Home Bodybuilding Mike Mentzer’s HIT Applications; Fact or Gross sales-pitch Nonsense?

Mike Mentzer’s HIT Applications; Fact or Gross sales-pitch Nonsense?

Mike Mentzer’s HIT Applications; Fact or Gross sales-pitch Nonsense?


I used to be just lately requested via an e mail to elaborate on my ideas about Mike Mentzer’s hit applications (excessive depth coaching routines). It’s humorous that I obtained an e mail like that, as a result of this was really a podcast concept that had been on my thoughts for some time now, however my worry was {that a} podcast about might go away just a few issues out.

For these of you which are new to bodybuilding and/or aren’t acquainted with the late Mike Mentzer, Mike was a bodybuilder who was a proponent of temporary and intense exercises known as HIT exercises, with extra days spent out of the gymnasium than within the gymnasium, as a result of physique’s “valuable restoration calls for”.

Now, earlier than we get going right here, I’m not just a few man that learn an article on Mike Mentzer and developed an opinion primarily based on the necessity to put one thing on the market and simply discuss content material. Nope. I’ve lived, eaten, and breathed HIT coaching for a very long time and developed my very own opinions on HIT coaching primarily based alone outcomes and experiences with it.

There are elements of HIT coaching that I like, and there are elements of HIT coaching that I don’t like. Truly, let me rephrase that; there are elements of TRADITIONAL HIT TRAINING that I don’t like!

In fact, this text relies solely alone opinions and expertise with HIT coaching and simply because I don’t agree with sure issues, doesn’t imply they don’t work for another person. So, take what you learn right here and throw it in your toolbox, however by no means discredit your individual expertise and instinct, and till you get the expertise you merely gained’t know the solutions since you haven’t utilized the apply.

Moreover, I personally didn’t know the late Mike Mentzer and any opinions I’ve are primarily based on what I’ve heard and skim via books, seminars, and articles. If I say one thing destructive then it’s primarily based on what I’ve seen, heard, and skim, and nothing extra. However I’m not one to only write an article to appease the lots and sit round in some love, peace, and pleasure circle-jerk both.


There is no such thing as a doubt that conventional HIT coaching doesn’t construct muscle at a fast charge. I really feel prefer it’s human nature to be obsessive compulsive with issues that we become involved with, and HIT was developed extra upon the science of muscular progress reasonably than this pipe dream that so long as you need one thing unhealthy sufficient then it’ll occur.

I could wish to be a millionaire sooner or later, however I proceed to work at McDonald’s. It doesn’t fairly work that approach, and until you modify the strategy chances are you’ll by no means get to the place you wish to be.

This was one factor about Mike Mentzer that I actually appreciated, it’s that he put a lot emphasis on killing it throughout these units and lifting with good type, in a sluggish and deliberate method. It’s more durable to elevate slowly and concentrate on feeling these contractions than it’s simply to heave the weights and make them transfer.

Over time I discovered the worth of fine type and time below pressure over merely lifting weights, and I really feel like somebody that may start their journey with this in thoughts is off to a a lot better begin than somebody who sloppily heaves the weights round.

I additionally like the truth that Mike Mentzer had an analogous outlook to me on nutrient values for constructing muscle. Mike believed that the carbohydrate was simply as vital as protein, if no more vital, and that on the finish of the day energy in versus energy out was extra vital than completely depleting a nutrient (like these keto clowns advocate a lot these days!)

One other factor that I appreciated about Mentzer and the few others in his HIT crew was that they didn’t speak lots about dietary supplements, as a result of they didn’t need you to consider that dietary supplements have been the reply to avoiding onerous work and a sound weight loss plan.

There additionally wasn’t actually any discuss efficiency enhancement both, and whereas a part of me can perceive this, there’s a enormous a part of me that thinks it’s a flaw in his teachings and discredits lots of what’s simply flat-out actuality on the subject of muscular growth. However I’ll get extra into that later on this article.

I appreciated the truth that Mike wasn’t actually massive on which kind of resistance you have been utilizing, so long as you have been pushing your physique then you definately have been pushing your physique. Now, I’m undecided if a part of this concept got here from Arthur Jones who was the inventor and founding father of Nautilus exercise machines, or if Mike formulated this opinion on his personal, however I’m personally from the identical camp myself!

This entire mind-frame of “squat versus leg press, bench press superior to machine press, dumbbells superior to machines and cables” is sort of merely bullshit to me! The way in which I elevate is straight up ache, a dwelling hell that builds outcomes it doesn’t matter what the hell I’m utilizing. So, it truthfully doesn’t matter to me AT THIS POINT IN TIME.

