Questions on Mike Mentzer's last book

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Questions on Mike Mentzer's last book

Post  Merc on Tue Jun 08, 2010 9:56 pm

I've read Mike Mentzer's last book called "High-Intensity Training the Mike Mentzer Way" and I have a few questions that unfortunately aren't answered in the book. I'm hoping some of you more experienced with his philosophy and training methods could help me out.

1. Why are Legs & Abs repeated in the four-workout cycle?

Workout One: Chest & Back
Workout Two: Legs & Abs
Workout Three: Shoulders & Arms
Workout Four: Legs & Abs

2. The recommended exercise for both the lats and biceps is the palms-up pulldowns, isn't this an example of overlapping? Your biceps and lats are going to be hit pretty good on two different workouts.

3. For the abs he recommends one set of sit-ups using barbell plates for 12 to 20 reps. As an alternative he recommends hanging leg raises. Are either one of these two exercises really enough to target everything including the obliques?

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Re: Questions on Mike Mentzer's last book

Post  Jozzzef on Wed Jun 09, 2010 1:47 am

1. You should recover and overcompensate before you step in the gym again. This is the most important - frequency. Your body recovers as a system - whole. No overtraining should occur. In addition, he inserted leg workout in between. This prevents overtraining of biceps and lats.Read a 2 day rule explained by Bill Sahli.

2. one exercise is plenty. You train abs also when training other exercises, but you may not realize it. I'm losing from my waist without doing a direct exercise at all. The same is with other guys. Diet is very important.

I hope it helps

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Re: Questions on Mike Mentzer's last book

Post  Merc on Wed Jun 09, 2010 5:14 am

Thanks Jozzzef

So I found out what the 2 day rule is: "Once you feel 100%, you feel energetic again and you are your great feeling self, then and only then, insert two more rest days before you go to the gym to perform your next workout".

That seems very logical and I agree with that. I'll read Bill Sahli's other articles this week.

Mike Mentzer recommends 4 to 7 days or more in between workouts so shouldn't that be plenty of time not to have to do another leg and ab workout? What I want to know is his reasoning behind doing an extra leg and ab workout. Perhaps he mentions why in another book?

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Re: Questions on Mike Mentzer's last book

Post  Jozzzef on Wed Jun 09, 2010 6:53 am

According to Mike and based on his observations, legs recover faster than the rest of body.
That's the reason behind the frequency of leg workouts.

You can always alternate pulldowns with barbell rows if you want or biceps/preacher curls.
That shouldn't hurt. I have done it in some routines.

J

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Re: Questions on Mike Mentzer's last book

Post  AceHIT on Wed Jun 09, 2010 6:59 am

Jozzzef wrote:According to Mike and based on his observations, legs recover faster than the rest of body.
That's the reason behind the frequency of leg workouts.

You can always alternate pulldowns with barbell rows if you want or biceps/preacher curls.
That shouldn't hurt. I have done it in some routines.

J

Does not make logical sense to me. Legs are the largest muscles in the body. Surely, they need longer to recover in that case?

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Re: Questions on Mike Mentzer's last book

Post  HDHITman on Wed Jun 09, 2010 9:40 am

Maybe I can help explain this the reason for the second leg is basically he found in his clients that when they were on a 3 way split doing chest/back, then legs, and finally shoulders and arms that legs would so continue progress the whole time because they were only trained once a week or more while the all the torso muscles would stall in progress within several weeks because of overlap and them being trained more then once per week or more in the course of a training cycle. That is why he inserted the 2nd leg day to make sure that all the torso muscle had overcompensated.

Think of it this way during chest and back you are training these muscles directly and your biceps and triceps indirectly but in the case of bi and tri you are still training them to failure in the chest and back workout because those the weak links that you use pre-exhaust to save them to push your chest and back into the break over point. In this scenario the reverse is true also when training bi and tri you train them directly and your chest and back indirectly but not to failure because the bi and tri will fatigue far faster then your chest and back but those muscles will be there to push the smaller ones into the break over point. Basically in the 2nd scenario the chest and back get a not to failure workout because they are there to push the smaller muscles. So if you understand what I have said then you understand that is why the second leg day was added to compensate for the fact above and the all the torso muscles would keep pace with the lower body.

