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Objectivist's Article On Muscular Hypertrophy

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Mind and Muscle #22 came out today. I was happy to see in the title that an article was made from the view of an Objectivist, however the article itself was a bit disappointing.

An Objectivist Analysis of Heavy Duty

by Damon Hayhow

http://magazine.mindandmuscle.net/page.php...=279&issueID=22

(As a side note, I think a few writers at the Magazine, and the owner are Objectivists or O-sympathizers)

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Since when was Ayn Rand an existentialist?  :confused: I gave up after reading that.

I think it's a case of that paragraph just being horribly written. I think he meant to say Objectivism but for whatever reason he wrote existentialism.

Mentzer was a devout proponent of Ayn Rands Existentialist Philosophy, which he drew from when developing his Heavy Duty principles. Somehow though, Mentzer failed to recognise one of existentialisms’ primary principles: contradictions cannot exist.
Overall it's a pretty decent articles, but a decent article that needed better editing. That's the downside to the web that I've found; people are so intent on getting ideas/articles/etc out that they don't take the level of care that they would give print media. Plus, there is also the stereotype of bodybuilders. :D

I concur with a great deal of what Damon says. Mike Mentzer did manage to create the basis of a new way of thinking about body building. Though I must disagree with his argument

In fact, if you were sick enough, merely twitching your fingers would activate 100% of your momentary muscular ability and therefore, by Mentzer’s reckoning, "turn on the growth machinery inside your cells."
What he is describing as an inconsistancy is actually what is called physical therapy. Having undergone PT with an atrophied muscle, just wiggling a toe is very intense and triggers the growth process. After the muscle gets trained to function the connecting muscles and muscle groups start to work again. It misses the point that if you are that ill or your muscles are pretty seriously injured, your bodies recovery units and ability are being dedicated to repairing your body.
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As a weighlifter who has followed the advive of Mike Mentzer by reading most of his books, I can say without a doubt that this is one of the most ludicrous articles ever written.

There's so much jibberish in this essay that i don't even know where to begin. I'll just make one point.

Dorian Yates was the first bodybuilder to show what heavy duty can do? What about Mentzer? He was one of the biggest bodybuilders in his day. He actually holds a guiness record for putting on the most amount of muscled in the shortest period of time (following his philosophy, of course, and that was before it was perfected)!!! I forget exactly how much he put on, but it was something like 60lbs in 2 months. Whereas Arnold, at that time, was lucky if he could put on 5 pounds in the 4 months prior to competition.

It's true that mentzer didn't win that much, but that's because he wasn't symmetrical like arnold and the others. Plus, he didn't have the charisma, which bodybuilders needed at that time.

Mentzer is a modern day atlas. It's too bad there are yahoos running around writing this muck about him.

Check his website:

http://www.mikementzer.com/

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It's strange, but almost all the body-building guides and magazines I've read were written quite terribly. It seems to lend weight to the superstition that body-builders are neglecting their minds in the process.

Mike Menzer was one of very few exceptions I've encountered.

You should check out more of that magazine and it's forum. It's called Mind and Muscle.

As it turns out, the author to this article said he was attempting to convey some dry humour. He knows there are multi-thousand page essays refuting Heavy Duty.

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As a weighlifter who has followed the advive of Mike Mentzer by reading most of his books, I can say without a doubt that this is one of the most ludicrous articles ever written.

There's so much jibberish in this essay that i don't even know where to begin.  I'll just make one point.

Dorian Yates was the first bodybuilder to show what heavy duty can do?  What about Mentzer?  He was one of the biggest bodybuilders in his day.  He actually holds a guiness record for putting on the most amount of muscled in the shortest period of time (following his philosophy, of course, and that was before it was perfected)!!!  I forget exactly how much he put on, but it was something like 60lbs in 2 months.  Whereas Arnold, at that time, was lucky if he could put on 5 pounds in the 4 months prior to competition. 

It's true that mentzer didn't win that much, but that's because he wasn't symmetrical like arnold and the others.  Plus, he didn't have the charisma, which bodybuilders needed at that time.

Mentzer is a modern day atlas.  It's too bad there are yahoos running around writing this muck about him.

