Heavy Duty Testimonials
from Around the World

New! TAKING CONTROL -- Posted 3/1/06
James Kilpatrick - Brisbane, Australia

I have used Mike’s techniques to gain control over my physical condition rather than attempting to build a great physique. High-Intensity Training has helped me overcome the effects of an anatomical short leg, which was first diagnosed in May 2001 when I was 23. It had been explained to me that my body’s skeletal system had compensated for the short leg by twisting the pelvis and curving the spine. Because of these abnormal bone positions, movement of my body was restricted, and the muscles on the left side of my body were weaker than those on the right.

I was put on an 8mm heel lift and continued chiropractic treatments, but then I began to experience pain in both knees to the point where I could hardly crouch down. My abdominals constantly felt as if I had strained them, which made me feel nauseated, and my lower back was often sore. Occasionally I would feel shooting pains down the back of both legs. Both of my frontal quads would cramp as I walked, and the right one cramped even worse than the left one.

Then I learned something very important: my overall goal should be to get my body to a stage where I could control it, not have it control me, as it was presently doing. I decided to undergo muscle rehabilitation to balance the major muscle groups and then continue to build muscle. I purchased a home bench set and began using techniques presented in a book about “personal training”. After a few weeks I realized I was not getting stronger, only more fatigued and sore; that the information in the book was incorrect and did not explain how to build muscle mass; and the instructions had no scientific basis. I stopped exercising completely. Yet I knew that there must be correct information available that would explain how the body gains muscle and what exercises to do!

In a bookstore I found “High Intensity Training The Mike Mentzer Way”. The explanations on overtraining described everything that I had undergone. It provided answers for the questions I had and the rationale behind doing the exercises. I also bought and read the remaining books Mike wrote in order to obtain a broadened sense of the history, principles and concepts of HEAVY DUTY™ high-intensity training. What Mike said applies perfectly to how the muscular system operates - and his technique of high-intensity, low frequency training works in conjunction with the body and not against it.

I began the Ideal Workout in November 2004 as described in Mike’s book “High-Intensity Training The Mike Mentzer Way”. It took me three cycles to get used to doing the exercises, selecting the correct weights, and getting the timing of the reps correct. After engaging in HEAVY DUTY™ for three months, and through various measurements and careful observation, I realized the condition of my spine was definitely improving! Only by keeping accurate records, which incorporate notes on what I experience in each workout, have I been able to accurately analyze not only my progress but also what my feelings are at the time, what I specifically experience during that workout, and what I need to improve on.

I have spent this first year building a solid muscular foundation. Now that I have increased my general strength, I am focusing on my weaker body parts to bring them up to parity with the strong bodyparts. I have never injured myself by following Mike’s instructions -- in fact the converse is also true: HEAVY DUTY™ training has prevented me from being injured as I perform normal daily activities.

In an age when few people want to take responsibility for their actions and seek to blame others, I have taken control and responsibility for my condition; I own my problems and know that it is up to me to help myself. I am very grateful that Mike had the guts, determination and humility to continue to search for, develop and redefine the true theory on gaining muscle mass. Without his efforts, my own goals would have been unachievable, and I would have been unable to manage my condition. Implementing Mike’s techniques and protocols has improved my flexibility, motor control, and posture. It has increased my mental strength and determination – and improved the quality of my life and my sense of self.

I often wonder how many other people suffering from recurring problems could benefit from using Mike’s techniques and whose quality of life would be so vastly improved.

James Kilpatrick
South Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

[Ed: This testimonial is not a medical claim by this website that HEAVY DUTY™ training will cure whatever physical problems the reader may have but rather is solely the testimonial by James Kilpatrick as it relates to his particular condition and results obtained through using HEAVY DUTY™ high-intensity training. In the event you have a medical condition or similar problem, please consult with your medical doctor before starting this - or any - exercise program.]

New! HEAVY DUTY DOES INDEED WORK! -- Posted 2/8/06
Mark Martinez – Track and Field Coach - Santa Fe, New Mexico - USA

Back in the early to mid-‘90s, after several years of inactivity, I began working out again in my quest for size and power. I tried many different methods of training, from training once a day, to two and three times a day. I tried the Bulgarian method of training and believe it or not, I even tried Power Factor Training. Sometime afterwards, I remembered about a bodybuilder that I would see in the muscle magazines - the bodybuilder was MIKE MENTZER. I recall how impressed I was when looking at the pictures of him and his brother working out, and how much effort they seemed to be putting into their workouts. I began searching the magazines to see if I could find anything about Mike Mentzer regarding his workout routine. It took some time, but I found an article where he gave an update on himself and said that he was doing personal training and phone consultations.

I guess at this point Mike had started writing for one of the magazines, and I couldn’t believe what I was reading. It made sense and he didn’t dumb it down. I found that he wrote the way he spoke - articulate and to the point. After using his routine that I got out of the magazine article, I started making pretty good gains! I finally realized that if I wanted to continue my quest for more size and strength, then I would have to call Mike and purchase some consultations. I ended up purchasing a total of ten (I believe) phone consultations from Mike. On the day I purchased them, Mike got some general information from me regarding what I did for a living, what I was doing for workouts, how often and so forth.

I finally called Mike a few weeks later for my first session. Mike spoke about how bodybuilding is a science, that you need rest, etc. (it is all in his books and other writings). The one thing I distinctly remember is Mike saying that he had it perfected. I took notes on everything he said that day. Finally the moment that I was waiting for came, the workout. I was told to do 1 set of Pec Deck with Inclines on a smith machine in superset fashion, lower the bar to my neck with my elbows flared back towards my ears (really involved my pecs doing it this way, awesome), etc. I recall that when Mike told me how many rest days to take between workouts, “workout once every four days”, I balked “every four days”? He probably started laughing inside, but then he again explained to me the importance of rest and assured me this was what was necessary.

My gains were phenomenal, maybe I didn’t set any world records, but here are what some of my best lifts for reps were (the ones I remember) before I had to stop because of an accident:

Lateral Raise: 65 lbs - 9 reps (weight was not thrown up, it was muscled up with controlled negative)
Barbell Curls: 175 lbs - 8 reps
Tri Pushdown: (superset with dips) Stack + 25 lbs for 8
Full Dips: 110 lbs at a bodyweight of 267 lbs
Pulldowns: Stack + 25 lbs for 7 reps
Deadlifts: 485 lbs for 7 reps

After pre-exhausting my quads with Leg Extensions

Leg Extension: Stack +30 lbs
Leg Press: 1,600 lbs
Smith Machine Squat: Under 600 lbs (Unfortunately I don’t remember the exact number)

Heavy Duty does indeed work!

Since my car accident, I have been away from the sport of bodybuilding for several years now and have eaten my way to a new kind of physique; so right now I am only a shadow of myself (a big shadow). I am a Track and Field Coach for Shotput and Discus, and one of the athletes asked me if I would mentor him this year (2005), which I agreed to do. In our sessions, we are training with HEAVY DUTY and working on some shotput and discus form. At some point in 2006, I will post before and after photos of both of us to show our progress.

Pretty recently, I spoke to Joanne Sharkey about a few things, and the one point that I brought up was that the “nay-sayers” who speak out against HEAVY DUTY either have never really tried to understand the basic fundamental principles and used them, or they just do not really know how to fully apply them to their workouts. Mike told me that HEAVY DUTY training would be the hardest workout I ever did, and he was right. This is the only workout that I have ever advocated to anyone - simply because it works! My only regret with my HEAVY DUTY training is that I never took the time to go to California and have Mike supervise and personally put me through any of my workouts. I’m happy though that I learned all that I did through the many phone consultations with Mike.

Joanne, thank you for taking the time to speak with me and for keeping the memories of Mike and Ray Mentzer alive.

Mark Martinez
Santa Fe, NM

New! AMAZING -- 45 POUNDS OF MUSCLE GAIN! -- Posted 2/8/06
ROB (All natural bodybuilder and 44 years old)

I would like to start by saying THANK YOU to Ms. Sharkey for the great job she is doing with this website, and also to send my tribute to Mike. I first talked to Mike in 1994, and he was as patient as he could be with my attempts to apply his Heavy Duty protocol. I just couldn't seem to get it right and always wanted to add more, or do more, or not rest as much as I should have; so after a short while I just stopped because I was certain it had to be HD's fault right?

