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I've been using a modified version of Mentzer's HIT "ideal workout" for a couple years now, and it's worked pretty well for me. I get stronger with every workout, keep in shape, and spend less than an hour a week in the gym -- can't beat that. My routine consists of the following:

Torso workout

Rest 3-4 days

Legs workout

Rest 3-4 days

Arms/Shoulders workout

Rest 3-4 days

Repeat.

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I'm not saying that HIT isn't Objective, I'm just saying that other methods (e.g. "high-volume") are also Objective when done properly.

Well, consider how most people do high-volume workouts: with absolutely no consideration for seeking intensity or adequate rest and recovery. Just, "more time in the gym = good." That's pretty non-objective. (note lower-case "o" since no proper noun is used)

I still think it's a matter of different strokes. Though for myself, all of my big gains have come when I'm doing "high volume".

High volume only "works" for those with outstanding genetics because it provides lower intensity, thus less stimulus to grow, as well as less rest (time to grow). By going back to the gym as often as you do, you short-circuit the growth process. By using low weights you are also under-stimulating your body, and by doing high volume you are just wearing yourself out without stimulating much growth.

Higher intensity, lower volume, lower frequency workouts don't demand excellent genetics but they do work even better for those who have good genetics. The only thing with good genetics is that you can go to the gym more frequently, but of course as you grow and become more advanced, even you must decrease your frequency. Mike Mentzer became truly huge and eventually had to lower his frequency to once a month! (And it worked!)

Beginners can get by with high volume, but depending on genetics eventually everyone must lower their frequency or their progress will halt. And everyone benefits from using heavier weight and doing one set to failure (so long as you can handle it safely).

Come on man, it's only $12! You know you want to!

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First of all Mike Mentzer was on steroids. A lot of them at that. The idea he tried to sell people on was based on a method that works

well when on steroids. To take the punishment that his method takes it takes your body a lot longer to recover than from a

regular work out that really is working the muscle. With Mentzer's method you A) are gonna have longer recovery time B)

probably at some point going to injure yourself.

Most of the people who follow H.I.T. type principles end up injuring themselves (I'm talking on the professional level). Dorian Yates

suffered a few major injuries that ended his career prematurely. Mark Dugdale who is a much younger guy hurt himself that

way a few years back as well.

I think it would be a lot more 'objective' to find out what works for guys who are not on steroids and follow those methods.

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First of all Mike Mentzer was on steroids. A lot of them at that. The idea he tried to sell people on was based on a method that works

well when on steroids.

(bold mine)

Actually, the exact opposite is true. If you actually read his books, you see that he discovered that the high-volume method works only for those on steroids and Heavy Duty was designed to work on those who don't have extraordinary recovery ability.

To take the punishment that his method takes it takes your body a lot longer to recover than from a

regular work out

Lots of faulty assumptions in this statement. First, muscle growth requires recovery time; a lot more recovery time than most training systems recommend. More, really, than even Mentzer knew. Second, HIT cause more stimulus (more breakdown) and so of COURSE they require more recovery time. This is not a bug; it is a feature. You gain muscle when recovering, not while in the gym. More time recovering means you are growing more. This is better.

B) probably at some point going to injure yourself.

1) Not if you practice proper safety.

2) More so than what, exactly? Using 5 lb weights for hours on end? Sure, but you won't grow using low weights.

3) Even safer methods have been developed, that have even higher intensity, even lower volume, and even lower frequency.

I think it would be a lot more 'objective' to find out what works for guys who are not on steroids and follow those methods.

That is what Heavy Duty and Max Contraction are. High-volume stuff is the by-steroid-heads-for-steroid-heads method.

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Well, consider how most people do high-volume workouts: with absolutely no consideration for seeking intensity or adequate rest and recovery. Just, "more time in the gym = good."