Check his website:

http://www.mikementzer.com/

What does Mentzer being big have to do with creating a scientifically proven training system applicable to other people? The only such training I have seen for hypertrophy based on numerous in vitro and in vivo studies is HST.

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"Anecdotally, Heavy Duty is obviously and severely flawed. It dismisses the possibility of significant muscular growth arising from anything other than brief, infrequent, maximal exertions. In practice however, most successful bodybuilders develop their physiques doing almost exactly the opposite."

And most successful bodybuilders are recuperative and genetic freaks augmented by vast consumption of steroids.

I also disagree with the article's definition of intensity. I agree with Mentzer's definition as intensity of effort. The article is decidely concrete bound. Mentzer recommended heavy, basic exercise because they stimulate more muscle groups than isolation exercises.

"But Mentzer’s Heavy Duty System explains that while weight is important, you have to use more in the way of drop sets, forced reps, super sets etc as you grow and develop."

And the article ignores that Mentzer recommended a decrease in volume and frequency as you progress.

That article is dire. :confused:

BTW it was Casey Viator who regained the 60 lbs of muscles in a month after he recovered from injury.

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If it was dry humor, it was lost on me. That fellow clearly doesn't understand Mentzer or his method at all.

It dismisses the possibility of significant muscular growth arising from anything other than brief, infrequent, maximal exertions.
It does no such thing. It says only that brief, infrequent, maximal exertions are the OPTIMAL way to induce hypertrophy. Not that nothing else will.

In practice however, most successful bodybuilders develop their physiques doing almost exactly the opposite.

Mentzer clearly addresses this comment repeatedly. Those doing the opposite are only sucessful to the extent that they are genetic freaks. They are successful in spite of their methods. It's a silly attack on Mentzer since the author clearly doesn't advocate volume training.

Consider that if intensity is the percentage of available momentary muscular ability, then the more malnourished and physically incapacitated you were, the more intense you are training
Actually, not at all. You would not be training to muscular failure, but rather failure of other elements of your system. Mentzer was clear on saying that this would NOT induce hypertrophy.

Yet another problem with Mentzer’s definition of intensity is that the concept of training with ever-increasing intensity is simply not possible.

I'd like to see a quote where Mentzer actually takes the position that a person should increase intensity. As far as I remember, he said that one should increase weight.

those techniques that increase pain and effort are touted as intense. Hence, drop-sets, forced reps and anything else ‘difficult’ that extends the length of time a muscle works at its maximum ability is considered ‘intense.’
It's clear he's never read Mentzer. Mentzer recommended those techniques because muscles retain certain types of strength even after positive failure. Not because they were "hard."

Though Mentzer recommended lower reps with heavier weights, his definition of intensity did not.

Wow, another statement that could not have been made by anyone who has actually READ Mentzer. He is quite clear that high reps will induce systemic CNS failure before they even come close to inducing muscle failure. Thus they will NOT induce hypertrophy. He is quite clear on this.

It's just like 99% of the yahoos that criticize Rand: they've never actually read what they criticize!

Bah!

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If your truly interested in lifting, and your goals are strength and mass, I would recommend dropping Mentzers routine and start studying West Side Barbell http://www.westside-barbell.com as represented by Louie Simmons:

"It is [his] knowledge and expertise that has lead to the production of twenty-five (25) World and National champions, twenty-seven (27) lifters who have totaled over 2000 lbs and a world record in the 400m dash by Butch Reynolds. Also, Louie’s methods of training have resulted in thirty-three (33) 550 lb benchers, eighteen (18) 600 lb benchers, and five (5) 700 lb benchers. Also to his credit are twenty-eight (28) 800 lb plus squatters, ten (10) 900 lb plus squatters, and three (3) 1000 lb plus squatters."

I've just recently overhauled my routine and started the West Side Barbell workout, which, over the span of a couple of months, increased my squat from 275 lbs to 315 lbs, and my bench press from ~275 to 305 (all one rep max.) I have also seen a increase in my dead lift, however, my form is different than that when I was on the progressive-resistance routine, so no honest comparison can be made.

Louie Simmons has several articles on his website describing the system, of which, has been proved by the sheer amount of weight that is moved by its followers. Spending 15-20 hours in the gym a week, most of the members are "body builders," that is, they are only concerned with their appearance not their strength.

