New Tributes to Mike and Ray

By Wayne Gallasch, Australia

It is hard to believe that 5 years have passed since the deaths of Mike and Ray Mentzer. They will always be remembered as two of the first truly hardcore champions. Their knowledge, intensity, curiosity, intelligence, drive and perseverance made them what they were–two outstanding legends of the sport of bodybuilding.

God bless the Mentzer brothers and their memory.

Wayne Gallasch
GMV Productions
(June 2006)

To read a previous tribute by Wayne Gallasch from June 2001, please click here.

MAN OF GRANITE -- Posted 8/25/06
By Martin Phillips, Luton, England

I first saw Mike Mentzer on November 11, 1980 in Red Lion Square, London, right after the Mr. Olympia, and that day was unforgettable. Mike gave a wonderful seminar, using a felt-tip pen and a paper board. Afterwards, he said, "I guess you want to see me pose." A loud cheer went up. When Mike went to get changed, Oscar State, the man who had invited Mike to do the seminar, mentioned that Mike had not had a leg workout in three weeks, unlike many who did leg exercises at least twice a week. When Mike came back out, everybody's jaw must have hit the floor. He looked rock-hard, like granite. I remember how thick his neck was, his forearms, legs, back - everything - and yet the year before, a writer for a muscle magazine claimed that Mike had a weak back. This was completely false because I was there and saw him in person, close up. Mike turned around, held his arms high, brought them down, and did a double biceps pose that lasted at least a full five seconds. His back appeared to get harder as he posed. That takes strength! Mike's calves and leg biceps were equally impressive.

Later in the day, Mike was selling out all of his T-shirts. I remember he joked and asked, "Anyone want to buy my underwear?" A voice said, "Over here!", which had everyone laughing. I got Mike's autograph and went home, knowing that I had gotten my money's worth - and a lot more.

Mike strongly believed in, and promoted, Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism. In her book Atlas Shrugged the hero, John Galt, declares, "I swear - by my life and my love of it - that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine." This is the type of man who was Mike's idol.

Mike's and Ray's legacy lives on. The next generation, including my son, who trains Heavy Duty™ style, definitely will benefit from Mike's teachings. My hope is when you do your Heavy Duty™ precise workouts that you think of Mike and his legacy, and that you continue enriching each of your individual lives - remembering, as Mike knew so well, that mind and body are one.

Martin W. Phillips
Luton, England

By Greg Anderson – Seattle, WA - Co-Owner, Ideal Exercise

During the years that I knew Mike Mentzer, I always found him to be open, accessible, and very forthcoming with his knowledge of training. As a young weight-training enthusiast, Mike's articles and photos served not only to inspire my efforts, but also to guide them in a sensible, logical direction.

Later, when I was in direct contact with Mike, he encouraged me in my efforts to persuade others to try briefer, more intense workouts. During his final years, as we became friends, I enjoyed and profited from our many conversations on a variety of topics: Economics, politics, philosophy, and others.

It is in part because of Mike's friendship and guidance that our personal training business is well into its second decade of operation. HEAVY DUTY™ high intensity training has worked for every one of our clients. From average people seeking improvements in appearance and functional ability, to college and professional athletes, to members of elite military and law-enforcement teams - all of our trainees utilize the sound HEAVY DUTY™ principles.

I personally revere Mike Mentzer's memory as a mentor, and I miss him as a friend.

Greg Anderson
Co-owner, Ideal Exercise

By Burton Richardson – Honolulu, Hawaii

I will never forget the first day I met Mike Mentzer when I signed up for a series of in-the-gym training sessions with him. I did not know what to expect. Having already read many of his articles, and, as a scientist who is constantly looking for the truth, I was drawn to his approach.

I waited for him at the entrance of Gold's Gym in Venice. I spotted him, introduced myself, and Mike wasted absolutely no time. He told me that I was about to experience a totally different way of approaching the science of building muscles, and that if I paid attention, I would garner great benefit. That I did.

Mike was interested in the simplest, most efficient way to achieve the desired results. My mind was already tuned to this mode of thinking, as I study the fighting art and philosophy that Bruce Lee developed. Because of this focus on efficiency, Mike discovered the basic truths of bodybuilding. For someone like me, who pursues other athletic endeavors daily, the principle of doing as little as possible to stimulate the muscle to grow has paid off tremendously. I can do my weight training and my fight practice without pushing myself into over-training.

