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on 4 March 2006
I have spent 10 years training and studying exercise and weights. Like most people that refuse to use steriods I have had very mediocre results for all my efforts. I have to say I have studied and tried it all. My best results came over the last two years when I used McRoberts Beyond Brawn method of abbreviated training - which slashed my training schedule to 1/2 what it was. But it was still painfully slow progress.
Mike Menzter never set out to influence or sell to anyone. If you are mentally ready you will find him and his work. What really surprised me was it felt that half of this book was purely philosophy, which went over my head until I studied further. But this was actually the most life changing part for the book! He wants his readers to think for themselves rationally and not adapt even his system without thinking for themselves. This is to be appauded. His writing suggests he thinks the brain is the most important part of the body.
His training method is radical and I imagine it would be emotionally difficult for people to accept it, fly in the face of what society believes, and go against what the exercise media brainwashes us with.
For 5 weeks I have been using his method, 20 minutes once every 5-7 days and my muscular and strength transformation have scared my wife. Everyone around me has commented on the sudden transformation. I dont take any suppliments, just a regular diet (+500 extra calories) with extra attention to good unprocessed foods, low sugar. But even without the visible results Mentzer is so logical in his approach that a rational person cannot come to conclusion other than this is the final word. However, the 20 minutes are the most intense and painful training I have ever undergone. And then the extended days off required from the gym are frustrating. You feel like you are not doing enough. But if you have done Squats and Deadlifts to true failure at very slow cadence you will understand there is nothing more demanding or painful in exercise. Despite the maximum effort, because its so controlled at slow speed, I feel this is also the safest exercise activity I have done.
This is the truth about switching on the fitness growth button, with no hidden agenda, or lust for profit at the expense of the reader.
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on 21 April 2003
I've been an on and off bodybuider for about 10 years now, using different training systems and diets. I eventually got fed up with all this mixing and matching so I decided to follow the two people I most respected, Mike Mentzer and Franco Columbo. I bought Mike Mentzers book for the training system from word of mouth at the gym and Franco's for the diet from my own respect for his size and definition. Has this mix of knowledge worked?? Yes it has! The set diets in Franco's book have not only shown a difference in my physique but also made me feel healthier and fitter. Mike Mentzers book was excellent, you know your onto something after the very first training session, you can actually feel you've trained properly...Another aspect to Mike and Franco's books is their honesty about rip off protein drinks and bodybuilding magazines with their non-productive articles and supplement advertisements that just dont work.....these two books have saved me wasted time and money and for the price of around £20 will definately put the smile back on your face!
Best Bits:
Training the Mike Mentzer Way:
(a) 15-45mins training sessions
(b) Honesty about Bodybuilding Marketing
(c) Max 3 days per week training system
Franco Columbo's Nutrition Book:
(a) Set diets for body/training type
(b) Natural foods to lose fat and gain muscle
(c) Vitamins section and guide was helpful
(d) Food list and protein quality list
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on 19 January 2003
Let me start by saying that it is impossible to do this book justice in such a brief review, although I will do my best.
This is without doubt the best book I have read on weight training/body building, and I have read a lot.
The book provides a detailed explanation of what exactly is meant by High Intensity training. Mike explains the theories behind High Intensity/Low Volume exercise, providing sound logical reasoning and common sense explanations as to why HIT is by far the best way to train.
Throughout the book you are encouraged to think for yourself, rather than just take the author at his word, and apply his theories to your existing program and its results and how the theories of HIT apply.
Detailed workouts are listed, including all the information needed like:
Exercise selection.
Number of sets.
Target Reps.
Rep Speed.
Rest period between sets.
Workout frequency.
Each of the above is explained diligently, and an explanation is given for why a particular route is recommended.
The book also encourages you to analyse your results and explains what to do if you stop getting consistent strength increases.
I myself started using Mikes HIT regime a year ago now (having purchased another one of his books) and in the past year I have had the best strength and size increases since I started training 8 years ago. Believe it or not since starting HIT I have been stronger on every exercise, every workout for the last year!
However the other book that I read by Mike was much briefer and left some unanswered questions in my mind. This, much more comprehensive, book has answered all those nagging questions and provided me with a much deeper insight into the science of HIT.
Although the amount of training required with conventional methods never really caused me a problem (I would have trained 7 days a week if it provided the best results) Mike regime provides you with more than adequate rest time, and means that by the time I come to a work out I am so full of energy I feel like putting the weight through the roof.
If you are into weight training/bodybuilding stop wasting time with all of the ridiculous, un scientific workouts listed in the current "Muscle Mags" doing the rounds and base your training on the sound principles of HIT and watch your strength/size sky rocket.
As many of you will know Mike sadly passed away in 2001, so rest in peace Mike, and thanks for leaving us such a great legacy.
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on 20 July 2009
I bought this book in December/January and followed the training regime to the letter until about four weeks ago when I finally gave up on it. I play rugby and my sole reason for weight training is to get bigger and stronger for the game, I care very little about the look, it's all about strength and endurance.