Wrong! After trying every other protocol with no results, I read and re-read Mike's books and learned about the consolidated routine that consisted of only three different exercises done once every 7-10 days. After applying the protocol, I was able to gain an additional 45 pounds of muscle, which I thought I could never do -and I just turned 44 years old!!!!

Many people may be like I was and not realize what it is to train to failure -- I mean real failure. It is very, very hard work. If done correctly, 3 sets of (3 different exercises) all-out training to failure is what I normally do and, I believe, would apply to most bodybuilders. The three exercises I am using are:

My bodyweight is a whopping 275 pounds, which shows that when HD is applied correctly, you can get downright amazing results!! Though I still take creatine, all of this has been accomplished without any steroids.

My hope is that Mike's work goes on and on, and that people will find it, use it, and achieve their goals. Again, thank you, Ms. Sharkey, for all of your hard work on the website. And to Mike, I will never forget you and will do everything I can to get the word out about Heavy Duty! It is the one and only true theory of bodybuilding science!


DIRK REBIG - Mönchengladbach, GERMANY - Certified Personal Trainer

Greetings from Germany! Being in the iron game for over a decade and a Certified Fitness Trainer for several years, I want to share some of my thoughts about Mike Mentzer and HEAVY DUTY™.

At the beginning of many years of working out before using HEAVY DUTY, my training partner (hello Rico!) and I trained with little success. Of course, the body, especially when never trained before, reacts to almost any kind of training. But then, quite often, bodybuilders begin to overtrain and suffer the negative results. They then reach for, and often accept, everything they hear or read, and ... it gets worse. It happened to me and my training partner! Mike Mentzer perfectly describes in his books how and why this happens, as evidenced below.

Even my training partner, who is considered a hardgainer, started to put on mass. When I started training, my weight was at around 70 kg. for years. The first four to five years, it went up to around 80-82 - most of it muscle. But there was a sticking point, and I wondered why I could not gain more even though I continued training.

Heavy Duty changed everything -- that was the turning point! Now, after following Mr. Mentzer’s advice, I remain at approximately 100 kg – 106 kg. at my peak. In spite of personal situations and challenges, and skipping training a few times, HEAVY DUTY has worked better than anything else. And I had tried it all, while spending a lot of time and money in the attempt. When you train with HEAVY DUTY you save time and money, and the results are better compared to "volume" methods with supplements (most of which are scams, by the way). Bill Pearl wrote a few months ago in an article in MuscleMag that HEAVY DUTY is too hard, and you are too exhausted for the next workout. Hmmm ... is it possible that here is another bodybuilder who didn’t read correctly, or who didn’t understand, or who is a little envious and wants some of the spotlight for himself?

If you blindly follow, let’s say, a three-day per week training schedule, just because "it is so" and "everybody else does it”, then you are not allowing time for recovery. Mike stated very clearly that rest and recovery are an essential part of HEAVY DUTY progress success. An important point here is that my training partner and I have NEVER injured ourselves in all our years of training with HEAVY DUTY! And neither have my clients – of all ages, men or women. I have always recommended Mike Mentzer’s HEAVY DUTY training to my clients and even lend some of them Mike’s books, audio cassettes and videos, which I recommend to anyone trying to find the "real deal.”

In my view, every thought is also a prayer, our thoughts create the world, so let us think positively. Tomorrow, I will be in the gym again, saying my mantra in silence, "The material came from god, the know-how from Mike Mentzer". I thank and salute him for that, and sincerely wish I had the honor of meeting him -- my guiding light and role model, in training and discipline.

God bless you all.
Dirk Rebig

New! STRENGTH BEFORE SIZE -- Posted 12/13/05
MIKE WIGINGTON - Big Sandy, Texas

Just a quick note to let you know my last HEAVY DUTY Phone Consultation with John Little went very well and to also give you an update on how I’m doing with my progress. Most folks, I think, rate their progress by how they perform in the gym, but here is an interesting personal tale proving, indeed, that gains in strength really do precede gains in size – not always evident in the mirror of a gym!

Back in June, I ordered a longbow from a custom maker. It is 55 pounds of resistance at 28 inches of draw length. Well, when I first attempted to use it, I found that it was a lot tougher to pull back than I had imagined! I could shoot only 3 or 4 four arrows before my arm would start tiring out. I generally only do HEAVY DUTY HIT workouts once every 7-8 days; so I think I have had 2 arm-workouts after I started my phone consultations with John and since I got the bow. Today, I fired ten sets of ten arrows through my bow for a total of 100 arrows. Amazingly, not once did my arm begin to shake and quiver like it did before!! And my arms still had not been given the full time allotted for rest, because I was determined to finish within a certain time frame.

I will give my arms some extra rest days before my next workout, so I don't dig too deeply into my resources, but still I thought this was very good progress -- increasing from 3 to 4 arrows to a total of 100 without all the usual muscular trembling is extraordinary! I was very impressed with my being able to overcome the resistance of the longbow without the shaking and quivering of my left arm that I had been experiencing previously. I credit my success to my HEAVY DUTY HIT workouts!

I’d tell people - don’t ignore it when your strength has greatly advanced and you haven’t noticed any increase in size. Keeping in mind that Mike often stated that increase in strength precedes changes in muscular mass, I tell others not to be concerned if they haven’t noticed any increase in size, if they are seeing strength gains. Again, Mike is right!

Thanks to Mike Mentzer for his vision and incredible findings noted within his writings, to John Little for our Heavy Duty phone training sessions, and to Joanne Sharkey for her encouragement.

Mike Wigington
HEAVY DUTY™ Phone Client of Mentzer-Sharkey Enterprises, Inc.

New! MIKE'S WORK LIVES ON -- Posted 12/13/05
THOMAS MCGUIRE, PhD - Missoula, Montana

I was so very excited to receive my copy of The Wisdom Of Mike Mentzer, and have already read the book and since refer to it often.

Mike's work has meant a great deal to my life and me. Not only has Mike's insights on the science of muscular development helped me to achieve my potential with my body, but his insights on philosophy and particularly self-worth have helped me to achieve the best within myself.

Let me explain - In 1981, I was in a terrible motorcycle accident. I was in a body cast for almost 8 months and couldn't walk again for 2 years. During that time, I went from 165 lbs (at 6'2") to 105 lbs. I looked like a skeleton with skin. In 1988, I started lifting weights, mindlessly and made small gains. But in 1992, I read an article on Dorian Yates wherein he praised Mike and his "Heavy Duty" system. I quickly bought the first Heavy Duty book. What a revelation!! Within a year I had gained 40 pounds of solid muscle.

Mike's biggest help to me was beyond the exercise science, it was his words of encouragement and philosophy of self-determination. For a skinny young man with a crippled right leg to step into a gym, it is quite intimidating. I kept fresh in my mind that I alone would determine my self-worth and that I was not less worthy to be there than the biggest guy in the gym. It was hard at first, but once I started seeing results, so did others, and I came to find out later that I was actually an inspiration to others.

Joanne, thank you so very much for keeping this website going and for all of your hard work. Mike would be proud. I'll never forget coming home from vacation and finding out of Mike's passing. I called Joanne from Montana and she took the time to speak with me and informed me of her commitment to keep Mike’s work alive.

Thank you,
Thomas McGuire, PhD - Thomas McGuire
Missoula, MT

[Ed. Many times I hear from fans who have been injured and have the feeling of despair, and I hope Dr. McGuire’s testimonial will have an impact on you and inspire you to never quit. While I am not claiming that HEAVY DUTY™ high-intensity Training is a cure all for complete rehab in all cases, it is certainly something you should present to your Medical Doctor or Physical Therapist.]