To answer your second question the reason you use the same exercise for biceps and back is because the definition of a compound movement is a movement that moves across two joints. Also to use the exercise twice you would need to perform the it in to different ways. To perform for back obviously do as it says in the book because that is the proper way, as for biceps perform it so that you pull the bar from overhead and bring down until your elbow point down and in that postion your forearms are perpendicular to the floor you(your forearms will touch your bicep) and you should feel a very strong contraction. If you go any further then this then its your back and your rear delts that will finish the movement.

On your third questions the rectis abdominus is still one full muscle you cannot isolate any one part of it, so one exercise will train the whole area but certain exercises I believe do this better then others, and hanging leg raises is the better exercise.
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Re: Questions on Mike Mentzer's last book

Post  Ciccio on Wed Jun 09, 2010 10:05 am

It sounds reasonable and actually, when training every 4th day roughly this would amount to once per week leg workout. What a lot of us do anyway with a weekly fullbody workout.
Just arms/shoulders and back/chest will be worked directly only every 2 weeks.
I have to confess that I don't have any Mentzer-books as I'm coming more from the AJ/Darden-school of thought, so would somebody be willing to lay down the full routine with all exercises?

Thanks,
Franco
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Re: Questions on Mike Mentzer's last book

Post  fantombe on Wed Jun 09, 2010 10:10 am

I can't answer the first two because I've never read the book, but I believe you have plenty of answers to those above. You're right on the last point though in that the obliques are getting very little if any stimulation from either the HLR or sit up. The obliques twist the torso and/or crunch to the side, so a crunch through a straight up and down plane of motion will bypass them almost completely.

What you can do is add in a specific exercise for your obliques after your HLRs, or if you're cautious about adding another exercise, alternate. The alternation of the upper body and lower body with abs schedule is set out ideally for it.

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Re: Questions on Mike Mentzer's last book

Post  Merc on Wed Jun 09, 2010 10:35 am

Thanks everyone! I get it now. It makes sense. Here's the workout recommended in the book. Note that almost all of these exercises have substitutes if you're working out at home and don't have all the necessary machines.

Rest 4 to 7 days in between workouts

Workout One: Chest & Back

Chest
Dumbbell flyes for pre-exhaust 1 x 6-10 reps
Incline presses 1 x 1-3 reps

Back
Straight-arm pulldowns for pre-exhaust 1 x 6-10 reps
Palms-up pulldowns 1 x 6-10 reps
Deadlifts 1 x 6-10 reps


Workout Two: Legs & Abs

Legs
Leg extensions for pre-exhaust 1 x 12-20
Leg presses 1 x 12-20
Standing calf raises 1 x 12-20

Abs
Sit-ups 1 x 12-20 (using barbell plate)


Workout Three: Shoulders & Arms

Shoulders
Dumbbell lateral raises 1 x 6-10 reps
Bent-over dumbbell laterals 1 x 6-10 reps

Biceps
Palms-up pulldowns 1 x 6-10 reps

Triceps
Triceps pressdowns for pre-exhaust 1 x 6-10 reps
Dips 1 x 3-5 reps


Workout Four: Legs & Abs

////////////////////////////////

One last thing I'd like to know is how much if any cardio do you guys do? In the book, Mike Mentzer mentions cardio when getting ready for competition. In the first video on youtube where he's training Markus Reinhardt he says: "Aerobics are not just a waste of time it's counterproductive." What are your opinions on this?

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Re: Questions on Mike Mentzer's last book

Post  sgsims1 on Wed Jun 09, 2010 12:20 pm

Welcome to the forum Merc!
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Re: Questions on Mike Mentzer's last book

Post  Jozzzef on Wed Jun 09, 2010 1:20 pm

I don't have time for cardio and I don't like it anyway. I rather restrict my calories to burn fat.
It's better to restrict DCI by 300 cals than bike for one hour.