I found Mentzers routine worked for me for the first few sessions then I hit a plateau. I tried working harder whilst in the gym, resting more between sessions, switching exercises around, etc but never really progressed, in fact I went backwards. I lost almost an inch off my biceps and dropped about ten kilos on my bench and shoulder press. I found one big problem was that by the time I got back into the gym after 9 days off, which was how long I was waiting by the end, I and my body had forgotten what it was like to lift heavy weight.

I've now started training 4 days a week again and rugby training twice a week and I've already smashed all the PB's I set using Mentzers regime, so I don't think it's for me. However, I have incorporated some of his principles into my training; I train harder than I ever did before and i'm only in the gym for about 30 mins each session instead of my old hour and a half. Of the four sessiosn I used to do all upper body, now I do two leg sessions and two upper body. I also don't mess around doing loads of sets of weights I can easily manage. Also, I now realise just how important form is and lifting heavy weights simply to boost ones ego is detrimental at best.

So I have taken something from this book and I would recommend every lifter reads it, but I think you need to take it into the bigger picture and tailor the training principles to your own lifestyle and body.
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High-intensity Training the Mike Mentzer Way, is an excellent overview of Mentzer's ideas and advice for weight trainers. Since it was completed after his death it also stands as a kind of memorial to him and his achievements.
It is best to think of the book as consisting of two parts. The first part is Mentzer laying out the underlying philosophical and scientific principles that form the backbone of his version of high intensity training. The second part is the practical end, from a discussion of the merits of free weights versus machines, to exercise descriptions, a basic and advanced routine, and tips on how to prepare yourself mentally and set goals, the practical part is pretty comprehensive. To round off the book there is also some advice from Mentzer on how to prepare for bodybuilding competitions.
Mentzer's writing style may not suit everybody, but the book contains some really good ideas and information. The main weakness with Mentzer's writing though is that he was completely in thrall to a minor league philosopher called Ayn Rand, and this does affect the quality of his arguments, leading to a kind of stilted and blunt approach that lacks finesse.
I recommend that you also search out a copy of Mentzer's 'Heavy Duty 2: Mind and Body' which is his best work on weight training, and covers everything from static contractions to finding the right routine for your recovery ability. Heavy Duty 2 is not perfect and also suffers from Mentzer's over fondness for Ayn Rand, but it contains the best of Mentzer's training knowledge and is therefore essential if you want to go down the high intensity path.
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on 17 June 2008
I have trained for years improvising,following routines from most well known bodybuilding magazines and off suggestions from people at gyms.Making some gains in strength but little in how my physique looked, as a result of training without any true insight to what I was actually doing.I am a type of person who can overtrain too easily and it was refreshing to study Mikes` HIT book.I have never been so enthusiastic about my approach to training.These past few months I have made more gains in strength and shape of my body by following the principles outlined in this book than ever before.I have improved so much physically and mentally that my wife and those around me have seen the difference.
If you are after answers,then get a copy of this book and open your world to a true alternative way of training.I can honestly say that this HIT book is something special from the great one himself.
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on 19 March 2003
As a competetive bodybuilder i cannot emphasise how important mentzer's principles of training are. Do not read this book if you are set in your ways and think that more is better. Do not read this book if you are not willing to train very hard! I mean hard not long! Most of Mike's principles i have followed for years and this book refines his earlier theories. Genetics rule everyones potential to build muscle. Mike explains that you can only reach your potential, whatever that may be. MR Olympia would always be Mr Olympia because of his genetics! If you can accept the facts and remove all the rubbish that you hear every day in the gym, you will see how true and accurate Mike's methods are and why so many bodybuilders never reach their full potential (including Mr Olympia's) they could have been even better!
An excellent book to read, full of true facts and methodical approaches to training. The reason so many people dismiss his principles and call him carzy is because they have never trained strict enough using maximum intensity. Forget the ego in the gym if you are going to read this book and get maximum results; which beleive me you will.
N.A.B.B.A. MR Jnr UK 1995 & World Qualifier
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on 31 October 2004
I bought this book, about nearly a month ago and I can say that this is the best book I've read so far on bodybuilding and HIT training.At first I was quite skeptic on it(thinking that twice or once a week with 1 set per exercise wouldn't be enough, but trust me your whole body will get sore, and I haven't felt like that for quite a while before that, sadly I train on my own so I can't always push myself as far as I would like too, as it's a lot of mental discipline.It make so much sense and Mike Mentzer encourages you to use your common sense and critical thinking.He is very explicit and gives you sample work out. It's very factual as well, but also doesn't give you any false hope by saying you'll have 20 inch biceps or so.I like his philosophy as well hence his style of writing (which I understand some of you may not be fond of). So I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to start training properly and not wasting time, and I can say as well that this is value for money and you won't regret at all.
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on 3 October 2006
Although Mike Mentzer wrote this book and supplies advice, he was never one to demand that you take his word without first thinking about it yourself; indeed, Mike was a compassionate teacher of critical, logical thinking. Such an approach led him to his conclusions--which, without surprise, do not follow the standard rehashed "teachings" of 99% of the books out there. In "High-Intesity Training the Mike Mentzer Way," Mike not only coaches, but explains how he arrived at his conclusions. This is something I can't recall any other book I've read, doing (and my library is quite extensive)... it's always been a "take it from me, I'm a star and who are you to question me?" standpoint. Not so with the late Mr. Mentzer.