New! STILL GROWING! -- Posted 12/13/05

Your high-intensity and Heavy Duty tips are much appreciated. I’m 34 and started with weights at age 22 when I was fortunate to meet a HIT trainer. However at that time, we trained three times weekly, which did got me results but it stopped in the end. After many years of on-off training, at the start of this year, I began high-intensity with brief workouts just twice weekly. In four months, I’d gained 4 to 5 weight-stack increases all around - from training mainly one hour a week in total and doing cardio for fat reduction. Then once again, I came to a standstill. I re-read Mike’s literature, changed to training every 4 to 5 days, and I have started to grow again.

I found I needed a partner to push me through the last rep to total failure. After my partner went away for two weeks, I employed one of the gym instructors and provided him with Arthur Jones, training methodology. I found it difficult to instruct this person, as he was always attempting to continue his "more is better" method; most weeks, he prefers 4 sets of everything 4 times on all bodyparts, which I saw as mass overtraining. What is funny is that he proclaims that he has trained solid for 10 years to gain his natural strength; yet after 5 months of my HD high-intensity training, I’m virtually as strong as he is because I can often lift nearly as much weight as he can.

It appears that some people just can’t seem to get away from the multiple boring weight workouts.

Joanne, thanks again for providing a place where we can speak to each other.

Grant Wilson

TYSON NEIDIG - Denver, Colorado

My name is Tyson Neidig, and I would like to share with you a success story of a different kind. Most of the inspirational testimonials are about incredible gains, while my success is in losing bodyfat.

I played sports in high school and college and was quite fit during that time. Due to bad (volume) training and poor genetics (I'm the poster child for the ectomorph body type), I never achieved the very muscular body I wanted. After college I ended up in a series of desk jobs - all high stress. Still trying every exercise routine I could find to get big, I stayed fairly thin and fit but never muscular. Eventually, overtraining wore me down, I stopped working out entirely, but habitually I kept eating the large quantities of food necessary for high-volume workouts, and I got very fat with little muscle. After a trip to Europe when my grandparents left me in the dust on a mountain hike, I decided enough was enough, and I had to lose weight and get back in shape.

My research indicated that when most people diet, they cannibalize muscle tissue during their weight loss and end up looking “skinny-fat” i.e., smaller but still very soft, and put weight back on VERY quickly once they stop their diets. This occurs for two reasons – one, they try to lose too much weight too fast, and second, they do little or nothing but aerobics. To avoid this, I developed a plan based entirely on the information in the Heavy Duty books. Mike always said that losing weight was a simple matter of calorie-deficit eating. I took him at his word and decided to reduce my intake from 2300 calories to 1700 per day and only do Heavy Duty workouts. This way I would not lose too much weight too fast – about two pounds of fat a week.

My regimen was to eat 5 meals a day - about 300 calories each. This took me to 1500 calories a day, which left me 200 or so calories for treats like a bar of chocolate or some ice cream. I loved the idea of being able to lose weight while eating chocolate or ice cream in small quantities. I knew that it could be done, as Mike had eaten ice cream even while prepping for a contest!

Oh yes, and the last part of my plan - I was going to lose all the weight without doing ANY aerobics. Not a single step, no running, no walking, no elliptical machine, no nothin’. I have a bit of a contrarian nature, and I wanted to prove a point: that you can go from “horribly fat and out of shape” to “trim and fit” without the need of any of that.

I worked out every Saturday, alternating between 2 routines (one workout for chest/shoulders, the other working the back – a bad knee keeps me from doing legs). I’m 5’10”, and here are the numbers indicating my success with Heavy Duty:

Before Heavy Duty:
Weight: 210 lbs.
Waist Size: 38”
After 9 months on Heavy Duty:
Weight: 170 lbs.    40-pound loss!
Waist Size: 32”     Lost 6” around my waist!
My exercise routine:

Parallel Bar dips: Body weight only x 0 reps
(I could not even do a single rep!)
Overhead Press: 80 x 4 reps
Pull-ups: Body weight only x 0 reps
Hammer Seated Rows: 170 x 4 reps

Body Weight plus 70 lbs. x 5 reps

140 x 4 reps
Body Weight plus 25 lbs. x 4 reps
270 x 5 reps

As you can see, I had fantastic results in not only losing weight/fat loss, but I made very significant strength gains with Mike Mentzer’s HEAVY DUTY system. Obviously I look a lot better - very fit and trim, but not hugely muscular. I've come to realize I'll never be "big" like some people; I simply don't have the genetics (light skeletal frame, long tendons, short muscle bellies, low muscle fiber density, etc.) But, I do look athletic and I'm STILL making gains after almost a year. And I love when people ask me how I lost all that weight. I tell them I worked out once a week for 20 minutes and ate 1700 calories a day, period! People are skeptical, because it flies in the face of all the accepted "fitness wisdom", but it's hard to argue with living proof standing right in front of you.

Thanks to Mike Mentzer’s Wisdom!
Tyson Neidig

[Ed. CONGRATULATIONS, TYSON!! Mike would be proud to know that through his Heavy Duty teachings, you found the inspiration and knowledge to accomplish your goal. Your testimonial will be an encouragement to others who may feel they “can’t” do it. Yes, you truly are “living proof of the Mentzer wisdom” -Thank you!]

SCOTT KLEINFELD - Eagan, Minnesota

When I started weight lifting a couple years ago, I began with a typical three day a week workout, which consisted of many sets of course. How was I supposed to know there was a science to bodybuilding? I gained very minimal at best, so I decided to increase the frequency of my training to four days a week with each workout lasting a mind-numbing two hours. I look back on it now and see just how clueless I was in knowledge of exercise science. Obviously, I wasn’t getting any results with this routine either, so I thought the next step should be to up it to six days a week. Believe it or not, this yielded no results as well. At this point, I had literally quit! After years of hoping that one day I could be extremely muscular, my dream had died.

It wasn’t until a couple of months later that I was introduced to Mike Mentzer’s Heavy Duty training. I can remember saying to my brother that I honestly didn’t think his training methods would work, as they were so radically different. My first thought was: "One set? That's so ridiculous. You can’t grow with one set, let alone doing it once a week." However, it got me thinking, and because I was so anxious to get back into the gym after my hiatus of two months, I decided to give the Heavy Duty workout a try.

Three months went by and I didn’t make any progress at all. No strength gains, no nothing. I emailed Joanne Sharkey and she highly recommended that I buy at least one of Mike's books. I didn’t realize that without reading Mike’s words, I could not possibly learn or actually understand his Heavy Duty program, considering all I had to go on was an incomplete horrible training video. I bought the book entitled High Intensity Training the Mike Mentzer Way at Mikementzer.com. I read the entire book within a couple of days, and Joanne was right in that I now had a better and more thorough understanding on what was needed to produce muscle. I didn’t just know Mike's workout now, but I learned the basic fundamental principles behind it, which I now know is essential to getting the most from my HEAVY DUTY workouts. From that point on, I increased my strength each and every workout, and gained considerable muscle. Considerably is probably an understatement, but you get the idea. My bodyweight went from 185 to 210 in two months!

My brother, who had never started the HD program, noticed that I was getting extremely big, and he has since asked me to teach him the HEAVY DUTY workout. I decided to take him under my wing and be his personal trainer. Right from the first workout, he was making the same spectacular gains I made once I first started using HD properly.

Mike has helped me stimulate max growth in weight lifting, but he also taught me how to become a very rational thinking person. As it is with many people, life was always a great burden for me during my entire lifetime. It seems impossible to dig yourself out of a hole that big, but after learning Mike's teachings, I'm actually looking forward to today and the next day. During my lifetime, I’ve pondered on what I wanted to become and could never think of one career that even remotely interested me. Thanks to Mike that I realize I would really like to be a personal trainer and spread the wealth of the knowledge he left behind. Mike saved my life from misery - and that's that! I hope my story helps to inspire you to reach for your goals.

Eagan, Minnesota

New! HEAVY DUTY--THE WAY FORWARD! -- Posted 8/9/05
MICHAEL DOREE - Kent, England

Hello, my name is Michael and I’m 19 years old. I have been interested in weight training/bodybuilding since I was about 12. I always remember my dad asking me to try and do a press up. I could barely do one! Most Friday nights my brother and his mates used to come around and do some training and I used to sit and watch them. Also my dad used to train when he was younger and still does for that matter at age 60 (I must point out they didn’t use the magic tool [HIT]).

