Dr. Espen Arntzen, Certified Trainer and Bodybuilding Competitor

Being a weight fanatic the last 18 years has been a wonderful experience. Starting at age 14, I thought I would rise to fame and glory by following Arnold's training. Of course, I made some progress, but compared to 3-4 hours a day of training that I invested, the returns were small. After 6 years, I maxed out at 400 lbs. bench press and a bodyweight of 230 lbs. Fat, but big...

My plans of being the next Mr. Olympia had to go. It was just not worth it. Then back in 1999 after pursuing a title as Dr. of Naprapathy, my spark was lit again. I had absolutely kept the training the previous years, but the motivation was just not there nor was the time. In October 1999, I started silently preparing for the Norwegian National Fitness Championships to be held in May. As usual, the volume approach was used. Then in January 2000, I started to increase the intensity, and I experienced that it was no longer possible to workout for so long at a time (duration and frequency).

My HEAVY DUTY training started with about three days a week of training and moderate cardio to burn fat. I ended up in the best shape of my life; a condition I have not been able to duplicate afterwards, because I thought I was smart by modifying the training and slowly went back to volume training for 3 other contests. For the contest in May 2002, I went back to HD and again I won!

My last contest was in October 2002 and placing second really ticked me off, since I really do want to go out with the flag on top. Even though I had plans on retiring, my inspiration is back. I am now on the HD 2 routine, even though I am training a little more frequently than Mike suggested, this is a starting point. Also, I am incorporating negatives, statics, and partials in just about every workout. If the progress is less than satisfactory, (as Mike suggested) I will increase the days between the workouts, until I find what is the correct rest period for me. This will go on until July 1, after then these are my plans:

Take a 2 to 3 week layoff to recuperate. I will have discovered what works best for me and will start full-steam on August 1st for 10 weeks until contest time. Since my bodyfat is already down to 7%, I will just slowly lose fat until July at approx 5%, then let it increase a couple of % and start last phase in August - fresh and fully recuperated.

I plan on setting a National Championship record in both the chins and dips (since that is a part of the contest), increase my shoulders and upper back, as well as gain a little size in my legs. Bodyweight of 82 kilos (180 Ibs) and 3 to 4% bodyfat.

I will keep you posted. Right now it is Wednesday, and I am on my way to what? That's right: leg day. I am certain I have improved, as I feel rested and psyched up. I will keep you posted all the way until my contest and share my experiences along the way.

Nobody, nobody inspires like Mentzer! His motivational writings in his last book fires me up like nothing else. His drive, passion, and determination were so extreme that he truly was, and remains, one of a kind. Mike's last book ("High-intensity training the Mike Mentzer Way") "tricked" me into going HD training again, like I did before my very first contest. I have never been able to duplicate the results of that first contest training any other way.

Thank you Mike for all that you have left behind. With respect and admiration.

Until then: "be the best you can be, we can all be heroes..."

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