Research Confirms Mike Mentzer’s One Training Session A Week for Mass

With today’s broscience and all-around gym knowledge, it’s hard to fathom how one could have one training session a week and put on serious mass. For you to understand the concept of the once-a-week “method” we need to first look at its history

Way back when there was a man named Arthur Jones, the inventor of the Nautilus machines that are commonly found in gyms across the country. Now Jones had a theory that you didn’t need as much training, commonly believed back in that era, to stimulate maximum muscle growth. Instead, Jones preached a one-set message with maximum intensity to get the muscles to grow. Among his pupils were Casey Viator, Mike and Ray Mentzer, and former Mr. Olympia, Sergio Oliva, to name a few

Casey Viator was known for the amazing results he attained when he was Jones’ test subject for the Colorado Experiment. In the experiment, Viator gained 63 pounds of muscle in 28 days. However, these results are controversial due to the fact that Viator was believed to be regaining pre-existing muscle mass

Mike and his brother, Ray, trained under the guidance of Jones and were ambassadors of his training method and Nautilus gym equipment. Long story short, the Mentzer brothers had a falling out (more specifically, Mike) with Jones and left his company for good. Mike, however, never abandoned the high-intensity methods of Jones, and even went on to “evolve” that style of training as the years went o

Back then it was common practice to perform 20+ sets per body part — that could generally be referred to as high volume training. But then the Mentzers came and destroyed the precept that high volume training is what builds muscle mass — seeing how Mike was considered to be a “mass monster” of his time and only employing one set of maximum effort per exercise. If you put that together it might only come out to be around four to five working sets per body part

Mike’s training sessions typically lasted in the 30-minute range, which was also considered highly unorthodox for the era that he was in. During the 90s, Mike saw a talented young bodybuilder who took won his first Mr. Olympia in 1992. After they met, Mike beckoned the young bodybuilder to try out his high-intensity training. At first, the young bodybuilder showed little interest, but Mike was persistent and said to only come to the gym and do one set of bicep curls on one of the Nautilus machines. Finally, the Olympian agreed to train with Mike. After a brutal curling session (which probably lasted two minutes or so) the young man went to his hotel. The young bodybuilder was six-time Mr. Olympia, Dorian Yates

After his one set of maximum effort and intensity, his arms were unable to move. This might sound unhealthy, but the fact of the matter is that a huge amount of muscle fibers were used during that one set. Why? Because high-intensity puts a gangload of emphasis on the eccentric part of the movement. You are essentially stronger during this part of the exercise. And by completely exhausting your eccentric strength, your muscles will feel like death. I know, I’ve done it
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About Tamer El Sheikh

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.
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