High Intensity Training: The Mike Mentzer Way!

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    Feb 18, 2008 4:15 AM GMT
    Hey guys.

    I have begun utilizing Mike Mentzer's High Intensity training Principles, in hopes to gain 10-15 pounds total. I am interested in bodybuilding, and have been doing general weight training for over a year.

    I would like to hear from men who have experienced the HIT technique, because I am interested in knowing:
    - did you/your buddy achieve any results?
    - what shortcomings did you/your buddy notice?
    - recommendations regarding efficiently utilizing this technique?
    - recommendations whether this is safe and efficient to maintain for longer than a few months?

    Take care guys!
    Get' er done!
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    Feb 18, 2008 4:47 AM GMT
    Jock,
    HIT is controversial. Unless you're genetically gifted (with a high number of the right muscle fiber type and the ability to synthesize protein that is above average) with strong tendon attachments, HIT is probably not the method for you.
    HIT encourages short, extremely high intensity sets. Arthur Jones, who taught Mentzer, believed that the ultimate extension of HIT was ONE PERFECT MAX REP of each exercise...something no exercise physiologist would endorse.
    Try it if you feel these things apply to you, and even then for no more than about 8 weeks. If you ARE well suited to this approach, you'll know by then. But please don't sacrifice form for the sake of heavy weights - good form is your best protection against injury.
    Remember, also, that the biggest part of your success is nutritional. You've got to eat well (cleanly and often) to support your growth goals.
    Good luck! Keep a training diary and let us know how it goes for you.
    Joey
    NSCA-CPT
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    Feb 18, 2008 5:07 AM GMT
    Yeah, I remember when the first Nautilus machines, invented by Arthur Jones, appeared in my gym in pre-historic Atlanta. The special trainer, who I realize in retrospect was completely roided up, promoted high-intensity training. I always thought it was a marketing tool to accelerate the traffic flow on the machines.

    I discourage anyone from using any program that has you working at maximum weight week after week after week. I really think that's how I destroyed my knees.
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    Feb 18, 2008 6:03 AM GMT
    Thank you for the incite!
    To shed further clarity on the method I plan on approaching HIT:
    a) I will be working 1-2 sets/muscle group, 4-6 reps/set, with drop sets. I pre-exhaust my chest and back, because my arms always seem to take the brunt of the work (and therefore tire first).

    b) Workouts are divided as thus:
    Workout 1: Chest/Back
    Workout 2: Legs/Abs
    Workout 3: Arms/Shoulders

    c) My macronutrients are divided 50% carb, 20% protein, 30% fat. I don't completely metabolize fat, therefore I require a higher percentage.

    d) I am keeping a dietary and exercise log.

    e) I intend on following HIT for 8 weeks, and afterwards assessing the results (and wear) on my body.

    I'd be pleased to keep anyone interested posted on my progression.
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    Feb 18, 2008 3:31 PM GMT
    Anyone have to try it himself. Though you have to sleep 8-9 hours, and eat 6 times - a lot fastcarbos, protein (whey, egg) based diet and same + digestive/pancreatic enzymes ('cause normal digestion is not enough here). Other natural or artificial supplements - at least ABC, Mg+Zn, K, glutamin, natural hondro protectors (hondroitin, glucosamine), amino sups etc

    + positive mental tuning

    Just, make a break (atleast for a day off) at the slightest signs of losing appetite or head's swimming.
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    Feb 18, 2008 4:29 PM GMT
    Mkay, but I'm gonna make my usual plug for HST, a training method based on really good science and one that goes out of its way to prepare joints and tendons for heavy loads. It makes repetitive use of maximum loads unnecessary but produces better results than most conventional methods:

    http://www.hypertrophy-specific.com/hst_index.html

    You're young enough, Militant J, that Mentzer's method will probaby work fine for you, but don't fail to take a break from it.

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    Feb 18, 2008 7:59 PM GMT
    Ive used HIT style training for the past 5 years, it helped me shed the weight and it helped me add the muscle PDQ.