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Re: Questions on Mike Mentzer's last book

Post  Merc on Wed Jun 09, 2010 9:45 pm

Admin wrote:Welcome to the forum Merc!
Thanks, I've come to the right place.

Jozzzef wrote:I don't have time for cardio and I don't like it anyway. I rather restrict my calories to burn fat.
It's better to restrict DCI by 300 cals than bike for one hour.
Good point. I was doing cardio 3 times a week for 20 minutes and I always wondered if doing all that cardio would set me back especially with leg development. In the video I mentioned in my previous post with Mike Mentzer talking about aerobics he adds: "It uses up a sizeable portion of the body's limited reserve of resources known as recovery ability which could be better used for growth".

The HIT approach is logical but I guess all the programming through the years makes it hard to believe you can make gains with just 4 to 7 workouts in a month. I'm going to get started this weekend after a few more days of rest. I just have to take a leap of faith and give this an honest try.

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Re: Questions on Mike Mentzer's last book

Post  Ciccio on Thu Jun 10, 2010 2:46 am

Merc,

thanks! I see now it's the pre-exhaust routine.
For the cardio: Sex! High volume high frequency style! afro
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Re: Questions on Mike Mentzer's last book

Post  Bmalcolm on Fri Jun 11, 2010 1:41 pm

I always wondered why he didnt drop the reps in the pulldowns for the back superset like he did for chest and triceps?

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Re: Questions on Mike Mentzer's last book

Post  DaveH on Wed Jun 16, 2010 4:45 pm

I could never get results from the routine posted above which is also very similar from Heavy Duty II. I did better on the Heavy Duty I split and even better on the consolidation training which I'm doing right now.

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Re: Questions on Mike Mentzer's last book

Post  Merc on Thu Jun 17, 2010 6:56 am

So I now have a couple HIT workouts under my belt and I'm impressed so far. After a week of testing the exercises I would be using and another week of rest I got started with the legs and abs workout. I was able to perform 5 more squats than I did a week ago which is pretty good.

After the Chest and back workout I was sweating almost as much as I do after 20 min of cardio. That was the toughest weight training session I have ever done but it felt good. After completing my 2 chest exercises I couldn't lift my arms for about 10 seconds it was pretty funny.

I understand why forearms aren't specifically targeted in high-intensity training because I felt they got worked pretty good with the palms-up pulldowns and the dead lifts.


DaveH wrote:I could never get results from the routine posted above which is also very similar from Heavy Duty II. I did better on the Heavy Duty I split and even better on the consolidation training which I'm doing right now.

Can you post the Heavy Duty I split?

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Re: Questions on Mike Mentzer's last book

Post  HDHITman on Thu Jun 17, 2010 9:59 am

The HD1 split is workout 1: chest/shoulders/triceps workout 2: Legs/Abs and workout 3: Back/Biceps. Thats it if you want to full workout from the book let me know.

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Re: Questions on Mike Mentzer's last book

Post  fantombe on Thu Jun 17, 2010 10:07 am

Merc wrote:I understand why forearms aren't specifically targeted in high-intensity training because I felt they got worked pretty good with the palms-up pulldowns and the dead lifts.

It's important to remember that forearms are specifically targeted in High Intensity Training, just not in this particular routine. Wrist curls and variations feature heavily in some routines. The wrist curl itself in fact has been detailed as the "perfect" exercise in some HIT texts because of its resistance curve.

There are actually several HIT style routines dedicated specifically to the forearms.

Personally things like Wrist Curls (and other what some people may call "accessory" exercises) feature in routines I design because they don't cause a great deal of systemic stress, so in times where you're looking to gain a significant amount of muscle mass rather than lose fat and/or maintain your muscle mass while gaining strength, they work very well to increase overall muscular (surface area if you like) demand and volume without greatly increasing the systemic stress requiring more recovery.

