What if Mike Mentzer was still around? Hypothetical?

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What if Mike Mentzer was still around? Hypothetical?

Postby lockout » Sat Apr 15, 2017 1:32 am

The recent thread about Mentzer got me curious. What if he was still around?

Many thought his theories were too extreme, even laughable. But the saying goes, the proof is in the pudding. Do the same thing for long enough and you'll know for sure if it works or not. I just wonder what he would have came up with in the long run.

There's no doubt abreviated routines work. The simplest I've gone is one top set of each of 3 exercises split into two workouts a week. It worked rather well.

Some things stay the same, other things change. The full body hit routines were the same as what Peary Rader was preaching in the 1930's. Those workouts still worked.

Also, for decades PED's was a taboo topic. So gurus had to bullshi and bash it to stay cool. Now days a lot of guys are talking about it freely. Apologies for going off on a tangent, but it'd be cool to see the day when performance enhancement doctors become legal in USA again. If I understand correctly, a transgender can legally get HRT to support their transformation (male-female or female-male). But an athlete can't legally get HRT to perform better? Something is terribly wrong with this picture. Do our law makers have styrofoam peanuts between their ears instead of brains? Maybe they need brain replacement therapy BRT?
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Re: What if Mike Mentzer was still around? Hypothetical?

Postby stevein7 » Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:11 am

I don't think his theories were laughable. Not to say he got it right, but the thought behind it is serious.
The most abbreviated routines were aimed at the general public who had jobs, family etc. A dedicated genetically gifted athlete could do more, those under stress and not favoured genetically were to do less.

The idea of the individual finding the amount of exercise corresponding to their capacity to benefit is pretty sound.

The idea of finite recover ability is also correct.

My doubts...one set only. Is that a sufficient stimulus?
Unless they are lying, many have reported it works. Many say it does not. Only way to know is give it an honest try. But I think MM was brutal in his application, you have to give it all you have per set before you dismiss it.

Is it enough activity for health?
Here I have serious reservations. I would not bet my health on doing ten minutes or so of exercise per week. In these days of sitting and desk jobs, rejecting cardio is risky.


All in all
I return to these methods now and again, usually when I am enthused by cardio (usually about now when the weather is turning).
Not convinced it is the only solution, but I will say it can be a solution.
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Re: What if Mike Mentzer was still around? Hypothetical?

Postby NoShow » Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:35 am

When I was in college, some of the guys at the gym I trained at, went to a Mentzer Heavy Duty seminar.

They used it's methods for weeks (4-6), before dropping it primarily due to not being able to continue "bringing it" to every workout. They felt it "worked" they just couldn't continuing working it.
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Re: What if Mike Mentzer was still around? Hypothetical?

Postby FMJ » Thu Apr 20, 2017 3:09 am

I experienced more or less the same. It worked to some extent (I got better at pushing myself in one set) but I dreaded the workouts and burned out within weeks. I cannot really say if it had any impact on muscle growth because I could not keep it up for any stretch of time. Going to failure or beyond is probably a good stimulus but takes too much out of you physically and mentally. More of a "every once in a while, best before you deload" thing.
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Re: What if Mike Mentzer was still around? Hypothetical?

Postby stevein7 » Thu Apr 20, 2017 3:30 am

I read about Arthur Jones arguing against cardio. His answer rushing through a HIT session demolished endurance athletes, it is so effective. But it is just so damned hard. Not many are going to stick it out.
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Re: What if Mike Mentzer was still around? Hypothetical?

Postby PierreSuter » Thu Apr 20, 2017 3:39 am

I think Mentzer got too extreme with the low volume thing, at one point advocating a few sets every 10 days or something like that, to where it just got ridiculous.

The dietary equivalent would be to say that protein is most important and eggs are the best source of protein, so you should only eat eggs and nothing else. There needs to be some balance.

The longer I've been training, the more I think a key thing is the ratio of hard heavy training to easier training. For instance squat heavy one out of 3 sessions, regardless of whether you squat one day a week or 6 days a week. Training heavy every time seems to burn me out eventually, no matter how much I cut back on frequency.
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Re: What if Mike Mentzer was still around? Hypothetical?