When I was 16, I started buying “Muscle and Fitness” magazine, and the first thing that I noticed was the shear volume of advertisements in it! The magazine was more like a catalogue of weird and expensive supplements with some training advice placed at various intervals. Back then I used to think that the magic formula was doing three sets of eight reps (how wrong I was!). During the summer of 2001, I was determined to get bigger over the summer holidays, by training for approximately 2 hours every day for four days, using a four-day split. Come the end of the summer, I was slightly stronger and I thought to myself how on earth do professional bodybuilders get so big??? Since the summer of 2001, I trained on and off.

I remember looking through my numerous issues of muscle magazines and regularly seeing an advertisement for the Mike Mentzer books, “Muscle in Minutes” and “High- Intensity Training the Mike Mentzer Way”. I thought to myself that I must buy one of these books and give it a read. Since September, I have bought the book and read it about three or four times! Upon the first read, I just knew that HEAVY DUTY was going to work. I was quite perplexed at why more people weren’t using this training method? (As Author Jones said: “if I could explain the actions of irrational people then they wouldn’t be irrational”).

My training is slowly but surely coming along (like most things in life, they take time to perfect). Since Christmas 2004, my arms have grown 2/8th of an inch and my calf raises increased by about 30 Kg each time I train. Going to the gym is now an exciting time for me; I get quite energized by thinking “how much will I be able to lift this time?”

One thing that I admire about Mike is that he stood for what he believed in, even though people around him disagreed with his training theory. And I personally think that it takes a lot of balls to do that. HEAVY DUTY™ REALLY IS THE WAY FORWARD!

Kent, England

STUART SCHAEFER - Castle Rock, Colorado
Certified Personal Trainer

Many of you reading this may be skeptical of the HEAVY DUTY™ high-intensity training program; however, I hope you will read my story and give Mike Mentzer’s program a chance to work successfully for you.

At the age of 17, I started training three days a week using 15 to 20 sets per workout. I witnessed very impressive gains, going from a height of 5'10' and 100 pounds to a weight of 120 pounds in the first year. By the time I had left high school, I had grown one more inch and my weight was up to 150 pounds. By this time, I had switched to a high volume training approach. At first I was doing one bodypart a day with a total of 8 sets per workout; however, I soon began to follow Schwarzenegger's routine of training for 2 hours a day and twice on some days. I quickly hit a plateau and remained the same weight for a good year and a half.

A year after graduating from high school, I had entered a bodybuilding competition, weighing in at 154 pounds (a 4-pound gain in one year). Soon thereafter, I heard the name of Mike Mentzer and decided to look him up on the Internet at www.mikementzer.com. I found a training routine of Mike’s, and a close friend (my training partner) and I couldn't believe our eyes. The routine called for training only 20 minutes once a week! I said to my friend, "What have we got to lose? We'll take our measurements and see if we lose any muscle. If we do, we will just start training more frequently.”

After six (6) months of training HEAVY DUTY HIT style, I entered another competition and weighed in at 168 pounds -- a 14-pound gain of new muscle in 6 months training only once a week. I soon ordered Mr. Mentzer's books to enable me to obtain a better understanding of what was happening to my body. It made so much sense, and yet it was so easy to doubt, because so many bodybuilders had recommended high volume. It has been another 6 months from my last competition, and I currently weigh 175 pounds. I still workout only once a week (a 21-pound gain in one year on HEAVY DUTY training).

It is with great excitement that I now give the most current update of my gains this Summer alone, while utilizing Mr. Mentzer's Consolidated Routine as outlined in High-Intensity Training The Mike Mentzer Way book.

  May 10, 2005 July 29, 2005
Squats: 225 x 7 reps 405 x 10 reps
Deadlifts: 210 x 6 reps 315 x 8 reps
Dips: 165 x 9 reps 260 x 6 reps
Pull Downs: 165 x 7 reps 255 x 6 reps
I am now 20 years old. I live in Castle Rock, Colorado, and I attend the University of Colorado at Boulder. Currently, I am a Certified Personal Trainer, and I can honestly say that Mike Mentzer was my inspiration. With the knowledge I gained through Mike Mentzer’s teaching and philosophy, my goal is to train people the BEST way to give them optimal results in an optimal time frame. As far as I'm concerned, HEAVY DUTY HIT is the only way to train. Regularly I make sure to refer my clients to your website in search of information. Once they start down the road of HEAVY DUTY, they realize that there is no other way.

Joanne, thank you for all of your support and help. I know you are working hard and doing great things to keep Mr. Mentzer's legacy alive. Good luck with your new endeavors, and I can’t wait for you to release the REVISED HEAVY DUTY JOURNAL this year! You have my total support.


Certified Personal Trainer
Castle Rock, Colorado

CHRIS P. – Roanoke, Virginia

I struggled for about 2 years, including the summer of 2001, to gain as much knowledge about lifting weights and to find the best training program available. At first, I just had the mindset of getting stronger. After a while, I became more interested in bodybuilding by its very nature to build my body. The more information I found, the more interested I became.

It wasn’t until I signed up at www.Mikementzer.com that I stumbled across a program that would deliver results and made sense. Starting with the advice and guidance of someone very close to the man himself (Joanne Sharkey), I weighed in at 167 pounds at 5`10. After only about 5 to 6 weeks, I went to 180 pounds of undeniable mass using H.I.T. I look forward to continued progress and gaining more knowledge about how to properly adjust my workouts in order to reach my full potential and be the “best I can be”.

Thank you Mike and to that someone close to your heart.

Roanoke, Virginia


James Berry and Mike MentzerIn 1992 at 19 years of age, meeting my idol to say the least was overwhelming. I would like to be able to say that I really got to know everything about Mike during the three weeks I trained with him at Gold's Gym - California, but what I did walk away with was the knowledge on how to properly develop my physique from a bodyweight of 140 pounds to a muscular bodyweight of 225 pounds. My genetics never allowed me to compete, but I came very close to reaching my ultimate potential.

Now at age 31, I continue to read Mike's books with the hopes of learning even more from him. I feel that I am one of the lucky people, who not only discovered Mike's teachings on anaerobic exercise, but also had the opportunity to spend one-on-one time training with him.

I sadly miss Mike, and the world of bodybuilding will never be the same - he was a great man!

West Yorkshire, ENGLAND

HEAVY DUTY RULES!! -- Posted 10/1/04
DOUG HARRIS – Vienna, Virginia

My name is Doug Harris and I was lucky enough to train at Spartan Health Club from 1977-1979. Spartan was a hardcore gym, not the shiny, chrome and glass palaces of today, but rather a warehouse where air conditioning was a fan by an open door next to the squat rack, and where “intensity” was the name! We were gym rats and Spartan was our temple. Mike and Ray were training there in secret in the early a.m., developing the most scientifically proven and researched training method ever. The Brothers Mentzer used a combination of machines and free weights to create the "bible of bodybuilding", and I was there!

Words don't describe Mike and Ray Mentzer! I still remember the first time I saw these two huge, god-like figures moving inhuman weights with an intensity I’d never before seen! Power and Intensity – I'm talking, 2000 lbs. vertical leg presses (all the weight in the gym); 1000 lbs. bull squats; 105 lbs. flye-presses supersetted with 405 lbs. inclines; cheat barbell curls close to 300 pounds! Positively Herculean tasks! Abs were 85-degree incline sit-ups with a 100-pound plate supersetted with hanging leg raises with a 25-pound dumbbell. "Inhuman weights!"

Doug Harris and Mike Mentzer TrainingPicture this! It’s late December of 1978, Mike is now the reigning Mr. Universe with a perfect score of 300, and Ray is Mr. USA. Mike is back, visiting Ray from L.A. for the holidays – and Spartan breathes new life as Mike and Ray are training together again. John Balik photographs me while I was spotting Mike on the Nautilus Pullover machine – there are two awesome pics in Mike's new book, "High-Intensity Training The Mike Mentzer Way," and they have been in Ironman Magazine six times. At the age of 16, I’m spotting the heavyweight title winner of the Mr. Olympia!