Let me say that once more, AT THIS POINT IN TIME! Do I believe a newbie with no expertise wants to start with all machines and keep away from workout routines just like the push-up, pull-up, bench press and deadlift? Nope! I really feel like a newbie must study to concentrate on lifting towards gravity, pure and easy!

Machines are extra helpful when you’re skilled and might perceive issues like time below pressure, coaching for pump, including kilos in your thoughts by altering the drive of a muscular contraction and/or rep tempo. However till your muscle groups change into conditioned and accustomed to working routinely, this isn’t as simply achieved by starting with machines!

Is it okay to include machines right into a free-weight routine as a brand new lifter? Completely, simply don’t make them a staple till you study to construct some muscle with the fundamentals first. Hell, I’d even counsel principally calisthenics like pushups and pull-ups as a place to begin earlier than weights!

HOWEVER, for a seasoned bodybuilder, this entire argument about free-weights versus machines merely doesn’t matter to me… I LIKE AT ALL! IT ALL WORKS FOR ME!

One other factor about Mike Mentzer’s HIT type coaching is that it doesn’t deplete you so unhealthy that you just can’t have a life exterior of the gymnasium. It’s a really practical type of coaching for somebody that’s busy or extra time consumed with one other exercise in life, akin to constructing a enterprise or pursuing a school diploma.

There simply comes some extent the place spending an excessive amount of time within the gymnasium and never sufficient time recovering could make dwelling life extraordinarily tough.

Bear in mind, not everyone seems to be in the identical place in life as the subsequent man or woman. Whereas you could have 2 free hours a day to go to the gymnasium, another person might wrestle to unencumber 45 minutes-1 hr. The HIT system is superb for growing outcomes whereas specializing in enhancements in different areas of life on the similar time!

One other factor that I discovered optimistic about conventional HIT coaching was that I might go additional on much less. What I imply by that, is that if I used to be quantity coaching and was ravenous on 3,500 energy a day, with HIT I’d have the ability to get the identical kind of outcomes on 2,600 energy a day, since I wasn’t burning a lot all week lengthy and in a continuing state of being worn down and depleted.

I could really feel extra awake and mentally sharp coaching HIT type versus quantity and I could also be on this state of continuous to take little bites at a time to enhance my physique, reasonably than this extremist crash and burn strategy that may generally come from excessive quantity coaching.

One other optimistic that HIT brings to the desk is excessive depth strategies that function implausible methods to construct muscle past only a set and rep depend. Sure HIT strategies like static holds, “superslow units,” and excessive stretching are nice methods to supply a special kind of power and stimulation to construct new muscle mass.

They will additionally change into little objectives inside the exercise which are thrilling to interrupt via. If I did a 1 minute static maintain with 2 plates on both sides of a Hammer power machine final week, and this week I used to be capable of do 2 plates plus a 5 lb plate on both sides, and hit the identical 1 minute depend, it may be very thrilling to see your power bettering in a special kind of approach!

These would all be the positives that I’ve discovered via Mentzer type HIT coaching. All of it sounds nice proper? By this level you is perhaps questioning, “So what are the negatives? Why wouldn’t everyone prepare this fashion?”

Belief me, there are some negatives with conventional HIT coaching, and Mike Mentzer didn’t know the whole lot! Don’t get me flawed, I give the person a ton of credit score and you’ll definitely get outcomes doing issues the Mentzer approach…



Mike Mentzer skilled with quantity coaching identical to everybody else did in the course of the Golden period of bodybuilding UNTIL HE MET UP WITH ARTHUR JONES, the inventor and creator of Nautilus tools.

Arthur Jones was a special breed, extra of an innovator and analytical man than a bodybuilder, however nonetheless a really smart individual. Jones wanted bodybuilders to assist show and market Nautilus tools, and the necessity to present why machines have been superior to free weights is the place a few of these bodybuilders got here into play.

How do I do know that Mentzer skilled with excessive quantity till Arthur Jones? Straightforward, I’m good pals with a man that used to coach proper subsequent to him within the gymnasium. Mike was at all times in form, had a tough work ethic and nice physique lengthy earlier than the times of touting excessive depth, rare coaching periods, so rare that it was nearly like “Why the fuck even prepare in any respect?”

Most individuals wouldn’t stick the trail with their weight loss plan in the event that they have been solely within the gymnasium as soon as each 4-7 days they usually merely wouldn’t be in line with it with a sense as in the event that they have been barely stepping foot within the gymnasium in any respect.