Postby Jughead » Thu Apr 20, 2017 5:52 am

The more people I read who have had results, the more this comes up -- that you need a lot of easier work. Whether it be for reasons of base, active recovery, total volume, or what, I don't know. But I went hard every time last time I was lifting and I got burned out, fat, and sluggish. My $.02 is you have to have recoverable work or you will crater and not progress for long before that happens.
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Re: What if Mike Mentzer was still around? Hypothetical?

Postby randygillett » Thu Apr 20, 2017 11:26 am

Mentzer would have been awesome with today's drug programs.

As far as Heavy Duty goes, I think with some tweaks it could be the most bang-for-the-buck program for most and viable long-term. If I was forced to make full-body, one set of each exercise per week work I would have a couple of light weeks, say 70% with higher reps but stopping short of failure, in between hard weeks. Unless I was peaking I would limit how much I activated my nervous system and how much stretch reflex utilized. For peaking I would go hard, but not necessarily to full-blown failure, every week for 4-6 weeks.

I'm not a big fan of "cardio" with strength training. I believe a brisk walk is all one needs for optimum health and anything above that is unnecessary stress.
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Re: What if Mike Mentzer was still around? Hypothetical?

Postby lockout » Sun Apr 23, 2017 11:18 pm

I once tried one 30 minute HIT workout a week when I was working an office job 60 hours a week with an hour back and fourth from work, along with other obligations. Along with cutting calories, I got in the best aesthetic shape in over a decade. But I felt like shit after. Dieting always sucks.

So I understand when people don't have the time. But if you do? I think people overthink the cardio issue. If you've got free time, what's the matter with hopping on a bicycle and going for a long ride? I did that 2-3 times a week for a few months this year and I loved it. You get to go on a nice ride, enjoy scenery, get the endorphins for improved mood and pain relief, knock off a few extra calories, help with weight loss, etc.. You really can't go wrong with that.

So that's just my take. You don't need cardio for fat loss, in fact I don't think it'll help at all unless you do a lot of it. But if you've got the time and can find a fun way, why not. If it ain't fun, you aren't going to want to do it. But personally I like it for the endorphins the most. It'll save you money and liver damage from pain killers.
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Re: What if Mike Mentzer was still around? Hypothetical?

Postby Chris McCarthy » Tue Apr 25, 2017 9:31 am

stevein7 wrote:I read about Arthur Jones arguing against cardio. His answer rushing through a HIT session demolished endurance athletes, it is so effective. But it is just so damned hard. Not many are going to stick it out.


Of course it is hard...doesn't make it any fucking good in this context, at the least.
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Re: What if Mike Mentzer was still around? Hypothetical?

Postby Jughead » Tue Apr 25, 2017 10:05 pm

Chris McCarthy wrote:Of course it is hard...doesn't make it any fucking good in this context, at the least.


Lots of things are hard that don't help you to do anything else. SAID, etc.
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Re: What if Mike Mentzer was still around? Hypothetical?

Postby lockout » Wed Apr 26, 2017 6:57 am

In my opinion HIT vs cardio is just a bullshit selling point. I've always argued that salesmanship skews beliefs away from the simple truth.

Fact is HIT works. Other fact is cardio isn't absolutely necessary for fat loss. But that doesn't mean that physical activity aside from the HIT workouts is useless. Where's the endorphins?

I've got an experiment for all the extremists out there: Do one HIT workout a week and spend all other hours of the week strapped to a hospital bed so you can "recover". I'd place my bets that if done with experienced lifters, the end result would be muscle loss. Use it or lose it. ANY type of physical activity is good for you.

I'm just saying. Certain things work. But you've got to have a little common sense. Most people don't have that anymore. They eat garbage all day and then wonder why their magical 15 minute "cardio" routine ain't working. Couldn't be because they forgot to put the fork down once in a while?
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Re: What if Mike Mentzer was still around? Hypothetical?

Postby stevein7 » Fri Apr 28, 2017 4:33 am

Ramble on a bit to pass a few minutes.
Doing MM type programmes may or may not get the job done. But if you enjoy training, the mental state that comes with the high pressured situation, doing the almost impossible, focussing in on beating the book, then waiting a week to train again is really hard.

It couples with other activity, cardio and the like, sports, but if your true interest is lifting or weights related, it is a tough regime, not just to perform, but to stay out the gym.