I dont think thats right. First, youre using "high-volume" too generally. It seems like the only concept you have of this type of training is the way Arnold trained, which most people dont do anymore. You are categorizing anything as "high-volume" as anyone who trains less than max intensity and more often than very infrequently. There are actually a couple knowledgable programs that you would consider "high-volume", but they do focus on progressive overload(intensity) and adequate rest(just a less amount than most HIT programs). What Im saying is you have too vague an understanding of most workout protocols, besides HIT.

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Most of the people who follow H.I.T. type principles end up injuring themselves (I'm talking on the professional level). Dorian Yates

suffered a few major injuries that ended his career prematurely.

Dorian Yates used a very rough technique on his lifts, which included "hitches" and a lot of momentum. HIT didnt cause his injuries, his technique did. You can see it in his workout videos. I think there might be some clips floating around the internet.

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What Im saying is you have too vague an understanding of most workout protocols, besides HIT.

In my defense, no specific protocol was mentioned; I have no choice but to be vague. What I do know is that I do not think the evidence of science (that I have seen, anyway) supports the principles of high volume training. The Schwarzenegger method is merely a more pure example of it. If ever there was a method made for steroids, that is it.

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In my defense, no specific protocol was mentioned

I know, but I was responding to your statement that high volume workouts have "absolutely no consideration for seeking intensity or adequate rest and recovery. Just, 'more time in the gym = good.'" You are making the same mistake a lot of HIT advocates make, which is only comparing HIT to the extreme opposite, that is Arnold's training. I dont think you are aware that there are a few programs that arent HIT, which are very dependent on scientific analysis.

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(bold mine)

Actually, the exact opposite is true. If you actually read his books, you see that he discovered that the high-volume method works only for those on steroids and Heavy Duty was designed to work on those who don't have extraordinary recovery ability.

It's not accurate that high volume workouts only work for those on steroids. Serge Nubret worked out using high volume and got 20+ inch arms even before using steroids. Second you are creating a false dilemma by suggesting that high volume is the alternative to hit. It's possible to work hard but not to the point that Mike Mentzer suggests and gain muscle very well. All that is nessasary is to push your muscle fibers past the point of hytrophy which has been shown to come before going to failure.

Secondly when you are going to failure especially that extreme you are involving breakdown of more than just muscles. You are really taxing your whole body, as even Mike Mentzer admits, you are taxing your CNS not just muscle fibers. That is why he suggests working out so infrequently.

Lots of faulty assumptions in this statement. First, muscle growth requires recovery time; a lot more recovery time than most training systems recommend. More, really, than even Mentzer knew. Second, HIT cause more stimulus (more breakdown) and so of COURSE they require more recovery time. This is not a bug; it is a feature. You gain muscle when recovering, not while in the gym. More time recovering means you are growing more. This is better.

The answer is above

2) More so than what, exactly? Using 5 lb weights for hours on end? Sure, but you won't grow using low weights.
While I wouldn't workout that way that is incorrect. You will cause your slow twitch muscle fibers to grow by working out with lighter weights for longer periods of time.

3) Even safer methods have been developed, that have even higher intensity, even lower volume, and even lower frequency.

That is what Heavy Duty and Max Contraction are. High-volume stuff is the by-steroid-heads-for-steroid-heads method.

You sound like a walking advertisement for his books, if you like him that's great but to make it like only mike mentzers way works for people who are not on steroids, that is just silly. First of all, no one (other than an extremely rare person) is ever gonna get to Mentzer's size naturally. It's just not possible, secondly if you are going for size there are plenty of natural bodybuilders who use higher than Mentzer type volumes who are big (for a natural).

Edited by fatdogs12
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It's not accurate that high volume workouts only work for those on steroids. Serge Nubret worked out using high volume and got 20+ inch arms even before using steroids.

Excuse me; steroid users and genetic freaks.

All that is nessasary is to push your muscle fibers past the point of hytrophy which has been shown to come before going to failure.
Just as an aside, how would you know you have reached this point of hypertrophy if you haven't reached failure? Failure is something you can observe. If you don't work to failure, then you're basically just guessing. I don't like guessing; that's why I use a training protocol.