This thought at all times pops in my thoughts…”How a lot was actual fact and the way a lot of HIT was purely a promoting level piggy-backed on Arthur Jones and his nazi kind lectures? You see, Jones was an odd man that in contrast bodybuilders to animals like gorillas and lions.

His thought course of was that an animal akin to a lion might lay round all day, however when he wanted to behave out then he might tear one thing limb from limb and might be as ferocious as ever. Properly Sir, people aren’t gorillas and lions.

We don’t get sturdy like gorillas do consuming a weight loss plan primarily based on nothing however crops, nor can we climb bushes like gorillas. The comparisons that Jones made between people and animals sounded good, nevertheless it’s apples and oranges to me.

Bear in mind earlier on on this article after I defined that Mentzer didn’t discuss anabolics as they pertained to this superior HIT coaching system? Properly, as a lot of a optimistic is that might be to emphasise intense coaching and good vitamin, it’s additionally one thing that merely can’t be in comparison with a bodybuilder utilizing anabolics to construct muscle.

I don’t give a flying fuck if you happen to take per week off between coaching periods, eat boatloads of meals, and rub your magic genie lamp all day lengthy to indicate that there’s a superior approach to prepare that surpasses somebody on efficiency enhancement. I’m smarter than that AND I DON’T FUCKING BUY INTO IT!

Jones even had the audacity to elucidate that the one athlete utilizing anabolics below his tutelage was Sergio Oliva, as a result of his physique merely couldn’t undergo the shock of coming off steroids and coaching below his system, it will be an excessive amount of.

So, all of those so known as “experimental pupils” have been coaching 100% pure below Arthur Jones.


Mentzer talked about well being and restoration always because it pertained to HIT coaching, in the meantime he had a pace habit that rattling close to left him on the streets homeless. Simply because somebody preaches one thing doesn’t imply I’m consuming what they’re giving me entire in the event that they’re not dwelling it.

Mentzer ultimately stopped coaching, chain-smoked cigarettes, and by no means received over that fifth place end on the 1980 Mr. Olympia.

Mike additionally took the stage round 215 lbs, so clearly not the most important man within the pack by any means. Wait, so there have been guys coaching with quantity that have been bigger than Mentzer? You wager your ass there have been!

I might higher perceive the prevalence of conventional HIT coaching if you happen to confirmed me the numbers. However the fact is, exterior of only a few guys coaching HIT type, there simply haven’t been lots of bodybuilders on a stage who received there by doing strictly HIT coaching!

And no, I wouldn’t even contemplate Dorian Yates one in all them, as a result of even Dorian went to the gymnasium about 4x per week, he simply didn’t do an insane quantity of quantity whereas he was in there. This I can get with; this I can higher perceive!

However like I stated earlier than, why the fuck even elevate in any respect in case your objective is to construct muscle by going to the gymnasium a few times per week? How many individuals are nice at what they do by doing it as little as potential? VERY FEW!

There was a narrative about Dorian Yates speaking to Mike Mentzer about how a lot quantity he ought to be doing whereas getting ready for a Mr. Olympia competitors. Mike’s reply to the query of what Dorian ought to be doing on again day was a single train of broad grip pulldowns.

That’s proper, 215 lb Mike Mentzer was attempting to kick some information to 265 lb mass monster Dorian Yates, about how Dorian might be even higher…and out of all issues he was suggesting what he ought to be doing for his fucking again! Have you ever seen Dorian’s again pictures when he was a aggressive bodybuilder? This is able to be like attempting to inform a man like Elon Musk how one can earn a living.

Dude, simply shut the fuck up already, we’ve heard sufficient out of you!

With these guys it was their approach or the freeway, they have been the furthest factor from open-minded when it got here to speaking about bodybuilding! This brings me to the negatives about HIT coaching, once more, via expertise!


Let me simply begin out by saying it’s extra of the infrequency and rep schemes of HIT coaching that I’m not loopy about, primarily based on the place I’m at with my very own bodybuilding journey. Whereas I can recognize the sluggish and methodical reps that HIT coaching advocates, the rep schemes in most HIT applications are nonetheless a bit on the low finish for myself.

Whereas the rep schemes of HIT are efficient for somebody newer to coaching and nonetheless rising, there’s kind of a lacking hyperlink in there for somebody BRAND NEW to resistance coaching. For my part, it’s safer and simpler to work in barely larger rep schemes and transfer downward as your muscle groups change into extra accustomed to work output.

I really feel like somebody would profit extra from doing units of pushups within the 20-25 rep vary after which transfer into weights as they change into stronger reasonably than to easily begin off with 6-8 reps to failure. However hey, that’s simply me.