It’s now 1979, and Ray is training for the Mr. America at Spartan, while Mike trains for the Mr. Olympia out in Los Angeles with Casey Viator. Ray is doing front barbell raises, and I can see the side striations in his tri's; just like Mike, he is confident and huge. I tell him this, and he replies with a big smile, because he has now grown even larger than Mike! I spend most of my time being trained under Ray's expert eye, and both Mike and Ray always treat me with respect and always have time to answer my questions!

IT IS NOW 1980 -- “the year of Conan" -- and Mike and Ray are at the top of the world, Mike's favored to win the Olympia, and Ray's favored to win the Universe. We all know that Mike should beat Arnold (weak legs and a mediocre midsection don't equal Mr. Olympia) and become Mr. “O”. Ray also is denied Mr. Universe - a tough pill to swallow. Regardless, the brothers Mentzer walk away -- not from competition, but from politics -- before each winning the Olympia. Their methods are still proven today, but back then, those two never got their just dues!

I've moved some decent weight for a 180-lbs. guy: 360 lbs. flat benches, 315 lbs. inclines, dips with 140 lbs. strapped on, wide grip pull-downs with 300-pound stack for 8. I've learned more than just how to train my body but also to train my mind. Mike used to always say, “Why watch reruns on TV? Pick up a book and THINK!” I still train today at 41 years of age, but not at the intensity I had been doing. But I'll tell you, HEAVY DUTY RULES!! It's the most effective training method ever. If you work hard, the results are extremely impressive - but work hard, you must. They don't call it "Heavy Duty" for nothing!

Vienna, VA

MY GREATEST DISCOVERY! -- Posted 9/21/04
Joseph Rana, Lindenhurst, NY

In August of 2003, I was clearing out my basement and found my old workout journal from 1993 when I was a senior in high school and had been lifting weights for two years. Curiously, I asked my brother to take my measurements to see how much bigger I had gotten after 10 years of brutal training with every kind of routine that I read in the bodybuilding magazines (BEFORE I started Mike Mentzer's HEAVY DUTY training).

My recorded measurements before using HEAVY DUTY training:

Year 1993August 2003
Arms - 15 inchesArms – 15 inches
Legs - 24.5 inchesLegs – 24.5 inches
Waist - 31 inchesWaist – 33 inches
Body Weight 165Body Weight 171 pounds

I couldn't believe it! If someone had told me in 1993 that I would not get any bigger in those 10 years, I would have put a gun to my head and pulled the trigger. Feeling quite discouraged, I sincerely thought about quitting or taking steroids. The following week I was going on vacation to a cabin in Pennsylvania. I decided to keep training because it has been such a major part of my lifestyle, so I ordered my usual dose of whey protein and amino acids. Since I thought I might become bored in the cabin upstate, I visited Mikementzer.com and ordered the High-Intensity Training The Mike Mentzer Way book.

At a time when I was contemplating giving up the very thing I had been most passionate about for the last 13 years (bodybuilding), I felt like it must have been a blessing sent from God that I found this book. During that week-long vacation period, instead of going to the pool or playing volleyball, I reread the book several times, trying to absorb and learn everything I could from Mike. I couldn't believe what I was reading; it contradicted everything that I had ever read and tried in the past. I thought to myself, “I don't totally understand it, but Heavy Duty high-intensity training makes more sense than trying to confuse my muscles, which is what I did for the last 10 years. I’ve tried everything else in existence with no results - so why not give Mike’s system a shot?”

I was so inspired that I couldn't wait to get home from vacation and get to a local gym for my first Heavy Duty workout. My first training day left me feeling as though I wanted to train more, but instead I followed Mike's principles exactly as he instructed. With the need to understand more from Mike’s teachings on the science of bodybuilding, I then bought Heavy Duty II and Muscles in Minutes.

By January 2004, the shirt that I wore to the gym the previous summer now fitted me like a bench press shirt, literally! For the first time, I was having so much success in growth, and was eager to learn more about properly adjusting my workout routine. I happened upon a guy who claimed he knew Mike’s Heavy Duty training; and after a couple of unsuccessful consultations with him, I realized he not only lacked the knowledge of the fundamental principles of Heavy Duty HIT, he was therefore inexcusably disloyal to the teachings and philosophy of a great man – Mike Mentzer.

After contacting Joanne Sharkey at Mikementzer.com regarding the HEAVY DUTY Phone Consultation options, I became even more encouraged and purchased a series of calls. I can attest to the fact that John Little gives an accurate interpretation of Mike’s HD training system, and that he understands exercise science. If you decide to put your training results, energy and money into consultations, then I highly recommend that you contact Joanne Sharkey at Mikementzerco@aol.com via email.

By May 15, 2004, my success had been so great that I entered my first bodybuilding competition. In August 2004 -- exactly one year after I started HEAVY DUTY training Mike Mentzer style -- I took my exact measurements:

August 2004
Arms 16 inches – 1” gain
Legs 26.5 inches – 2” gain
Waist 30 inches – 3” loss
Body weight 180 – a 9-pound gain (my bodyfat is down 5% at least).

I don't have 20-inch arms and am not 220 pounds, but I am not done yet either. My phone consultations continue and are personalized for me, so I’m looking forward to my next competition in the fall or winter and will send a full update.

If it weren't for Mike Mentzer’s discoveries, innovations, and his brilliant presentation of the science of bodybuilding, I would still be listening to every juice-head and genetic freak who are “experts” via their DNA - and I would still have 15-inch arms!

Joseph Rana
Lindenhurst, NY

HEAVY DUTY HIT IS THE ONLY WAY!! -- Posted 9/13/04
Jess Frankel – Osaka, Japan

Just a letter to let you all know how great the late Mike Mentzer's system really is. I'm sure you've heard countless testimonials on how trainees have made the "greatest gains of their lives" using this program. I'd like to add my testimonial as well.

Like many others, I started training in my teens with the idea of "looking like the champs." And like many others, I did the usual "three-sets-of-this, four-sets-of-that" routine. It didn't take me very long to realize that I just didn't "have it" (i.e. proper genetics), but I stuck with it, hoping that the next "champion's routine" would get me over the hump and on the road to great gains. How stupid I was, and how shortsighted!

Then, in the late Eighties, I came across Mike Mentzer's HEAVY DUTY teachings of "less is more" and decided that after years of slow-to-no gains, I would give his system a try. Guess what? It worked!

Now, at the age of 42, I look and feel better than I did when I was in my twenties. I'm not trying to fool anyone into thinking that I look like Mr. Universe or Mr. Olympia -- I don't. Never did, never will. What with a wide waist, highish calves, and a slow metabolism, it simply isn't in my genetic cards. However, by using a consolidated routine of only three days a week and only about twenty to twenty-five minutes per workout, I have made steady gains beyond my wildest dreams. To say that I am pleased would be a gross understatement. Not only that, I have made those gains using only the basics: a bench, which I prop up with thick magazines to form a low incline for presses and flyes, two rickety squat racks, and a couple of spin-lock dumbbells. That's it. It may be primitive, but it works! As a father of two young boys who need and deserve my time, I simply do not have the time to go to a regular gym. (Even if I did, I would still use the basics.)

At any rate, I will not bore you with the details of how much I can press/squat/curl, as those numbers are irrelevant. The only thing that matters is individual progress; and as we are all different in terms of genetics, what is good progress for me would be nothing to someone who is genetically superior in terms of building muscle, or fantastic to someone who may be inferior to me in terms of muscle-building potential.

In my opinion, Mike Mentzer's legacy is one that emphasizes the notion of individual thought when planning and then executing a routine. Then, as now, too many young people simply do not THINK carefully enough when planning out their training. As a consequence, they fail to make gains and give up, or worse, turn to steroids as the answer. MY answer is that steroids, while always an individual choice to make, are simply not worth it, especially if one doesn't possess the genetics to take one's body to its fullest potential. As well, one doesn't even NEED drugs to make it. All they need is a sound, rational training system. As Mike Mentzer's HEAVY DUTY HIT has proved time and again, it is the one system that will give them all they ever need.

