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Mike Mentzer’s Heavy Duty One Set Workout

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Rating: 4.7/5 (9 votes cast)

Near the end of his career as a personal trainer Mike Mentzer determined that he was recommending workouts to his clients that had a set count that was too high for maximum muscle growth. He had been using 2-4 sets of maximum intensity per muscle group of but noticed that his clients’ results had ceased.

This puzzled him but after careful analysis he determined to reinvigorate new muscle growth he needed to reduce the sets to 1-2 for small muscles and 2-3 for larger ones. His clients began to break through plateaus and put on new muscle mass. All sets were taken to muscular failure.

When he received a call from top competitive bodybuilder Dorian Yates, who was training for the upcoming Mr. Olympia contest, he constructed a new program designed to add muscle quickly to Dorian’s frame. Believe it or not he used only one set for biceps and triceps as outlined in the program below. Since Dorian was used to hard training, he took to this program quickly and made excellent gains.

It is extremely important to put forth all-out effort for this HIT routine or it won’t work. You must train harder than ever before. Attempt to add reps and/or weight every session to overload the muscles. Give Mike’s routines a try to reinvigorate your training!

  • Leg Extensions-1 set 12-15 reps, 15 second Max Contraction hold at top at end of set
  • Leg Press-1 set 12-15 reps, 2 forced reps,15-second max contraction hold at top at end of set
  • Squats-1 set 12-15 reps
  • Leg Curls-1 set 12-15 reps, 2 forced reps,15-second max contraction hold at top
  • Stiff Leg Deadlifts-1 set 12-15 reps
  • Calf raises or Toe Presses-1 sets 12-15 reps; 15-second max contraction hold at top
  • Nautilus pullovers- 1 set 8-10 reps; 15-second max contraction hold at top
  • Lat Pull-downs-1 set 8-10 reps,2 forced reps, 15 sec max contraction hold at end of movement
  • Cable Rows-1 set 8-10 reps; 15-second max contraction hold at end of movement
  • Machine Shrugs-1 set 8-10 reps; 15-second max contraction hold at top
  • Pek Dek-1 set 8-10 reps,2 forced reps, 15-second max contraction hold at end of movement
  • Machine Bench presses-1 set 8-10 reps; 15-second max contraction hold at top of movement
  • Machine Lateral Raises-1 set 8-10 reps, 15-second max contraction hold at top of movement
  • Machine Presses-1 set 8-10 reps, 2 forced reps, 15-second max contraction hold at top
  • (Do 1 set only of Lateral Raises or Machine Presses if adding 2 forced reps and 2 forced negative reps at end of set)
  • Machine Curls-1 set 8-10 reps, 2 forced reps, 15-second max contraction hold at top of movement
  • Cable Pull-downs Palms-Facing-1 set 8-10 reps, 15 second hold at top of movement
  • (Do 1 set only of curls if adding 2 forced reps and 2 forced negative reps at end of set)
  • Seated Triceps Extensions-1 set 8-10 reps,2 forced reps, 15-second max contraction hold at end of movement
  • Close-Grip Bench Presses-1 set 8-10 reps; 15-second max contraction hold at top of movement

(Dips can be substituted)
(Do 1 set only of Triceps Extensions if adding 2 forced reps and 2 forced negative reps at end of set)

David Groscup has over 35 years of training experience in HIT, or High Intensity Weight Training. He is certified as a High Intensity Trainer by the IART/Med-Ex Group and has trained many people successfully in this protocol.

He has authored several books on the subject of high intensity training, which are available at: http://www.amazon.com/author/davidgroscup

You can read his blog on High Intensity Training at: http://drhitshighintensitybodybuilding.blogspot.com/

Mike Mentzer’s Heavy Duty One Set Workout, 4.7 out of 5 based on 9 ratings

2 comments

  1. all the exercises has to be done on the same day?

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  2. Mike Mentzer was and always will be a true legend…. he has made non-believers like myself into believers…. more is not better in terms of sets and days straight of pumping iron… I work at a gym and have for 6 years and i see the same people coming in every day demolishing their bodies with endless sets of benchpress, squats, chins, and sit ups. Not to mention countless minutes of cardio only to come back to the gym year after year looking the exact same. Diet is the true ingredient in accomplishing your goals, but a close second is “heavy duty training” the Mike Mentzer way… lift hard and heavy and go home and rest and GROW!!

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    Rating: 5.0/5 (3 votes cast)

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