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Critique Of Heavy Duty HIT Article

Equalizer

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This is an article from another website critiquing Mentzers Heavy Duty Training. Good points and bad:

Back in the day Mike Mentzer caused a lot of controversy in the sport of bodybuilding. He was one of the few to call out Arnold and Joe Weider. He was not afraid to say his rather negative and yet very true opinion regarding the whole bodybuilding industry.

Unfortunately, not all that came from Mike Mentzer was truth and honesty. His so-called Heavy Duty workout assembled under the principles of High-Intensity Training does not work unless you’re pinning them glutes a.k.a. taking steroids.

mike-mentzer-heavy-duty-scuks-for-naturals

What is Heavy Duty training?

In the beginning the Heavy Duty routine underwent many stages and one of the most popular versions looks like this:

– five working sets per workout;
– only one working set to complete muscular failure per exercise;
– 4 to 10 days of rest between workouts to ensure perfect recovery;
– stick to compound exercises but also use machines for some movements;
– use special techniques such as complete muscular failure, pre-exhaustion, forced negatives, assisted reps, isometric holds…etc.

Each workout should be relatively short, but the intensity must be taken to the ultimate limit. The working set should leave the lifter with water running out of his eyes and vivid hallucinations of his mother.

Mentzer believed that high intensity and adequate recovery were the keys to grow, or at least that’s what he presented as main growth factors in his books.

The exercises of choice were usually solid compound movements such as the bench press, dips, squats, deadlifts. However, the regimen also calls for a lot of machines since that’s the only way to safely introduce training ideas such as forced negatives and assisted reps. It’s much safer to do negatives on a bench press machine than with an actual barbell. The latter can literally cut your head off.

Many of the principles presented in Mentzer’s books were a breath of fresh air compared to the reigning super high volume routines at the time. Arnold and his friends were training six days a week, two times a day. Mentzer’s principles had a superb goal – to finally place quality over quantity. However, it seems that he took everything to the other extreme rather than balancing things out.

Will high intensity Heavy Duty routines work for naturals?

Short answer: No.

While High-Intensity Heavy Duty Workouts have some good sides they also carry a lot of baggage that would hold naturals down.

Too hard on the CNS. While there is no doubt that Heavy Duty training leaves your muscles in agony, the most damage is actually taken by the Central Nervous System. If you are not used to Heavy Duty training, you may find it extremely refreshing. However, once you’ve done a couple of workouts you will feel mentally drained.

When you begin every set knowing that you will have to go until complete failure, you start hating training. At this point it’s also not uncommon to question your existence as a whole. Your mind is tired and sooner or later everything breaks down.

It may surprise you, but stopping your set just 1 or 2 reps before complete failure could prevent this problem.

Infrequent training causes de-adaptation. The body adapts to training by building more muscle and getting stronger. In order for adaptation to take place there must be stress. When the stress is too infrequent de-adaptation could occur. You can try the following experiment to understand this point precisely.

Start training each muscle part 7 to 10 days apart. You will notice that after each workout you’re sore as hell. Now, start training the same body part 2 times a week. The soreness after your workouts will be significantly less or there won’t be any at all. Why?

When your training is infrequent you’re giving your body a chance to de-adapt to the stress from the workout. The recovery is too long and the body has time to even begin going back into its previous ‘weaker’ state.

When you train more frequently the body does not have time to de-adapt and is kept in condition all the time. That’s why you are less sore when you train more often.

Since Heavy Duty calls for infrequent training you will be sore after each workout but because of de-adaptation rather than ‘perfect training’.

Not enough volume. In order to grow you need both – intensity and volume. The intensity (heavy weight) provides the strike force while the volume spreads the damage over the muscle group. If you have one without the other, all goes down the canal, unless of course you’re actually pinning them glutes. Naturals do better with higher volume training and moderate intensity. One working set won’t work unless you also do back off sets to make up for the low volume.

Note: Doing ‘only’ 1 work set of deadlifts is perfectly fine. Never do back off sets

But Mentzer had an insane physique! How could he be wrong about training?

Mike Mentzer had a solid physique, no doubt. However, he was on steroids like the rest of the bodybuilders he was competing against {more here}. Also, before switching to Heavy Duty type of training he was training with regular volume workouts like his rivals.

In other words, he acquired his massive physique before he converted to High-Intensity Training. Many of the athletes he trained were not natural as well.

What’s you message to the H.I.T. Jedis?

Enjoy your super slow machine sets. It’s not happening.

In order for H.I.T. to work it needs to be modified. There are some useful principles behind H.I.T. but in its pure form it seems to work only for a small cult of people. Doing everything to complete failure can only work for so long. It could be a break from regular high volume routines, but in the end it’s not sustainable and before all – not productive for naturals.

But Dorian Yates says that H.I.T. is the bet way to train?

Dorian Yates has been on steroids for longer than you’ve been alive. Similar to Mentzer he also used volume in the beginning. His base was built with volume workouts.

Ah, yes! He was also known to use enough anabolic steroids to create an army of super soldiers.
 

thehazzle

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I find I respond better to low volume HIT training better than anything else
 

Ls61973

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It also kills your joints, tendons, ligaments. Yates was one of the most injured BB.

Sent from my ZTE A2017U using Tapatalk
 

FK86

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It also kills your joints, tendons, ligaments. Yates was one of the most injured BB.

Sent from my ZTE A2017U using Tapatalk
And it's been clarified ad nauseam that these injuries occurred with the contest right around the corner. No one should be using extreme intensity principles when their bodyfat is under 5%. He's admitted this several times and everyone knows it.
 

unhinged

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I do a modified hit style of training, it's always worked well for me. I may need to change things up a bit as I injured my shoulder a few weeks ago (non-workout related injury, those are the main ones I get it seems )
 

Musclemechanic76

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I do a modified hit style of training, it's always worked well for me. I may need to change things up a bit as I injured my shoulder a few weeks ago (non-workout related injury, those are the main ones I get it seems )
I do same. Burst sets combine larger muscle and smaller. Circuit sets of larger then smaller then larger then back after pause. I design several circuits per session and work each muscle 1x week in 4 days training per week.
It works!!!

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G890A using Tapatalk
 

jakane916

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I used to always do some form of HIT. But injuries have come on more now so I might cut back and go for TUT type workouts
 

USMuscle9403

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Mike was one smart dude, maybe too smart for his own good and overly analytical to the extreme. I credit him, however, for having a part in introducing lower volume training. He got people to think. His original principles were well thought out, but he just took it to the extreme. Did he even train like that? A body part every two weeks? The dude claimed a lot of things that he didn't really practice himself. But in era where everyone thought they needed to spend half their day in the gym every day to be a bodybuilder, he got people to be a bit more open minded. I mean, look at the guy. One of my favorite physiques, still. That, however, combined with an extremely intelligent brain, OCD, methamphetamine, and just being nuts, didn't work out so well. He was a great mind, but mostly for making you think for yourself.
 

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