In closing, I would like to give my eternal thanks to the late Mr. Mentzer for opening my eyes to the truth of the matter. I can only hope that other "newbies" to training will take his advice and work out properly.

Best regards,

(Mr.) Jess Frankel
Osaka, Japan

Shahnawaz Khan Mahsud - Peshawar, Pakistan

“MIKE MENTZER” - The mere utterance of his name brings a rush of emotions as varied as exaltation and sorrow. There is so much that I want to say, but I’ll be as brief as possible while still making my point.

While Mike’s HEAVY DUTY method has enabled me to progress to an extent that I thought impossible for an ectomorph like me (I went from a skinny 160 pounds at a height of 5 feet 10 inches to 206 pounds in 7 months!), I don't want to talk about Mike Mentzer’s revolutionary training method, which has been testified to by plenty of other writers. It is Mike Mentzer, the man, and how he influenced my life that I want to talk about.

Throughout my life many things have changed, but one thing has remained constant - my reverence for all that is heroic in man. While never the athletic type, I knew that as my cup runneth over, I must excel in something - otherwise the raging conflagration that was my soul would eat me from within. I tried many sports before I finally settled on bodybuilding; then I tried so many routines - but nothing worked! Frustrated by my lack of progress, I thought that maybe I wasn't born under the right star. Because I wasn't a quitter, I persevered and one day fortuitously happened on an article written by a bodybuilder who knew how to write. The information that the article contained literally stunned me, as this was not another article on "how to pump your Bi’s 2 inches in 2 weeks.” It was a no-nonsense discussion on exercise fundamentals and explained them in a manner that anyone could understand. The name of that writer and bodybuilder was MIKE MENTZER.

Mike always presented himself in a heroic manner, unlike many other bodybuilders. His physique was truly Herculean with triceps, forearms, and legs developed to a mind-boggling degree. The moustache correctly portrayed his Nietzchean sense of life. In time, I devoured all his articles and integrated all his ideas. I remember with fondness how I used to bring new magazines to my home each month, anticipating that I would soon learn something new and revolutionary from him.

Prior to Mike, I had ignored my studies throughout my life, thinking them to be “sissyish”, and because of the hogwash that we were taught by teachers who had joined the profession simply because they had nothing else to do. It was Mike who gave me a sense of direction by showing that without proper “mind training”, it is no use having muscles that would do credit to an adult gorilla. Therefore, I started reading Ayn Rand's works, and my life changed forever. I finally enrolled in a university as a Masters Student in Philosophy and, applying the same high-intensity attitude to philosophy, I ultimately succeeded in earning a gold medal award and breaking a 41-year record. This, from a student who was written off by his teachers (one said I would never amount to anything) and college “pals” whom I taught in the same university for a year. I owe it to Mike's influence. I last talked to him in the year 2000, and I recorded the conversation that I had with him. Mike said, “Can you imagine that the world of bodybuilding will be instrumental in helping to save the world? Let’s continue to fight to save the world, and we can only do it through the mind.” Whenever I hear his voice, it brings tears to my eyes, but it is a grief, as Ayn Rand said, that goes “only to a certain point”. We should all be thankful that Mike lived!

Although I never talked to or read articles written by Ray Mentzer, he also had his own individual persona. Both brothers exuded confidence, pride, and grandeur.

To finalize, I would like to thank Joanne Sharkey (now our “big sis”) for her continued efforts and devotion. I am happy that such a benevolent, honest, and loving intellectual heir to the Mentzer legacy was chosen. Rest assured, Mike and Ray, that so long as Joanne is at the helm of Heavy Duty affairs, your names will prevail in the bodybuilding world.

Thank you.

Shahnawaz Khan Mahsud
Peshawar, PAKISTAN

Ben Harris - Weston-super-Mare, United Kingdom

My name is Ben Harris, I am 20 years old, and I come from Blightly. When I was 13, I lost some family members, and I just simply did not and could not eat, until my weight plummeted to under 5 stone (under 65 pounds)! At the age of 14, I had this urge to read books, and the particular subject matter I chose was bodybuilding. Soon, I realized just how important nutrition was and how I must do something to save my health. I reconditioned my mind without much more preparation, and began eating to make up for the loss of 6 months. I entered the local gym and asked for advice on what to do. That is when all this started.

My weight gradually increased, and I started to learn proper form in resistance training. From that point on, my world became dominated by the whole bodybuilding lifestyle. I began buying book after book, subscribing to all magazines, reading all articles, and watching any video on the subject. I started to weed out what was marketing sales crap and what was useful information.

Thankfully, I came across Mike Mentzer's Heavy Duty I book. Learning his philosophies and teachings, I was amazed to find that for the first time someone talked and communicated to me with detailed explanations about the correct way of training and in a manner that was easy for the beginner to understand.

My book reading did not stop there! My Mentzer collection is now complete, and I have studied physiology and anatomy. I attend all the seminars and my thirst for knowledge is hard to quench. I am so sold on Mike's teachings, and I have embodied and understood them to the best of my ability. Only after I felt that I understood his theories and had a correct answer for every question that might be thrown at me, did I start to help others by teaching them the correct way to train.

Within the last few months, I have personally trained over 100 people many of them seasoned semi-pro's, who were the same size as me when I started at the gym. Now they are interested in what I have to offer in teaching them proper exercise theory. When you make huge gains yourself and combine it with the knowledge you have gained, it is a powerful tool. I will continue to give something back to Mike by using his teachings and philosophy correctly and promoting his legendary name and HEAVY DUTY high-intensity training system.

I have read most of the books Mike has mentioned, including a very worthy read, - Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead. If you haven't read it, then you must. After finishing this work, it was like I finally woke up.

In the last two years, I have hooked up with Steve Dibben from Bodyforliving.com. Steve saw something in me worth sponsoring and believing in. We have trained together, and I have learned an enormous amount about supplements and their place in bodybuilding.

I decided to compete for the first time this year and being NATURAL. I entered the NABBA South West and came up against guys who had done plenty of shows before. My belief, at present, is that I am reaching my genetic potential without the use of drugs. I was eating 9 meals a day when bulking up, and then left it slightly too late to cut down, and on the competition day, I placed second, even though my overall muscle mass was twice as big weighing in, cut, at 17 stone (238 lbs.), as opposed to the winner who was very well conditioned at 13 stone (182 lbs).

The judges told me afterwards that they thought I was on the gear and was professional and 10 years older. When they found out the truth, they called me up the week after the show and invited me to the NABBA finals.

Now, I am following the teachings of Mike Mentzer and am making continual gains at 19 stone (266 lbs) and my fat mass is somewhat reduced in this off season. Each day I fill in my diary as I train and mark down my progress so I'll have a record of the history of my life in training. My nutrition is the cleanest it can possibly be at all times and that seems normal to me and just weird to others.

Again proving knowledge to be the key! Many people have watched my progress, and they had started to ask me how I was continually making such great gains. I started to tell him about the HEAVY DUTY WAY. Finally, someone who thought outside of his own patterns started to think for himself and implant reality and logic. These guys started to look at Mike Mentzer's way as a quicker (in gym time) and more effective training method. Since then, each and every guy in this particular gym is now training the HEAVY DUTY HIT method and making amazing strength and size gains. I train at different gyms on different days of the week now, as a means to reach more people. The atmosphere now in the gyms is totally different; everyone is excited about training, because of the absolutely astounding gains they are making. I find their results totally satisfying and I definitely state that my main goal is to become a qualified Mentzer Heavy Duty trainer, when that opportunity is available.

Since I first picked up the Heavy Duty book, I realized this is a sure fire way to achieving your best shape genetically possible. I advise you that if you haven't read at least one of Mike Mentzer's books, then just order and become many steps closer to exceeding your own expectations!