I believe it was Dr Ken who used to perform forearms, calfs, and neck work on a day following one of his full body routines based on the same principle (not big enough exercises to create a massive dent in recovery).

So don't think certain muscles are avoided in HIT because they're not. They're avoided by some trainees or routines, but not by HIT principles. The last thing we'd want you to do as a person new to working out in a HIT fashion is start to build up restrictions and misconceptions that don't apply early on, because you'll probably find they're hard to break! Smile

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Re: Questions on Mike Mentzer's last book

Post  Merc on Thu Jun 17, 2010 9:25 pm

fantombe wrote:
So don't think certain muscles are avoided in HIT because they're not. They're avoided by some trainees or routines, but not by HIT principles. The last thing we'd want you to do as a person new to working out in a HIT fashion is start to build up restrictions and misconceptions that don't apply early on, because you'll probably find they're hard to break! Smile

No, I don't think that at all. The forearms are not avoided because they're heavily involved in other exercises. Mike Mentzer said he didn't train forearms for that reason. Even many volume trainers agree with that. I'm following what Mike Mentzer says to the letter in regards to training, rest and nutrition so that when it comes down to evaluating his approach there will be no doubt in my mind.

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Re: Questions on Mike Mentzer's last book

Post  fantombe on Fri Jun 18, 2010 1:07 am

fantombe wrote:No, I don't think that at all. The forearms are not avoided because they're heavily involved in other exercises.

Sorry, let me rephrase that. Don't think direct forearm work, or forearm exercises are avoided in HIT, they're just avoided in that specific HIT routine (and some others) that you're doing.


Last edited by fantombe on Fri Jun 18, 2010 8:33 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Superfluous quote tag.)

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Re: Questions on Mike Mentzer's last book

Post  Merc on Fri Jun 18, 2010 2:16 am

fantombe wrote:
Sorry, let me rephrase that. Don't think direct forearm work, or forearm exercises are avoided in HIT, they're just avoided in that specific HIT routine (and some others) that you're doing.

Sorry, I get what you're saying now. Wink

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rear delts

Post  Merc on Tue Jun 22, 2010 3:33 am

I haven't done a shoulders & arms workout yet but I'm looking ahead at what's recommended and I'm not a fan of bent-over dumbbell laterals. One of the alternate exercises listed is the bent-over cable laterals which I don't mind at all. However, the exercise I really like doing for rear delts in the lying rear delt raise on a flat bench with a weight plate. What do you guys think of this exercise? Would it be OK for a substitute?

go to 5:10 for a demonstration. Obviously I would perform the movements slower.

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Re: Questions on Mike Mentzer's last book

Post  Ciccio on Tue Jun 22, 2010 9:09 am

I'm not a fan of single joint free-weight exercises anymore (a good machine is a different thing), save for a few.

I like that for rear delts: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

If you take this one and keep elbows more to the back (something like a reverse Dip) you get a combo of traps and rear delt:
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Re: Questions on Mike Mentzer's last book

Post  Merc on Mon Jun 28, 2010 5:41 am

Ciccio wrote:
I like that for rear delts: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

That looks like a good substitute but I don't have a bench that can go that high. Too bad. I decided to suck it up and just do the bent-over dumbbell laterals and then I remembered why I don't like them. Laughing My back gets tired before anything else and then my posture gets pretty bad and I can't get the rear delts properly.

I'm going to try this one next time
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If it doesn't work out I'll give the second exercise you mentioned a shot.

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Re: Questions on Mike Mentzer's last book

Post  Ciccio on Mon Jun 28, 2010 6:30 am

Yes, bent over rows kill my back too. Another variation for the rear delt row: Just sit on the bench (or an ordinary chair might be even better) and bent over seated. This gives greater ROM (as you lay practicaly on your thighs) and just a slight angled position. Stretch might be a little less (depending on arm length) but I like to start all my exercises from a dead stop anyways. Remember to keep your elbows perpendicular to your torso!

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