Mike Mentzer Training Routine

Mike Mentzer’s REAL Training Wisdoms
mike mentzer letter bodybuilding
On my website neckberg.com nothing is ghost written or made up. It’s the pure truth how the oldtimers trained. And here’s Mike’s letter…Yes, he used to send letters/training guides to his fans (Courtesy of Mike Knight).

I took some interesting quotes from those letters and put them below. By the way if you want to see the whole letter, then write a message at the comment section below.

Mike Mentzer’s training routine

Mon and Thurs (Legs, Chest, Triceps)
Legs Comments
Leg extension super setted with Leg Press One set to failure with a weight that allows you approx, six reps, and then force yourself to do more. Immediately with no rest proceed to the leg press which should already be set sup.
Leg Press 1 set immediately following the leg extensions. Any rest time will drastically reduce the results.
Squats After a sufficient warmup do 1 set of squats with a weight that allows you six reps, then out of sheer effort perform two more. The rep protocol should be the same on all exercises
Leg curls 2 sets until failure
Toe raises On standard toe raise machine or on leg press; 3 sets with a heavy weight going as high as you can on your toes each rep. 8 reps with a heavy weight then force out two more.
Chest Comments
Dumbbell flyes or double cable crossover super setted with 1 set with a heavy weight followed immediately by incline press
Incline press Incline press with barbell or dumbbell or else dips with the elbows pointed out: By pre-exhausting the pecs with the first exercise, which is an isolation movement you “preserve” the strength of the triceps for the second exercise where they are directly involved.
Heavy incline flyes one set to failure
Triceps Choose two different exercises and do them both for two sets. Employ forced reps when possible. Remember to use strict form when doing all of your exercises. Also make sure to increase the weight in a particular exercise whenever possible. You must continually force a muscle to perform beyond it’s existing capacities; this is what makes a muscle grow.

Tues. and Fri. (back, traps, delts, biceps)

Back Comments
Stiff Arm Pullover On Lat Machine or Pullover Across Bench with Dumbbells or Nautilus Pullover supper setted with: 1 set of either of these above exercises for approx. six reps then force out two more and use forced and negative reps after the initial six reps.
Close grip palms-up chins or bent over rows or close grip palms up pulldown on the lat machine This second exercise should be set up and ready so that there is zero rest time following the first one above. Do two cycles.
One arm dumbbell rows with as much weight that allows good form perform two sets with each arm emphasizing a high row with the dumbbell hitting the pec or higher.

Note: Supersets with two exercises ( Squat and Leg press) constitute a cycle.

Traps Comments
Shrugs super setted with: Shrugs with dumbbells, barbell or on a universal; keep the chest out and the shoulders back, shrugs the shoulders as high as possible until the shoulders almost touch your ears.
Upright rows upright rows with a shoulder width hand spacing pull the bar at least nipple high and lower under control. 2 cycles of the two exercise incorporating forced and negative reps.
Delts Comments
dumbbell laterals super setted with 1 set of dumbbell laterals to failure with weight that allows six good reps
Press behind neck with forced and negative reps. 2 cycles
Bent over laterals two sets to failure
Biceps Same as the triceps: two exercises for two sets a piece using forced and negative

Mike Mentzer’s workout and diet philosophy

Fight the tendency to add more sets to the suggested workout. Don’t think that you can make up for performing the sets haphazardly by doing more. More is never the answer to stimulating growth, harder is the answer and the harder you train the less will you be capable of doing.

You can either train hard or you can train long, but you can never do both, it is just physically impossible. If the workouts are taking more than an hour you are either doing too much or resting too long.

Follow a well balanced diet. Don’t get much more than 1 gram of protein for every two pounds of bodyweight. If you weigh two hundred pounds then 120 grams of protein is enough. Too much extra will turn to fat.

Picture by John Corlett

12 thoughts on “Mike Mentzer Training Routine”

  1. Love the original version of Heavy Duty. That’s what entrenched me in Mike’s methods, back in ’78, and changed my whole outlook on bodybuilding.

  2. Mike Mentzer used to train me back in the day. I would have loved to see where we would have wound up had he stayed around longer. I would like to see what those letter might have mentioned. Can I get a copy of those letters, please?

  3. The best results of any routine 2 years 186 to 206. And a half inch off my waist .physicians comment Wayne whatever your doing keep doing.. WAYNE MOORE

  4. Amazing GRAIL! I would love to see the letter. I have followed Mikes routine since May (The Mike Mentzer way) not following the diet as I was 272 I have dropped to 202! and I feel better and look better!


Leave a comment

Consent Management Platform by Real Cookie Banner