    Its not for everyone but it certainly kicks arse and is dead efficient when it comes to time. Would highly reccomend you working with a trainer once a month a) to push yourself and b) to monitor form

    If new to it you may want to start off at a lower cadence of 10/10 whilst you perfect the form, this can be tedious but pays dividends in the long run, then move onto 5/5.

    Be prepared tho, Muscle heads all over the land will be knocking at your door with their little plackards at your devil worshipping ways and spreading scorn at your undoubted over training and preaching at you about the virtues of nerve damage etc etc etc etc


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    Feb 18, 2008 8:07 PM GMT
    bfg1 saidIve used HIT style training for the past 5 years, it helped me shed the weight and it helped me add the muscle PDQ.

    Yes, but you're a quadriplegic.
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    Feb 18, 2008 8:21 PM GMT
    obscenewish said I really think that's how I destroyed my knees.
    icon_eek.gif
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    Feb 18, 2008 8:27 PM GMT
    obscenewish said[quote][cite]bfg1 said[/cite]Ive used HIT style training for the past 5 years, it helped me shed the weight and it helped me add the muscle PDQ.

    Yes, but you're a quadriplegic.[/quote]

    not quite just the one gammy leg! and finaly got a diagnosis!!!!!! We got any physios or medics in the house?
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    Feb 18, 2008 8:45 PM GMT
    Almost everyone who replied to the HIT topic seem to be hesitant regarding it's application and prescription. I understand that it is a very grueling, intense training technique, and that because of its high intensity, injury risk is increased.
    However, there is plenty of rest time between workouts (3-5 days, and then more if the participant still feels sore or in need of more rest), and at least in theory, it seems to make logical sense:

    Simplification:
    "Muscles need to be pushed beyond their limits (i.e. exhaustion) to stimulate adaptation (i.e. growth). The heavier one pushes, the more muscle fibers are activated, the quicker the adaptation."

    In comparison to doing 3 sets/exercise, 2-3 exercises/muscle group, wouldn't HIT appear to be more efficient? Does doing 3 sets/exercise (etc) really provide enough stress on the body to trigger efficient hypertrophy?

    I am graduating from a 3 year college program, focused on Exercise prescription/Personal Training; however our training prescription guidelines come from CSEP and are targeted for sedentary, average folk, not for athletic individuals with sport goals.
    Therefore, I acknowledge that I may appear like a neophyte/mislead pup by asking the questions I have posted.

    Again, I would like to thank everyone who has participated in this discussion. I appreciate the assistance, guys! *thumbs up!

    Motto: Get' er Done!
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    Feb 18, 2008 8:56 PM GMT
    Militant_Jock said
    In comparison to doing 3 sets/exercise, 2-3 exercises/muscle group, wouldn't HIT appear to be more efficient? Does doing 3 sets/exercise (etc) really provide enough stress on the body to trigger efficient hypertrophy?


    As I said I dont follow Mentzers HIT its based on it. Yuo can achieve one set to failure using the cadence I suggested. Failure is failure ie if after 30 seconds the bar still aint moving then your set is done.

    Its efficient in time, at the end of the day weights are there to tear muscle fibre so that it can be rebuilt there is no right or wrong way of doing this its simply what you prefer.

    There is lots of reports suggesting one method is better than another and just as many to discount them. At the end of the day tho we are talking ounces in Lean Muscle Mass differential. Its mor eimportant to find a way that you subscribe to and suits your circumstances. Then you will stick at it and employ it to its fullest.

    For me HIT muscle building routines take 24 minutes max 30 for others they just dont feel this is long enough, is more needed for growth definitely not. Is it needed for sanity? Questionable
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    Feb 18, 2008 8:58 PM GMT
    Militant_Jock saidAlmost everyone who replied to the HIT topic seem to be hesitant regarding it's application and prescription. I understand that it is a very grueling, intense training technique, and that because of its high intensity, injury risk is increased.