There is something called ''flow''. It is a mental state which comes with tough challenges. It creates a relaxed heightened state. I often feel it when training. The MM 3 sets per week deal cuts down my sense of flow. Not to say that it does or does not work for what it aims at, hypertrophy.
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Re: What if Mike Mentzer was still around? Hypothetical?

Postby randygillett » Thu May 04, 2017 8:54 am

I remember when Mike Mentzer competed in the show The Superstars back in 1982. He and Lou Ferrigno battled it out in the weightlifting (jerk from rack) competition. Mike Mentzer did 320lbs and Lou Ferrigno set the new record with 325lbs.

Another memory I have from that show was back in 1973 when Joe Frazier, recent heavyweight world champion and noted powerhouse of the division, failed to lock out 160lbs overhead.
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Re: What if Mike Mentzer was still around? Hypothetical?

Postby stevein7 » Fri May 05, 2017 4:29 am

Recently on Lyle McDonald site he posted
Mentzer is wrong

/end

J Strength Cond Res. 2010 Apr;24(4):1150-9. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181d4d436.
Single vs. multiple sets of resistance exercise for muscle hypertrophy: a meta-analysis.
Krieger JW1.
Author information
Abstract

Previous meta-analyses have compared the effects of single to multiple sets on strength, but analyses on muscle hypertrophy are lacking. The purpose of this study was to use multilevel meta-regression to compare the effects of single and multiple sets per exercise on muscle hypertrophy. The analysis comprised 55 effect sizes (ESs), nested within 19 treatment groups and 8 studies. Multiple sets were associated with a larger ES than a single set (difference = 0.10 +/- 0.04; confidence interval [CI]: 0.02, 0.19; p = 0.016). In a dose-response model, there was a trend for 2-3 sets per exercise to be associated with a greater ES than 1 set (difference = 0.09 +/- 0.05; CI: -0.02, 0.20; p = 0.09), and a trend for 4-6 sets per exercise to be associated with a greater ES than 1 set (difference = 0.20 +/- 0.11; CI: -0.04, 0.43; p = 0.096). Both of these trends were significant when considering permutation test p values (p < 0.01). There was no significant difference between 2-3 sets per exercise and 4-6 sets per exercise (difference = 0.10 +/- 0.10; CI: -0.09, 0.30; p = 0.29). There was a tendency for increasing ESs for an increasing number of sets (0.24 for 1 set, 0.34 for 2-3 sets, and 0.44 for 4-6 sets). Sensitivity analysis revealed no highly influential studies that affected the magnitude of the observed differences, but one study did slightly influence the level of significance and CI width. No evidence of publication bias was observed.

In conclusion, multiple sets are associated with 40% greater hypertrophy-related ESs than 1 set, in both trained and untrained subjects.
J Sports Sci. 2017 Jun;35(11):1073-1082. doi: 10.1080/02640414.2016.1210197. Epub 2016 Jul 19.
Dose-response relationship between weekly resistance training volume and increases in muscle mass: A systematic review and meta-analysis.
Schoenfeld BJ1, Ogborn D2, Krieger JW3.
Author information
Abstract

The purpose of this paper was to systematically review the current literature and elucidate the effects of total weekly resistance training (RT) volume on changes in measures of muscle mass via meta-regression. The final analysis comprised 34 treatment groups from 15 studies. Outcomes for weekly sets as a continuous variable showed a significant effect of volume on changes in muscle size (P = 0.002). Each additional set was associated with an increase in effect size (ES) of 0.023 corresponding to an increase in the percentage gain by 0.37%. Outcomes for weekly sets categorised as lower or higher within each study showed a significant effect of volume on changes in muscle size (P = 0.03); the ES difference between higher and lower volumes was 0.241, which equated to a percentage gain difference of 3.9%. Outcomes for weekly sets as a three-level categorical variable (<5, 5-9 and 10+ per muscle) showed a trend for an effect of weekly sets (P = 0.074). The findings indicate a graded dose-response relationship whereby increases in RT volume produce greater gains in muscle hypertrophy.
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Re: What if Mike Mentzer was still around? Hypothetical?

