olympia contender that used full body all the way to the top, I think almost all people cannot handle full body with what's required at that level to keep making gains, but many used full body for a lot of the trip on the way up.

he was not an Olympian, but the only fella I can think of would be Reeves

the only contender that I heard of doing full body was Mentzer for the 80 Olympia...according to Schwab


OK yes agree. Mentzer did them up until then, and Reeves the whole time. I'm sure some other 'big guys' in the very distant past probably used them a lot too. I know I can't for very long, a few weeks and I am toast.
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Nwlifter

HeavyHitter32 wrote:
Nwlifter wrote:
A split or a full body can be just as good as the other, it's not how many muscles you work per session (your quads don't care if you worked your back that day also or not). It's 'what' you do, and how often you do it that counts.

Where a split shines, is if one cannot do justice to all muscles in one session with a full body (due to time or sustainability during that session). There is nothing magic about either, if a person can do what they need to do, for each muscle, and do them all in one session, that's great. If a person can't, no worries either.

Interestingly, I can't think of one Olympia contender that used full body all the way to the top, I think almost all people cannot handle full body with what's required at that level to keep making gains, but many used full body for a lot of the trip on the way up.

Fully agreed.


Agree with your agreed lol
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pharaoh1063

Dude77,

The results that you've had are not uncommon. I've heard this before and I think I have a solution. It comes with the way you and others approached Mentzer. I've noticed that everyone who comes at Mentzer and applies his program exactly, without individualized modification has a problem. But those of us who do individualize his program and take it and modify it to our needs always seem to find success and swear by it and him. This is not unique to Mentzer. I have never heard of anyone who has tried Arnold's routine EXACTLY as he performed it, have you? Probably not. Everyone I know of changes something, whether it is the exercise, the frequency etc. and adapts it to his own needs. So no one says, "I tried Arnold's arm routine exactly as he did it and it didn't work." Why do we then hold Mentzer's feet to the fire when we allow Arnold such leeway? If adding rest days as HIT advocates, was invalid then why has everyone gone from high volume training a muscle 2-3 times per week in the 1970's down to once as everyone does today? So, therefore, it must be about how much volume and frequency you start with and at what rate you decrease them both.

The First Solution
My first idea is to do what Mentzer did, not exactly what he said. It would be very difficult for HIT authors to present their ideas with %100 variability. If HIT had just said "workout with SOME more intensity and LESS frequency and LOWER volume, as needed," their publishers would come back to them and tell them that their idea was too vague to be salable and so we would never have heard of HIT in the first place. So they had to come up with some kind of program. So let's look at what Mentzer DID. First, he used full body workouts and when that proved too fatiguing for him, he split the routine, against Jones' recommendations. But he was too fatigued from those workouts. What else could he do? First, it was 4 workouts in 7 days. A,B,off,A,B,off,off. Then, as he started to adapt to the workouts, he added rest days in between, monitoring progress as he went. With a few steps more of splitting and a few more rest days, you'll wind up with HD1 and eventually the Ideal Routine.

But the point that everyone misses is that he monitored how he felt and how he responded at each step of the way. Why not do it like that? Split a 10 set, full body routine in two and perform both twice in a week. After each workout, monitor your response to the workouts and the corresponding rest periods. Mentzer wrote about asking himself each day whether or not he felt recovered and ready to do another workout and, if not, then he didn't. It is not about taking 8 days of rest just because Mentzer says so. If you only put in 2 1/2 months on the routine that tells me that you didn't even start with an effective frequency. The whole idea is to start with something that works and spread things out as you adapt. And most importantly, monitor you progress and stop lessening frequency when results stop. So my first question would be whether you have some pre-existing idea of what works for you. If so, start there. If not, the "4 in 7" schedule is a great place to start.