For those of you who may be put off by others who tell you that one set per exercise (and no more than two exercises per body part) are not enough, you owe yourself the treat of reading Mike's work. Even if you're not fully convinced, I can guarantee that you will never again view your training in the same light as you once did. Mike's approach is as logical as they come--not fueled by commercial interests such as the sale of unnecessary supplements and/or workout gear. In fact, Mike's approach calls for a return to common sense instead of the commercial insanity that unfortunately prevails in today's fitness world.

If you want answers to your questions (which is why you might be considering this book), you'll get them--with a step-by-step introduction to approaching subjects with logic. Mike's thinking is absolutely in league with how scientists approach their own work, and Mike himself spent his lifetime testing his own theories exactly as scientists are known to do. The result of his pursuit for truth is clearly outlined within these pages.

Don't miss out! Agree with him or not, reading this work will undoubtably give you more to work with than the standard Muscle And Fitness routines.
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on 27 March 2006
Mike is one of the originators of the HIT training protocol. This is a good book to learn what HIT is all about. You get all you need to know in order to train in this way.

It's a strange book. A lot of time is spent on the history of HIT and Mike, Mike's philosophy on all manner of things. A lot of effort is made to sell the idea of HIT to the reader and to convince you that other training protocols are incorrect. The actual training information could be in a book a quarter of the size. I found a lot of this pretty tedious reading to be honest.

It's also full of errors. He tells you that it's only the last rep that is failing that causes the muscle to grow. However I, and many millions of others, have trained using protocols like 5-3-1 or Stronglifts where you NEVER go to failure yet somehow gain tons of muscle. So that is just not correct. It might be one way of stimulating growth but it sure isn't the only one. Everytime "normal" training is mentioned it always seems to be 6 days a week in the gym for 3 hours at a time. Maybe in the 80s that was big, I don't know. But these days nobody trains like that. Most people do less than an hour 3 times a week and do well on it. So whilst I'm not saying his HIT doesn't work, it is not the last word in training.
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