Working out to mimic the body builders you see in magazines/TV is useless, unless you are a professional who is going to use Steroids and overhaul your diet. Any professional body builder will tell you that diet is key, that is calories, protein, carbs, fat, etc.. intake are strictly measured and regulated.

Many of these body builders do not look as chiseled as they do in photos, and the day of competitions, all year round, because in the off season they are eating as much as possible to gain as much weight as possible. Then during season they start restricting their diet and lowering their body fat percentage. Weeks (sometimes months) before photo shoots and competitions, body builders will fast, giving them 3-5% body fat.

If you go to the gym consistently, any workout will give you gains, even if your form is wrong, however, why not follow a system that is proved, in practice and works for a variety of individuals, despite their genetics.

I am not disputing Mentzers system, as I have never followed it, but I don’t know of any professional weight lifter that has.

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Working out to mimic the body builders you see in magazines/TV is useless, unless you are a professional who is going to use Steroids and overhaul your diet.  Any professional body builder will tell you that diet is key, that is calories, protein, carbs, fat, etc.. intake are strictly measured and regulated. 

Professional bodybuilders are genetic freaks, especially in terms of the recuperative abilities.

If you go to the gym consistently, any workout will give you gains, even if your form is wrong, however, why not follow a system that is proved, in practice and works for a variety of individuals, despite their genetics. 

Mike Mentzer's system will have you in the gym for about an hour or less per week. And it is not just any workout that will give you gains. Most recommended training routines consist of gross overtraining.

I am not disputing Mentzers system, as I have never followed it, but I don’t know of any professional weight lifter that has.

So what? Very few professional bodybuilders (except for Dorian Yates) use Mike Mentzer's system. And most athletes at the top of their game are genetic freaks. ANd most professional weightlifters are on steroids as well.

Why don't you tell us why your recommended system works and what it consists of?

Just recommendations aren't good enough for me.

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Mike Mentzer's system will have you in the gym for about an hour or less per week. And it is not just any workout that will give you gains. Most recommended training routines consist of gross overtraining.

What is this based on? Studies of cross-sections of average athlete muscle shows hypertrophic growth factors (satellite cell activation, insulin growth factors and binding proteins) and signals are most elevated for about 48 hours after workouts. In order to achieve maximal hypertrophy, one must work out their full body every 48 hours.

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Professional bodybuilders are genetic freaks, especially in terms of the recuperative abilities.

Don't discredit the use of Steroids. That's what quickens their recuperative abilities.

Mike Mentzer's system will have you in the gym for about an hour or less per week. And it is not just any workout that will give you gains. Most recommended training routines consist of gross overtraining.

I agree with the overtraining, which is what I was doing on the progressive-resistance routine. I wasn't discrediting Mentzers system, but the progressive-resistance workout.

Why don't you tell us why your recommended system works and what it consists of?

Just recommendations aren't good enough for me.

I told you why I recommended the system. Look at my gains. I was struggling with a 275 lb bench for months. Unable to break a 300 squat, the only weight that was going up was my dead lift. The again, I was over training and could attribute some of my gains on the West Side system to adequate rest. However, increases in 25lbs are not entirely due to adequate recuperation.

The system utilizes a few different approaches, I will explain two of them:

Reactive Method:

"This is primarily the ability to display intense motive force resulting from a rapid switch from yielding to overcoming the instant a maximal dynamic load occurs."

Pasted from <http://www.elitefts.com/documents/training-methods.htm>

We achieve this concept by using Jump-Stretch bands, " to increase the rate of fall, or eccentric speed, greater kinetic energy is developed, producing even greater muscular force development at the instant of switching from eccentric to concentric work, plus a shorter amortization transition." and chains (which I haven't got into, because the gym doesn’t allow them.) This approach alone will increase "explosive strength," which is needed to get the bar off your chest, and get your ass off the floor.

Static-overcome-by-dynamic:

"Static means iso-metric, and dynamic can refer to concentric, eccentric..." which is referred to reversal strength. In this concept we use the box squat ("By sitting back, not down, on a box of any height, the squatting muscles are stretched maximally. Relaxing the hip flexors, glutes, and oblique's for 1/2 to 11/2 seconds and flexing off the box dynamically in a box squat will also increase your pulls of f the floor") and floor press ("lower the bar until the elbows are in contact with the floor. Relax the triceps and other pressing muscles, then flex dynamically and press upward.") This method also increases your "explosive" and absolute strength.