My Second Solution
My second idea is to simply maintain the "4 in 7" workout structure and respond to steadily increasing fatigue by systematically lowering intensity of the second set of workouts to meet the recovery requirements by the end of the week. For example, in the beginning you might be able to recover from 4 workouts in a week and be ready for a hard workout starting the following week. But as you get stronger, your fatigue will require more time than the 2 days off at the end of the week will allow. So, if you train to failure on Mon. and Tues., you stop all sets 1 rep short of failure on Thurs and Fri. This would reduce fatigue sufficiently that you would be ready for a heavy workout on the following Monday. As you get even stronger, you could reduce effort further or you could reduce the load and perform higher reps, or both! Everything hinges upon you monitoring whether or not you are recovered enough for Monday's workout. If you are, keep everything as is. If not lower the fatigue level at the end of the week so that the first Monday's workout allows for effective effort. With this solution, you never risk moving down to a frequency that is too low.

One Last Thing
I disagree with the notion that HIT/Mentzer is lacking in volume. I've said this before, "how much" work one does equates with total time under tension (TUT). What is "another set" other than more time under tension? It doesn't matter if you divide it up into 2 or 3 sets or combine it all into one. Of course, most people perform multiple sets. That's because their sets are only 15-20 seconds long. They SHOULD perform multiple sets if they're going to do it like that. Watching Mentzer train Markus Reinhardt, you will see a back workout of 2 sets that takes a total of 130 seconds, all told. Well, how many 15 second sets does that equal?
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Dude77

pharaoh1063

Now I'm doing fullbody workout twice a week, but i'm not strong, so i think i can sustain 3 workouts weekly maybe alternated with two workouts/week for allowing better recovery

Actually i'm doing

Day One

Squat 1x8-12
Calf raise
Squat 1x8-12
Chin up 1x6-10
Bench Press 1/2x6-10
Pulley Row 1x6-10
Dip 1x6-10
Barbell Curl 1x6-10
Abs

Day Two

Deadlift 1x5-8
Overhead Press (machine)1x6-10
Chin up 1x6-10
Overhead Press 1x6-10
Pulley Row 1x6-10
Lateral raises 1x6-10
Preacher curl 1x6-10
Triceps ext 1x6-10
Pullover dumbell 1x6-10
Abs

This type of training works better for me than split, and it give me no soreness. I'm not doing pre exhaust sets I already tried it and it simply doesnt make any sense, pre exahusting my quads for example with leg extensions and then doing squats with piss ass weights, why? I'm already struggling for building strenght without doing pre exhaust sets, especially on the squat, i have long femurus and I find very difficult adding plates on the squat and the deadlift also. About rep cadence I'm not doing super slow or whatever, I simply slow myself purposely for the first 3 reps and then I push as hard as possible until failure, sometimes I do accentuated negatives and static, the rep cadence It's around 2/3 seconds for the positive and 3 seconds for the negative
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Nwlifter

pharaoh1063 wrote:

I disagree with the notion that HIT/Mentzer is lacking in volume. I've said this before, "how much" work one does equates with total time under tension (TUT). What is "another set" other than more time under tension? It doesn't matter if you divide it up into 2 or 3 sets or combine it all into one. Of course, most people perform multiple sets. That's because their sets are only 15-20 seconds long. They SHOULD perform multiple sets if they're going to do it like that. Watching Mentzer train Markus Reinhardt, you will see a back workout of 2 sets that takes a total of 130 seconds, all told. Well, how many 15 second sets does that equal?


IMO though, the issue is this...

5x5 with 200 = 20 seconds x 5 = 100 seconds of 200 lbs

Now to have a TUL of 100 seconds all in one set, a person would have to use a much much lighter load, say 130-140 lbs
So then you actually end up with
5x5, 100 seconds of 200 lbs
vs
1 set, 100 seconds of 140 lbs
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pharaoh1063

You are quite right. One can go too far with the TUT. I think Dr. D. has it right with 8-10 reps at a 4/4 pace giving us a TUT of about 60 seconds per set. With that we don't have to reduce the weights too much. This is close to Mike's recommendations of 6-10 reps at 4/2/4 pace.
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entsminger

Virginia, USA

. It comes with the way you and others approached Mentzer.