    Some dont like change, some it goes against the grain, trainers hate it as it shortens the length of the session. And if its true HIT and people employ a proper cadence then its less likely to cause damage than other methods.
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    Feb 18, 2008 9:27 PM GMT
    bfg1 saidIve used HIT style training for the past 5 years...


    Ample evidence, in my view, that it does NOT work for many people. How much muscle have you actually gained in those 5 years, BFG?
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    Feb 18, 2008 9:33 PM GMT
    PSBigJoey said[quote][cite]bfg1 said[/cite]Ive used HIT style training for the past 5 years...


    Ample evidence, in my view, that it does NOT work for many people. How much muscle have you actually gained in those 5 years, BFG?[/quote]

    If that is supposed to be some dig Joey I dont get it as it shows ignorance.

    The first 2 years were spent cutting the fat, I then went onto a 14 week bulk and hit my target weight. Gains in mass are dictated by the level of calories consumed not the method employed.

    I am at a level where after adding 16lbs of lean muscle mass in 14 weeks I did not wish to consume any higher level than I was. Whilst at times I may aspire to be bigger I am happy not to be consumuing in excess of 3500 calories a day.
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    Feb 18, 2008 9:40 PM GMT
    bfg1 said[quote]...after adding 16lbs of lean muscle mass in 14 weeks....


    If you gained 16 pounds of lean mass in 14 weeks you'd be on the cover of every bodybuilding magazine in the country. You added water, fat, and some - just some, lean muscle. Please don't deceive yourself to the contrary.
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    Feb 18, 2008 9:41 PM GMT
    I agree with BigJoey. I've tried this myself, also Static Contraction Exercises and have noticed that they work ok if you need to break through a plateau. But he's right what works for one may not work for another so give it a chance. And if you discover any benefits share them with us. We're always interested in hearing what works, even if it's a small gain. Keep in mind form is always going to be your best friend when it comes to gains. And yes people always cheat as they become wasted going for that last rep even if it's ugly.
    Great workouts
    Joe
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    Feb 18, 2008 9:46 PM GMT
    PSBigJoey said[quote][cite]bfg1 said[/cite][quote]...after adding 16lbs of lean muscle mass in 14 weeks....


    If you gained 16 pounds of lean mass in 14 weeks you'd be on the cover of every bodybuilding magazine in the country. You added water, fat, and some - just some, lean muscle. Please don't deceive yourself to the contrary.[/quote]

    Where do you get off on being an arrogant bigjoey? Just because you have accreditation after your name does not make you Gods gift and the only authority in the training world.

    I worked with one of the best trainers in the UK and a top nutritionist for a Webzine. My training and diet was monitored and was measured on a regular basis. I did not say my body fat did not increase, I did not say my retained water did not increase I stated as fact the amount that my lean muscle mass did increase.

    If you have issues with that Mr thats your problem, but dont try and discredit with belittling comments the only person that is dillusional is you.

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    Feb 18, 2008 11:15 PM GMT
    Gentlemen, this forum is for educational promotion.
    Please let us not forget that.

    Thank you for your cooperation.
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    Feb 19, 2008 12:36 AM GMT
    If you'll forgive the intrusion, wasn't the late Mike Mentzer a crazy drug addict for years. Even though he cleaned up before he died, his 'study' of techniques had little science and were really anecdotal and ignored some commonly (now) known realities of physical development as some have already mentioned.
    While I think that the HIT method may work for some, I'd be quite reticent to guess which aspects were constructive and which were destructive.
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    Feb 19, 2008 1:04 AM GMT
    BG - 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.

    Militant Jock
    , 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 icon_confused.gif - who preaches one particular gospel as the way of making optimal gains.

    Joey
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    Feb 19, 2008 1:12 AM GMT
    Well said Joey!

    Now if only I had your shoulders! (I mean your bone structure.)
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    Feb 19, 2008 1:17 AM GMT
    I'll trade you my shoulders for your smile, BG - any day!
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    Feb 19, 2008 1:33 AM GMT
    From your lips to God's ears!

    Then again, your partner may not think the trade was such a good idea.