If your in the NY area, I would welcome you to come down to Long Island. My training partner and I would be happy to go over the routine with you. You will see quick and steady gains. That is, if you are interested in gaining strength. Another site you may want to search through is: http://www.elitefts.com

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What is this based on? Studies of cross-sections of average athlete muscle shows hypertrophic growth factors (satellite cell activation, insulin growth factors and binding proteins) and signals are most elevated for about 48 hours after workouts. In order to achieve maximal hypertrophy, one must work out their full body every 48 hours.

Numerous studies carried out in my gym on me conclude that this is absolute piffle and that Heavy Duty rules. B):) (I love that emoticon)

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Don't discredit the use of Steroids.  That's what quickens their recuperative abilities.

I don't and I never have. Those athletes were recuperative freaks anyway before they used steroids.

I agree with the overtraining, which is what I was doing on the progressive-resistance routine.  I wasn't discrediting Mentzers system, but the progressive-resistance workout.

Why discredit pregressive resistance? Surely any system that works is progressive.

I told you why I recommended the system.  Look at my gains.  I was struggling with a 275 lb bench for months.  Unable to break a 300 squat, the only weight that was going up was my dead lift.  The again, I was over training and could attribute some of my gains on the West Side system to adequate rest.  However, increases in 25lbs are not entirely due to adequate recuperation.

It wasn't your gains I was talking about. I wanted you to justify your system INTELLECTUALLY .

The system utilizes a few different approaches, I will explain two of them:

Reactive Method:

"This is primarily the ability to display intense motive force resulting from a rapid switch from yielding to overcoming the instant a maximal dynamic load occurs."

Pasted from <http://www.elitefts.com/documents/training-methods.htm>

We achieve this concept by using Jump-Stretch bands, " to increase the rate of fall, or eccentric speed, greater kinetic energy is developed, producing even greater muscular force development at the instant of switching from eccentric to concentric work, plus a shorter amortization transition." and chains (which I haven't got into, because the gym doesn’t allow them.)  This approach alone will increase "explosive strength," which is needed to get the bar off your chest, and get your ass off the floor. 

Static-overcome-by-dynamic:

"Static means iso-metric, and dynamic can refer to concentric, eccentric..." which is referred to reversal strength.  In this concept we use the box squat ("By sitting back, not down, on a box of any height, the squatting muscles are stretched maximally. Relaxing the hip flexors, glutes, and oblique's for 1/2 to 11/2 seconds and flexing off the box dynamically in a box squat will also increase your pulls of f the floor") and floor press ("lower the bar until the elbows are in contact with the floor. Relax the triceps and other pressing muscles, then flex dynamically and press upward.") This method also increases your "explosive" and absolute strength.   

In the same way that my arteries harden at the thought of a fried Mars Bar (very popular here), my joints and ligaments are screaming at the mere thought of such a workout. I'll stick with Heavy Duty which is nice and safe and efficacious.

If your in the NY area, I would welcome you to come down to Long Island.  My training partner and I would be happy to go over the routine with you.  You will see quick and steady gains.  That is, if you are interested in gaining strength.  Another site you may want to search through is: http://www.elitefts.com

I live in Scotland, I'll pass. :) (I love that emoticon)

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Why discredit pregressive resistance? Surely any system that works is progressive.

Let me clarify what I meant by the progressive-resistance workout. The progressive-resistance routine holds that workloads must be greater than those normally encountered for muscle strength to increase. <Zatsiorsky, V.M., Intensity of Strength Training Facts and Theory: Russian and Eastern European Approach. (1992). National Strength and Conditioning Association Journal. Vol. 14 (5). (pp. 46-57).>

Progressive-resistance doesn’t account for speed. To increase your strength, you also need to increase your speed in lifting

"The development of strength is key to power development, which is immensely important to a thrower (32). Explosive-strength (i.e. power) is the ability to produce maximal force in a minimal amount of time. Power (explosiveness) is a combination of speed and strength, where the athlete overcomes a resistance in the shortest time possible. The formula is the following: 

Equation 1: Power=Force x Distance/Time, or P=F x d/t. "

Pasted from <http://www.elitefts.com/documents/strength_considerations_for_throwers.htm>

As such, progressive-resistance is flawed in that it doesn’t utilize any speed routines.