That is why he suggests working out so infrequently.

He suggests it because trial and error showed that you need that long to grow. Since then, the Nautilus North study has proven that recovery takes even longer than Mentzer supposed, no matter which training protocol was used. Recovery time is vital and isn't a disadvantage of Heavy Duty; it is one of the reasons why it is sensible.

While I wouldn't workout that way that is incorrect. You will cause your slow twitch muscle fibers to grow by working out with lighter weights for longer periods of time.
You are technically correct. What I meant to say was that you will never get big doing that.

You sound like a walking advertisement for his books, if you like him that's great but to make it like only mike mentzers way works for people who are not on steroids, that is just silly.

As silly as saying that it Mentzer's way works only for those on steroids?

First of all, no one (other than an extremely rare person) is ever gonna get to Mentzer's size naturally. It's just not possible
Someone might. But that will be a really, really rare individual. Did I suggest otherwise or were you just saying that as an aside?

secondly if you are going for size there are plenty of natural bodybuilders who use higher than Mentzer type volumes who are big (for a natural).

I know that; I know a few of them. At least I think they are naturals. But they have a little thing called genetics on their side.

I know, but I was responding to your statement

Well, it's important to read my whole statement. It starts with: "Well, consider how most people do high-volume workouts..."

Maybe your gym is different, but most people I see have no clue at all what they're doing and aren't following any protocol at all. They're just doing a bunch of volume because they see big guys like Schwarzenegger doing a lot of volume.

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Well, it's important to read my whole statement. It starts with: "Well, consider how most people do high-volume workouts..."

Maybe your gym is different, but most people I see have no clue at all what they're doing and aren't following any protocol at all.

Alright, heres you whole statement: "Well, consider how most people do high-volume workouts: with absolutely no consideration for seeking intensity or adequate rest and recovery. Just, 'more time in the gym = good.'"

Since you claim that statement is made after observing the people in your gym, can you inform me how you know these lifters training frequency by just observing them one time? What you were actually doing with that statement was creating an incorrect generalization of anyone who doesnt use HIT, and categorizing them as "high-volume" trainers. Its an easy scapegoat for you to use, because then you can just cast them all into the group of "high volume" trainers; ie, 'irrational', instead of objectively proving them wrong.

They're just doing a bunch of volume because they see big guys like Schwarzenegger doing a lot of volume.

I dont want to sound mean, but youre very ignorant of anything outside of HIT. The only knowledge you seem to have of "high-volume" is what you have read by HIT authors, and they are the ones who create the huge generalization. I know you are aware of the term 'package-deal', and that is what HIT authors use to persuade others. Anything that contradicts their HIT theory, they throw the argument into the "high-volume, irrational" category and therefore "disprove" the argument that way. And thats what youre doing too.

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I dont want to sound mean, but youre very ignorant of anything outside of HIT. The only knowledge you seem to have of "high-volume" is what you have read by HIT authors, and they are the ones who create the huge generalization. I know you are aware of the term 'package-deal', and that is what HIT authors use to persuade others. Anything that contradicts their HIT theory, they throw the argument into the "high-volume, irrational" category and therefore "disprove" the argument that way. And thats what youre doing too.

That's the impression that I get too. There are so many variations of different effective methods, Mentzer people just seem like fanatics in general though.

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  • 4 years later...

Mike Meltzer’s work is awesome but very badly misunderstood it seems. Myself I learn more every day. There are some things I disagree with Mike but I still have not come across a better system. The biggest misunderstanding of Mike’s work I see is that of individual recovery ability. Mike stressed that recovery ability is individual for every person and that some people can train more often than others. If you see good gains training three times a week, I say congratulations on your great genetics. Although I cannot think you will keep that up forever without anabolic steroids. Other people like me who is genetically lacking can only train at most twice a week but get good results with once a week. Mike advises that you can even reduce you training frequency even more but for now I disagree with him there.