I really feel like HIT coaching has extra of its place with somebody that has about 1 yr of constant weight coaching below their belt reasonably than beginning off your resistance coaching this fashion. However after that first yr and that base basis then I believe it’s an effective way to construct muscle and make beneficial properties shortly.

I additionally really feel like the entire pocket book factor and jotting the whole lot down week to week takes a number of the enjoyable out of the gymnasium and simply isn’t at all times vital. After I hit a set and do X variety of lbs for X variety of reps, that quantity and weight is saved in my thoughts for the next exercise as a result of it was significant to me.

I don’t must essentially write the whole lot down and have yet another factor to fuck with after I’m on the gymnasium. I merely don’t really feel the necessity to overcomplicate a course of that doesn’t should be that concerned to make nice progress.

Additionally, I’m kind of on the fence in regards to the infrequency of conventional Mentzer type HIT coaching for a more moderen trainee. I consider that immersing your self in frequent muscle stimulation can result in implausible outcomes for the straightforward incontrovertible fact that the whole lot is new and is stimulation whenever you’re new.

And it’s additionally good to strike when the iron is scorching. Go in that gymnasium frequently whenever you’re new and your motivation is thru the roof and dwell within the second! I gained roughly 36 lbs of principally lean mass my first yr of resistance coaching and I used to be coaching frequently within the gymnasium about 5-6x per week.

I used to be nonetheless recovering sufficient to get stronger as a result of at that stage of the sport you’re sending a sign to your physique to adapt and overcome from the stress you’re placing your self via lifting weights. Backside line is frequency and consistency labored for me, and I wasn’t utilizing steroids or dietary supplements in that first yr that I gained that mass.

Would rare, HIT exercises have given me extra? I doubt it, as a result of the load room can be nearly new to me once more each time I stepped foot in there since I’d be coaching so sometimes. I believe it’s finest to reap the benefits of the brand new stimulus of weight coaching and hit it frequently!

And let’s simply face the fact of all of it, how many individuals can actually lay out of the gymnasium for even just a few days between exercises after they’re keen about it they usually have that beginner fireplace below their belts? PROBABLY NONE!

Let’s not neglect that everybody that was getting used below Arthur Jones, together with Mike Mentzer, wasn’t new to coaching! Guys like Boyer Coe, Ray and Mike Mentzer, and Casey Viator already had loopy growth and expertise earlier than they ever jumped on that HIT bandwagon.

That tells me that quantity coaching received them to the place they wanted to be for somebody to market them. Once more, lacking hyperlinks and grey areas!

Additionally, how in regards to the psychological profit from common gymnasium periods 4-6 instances per week? That is one thing that the “Mentzer approach” by no means talked about! Positive, possibly you will get different issues executed by laying out of the gymnasium extra, however what about the one that simply misplaced a partner or a toddler and desires an outlet?

What about the one that simply filed a chapter or went via a separation? Wouldn’t it be higher for that individual to put out of the gymnasium greater than days they go? I believe not!

Bodybuilding is about a lot greater than taking a fucking pen to jot your shit down in a gymnasium and analyze the ever-loving shit out of it in your days off! That takes a number of the enjoyable and positives away from it.

HIT coaching relies solely on progressive overload, beating your final finest lifts week to week or “you’re losing your time.” Actually?

Properly, how about somebody weight-reduction plan who’s inevitably going to get weaker as their caloric consumption turns into decrease they usually get leaner? I will need to have missed these chapters in all of these HIT books I’ve learn!

What in regards to the man working Winstrol who’s getting dryer because the weeks transfer ahead? Is that this entire “beat what you probably did final week” a secure approach for him to coach? FUCK NO!

How about the individual that’s working via an harm or a muscle tear? Is conventional HIT the way in which to go for this individual? FUCK NO!

How about somebody who’s of their 40s and has already gained 80 lbs of mass from the place they have been after they began? Ought to they simply concentrate on this type of coaching and neglect about using testosterone, Deca, Primobolan and HGH? I imply if the system is so superior then absolutely we are able to nonetheless make beneficial properties by laying out of the gymnasium many of the week, proper? WRONG!

Does a boxer solely prepare as soon as per week when he’s getting ready for a title battle?

Do basketball gamers solely apply every so often to avoid wasting their power for recreation day?

Does an expert skateboarder land a trick after which go sit and jot it down in his silly fucking pocket book? NO, HE REMEMBERS IT!

To not point out, with so few units and workout routines concerned in a conventional HIT exercise, do you really want to put in writing the whole lot down?