Ben Harris, Age 20
Weston-super-Mare, United Kingdom

Jason Watson, SWAT - Seattle, WA

While competing in collegiate swimming at the University of Washington, I often swam two hours, twice daily, and performed resistance training for an additional hour. I habitually lived by the training motto of "Two-a-day plus iron". When I was forced to retire early from my competitive swimming career as a result of an injury, I brought that same motivation and discipline that brought me success in the pool into the weight room. It would not be uncommon for me to perform 16-20 sets per body part in one workout! I always enjoyed reading Mike Mentzer's Heavy Duty columns, but, for some unknown reason, I continued to allow myself to be fooled by the fitness industry's false advertising of "effective" weight training workouts and confused "amount of training" with "intensity of effort".

In January of 1998, I read an article in which Mike Mentzer stated, "The question you should be asking yourself is not how much exercise do I need, but how little do I require." I immediately began wondering if my entire approach towards resistance training was totally wrong. I also began looking back at my swimming career and pondered why I trained five hours a day for one event that lasted less than a minute, and another that lasted less than two minutes. Suppose my success in the pool had more to do with my inherent physical abilities, a determined mindset, and an ability to tolerate thousands of hours of over-training? Was my injury a result of overtraining? Was I making the same mistake in the gym?

The following month, I decided to have a phone consultation with the legendary Mike Mentzer. At that time, I did not know our conversations would change my training philosophy completely and forever! No longer would I blindly and arbitrarily follow training routines that only those with exceptional recovery ability or unlimited access to growth hormone and steroids can perform. Instead, I would listen to the words of Mike Mentzer; learning and understanding the basic concepts of Heavy Duty high-intensity training and the fundamental variables of intensity, volume and frequency. Understanding the concepts of HEAVY DUTY HIT would finally allow me to take an intelligent approach towards resistance training and gain a true understanding of the fundamental principles of bodybuilding science. Utilizing the theory of HEAVY DUTY HIT, I began to effectively and efficiently develop optimal increases in muscular size and strength, unlike any other training program I had ever followed.

To this day, I am still amazed at the progress that I continue to make with each and every workout. My strength has increased to the level where it is impossible to add anymore additional weight to the Nautilus machines I train on. In order to continue increasing the intensity, I continue to reduce the time between sets and utilize an ever slower rep cadence than what is necessary.

As a member of a Special Operations Unit, I find Mike's methodology extremely beneficial in preparing me for any unique situation that I may find myself on any given day. There are several advantages associated with the utilization of the Heavy Duty HIT protocol. The one that I notice the most is the added benefit of cardiovascular training. Upon completing a Heavy Duty HIT workout, my pulse rate is higher than what it is after a 30 minute run. Unlike running, I'm using all my muscles during the training session in an effective and efficient manner. In addition, using a controlled repetition cadence, as prescribed by Mike Mentzer, reduces the amount of force placed upon the muscles and joints during a particular exercise. This allows the first few repetitions of exercise to actually serve as a warm-up which allows me not to spend much time warming up. As a tactical officer, I believe that is important to keep in mind that we are often called into action from a state of complete relaxed-readiness. If we continually train our bodies to require a long warm-up before we call upon ourselves to suddenly react, we will only increase our chances of injury. For example, due to the many rural areas to which my team responds, I often find myself crammed in the back of a small van, while traveling for a long distance before we exit the vehicle and rapidly serve a search warrant with over 70 pounds of gear on our bodies. Heavy Duty HIT not only aids me in my bodybuilding and athletic endeavors, but my career and job performance as well.

Last summer, I decided to swim competitively for the first time in almost eight years; setting my sights on the Canadian-American Police and Fire Games. Due to my career and other training obligations, it was difficult to find the time that would often allow me to get into the pool to train. Instead of pool time, I focused my preparation utilizing high-intensity training; training once a week with workouts seldom lasting more than 12 minutes. However, those 12 minutes were extremely grueling! As mentioned above, high-intensity training has an incredible cardio benefit; giving me a total body workout that seemed to better prepare me more efficiently for the swimming competition. The end result of my high-intensity efforts was winning seven gold medals at my first competition in eight years!

Since Mike's passing, I have continued to further develop my understanding of the fundamental variables of Heavy Duty HIT, and I share my knowledge and passion of Mike's research with fellow law enforcement officers on a daily basis. After the publication of my article based on Heavy Duty HIT in The Washington Trooper Magazine, several troopers had approached me regarding Mike's training theory. During one occasion, a fellow trooper asked, "Watson, do you really believe that only one set is all that is needed to have a productive workout?" I thought to myself, "How would Mike Mentzer respond to this?" I then responded with Mike's return, "It only takes one bullet to end someone's life and only one sperm to create a life, correct?" "Well, right…" he pondered. "If it takes only one action to end a human life, and only one action to create a human life, why is it so difficult to realize that it only takes one action, or one high-intensity set to failure, to stimulate the body's growth mechanism into motion? Increasing muscular size and strength on pre-existing muscle mass seems rather simple compared to creating a human life, wouldn't you agree?" I asked. He looked at me and replied, "You got me there."

Thanks Mike!

Jason Watson, SWAT
Seattle, WA


[Note: I would like to publicly thank Jason for his never-ending loyalty and efforts to help by introducing others to Mike's legendary teachings and philosophy. As of this posting date, Jason continues to pass along all that he has learned and gained from Mike Mentzer and Heavy Duty training to others within his circle. Thank you for consistently being there, Jason!

If you would like to write to Jason Watson, please feel free to send your email to Mikementzerco@aol.com, and type ATTN: JASON WATSON in the Subject. I will be happy to forward your email to him.] -- Joanne Sharkey

Jarrod Cunningham, New Zealand

In June 2002, I was diagnosed with ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease, which is a terminal muscle wasting disease. The prognosis wasn't good! According to the medical profession, my muscles would waste, and I would eventually die. ALS has been around for over 130 years with no known cause or cure.

My muscles wasted rapidly until May 2003, when a lady from my home country of New Zealand got in touch with me and told me she could help me. Although the cause of ALS is not known, this lady, as well as others, are convinced that parasites are the cause and thus gave me a program of various natural herbs and supplements to take. I did the program to rid my body of parasites, and then started training at the gym again. The results: One month after the course, I got out of the bath unassisted, which I hadn't been able to do previously. Then muscle started to regenerate, and this is NOT supposed to happen according to the doctors and neurologists. The medical profession had written me off, but the lady who helped me was a medical intuitive and knew more than a lot of doctors. She is like Mike Mentzer ahead of her time and conventional thinking. Thanks to her alternative natural treatments, I was able to rid the parasites from my body.

I read 4 of Mike Mentzer's books on HEAVY DUTY HIT, and it was like I had been in the dark and someone had turned the light on! Everything made sense and was simple! I went back to the gym and employed Mike's HEAVY DUTY principles with awesome results. My leg strength gains were made on a weekly basis, and I got to the point where I was lifting heavier weights than I used to lift when I was a professional rugby player.

With my ALS condition, I should not be able to put on muscle, but I have! Looking back to March 2003, I couldn't lock out 20kgs on the Leg Extension machine, as my legs would spasm and shake uncontrollably due to my disease. January 2004, after only 8 months on Mike's HEAVY DUTY HIT program, I lifted 84kgs (186 lbs) x 18 reps on the Leg Extension machine, and Leg Pressed 200.5 kgs (440.7 lbs) x 18reps!

After reading Mike's books, I realized I had overtrained most of my life. Now I know I am on the right track! Not only have Mike Mentzer's teachings and philosophy been helpful in my training, and bringing back muscle, but more importantly, his philosophy on life and the power of the human mind have helped me so much in turning around my condition.

Although I wasn't fortunate enough to meet Mike Mentzer, I hold him in the highest regard for his HEAVY DUTY HIT principles, his integrity, and for challenging the boundaries of the human mind, body, and spirit. My testimonial is the least I can do to repay a truly great man.

Thank you so much for your guidance and assistance.

Jarrod Cunningham


[Ed. Note: For 2 years now, I have been communicating with Jarrod about his illness and progress, and I must say that I find him to be an incredible man with endless courage. Because he has learned to use the power of his mind, he continues to fight against the odds of his ALS disease. He is quite an inspiration for us all, but I hope that his testimonial touches some of you who need inspiration and the strength to overcome or cope with physical or mental problems, or just everyday stresses that life brings to all of us. This testimonial is not a claim that Heavy Duty training will cure ALS, but it is posted in memory of Mike Mentzer as a "thank you" from Jarrod.]