In the same way that my arteries harden at the thought of a fried Mars Bar (very popular here), my joints and ligaments are screaming at the mere thought of such a workout. I'll stick with Heavy Duty which is nice and safe and efficacious.

Which is why I stated that this system is only of interest to those that want to increase their strength. Any routine you encounter, to increase your strength, has the dangers of injury. You haven't posted your numbers, so I cant say what your lifting, or what your weight/height is (I am at 185 lbs (84 kilograms) at 5' 10" (~1.80 meters),) but what type of gains have you made on the Mentzer system? How long have you been training? What are your goals?

I live in Scotland, I'll pass.

That’s too bad. Nothing like a physical demonstration to prove a point.

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Let me clarify what I meant by the progressive-resistance workout.  The progressive-resistance routine holds that workloads must be greater than those normally encountered for muscle strength to increase. <Zatsiorsky, V.M., Intensity of Strength Training Facts and Theory: Russian and Eastern European Approach. (1992). National Strength and Conditioning Association Journal. Vol. 14 (5). (pp. 46-57).>

Progressive-resistance doesn’t account for speed.  To increase your strength, you also need to increase your speed in lifting.

I am not even going to try that. I plan to keep the force and the impact nice and low thank you.

Which is why I stated that this system is only of interest to those that want to increase their strength.  Any routine you encounter, to increase your strength, has the dangers of injury.  You haven't posted your numbers, so I cant say what your lifting, or what your weight/height is (I am at 185 lbs (84 kilograms) at 5' 10" (~1.80 meters),) but what type of gains have you made on the Mentzer system?  How long have you been training?  What are your goals?   

Training on and off for countless years. I've been on the Mentzer system for 6.5 years. I'm not a very consistent trainer as my work has me travelling a fair amount. so that has hurt my progress. I have a very bad sweet tooth and I'm partial to Scotch which doesn't help me no doubt.

I have gone from 210 lbs to 280 lbs and gained 3.5 inches on my biceps. My bench is up 200% to 140 kg (I've never been a good bench presser), My squat is 180 Kg on the smith machine (I'd rather fight Mike Tyson than do free bar squats),I can do dips with 35 kg of weight added when I previously couldn't do 1 at 210lbs. My calf raise is 273kg.

None of this is probably impressive but they have been good gains for me as someone who is not naturally athletic in anyway and I make steady progress whenever I can get a run of workouts together.

My goal is to add weight and reps to my workouts as often as possible.

That’s too bad.  Nothing like a physical demonstration to prove a point.

I'll still pass and, besides, there are no distilleries in New York. B):yarr: (I love that emoticon)

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Training on and off for countless years. I've been on the Mentzer system for 6.5 years. I'm not a very consistent trainer as my work has me travelling a fair amount. so that has hurt my progress. I have a very bad sweet tooth and I'm partial to Scotch which doesn't help me no doubt.

I have only been training consistently (not missing a workout) for 3.5 years. I was on and off before that time period, but did'nt make much gains. Never cared for deserts, candies and such, and never acquired the taste for Scotch, or any other liquor. I'll have a beer every now and then, but I stick to my diet.

I have gone from 210 lbs to 280 lbs and gained 3.5 inches on my biceps. My bench is up 200% to 140 kg (I've never been a good bench presser), My squat is 180 Kg on the smith machine (I'd rather fight Mike Tyson than do free bar squats),I can do dips with 35 kg of weight added when I previously couldn't do 1 at 210lbs. My calf raise is 273kg.

From 6 years of working out, inconsistently, that’s decent gains. 210 to 280 is a nice progression, was most of it muscle? I have seen body weight increases of 10 lbs a year and 1-1.5" a year in bicep size. I stay with a consistent 15% body fat.

I also suffered from a weak bench. I was stuck at 245 lb for a year, not budging much from there. Not until I switched my routine to West Side.