I thank Mike for that and the many other principles that he generously offered. I hear his voice every time I workout in the gym, but my fond memories go far beyond the realm of the workout. I appreciate most the way this legend of bodybuilding treated a guy who was just trying to get a little stronger. He just wanted to see me improve and to be sure that I really understood the principles so that I could continue the training progess on my own. Thanks Mike, you succeeded.

Burton Richardson – Honolulu, Hawaii
President - Jeet Kune Do Unlimited

REACH AND GRASP -- Posted 6/9/06
By Jamie Lees – Eugene, Oregon

"Man can be, and ought to be, a hero." This was a statement made by Mike Mentzer and a belief he lived by.

The concept of heroism has largely been reserved for old-school comic books and motion pictures. Even the screenwriters today can no longer bear - or have the audience - to script plots with any heroism, having lost the ability to make moral distinctions and choosing instead "anti-heroes", going so far as to ridicule any behavior that reveals the choice to think rationally and act accordingly, which is what heroism is. The art of today reflects the world view of whim, unrationality, and aggression.

Yet the West, especially the United States, have not lost that concept completely. We seem to know what is meant by heroism. Most people, however, choose to think that it applies to others and not themselves; thereby they relinquish the effort to live a heroic life.

Imagine the state of mind of a person who believes that heroism is laudable -- and achievable by everyone. Once you know it, the demand to reach it never really abates. It goes by different names: conscience, ethics, standards. To abide by it is your choice.

In the artistic world of bodybuilding, the concept of the hero is more visible than in today's world of films, painting, and music. This is why I like to see the results of the effort in the gym, and why I like to experience it. As someone very wise once said, "The body is the machine on which the mind depends".

In bodybuilding, the mind and body are one, intensely. The harder one works, the more this becomes personally experienced. And Mike would agree: In bodybuilding, reach doesn't exceed grasp. The effort involved in the gym is always worth it. It's heroic.

Jamie Lees
Eugene, Oregon

By Ralph Cornwell – Former Strength Coach, West Point

First and foremost, Mike Mentzer was so far ahead of his time in regards to bodybuilding, training principles, and the mind-body link that is so important in training. Being a Strength Coach, Mike has helped to shape my own philosophy on the methods I use to train my athletes and to believe in the correct principles regarding training. Principles that I will not change even to keep a job. Personally, Mike Mentzer's training principles come into play every time I enter the gym or weight room. His philosophies have kept me progressing each workout, while remaining healthy; that's why I am still training at the age of 41.

It is said that you don't appreciate something until its gone, I believe only now that Mike has left us, do people truly understand the impact he had on strength training. Hopefully, we can carry on his memory best by continuing to train properly, being an example in the gym, and then possibly we will continue to convert others to the HEAVY DUTY principles."

Ralph Cornwell - Former Strength Coach, West Point
Greensboro, North Carolina

SHOCKED INTO ACTION -- Posted 6/9/06
By Nigel Allerby – AUSTRALIA - Trainer & Gym Owner

I first saw Mike Mentzer on a poster on the wall of a little upstairs gym in a township of Feilding in New Zealand. The depth of muscularity he displayed shocked me as it was more than I had ever seen before!

It would be many years of frustrated effort and mediocre results training in the usual volume approach before I discovered Mike’s HEAVY DUTY™ articles in the bodybuilding magazines and once again I was shocked. This time the shock came in the form of an acknowledgement of a different kind - the degree of intellectual depth displayed by Mike intrigued me and ignited my own quest for bodybuilding truth.

After purchasing Mike Mentzer's first book Heavy Duty©, I was surprised to be confronted with the philosophy of Ayn Rand’s Objectivism in the first chapter. I had always had an interest in philosophy and thought my mixed bag of philosophies was a fairly comprehensive attribute - I was to learn once again that I could be shocked.

What Mike Mentzer provided was a stepping-stone to acquire what I now consider the greatest asset in my life - a fully functioning, philosophically sound system of integrated knowledge.

Mike Mentzer’s legacy is that he never stopped learning objectively what worked and applied it not merely as an idea, but as a fully operational way of life -- the life of a rational man.

For all of this I can not calculate the debt I owe Mike Mentzer, he shocked me into action by holding a light high for all to see, should they be willing to apply their own minds to the reality of life as he did. This is what life for mankind should and could be, and for him it was not fiction, but fact, and so it has become for me, thank you Mike Mentzer.

