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When most people think of Mike Mentzer, they think of working out only every 4 to 7 days and doing only 1 set to failure for each muscle group and hitting each body part once every two weeks.
But was this the way Mike Mentzer himself trained when he was active in bodybuilding?
The answer is – no, he did not!
Yes, Mike Mentzer used High Intensity training, which he called Heavy Duty, but back in the 1970s H.I.T. was very different than what it has become today.
Mike Mentzer’s workouts were done 3 to 4 times a week. Sometimes he trained Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Other times he did two days on and one day off, two days on and two days off, for example Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. And one other way he trained was one day on, one day off, etc, which was called the every other day split routine.
He did anywhere from 3 to 6 sets for a muscle group, and trained each body part twice every week.
Back then most bodybuilders had the “more is better” mindset, until High Intensity training came along and showed us that harder is better.
But, then something went wrong and over the next 30 years Mike and others got obsessed with a “less is better” mindset and took that concept to the barest minimum such as recommending 1 set workouts done only once a week.
Do you really think that if Mike did 3 or 5 sets per workout, only once or twice a week he would have gotten as big as he was in his prime?
The answer once again is a big NO!
The bottom line is, High Intensity Training works big time when done right, but when done wrong it will produce little to no results.
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High Intensity Training does work when done the right way, in fact many people are gaining 20 to 30 pounds of muscle in 2 to 3 months!