Postby lockout » Fri May 05, 2017 9:13 am

stevein7 wrote:Recently on Lyle McDonald site he posted
Mentzer is wrong

/end

J Strength Cond Res. 2010 Apr;24(4):1150-9. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181d4d436.
Single vs. multiple sets of resistance exercise for muscle hypertrophy: a meta-analysis.
Krieger JW1.
Author information
Abstract

Previous meta-analyses have compared the effects of single to multiple sets on strength, but analyses on muscle hypertrophy are lacking. The purpose of this study was to use multilevel meta-regression to compare the effects of single and multiple sets per exercise on muscle hypertrophy. The analysis comprised 55 effect sizes (ESs), nested within 19 treatment groups and 8 studies. Multiple sets were associated with a larger ES than a single set (difference = 0.10 +/- 0.04; confidence interval [CI]: 0.02, 0.19; p = 0.016). In a dose-response model, there was a trend for 2-3 sets per exercise to be associated with a greater ES than 1 set (difference = 0.09 +/- 0.05; CI: -0.02, 0.20; p = 0.09), and a trend for 4-6 sets per exercise to be associated with a greater ES than 1 set (difference = 0.20 +/- 0.11; CI: -0.04, 0.43; p = 0.096). Both of these trends were significant when considering permutation test p values (p < 0.01). There was no significant difference between 2-3 sets per exercise and 4-6 sets per exercise (difference = 0.10 +/- 0.10; CI: -0.09, 0.30; p = 0.29). There was a tendency for increasing ESs for an increasing number of sets (0.24 for 1 set, 0.34 for 2-3 sets, and 0.44 for 4-6 sets). Sensitivity analysis revealed no highly influential studies that affected the magnitude of the observed differences, but one study did slightly influence the level of significance and CI width. No evidence of publication bias was observed.

In conclusion, multiple sets are associated with 40% greater hypertrophy-related ESs than 1 set, in both trained and untrained subjects.
J Sports Sci. 2017 Jun;35(11):1073-1082. doi: 10.1080/02640414.2016.1210197. Epub 2016 Jul 19.
Dose-response relationship between weekly resistance training volume and increases in muscle mass: A systematic review and meta-analysis.
Schoenfeld BJ1, Ogborn D2, Krieger JW3.
Author information
Abstract

The purpose of this paper was to systematically review the current literature and elucidate the effects of total weekly resistance training (RT) volume on changes in measures of muscle mass via meta-regression. The final analysis comprised 34 treatment groups from 15 studies. Outcomes for weekly sets as a continuous variable showed a significant effect of volume on changes in muscle size (P = 0.002). Each additional set was associated with an increase in effect size (ES) of 0.023 corresponding to an increase in the percentage gain by 0.37%. Outcomes for weekly sets categorised as lower or higher within each study showed a significant effect of volume on changes in muscle size (P = 0.03); the ES difference between higher and lower volumes was 0.241, which equated to a percentage gain difference of 3.9%. Outcomes for weekly sets as a three-level categorical variable (<5, 5-9 and 10+ per muscle) showed a trend for an effect of weekly sets (P = 0.074). The findings indicate a graded dose-response relationship whereby increases in RT volume produce greater gains in muscle hypertrophy.


Imaginary scenario: Brooks Kubik to be speaking on stage with Louie Simmons, Dorian Yates, Tom Platz, Bill Starr, Bill Crawford, Dante Trudel, Casey Viator, and perhaps a few others, telling Lyle and the author they are retards while they sit in the back wearing dunce caps, and everyone in the audience is clapping and cheering while throwing garbage at Lyle and laughing and telling him he sucks.

I mean, try to read that and understand it. It's been purposefully written with fancy scientific jargon to confuse you so that the author can sound smart. And then you're just supposed to browse over the data or skip it entirely and read the conclusion and believe it unquestionably. That's what they do in school. When the teacher gives an assignment and one has to do a report, they just need to get the report done and make it look good for the teacher. Fancy words are good for filling up space and making the writer seem smart, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they are communicating effectively.

But put that aside and let's look at the real world facts. There are countless people who have used systems that involve working up to a top set and had success with it including world class powerlifters and bodybuilders. Bill Starr's 5x5 would be perhaps one of the most widely used.

Oh and....
Lyle Mcdonald is a twig. And probably so is the author of those studies he quoted.