My name is Paul Finlayson, and I relocated in 2001 to the United Kingdom from South Africa. Upon my arrival to the UK, the tragic news of Mike Mentzer's demise was shocking. I would first like to say that I am indebted to the knowledge of Mike Mentzer. At the age of 12, when I first walked into my local gym in South Africa, it was the first time I saw his impressive physique, and he is one of the most inspiring people that I've had the privilege of looking up to and learning from his teaching. I have spent countless hours reading and learning as much as I have been able to about Mike and his training principles, because one of my biggest dreams is still to become a bodybuilder, and now armed with the correct Tools, I believe that I will achieve my goals.

What I also find enjoyable is Mike's use and understanding of rationalization and applied principles of Logic, and the clear understanding he gives on using the mind to help develop the body, by first utilizing mind to develop a proper plan - namely the Heavy Duty principles - each individual can become his own scientific experiment.

Before, I had always followed the Traditional volume approach, when I trained so hard for 5 years and achieved minimal results, and suffered numerous injuries, such as dislocated shoulders and damaged collarbones. However, since using HEAVY DUTY training, I have been growing incredibly! People even ask me if I am on steroids, and even I cannot believe the results!

I am definitely advocating HEAVY DUTY high-intensity training principles to people who are serious about their training. I have taken measurements, "before" starting Heavy Duty and "after" 3 years using Heavy Duty training:

As of March 2004, I am still using the Heavy Duty methods that Mike Mentzer advocated, and I am still finding the gains I make are incredible. I often read how popular the Heavy Duty type of training is becoming, and one can see through the practice of logical deduction and reasoning, we are able to better understand the nature of ourselves, not just in the gym or by our physical and materialistic selves, but by our actions and our day-to-day living. These are fundamental, as we are able to practice and apply our logic and reason to improve all areas of our lives, and hence we can achieve the things that we strive for through a logical rational approach. This is also incorporated in the gym where it is possible to see incredible gains.

Through Mike Mentzer's influence and your dedication to his legacy, we are able to establish these fundamental truths. Joanne Sharkey, I really appreciate all the hard work that you have put into keeping Mike Mentzer's dreams alive. As fans will agree, you carry the torch aloft and continue to light the path of knowledge and wisdom that we may come and drink from the fountain of reality and achieve our goals. I must say that I admire your courage and commitment to Mike's legacy. It is a very positive difference that you are continuing to make in other people's lives, and I really do respect that.

May Mike Mentzer's memory and legacy live on.

United Kingdom (formerly South Africa)


Let me give you a little background information about myself. I am 31 years old who has little in the way of formal exercise training. My largest stint at weight training was 7 years ago, when I worked out for 3-4 months. I soon quit, since I did not see any results. After hearing about High Intensity Training, I went looking for more information. I read Mike Mentzer's book and soon started feeling that it just might be able to change my physique. I did have reservations about the program since it is contrary to what I believed; I was always told "more is better". If you want to change your body, you need to work long hours at it. But, here was the Heavy Duty program where you worked out only a few minutes a day, and only once or twice a week. Of course I thought, "Yeah Right!" But the information that was presented in the book was logical and straight-forward. Everything was provable and intuitive.

So I contacted Joanne Sharkey to setup a Heavy Duty phone consultation to learn more about high intensity training. I am glad I did. Right from the beginning all the information was astounding. John Little was able to explain the Heavy Duty high intensity training program and alleviate all my fears or reservations. In fact, I even started learning about exercise physiology right after that phone consultation. The program I started was the Heavy Duty Ideal Routine outlined in Mike's book. I began on 7/28/2003; four months later here are my results:

  Starting Weight (lbs) Current Weight (lbs)
Cable Crossovers 70 140
Cable Press 60 120
Dumbbell Pullovers 60 140
Pull downs 130 200
Lateral Raises 25 35
Bent Over Raises 15 30
Curls 70 110
Tricep Extensions 90 120
Assisted Dips 150 60
(Note: This is the weight needed to counter balance my body weight, so as the weight decreases, I actually am supporting more of my own weight)
Leg Extensions 110 300
Squats 235 400
Standing Calve Raises 135 295
Crunches 50 110
I need to tell everyone that I only work out once every 7 days, yet, I have had these tremendous gains! I never believed such results could be possible and look forward to further progress.

I want to thank Joanne Sharkey for her efforts in continuing the Mike Mentzer Legacy and ensuring his authentic teachings are still available, and also John Little for the Heavy Duty Column in Ironman and the Heavy Duty Phone Consultations that have helped me, and to stress to you the tremendous change that Mike's Heavy Duty program has made in my life.

In memory of Mike, I am deeply honored to provide this testimonial in proof of Mike Mentzer's work and research.


Jerry Cochrane
El Paso, Texas

-- Posted 3/8/04

Since I last emailed you, I have made consistent gains in my physical condition using Mike Mentzer's HEAVY DUTY high-intensity training. Last year, I was using Mike's program while simultaneously on a running regimen. I was training to run in a race called the "Race to Robie Creek", here in Boise, Idaho. It is a half marathon, of which many call the toughest race in the Northwest, because it is an all-hill run; nine miles up, four down. I have completed it three times, and it is tough! My best time is 1:58. Training for an endurance race for a year and heavy weight training at the same time can be quite taxing on the body and time consuming. The high intensity training doesn't take long, but long distance running does. I was also taking ten credits at the university, working almost 40 hours a week, and trying to obedience train my dog along with trying to manage a personal life as well (which can almost be a full time job in itself).

What amazed me is that even though I was performing all of the above, my weights kept going up in poundage and repetitions every workout. I felt over trained at times, to say the least, so I would just take a couple extra days off here and there, and the progress was consistent. One of the many things that I learned from Mike Mentzer was how to listen to my body when it's trying to tell me that I'm over-taxing it.

I eventually switched to Mike's Consolidated workout regimen as he outlined. I was hitting it hard once a week and still made improvements in every workout, despite the fact that I was running well over 30 miles per week, one half of which were grueling hill runs. I am 5'9" and lost a few pounds in the last couple months before the race, getting down to 169 pounds. I am convinced that the work I did with Heavy Duty training helped get me in the best shape of my life; I know this, because during the last couple weeks before the race, I ate those hills up and felt strong even after completing runs that were up to 18 miles long - going up and down a mountain. I know I would have beaten my old performance time, if I hadn't gotten the stomach flu the very night before the race. I got 2:05, which at least wasn't my worst time.

This year, I took a break from running to focus on school and am trying to put on some size. I can train a little more frequently than once a week, about twice, since I'm hardly doing any running. In addition, I have gone back to Mentzer's "Ideal Workout" program. Since I stopped the tough running regimen, I'm not nearly as taxed. I have gone from my running weight of 169 to 186 pounds in ten months. I'm not quite as lean as I was, but my strength has gone up quite a bit.

Mike's Heavy Duty High Intensity Training is where it's at!
(I still use consolidation workouts at midterms and finals weeks.)

Thank you Joanne Sharkey for your support and for fostering the legacy that is Mike and Ray Mentzer. It teaches a life style that leads to a richer and more meaningful life. Thanks for all the great advice from your last E-Mail, which has worked well for me!

I have learned from this legacy not only how to train correctly, but more importantly, it got me on the right track to thinking about the world we live in and life in general. My interpersonal and critical thinking skills were given a nice tap on the shoulder through Mike's teachings and philosophy, because it made me look around and notice what the hell was going on. Most importantly, I saw what was going on with me. I started going to school full time after going part time for 5 years. Thanks to Mike, I added philosophy class, and chose Dispute Resolution as my minor, because of something Mike said in his book about "Go back to what you know" - I'm a good mediator.

Joanne, God Bless and keep up the good work!

(P.S. I just watched the DVD version of the 1980 Mr. Olympia, and in my opinion, Mike not only won that contest, he OWNED it!)

Demetrius Cooksey - Boise, Idaho

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