Nigel Allerby, AUSTRALIA
Trainer & Gym Owner

By Justin Boyce – Rancho Cordova, CA

I first stumbled upon the teachings of Mike Mentzer in the HEAVY DUTY column in an issue of Iron Man Magazine. The article was a transcript from a seminar Mike had held some years ago, and I was immediately impressed and intrigued by what he said. I picked up a couple more issues of Iron Man Magazine strictly so I could read Mike Mentzer’s HEAVY DUTY segments. In fact, the only reason why I continue to buy more new issues these days is to read the HEAVY DUTY column (written by John Little). I can't seem to get enough of Mike’s teachings, and I look forward to gaining even more knowledge from his works.

Soon after, I bought "High Intensity Training the Mike Mentzer Way" book and began training with the HEAVY DUTY™ system. When "The Wisdom of Mike Mentzer" was published, I could not wait to get my copy! Mike Mentzer was a reasonable man with incredible character and integrity. Here was a man who possessed not only profound physical strength, but also had a sharp intellect to match. I admire him and his work immensely! He is among a small list of people whom I consider inspirational and heroic. He is a hero to me, and I am thankful for everything he has given to me. I only wish I would have had the chance to meet him or talk to him. Joanne, I want to express my appreciation to you for keeping his spirit alive. You're doing a wonderful job. Thank you again.

Justin Boyce
Rancho Cordova, CA

LASTING IMPACT -- Posted 6/9/06
By Joe De Giorgio – Montreal, Canada

Sometimes, in life, you come across certain people who have a lasting impact on you. Mike was such a person. His teachings changed not only the way I looked at training, but also at life in general. It may sound simple, but using reason and logic to critically analyze a situation is a very powerful thing. It teaches you to put things into perspective and to base your actions on something concrete. Whether it is in your professional life or personal life, learning to use logic will help to remove uncertainty from the equation, and when you do that, you remove a primary source of confusion.

Those who do not accept the theory of HEAVY DUTY™ HIT have probably not taken the time to analyze the principles that it is based upon. For if they had, they would see that the proper application of these principles (intensity, duration, frequency) will result in a positive outcome. It just makes logical sense.

Whether Mike was discussing productive bodybuilding exercise or character building, the messages from his writings were the same - think logically and judge independently so you can distinguish truth from falsehood. Or, in one word, THINK.

I believe what prevents people from thinking critically is their fear of being singled out of the crowd. Some find it easier to just agree with the masses than be seen as different. I think what set Mike apart from the crowd was his willingness to stand up for what he believed in, even if it angered others. You could see from his writings that he had integrity and values and truly enjoyed helping others.

Thanks Joanne for keeping Mike's memory alive and for continuing to get the message out about the only truly valid theory of productive bodybuilding exercise, Heavy Duty HIT. I can see that you too are a person of integrity with strong values and a willingness to help others.

Joe De Giorgio
Montreal, Canada

TRIAL, ERROR – AND SUCCESS! -- Posted 6/9/06
By Anthony Inosencio - Fruitport, Michigan

I cannot overstate the benefits I’ve received from Mike Mentzer’s HEAVY DUTY™ training breakthroughs and teachings. If I had spoken to Mike prior to using his HEAVY DUTY™ training system and told him what my experience had been with the other systems I was using, Mike would have predicted exactly what my progress was going to be on my previous volume training system.

Before using HEAVY DUTY™, I worked out for years, at first my body grew, but then after a few weeks the growth would stop. I then kept working out harder and longer and growing less -- even getting smaller than when I started out! I’d get colds and the flu more often than normal. At times, I’d quit training for a while, and then months or even years later get back into it and sprout like a weed the first two weeks. Then the cycle would repeat: I’d end up with no growth, and finally loss of muscle mass. I looked in the mirror with frustration and anger, saying to myself, "How on earth can someone work out so doggone hard and even look worse as time goes on?".

I researched and experimented. I tried Arnold Schwarzenegger’s program, doing all the sets and reps exactly as he suggested but always hit a plateau, again losing mass. This occurred with all other programs I tried. One day, again, after researching a bodybuilding website, I saw Mike Mentzer’s photo. He looked so good – yet I hadn’t heard much about him. And the comments about him got me curious: it appeared that people either thought his ideas were crazy or that he was a genius. Those who seemed to be opposed to him and his HEAVY DUTY™ training principles were pushing high-volume training, more reps and sets, “. . . get the pump, got to get the pump, the pump, the pump”, etc. Based on my experience that would result in some gains, but only for hours or days at a time. I also noticed in my research and reading that other so-called experts would take many concepts from Mike, add a few things, take away a few things, but keep his fundamentals -- and never give him the credit he deserves.