The methods of the guys I mentioned above are all different, but similar in some ways. Dorian Yates would explain that 1 top set isn't really only 1 set because the warm ups are hard and heavy too. Bill Starr's 5x5 is like that. Parts of westside and metal militia are like that too. But especially metal militia is high volume.

Points being?
1. Lyle is a twig.
2. It ain't that complicated.
3. In this hypothetical scenario, it'd be Brooks to call him out and set the record straight.

I mean, do the specific details really matter? You can only get results if you work hard and try hard. Guys like Tom Platz and Dorian Yates got results off from one top set. But also every athlete that Bill Crawford trained with high volume whom was willing to put in the hard work, they were successful without exception.

Both low volume and high volume work. The proof is in the pudding. That means Mike Mentzer was both right and wrong. Some athletes might argue why do more when less works just fine. Others would argue that they are willing to do more work just so they can try to get even a little bit more out of their training. And I think which one fits is more about context and individuality, what the person likes and what their goals are.

Here's something interesting to point out. Back in the day Fred Hatfield made articles bashing HIT and didn't even like to allow talk about it on his forums. But why? It's all about politics and controversy. Controversy "this vs that" is always a good selling point. Kind of like apple vs samsung. If apple is better, does that mean that samsung products are wrong and don't work? Of course not. And same with training. As long as you are picking up heavy stuff and working the muscles, you will grow and get big and strong. Heck, I've even known guys to gain like 30+ lbs from doing construction work. As long as the muscle is being worked, light or heavy, it will grow.
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Re: What if Mike Mentzer was still around? Hypothetical?

Postby stevein7 » Mon May 08, 2017 5:28 am

Just throwing ideas around, none of it is absolute.

I got thinking yesterday.

Say you do 10 sets of 3 with 100k. So 30 reps x 100 = 3 000.

Next time you add 2.5k to the last set only. 3007.5.

Progress was tiny, you could keep that up a long while, gradually improving.


Say you did one set of 7.
Next time you did 8.

You have gone up like 14% or so.

You are not going to keep making such strides forward very long.

Perhaps HIT is good for beginners? Quick progress.

As I say, just a thought.
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Re: What if Mike Mentzer was still around? Hypothetical?

Postby lockout » Mon May 08, 2017 12:32 pm

stevein7 wrote:Just throwing ideas around, none of it is absolute.

I got thinking yesterday.

Say you do 10 sets of 3 with 100k. So 30 reps x 100 = 3 000.

Next time you add 2.5k to the last set only. 3007.5.

Progress was tiny, you could keep that up a long while, gradually improving.


Say you did one set of 7.
Next time you did 8.

You have gone up like 14% or so.

You are not going to keep making such strides forward very long.

Perhaps HIT is good for beginners? Quick progress.

As I say, just a thought.


You can do it that way with HIT also as long as you aren't a blind guru follower or an extremist. Same exact idea as what you're saying. You keep the reps the same, but you cycle through the poundages slowly if necessary, and you can even use micro plates.

I know of a few people who have done it that way including myself. People who are living in reality know that you aren't going to just keep gaining and gaining into infinity, no matter what program you're on, even if you're an enhanced athlete.

Clarence Bass for example did that for decades. Must be working just fine because he's like 80 years old, still does photo shoots and is still muscular and well under 10% body fat. He's actually the one who turned me on to HIT style training. The thing I liked about it was when considering the long term, 10 years, 20 years, 30 years, etc., into the future. I want a body that will last. I want to still be training every week when I'm an old man. You can get and stay strong with fewer sets, but more and more can and will run your body into the dirt.

Don't get me wrong though. More work probably does have it's place. Metal Militia is high volume, designed to build world record holders, not a healthy long lasting body. Dorian Yates did his own HIT style, but it was still 2-3 exercises per muscle and working out 7 days in a row. Won him several Mr. Olympias. You aren't going to see results like that with 3 sets every 8-9 days, it just isn't going to happen.

Here's a good metaphor, and we've talked about stuff like this before. But what do you want a car for? To get back and fourth from work, to not get tickets, and hopefully last many years? Or to win a 300 mph dragster race? Or how about a jeep to ride the rubicon trail? The dragster and the jeep are pretty cool, but they ain't gonna last that long. Our bodies are the same way, machines, abuse them and they will break and fall apart. Depends on your goals I guess. Personally I try to stay strong and healthy, nothing extreme.
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