==Scott==
I get a kick out of this Mentzer obsession on here. It seems Mentzer somehow pops up in every other thread yet he's been dead many years ago and very little of his stuff was original.I would think there's got to something more relevant to argue about than that old driven into the ground Mentzer stuff? How about Sandow, what did he really do or did Pee Wee Herman split his routine? ha ha.
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pharaoh1063

I think the "obsession" comes in the fact that problems with Mentzer's programs are not met with understanding--just complaints. So, nothing ever gets solved, and therefore it keeps on coming up again and again. What I find strange is that so many threads (not referring to the OP) end up with "HD didn't work for me" and "I hate Mentzer" and "He's crazy" when time might be better spent figuring out the problem and fixing it. This is why I labeled my paragraphs "solutions." If we don't work to solve the problem, someone will come on here in the next few weeks, months or years and say, once again, I did a 2 set workout every 3 weeks and it didn't work! Watch...
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entsminger

Virginia, USA

If we don't work to solve the problem, someone will come on here in the next few weeks, months or years and say, once again, I did a 2 set workout every 3 weeks and it didn't work! Watch...

==Scott==
This place can be like a broken record, things keep repeating whether they work or not. All I can figure is that there must be a bunch of 60 plus year old bastards like myself who back in the days (Jurassic Period) followed every word Mentzer said and are frustrated they didn't get triceps like Mentzer after 3 weeks on his course. ha ha!
I often read on here from someone who was trying something like super slow or whatever and they say I was doing it for 2 years or more and it wasn't working. I can't imagine plowing through workout after workout that wasn't working for 2 years!? My god!! Vary things up, experiment, deviate from the norm in one way or another and long before 2 years you should know if in one form or another its going to work for you or not regardless if Mentzer , Jones or Jack Lalanne wrote it.
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Resultsbased

entsminger wrote:
If we don't work to solve the problem, someone will come on here in the next few weeks, months or years and say, once again, I did a 2 set workout every 3 weeks and it didn't work! Watch...

==Scott==
This place can be like a broken record, things keep repeating whether they work or not. All I can figure is that there must be a bunch of 60 plus year old bastards like myself who back in the days (Jurassic Period) followed every word Mentzer said and are frustrated they didn't get triceps like Mentzer after 3 weeks on his course. ha ha!
I often read on here from someone who was trying something like super slow or whatever and they say I was doing it for 2 years or more and it wasn't working. I can't imagine plowing through workout after workout that wasn't working for 2 years!? My god!! Vary things up, experiment, deviate from the norm in one way or another and long before 2 years you should know if in one form or another its going to work for you or not regardless if Mentzer , Jones or Jack Lalanne wrote it.


It's the logic that draws people in and once they realize it isn't working it becomes too painful to admit they've wasted a lot of time and effort with a given protocol. So, they continue trying to tweak it and make it work and therein lies the problem...it won't work.
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hit4me

Florida, USA

entsminger wrote:
If we don't work to solve the problem, someone will come on here in the next few weeks, months or years and say, once again, I did a 2 set workout every 3 weeks and it didn't work! Watch...

==Scott==
This place can be like a broken record, things keep repeating whether they work or not. All I can figure is that there must be a bunch of 60 plus year old bastards like myself who back in the days (Jurassic Period) followed every word Mentzer said and are frustrated they didn't get triceps like Mentzer after 3 weeks on his course. ha ha!
I often read on here from someone who was trying something like super slow or whatever and they say I was doing it for 2 years or more and it wasn't working. I can't imagine plowing through workout after workout that wasn't working for 2 years!? My god!! Vary things up, experiment, deviate from the norm in one way or another and long before 2 years you should know if in one form or another its going to work for you or not regardless if Mentzer , Jones or Jack Lalanne wrote it.


it does sound like a broken record, however, the problem is not with Mentzer, Jones, Lalanne, Arnold or Reeves....its with the individuals who cannot think for themselves....all of these legends document their own methods and us mortals perform them to a "t" and fail...when we should just be using the methods as a guideline to better fitness, strength, muscle growth or whatever goal you have.....if you are using their methods to become a professional bodybuilder, then you better be enhancing with you know what


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