It does not help taking out one of Mike’s workouts and just running with it e.g. train once a week doing his consolidated routine. That is a sure way for not getting results especially for a beginner. I actually would advise someone new to weight training (contrary to what Mike advises) to first train three times or twice a week for at least a year. Why? Because so much of the success with Mike work depends on experience. I have seen so many beginners not knowing how to train with intensity and making so many dangerous mistakes. It takes a while for people to learn how to get the most out of their workouts. Lifting heavy weights is not easy and the learning to do so esp. if you don’t have a trainer to teach you how. I sometimes think if I could get a trainer in weight lifting to guide me my results would be so much faster.

HDers or as we are often called HIT Jedi are often accused of being dogmatic. But that is simply not true. I tried the volume approach but I never saw any results. Just because we are not as pragmatic as the Volume guys does not mean we are dogmatic.

Edited by Superman123
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  • 2 months later...

HDers or as we are often called HIT Jedi are often accused of being dogmatic. But that is simply not true. I tried the volume approach but I never saw any results. Just because we are not as pragmatic as the Volume guys does not mean we are dogmatic.

Most people who do HIT tend to think of the world as "HIT'ers vs high volume trainers," whereas people who read the scientific literature tend to think in terms of "what is supported by the scientific literature vs everything else." My guess is that you probably did some pretty retarded training and did not see results, which you call "high volume training," and then lump every type of training that has a similar amount of volume in as "ineffective for you" when those types of training may be significantly different in other factors that are unrelated to volume.

Say for example, X causes muscle gain. You do a retarded type of training that is high volume and only 0.1X, then you do HIT which is 0.3X. You get better gains from HIT. You blame the *volume* of your retarded training on not giving you enough gains, when in reality the problem was that your original retarded training did not have enough X. Since HIT has less volume, you assume that less volume from HIT gave you more muscle gains, when in reality it was the increased X in HIT which gave you more muscle gains.

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Most people who do HIT tend to think of the world as "HIT'ers vs high volume trainers," whereas people who read the scientific literature tend to think in terms of "what is supported by the scientific literature vs everything else." My guess is that you probably did some pretty retarded training and did not see results, which you call "high volume training," and then lump every type of training that has a similar amount of volume in as "ineffective for you" when those types of training may be significantly different in other factors that are unrelated to volume.

Say for example, X causes muscle gain. You do a retarded type of training that is high volume and only 0.1X, then you do HIT which is 0.3X. You get better gains from HIT. You blame the *volume* of your retarded training on not giving you enough gains, when in reality the problem was that your original retarded training did not have enough X. Since HIT has less volume, you assume that less volume from HIT gave you more muscle gains, when in reality it was the increased X in HIT which gave you more muscle gains.

Just reiterating the above question, in case you missed it (because I neglected to address it to you, so I'm hoping you'll find it this time).

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  • 2 weeks later...

In addition to Renaissance Exercise, another good resource is the book Body by Science by the brilliant Objectivist physician Doug McGuff (here's its website). The book goes into extensive detail from a med school-based background to prove why Mike Mentzer was right about just about everything. If you want an overview before reading the book, I suggest viewing

by McGuff. The topic is nutrition, but he spends a lot of time explaining the principles of HIT (the entire video is worth watching anyway).

As far as information regarding the more specific, day-to-day application of HIT training, I recommend Drew Baye. Here is his website, and

is a video that summarizes his ideas.
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Thanks, I watched the vids, and another one by Baye, detailing the workout. I will definitely make some changes.

While I don't have to lower the volume or increase the resting period (my laziness has been doing an excellent job taking care of that :) ), or change the kinds of exercises I've been doing, I will have to focus more on the intensity, slow down my movement, reduce the two sets/exercise to one, and start keeping that journal Baye insists on, to track my progress.

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<p>

My guess is that you probably did some pretty retarded training and did not see results, which you call "high volume training

I trained according to Arnold Schwarzenegger's "The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding" Perhaps you do not consider his training method high volume training but I consider it so.

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