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     Fitness Tips For 4/18/2007

One Set To Failure Training

The Mentzer Heavy Duty system 
by Gregory T. Glading

I am a former professional wrestler who can testify that the Mentzer, 
Auther Jones heavy duty system works.  It also works in a way that 
the traditional multi-set system doesn't. The Mentzer system does bring 
greater and more rapid strength gains.  Nevertheless, that is not the 
biggest benefit of Mr. Mentzer's system.  The biggest benefit is saving 
Time.  I remember seriously getting into body building in the 
Mid-Seventies.  Body builders such as Arnold, Frank Zane, and Franco 
Colombu were the tops in my mind and if I could only look like them, 
fame, fortune, and chicks would be mine.  Therefore, I threw myself into 
training.  I followed the workouts that Arnold and Franco would endorse 
in the Weider magazines.  Six-days a week, double split, three-hours a 
day.  On some days I would not leave the gym until 2:00 am.  
Relationships?  No time.  Once I had that Arnold or Zane body, the 
chicks would flock to me.

Here was my work-out life's critical moment.  I ran into an acquaintance 
from the previous Spring late that September.  All he said was,  "Hi, I 
remember meeting you last April.  Good to see you again."  It dawned on 
me that he didn't notice any change in my body.  So now I realized it.  
I sacrificed an entire summer in the gym and had nothing to show for it. 

At first I scoffed at the Mentzer system and the idea of one set to 
failure.  I surely needed a change so sent-away for his course (Why not?  
I did the same for the Arnold, Franco, Frank Zane, and Robbie Robinson 
previously).  A wonderful thing happened.  I started making gains.  An 
even more wonderful thing happened.  I started to have a life.  I soon 
developed other interests such as music, sports, and literature.  I met 
a girlfriend (Whom I would eventually Marry) at a Church function (My 
prior Sunday's were spent in the gym).  I also enrolled in University.  
Morever, I kept making gains.  I would arrive at the gym and the others 
were already well into their workout.  I would leave and those same 
dudes were still going at it.  Yet I was the one making gains.  Rather 
than those gym rats exploring the Mentzer system they would scorn me.  
Even after I beat them in a contest, they would tell me that I shouldn't 
be allowed to compete because of, get this, "My bad attitude toward 
training."  I guess 45-minutes in the gym, once every three days is a 
bad "Attitude," Six-days-a-week and two or more hours is a good attitude.  
I soon realized that 12-weeks of preperation for one night of glory on a 
stage in front of several hundred might not be as good a deal as 
wrestling five-nights a week in front thousands.  The time saved 
with the Mentzer system allowed me to continue making gains (or at 
least maintaining) while on a tight traveling schedule.

The crux of my testimony is this.  Forget the science supporting which 
systems - Heavy Duty vs. Multi-sets - garners the most gains.  The 
Mentzer Heavy Duty system works and it saves time.  Lot's of time.

General Guidelines for Heavy Duty Training 

1. Perform only one set to failure for each exercise.

2. Use a level of resistance that will allow for the performance of 
between 8 and 12 repetitions.

3. Increase the resistance by approximately 5 percent whenever 12 
repetitions can be performed in strict form.

4. Move slowly enough to maintain strict control over the movement 
and to be able to reverse directly smoothly. Avoid fast, jerky 

5. Use a full range of motion. 

Note: For more information on Mike Mentzer and Heavy Duty 
High Intensity Training see 

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