Mike Mentzer additionally thought that doing cardio was a waste of time.

Humorous, I get nice outcomes from cardio frequently, and so do numerous others that do it to shed physique fats and preserve cardiac well being!

However possibly we must always simply disregard all of this nonsense and proceed to concentrate on a mode of coaching that’s strictly 1 dimensional because it was laid out and marketed to the lots.

As a result of that’s what conventional HIT coaching is, a 1 dimensional coaching system that’s finest fitted to choose people who’re on the proper place of their growth the place it may be applied and efficient.

I’m not saying it’s not efficient right here, it’s hella efficient…for sure folks. However this entire 1 size-fits all factor that HIT tried to blanket as a superior coaching system for everybody, I don’t suppose so.


Pay attention, HIT is efficient! As I’ve gone via completely different phases of my very own coaching, I’ve simply discovered methods to take bits and items of coaching methods and implement them into superior coaching methods that labored higher for me and the place I’m at with bodybuilding.

At sure factors HIT was one of the best factor I might have executed! There have been instances after I started wanting higher by taking extra time without work from the gymnasium between exercises. There have been instances after I did write down my units and reps in a bit of memo e book and take it with me to the gymnasium.

There have been instances after I was going to the gymnasium on restricted time and HIT appeared extra practical for me than quantity coaching.

However then there have been instances the place HIT was brief lived, progressive resistance not labored, heavier coaching led to accidents, I felt like just a few extra warmup units have been wanted, and I discovered that top rep units really labored for progress!

I had principally gotten so superior that the normal “3-5 reps for power, 8-10 reps for hypertrophy” turned irrelevant to the place I used to be at and this cliche, one size-fits all strategy simply wasn’t one of the best match for me anymore.

HOWEVER, that doesn’t imply that I nonetheless don’t use some HIT rules. But it surely simply doesn’t work like “set 1- gentle warmup, set 2- average warmup, set 3- heavy warmup, set 4- all out to the place you fail at 6-8 reps.”

Nope, that shit doesn’t work for me anymore! These days, it is perhaps one thing like “set 1- rip out 100 reps straight via, units 2, 3 & 4- 6-8 reps with a ten second destructive and 10 second optimistic (you see? a Mentzer HIT approach in there!)

So, I do take some elements of Mentzer type coaching and apply them to my very own routines. I’m simply good sufficient to suppose for myself generally and I don’t want to have a look at a program and do it EXACTLY AS IT’S WRITTEN WITH THE EXACT EXERCISES LAID OUT!

Like I stated earlier than, there was lots in regards to the late Mike Mentzer that’s unimaginable (let’s simply name it for what it actually was, Arthur Jones system translated via Mike Mentzer). Mike had a approach of explaining some issues that made sense, however the nazi-like & condescending method through which Jones and Mentzer defined issues was simply far too one sided and smug for my liking.

It could be a special story if we collectively had all of those bodybuilders with inferior physiques on one aspect of the fence, and a bunch of people who have been excessive and put them to disgrace on the opposite aspect of the fence, however the fact is we don’t. Subsequently, I can’t simply come ahead and say that this coaching type is so superior that it makes each different coaching type rubbish.

Time and place, that’s my opinion on “the Mentzer approach.” It has its benefits and drawbacks relying in your time and your home in bodybuilding, muscular growth, and life.

Certainly not is it not efficient, it’s simply not one of the best of one of the best coaching type for everybody relying on the place they’re at. Strive it out and see what sort of outcomes you will get from it. Hearken to a number of the Mike Mentzer movies and skim a number of the books and articles he’s written, as a result of it’s not ineffective data in any respect!

Mike Mentzer had an unimaginable physique, and he wasn’t an fool by any stretch. However be open-minded sufficient to suppose for your self, as a result of so only a few of those guys are telling you 100% of the story. Mike constructed his physique with excessive quantity earlier than Jones received a maintain of him.

Mike turned an extension of Arthur Jones, who was extra of an inventor and salesman than he ever was a bodybuilder. Don’t swallow the whole lot within the health trade as entire. Chew that shit up first and determine what really works finest for you! Simply because somebody stated it doesn’t imply it’s 100% gospel.

(For anybody fascinated with a special kind of coaching program that gives reps, time below pressure, and a few HIT rules, in a sensible and efficient program for getting in prime form, attempt Shredded Ops. Shredded Ops is an excellent efficient exercise routine that was developed from years of expertise taking items of issues from completely different coaching types and mixing them collectively in a routine that works extraordinarily nicely!)

Shredded Ops ebook



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