- As best I can recall, Mike Mentzer wasn't the originator of any of it - it really was Arthur Jones, and his prize achievement was Casey Viator. But both Viator and Mentzer were way over on the edge of the bell curve in terms of genetic potential - in fiber type, quantity, tendon strength, skeletal strength - you name it.
There are people who, through predisposition and with the aid of anabolics, can achieve amazing growth using techniques which would be somewhere between dangerous and counter-productive for those of us who are more in the midrange - or even skewed to the other end.
The authorities I've followed, Bompa, Hatfield, and others, look more at load (1RM) percentages, time under load, and recovery cycles as the keys to maximizing muscle gain. And they all agree that a steady diet of sets to "failure" is a prescription for overtraining.
There may be a few extraordinarily gifted individuals on this site - it may well be that Chucklet
is one of them - but most of us aren't. Most of us have to balance our workouts with different loadings and sufficient rest in order to achieve gains. It's that variance in individual capacities in so many dimensions that makes it impossible to have one "correct" approach to training.
Systems which address the needs of the middle of the bell curve will, by definition, have the broadest application - but they will only be optimal for that particular segment.
Some professional bodybuilders utilize very light weights and high repetitions - 20, 30, 50 even 100 reps per set. Some aim for the Jones/Mentzer/Viator ideal of the one perfect rep to failure. So even the very gifted need to find the approach which is optimal for them.
If you've read one of Chucklet
's mini-autobiographies on here, you've read that he exhibited a lot of strength and muscle size at a fairly early age - well beyond most of his contemporaries. I don't think this is puffery - I think it reflects his genetic gifts. I also believe that anyone so gifted would have gravitated towards an activity which took advantage of that capacity - football, wrestling, bodybuilding, or the like.
, you (BG
), me - we weren't put together that way (so far as I understand) and there's no reason to suspect we'd flourish under a program optimized for the gifted. We'd either be overtrained - possibly losing size and strength because we could not rebuild as fast as we tore the muscle down, or we'd get injured - detatched tendons, torn muscles, and the like.
As for Militant Jock
and your hope of a 10-15 pound gain, 10-15 pounds per year is a very achievable goal for many - provided nutrition is approached with care and the workouts are appropriately difficult. There's no guarantee that you could continue that rate of gain indefinitely, though. Look around you - how many lifters have gained 10 pounds per year over 10 years of training? They'd almost all be monsters, which isn't the general case.
Be wary of anyone - including me
- who preaches one particular gospel as the way of making optimal gains.