All my workouts are centralized on the core exercises: dead lift, bench and squat. I've never touched the smith machine for squats, in fact, I only use it for hanging my shirt on. :D All my routines were built around free weights, that is barbell and dumbbells.

Dips, pull-ups and push-ups we work in every now and again, however, just as a stabilizer exercise. Last time I did dips, I was weighted with about the same, about 32 kilo's, for 8-10 reps.

My calves have always been weak and small. B) I am slowly building them up to be consistent with my biceps.

My goal is to add weight and reps to my workouts as often as possible.

I'll still pass and, besides, there are no distilleries in New York. B)  :yarr:  (I love that emoticon)

The West Side routine is for dedicated and extreme trainers. I wouldn’t recommend it to everyone, but they are the few that stand out from the rest. A lot of time and effort goes into the system, as you have to keep track of your weights, speed, time, band use, etc…

As far as distilleries, we have many, for beer. Mostly privately owned, and served. I don’t know about Scotch though. ;)

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Numerous studies carried out in my gym on me conclude that this is absolute piffle and that Heavy Duty rules. B)  :yarr:  (I love that emoticon)

That's not very convincing using subjective evidence in a n=1 anecdotal report without even having a comparison to a method which stresses all skeletal muscle fibers every 48 hours.

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That's not very convincing using subjective evidence in a n=1 anecdotal report without even having a comparison to a method which stresses all skeletal muscle fibers every 48 hours.

I don't find 'Studies show that.......' statements convincing. My results are convincing enough to the person that counts - me. B)<_< (I love that emoticon)

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From 6 years of working out, inconsistently, that’s decent gains.  210 to 280 is a nice progression, was most of it muscle?  I have seen body weight increases of 10 lbs a year and 1-1.5" a year in bicep size.  I stay with a consistent 15% body fat.

Most of it was muscle.

I also suffered from a weak bench.  I was stuck at 245 lb for a year, not budging much from there.  Not until I switched my routine to West Side.

All my workouts are centralized on the core exercises: dead lift, bench and squat.  I've never touched the smith machine for squats, in fact, I only use it for hanging my shirt on.  :D  All my routines were built around free weights, that is barbell and dumbbells. 

I train on my own so machines come in handy.

As far as distilleries, we have many, for beer.  Mostly privately owned, and served.  I don’t know about Scotch though.  ;)

Breweries make beer. Scotch can only be made in Scotland BTW. <_<B)B)

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I don't find 'Studies show that.......' statements convincing. My results are convincing enough to the person that counts - me. B)  ;) (I love that emoticon)

A feeling is not a thought. Since you "feel" that Mentzer's method is superior does not make it so. A system which is scientifically proven as superior is the real method. I doubt you have even compared a scientifically based type of training (HST) compared to Mentzers method and compared the results objectively.

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A feeling is not a thought.

I know that. Kindly stop stating the obvious.

Since you "feel" that Mentzer's method is superior does not make it so.

I know for a fact that it works. I've tested it on myself.

A system which is scientifically proven as superior is the real method.

That is certainly true of Heavy Duty.

I doubt you have even compared a scientifically based type of training (HST) compared to Mentzers method and compared the results objectively.

I read the theory of HST and concluded that it was a load of wash. How exactly do you measure the results of this system, from workout to workout, given that a 30 pound gain in muscle averages out to slightly over an ounce a day? How do you measure hypertrophy?

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I know that. Kindly stop stating the obvious.

I know for a fact that it works. I've tested it on myself.

No you haven't. You've proved you can build muscle on it, just as any type of training program, but you haven't compared it. You're basing it all on your feelings, and not any objective knowledge. A feeling isn't a thought.

That is certainly true of Heavy Duty.
Either heavy duty is based on the scientific studies lost by the ancient Aztecs, or it's just completely disregarding most of the hypertrophic studies done in the last few decades.

I read the theory of HST and concluded that it was a load of wash. How exactly do you measure the results of this system, from workout to workout, given that a 30 pound gain in muscle averages out to slightly over an ounce a day? How do you measure hypertrophy?

In the studies, they measured mean protein synthesis in muscular fibers, as well as fiber density through biopsies. One dosn't need to do a biopsy however, to gauge their lean body mass.

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