The Wisdom of Mike Mentzer book perfectly explains and confirms everything I’ve finally grasped about the vital importance of Mike’s instructions about frequency. After much trial and error, I’ve resorted to HEAVY DUTY™ training to get my size back. I will be working out every 4 days and, as I get stronger, every 5 days, then 6, etc., doing one set to failure. Most importantly, I have been increasingly listening to my body. Mike’s instructions seem to be exactly what my body is telling me it needs - and the results I’ve been getting confirm it.

In my personal opinion, Mike was not only brilliant, but also a hero. He stood up to all of those bodybuilding "steroid using" tyrants in the business, all the while being mocked, ridiculed, and harshly criticized. He never quit and continued on, to find true scientific results in building muscle beyond the traditional methods that only work for people who have incredible genetics or who perhaps use steroids.

I’ve been infuriated because of having been so misled all these years and having had all of the hard-earned hours wasted with no results. When I read Mike's literature, a fire burns in me wanting to let people know about the false theories out there that are being pushed on innocent people like me who just want to increase muscle size, get stronger, and feel good about themselves but who instead get directions to do more and more reps, sets, hours, etc. Humbug!

I’m so very grateful that Mike’s legacy prevails. Mike has answers for so many men and women who cannot figure out why they’re not prospering and growing from their hard workouts. Anything I can do to support what he has already done for me -- not to mention what he can and IS doing for others – is an honor for me, and I hope this testimonial will convince you that Mike is a TRUE master of the art of bodybuilding.

Anthony Inosencio
Fruitport, MI

By Garry Mouat – Glascow, Scotland

I placed an order for the 1980 Mr. Olympia 2-set DVD along with Heavy Duty II: Mind and Body book. I would just like to thank you for the excellent service, and I am thoroughly enjoying the book and DVD! The t-shirt that I received is great too!

I have just read Heavy Duty II: Mind and Body, and my one complaint, however, is that it is so good and interesting that I finished it too quickly! I will be reading it again over and over! Now, I find myself interested in Ayn Rand's work, and I appreciate your sending me the list of suggestions that you and Mike have read and recommend.

After viewing the 1980 Mr. Olympia DVD 2-set, it is clear to me that there is no way Arnold was the best on that stage in 1980; he looks somewhat soft! I was watching it, and honestly not really seeing much difference in the appearance of many of the competitors. However that was true only until Mike came out! Mike was hard, rugged and ripped, and he made many of the competitors look flat and amateurish!! Why fifth place? In my opinion, he looked to be the best.

I think that what I have to say in this tribute will be of benefit to other bodybuilders who are in the position that I was stuck in only a few months ago. It is my hope they will read this and realise that Mike’s routines and suggestions don’t work only for the few genetically gifted bodybuilder's, but that they can work for everyone all around the world who still workout every day, to no avail, on blind faith and hopeless routines.

Being a huge Mentzer fan, as well as a firm believer in Mike’s methods, I follow his workout to the letter, and as a result not only has my strength improved - but so has my speed and agility in every other sport!

I introduced the HEAVY DUTY™ workout to my brother, and despite the fact that he is a personal trainer, he had never seen it before, but he agreed to go through a workout in Mike’s HD fashion to "see what all the fuss is about". Needless to say, he was very surprised and is now a fan!

The message is out, and there is no doubting it anymore! Why couldn’t I have spotted the truth earlier! The following is an excerpt from a quote of Mike’s that always inspires my workouts to new intensity:

"…. It is while struggling against the heaviest weights a human body can move that the demand for courage is incessant. There, somewhere, every day of the year, is human nature truly on the rack…" --- Mike Mentzer
(High-Intensity Training the Mike Mentzer Way book - page 200.)
I wish that I could have had the honour of knowing Mike, and I've heard nothing but praise for Ray as well!

Joanne Sharkey, thank you for continuing to spread the word of Mike Mentzer’s teachings, and I want to confirm to you that his HEAVY DUTY™ messages are being heard! Please keep up the good work.

Garry Mouat
Glascow, Scotland

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