Ray Mentzer, hailed as the strongest bodybuilder in the history of the sport, was a long-time proponent of heavy duty high intensity training. He held many titles in the bodybuilding world, including Junior Mr. America in 1976 and Mr. America in 1979. Although Ray quit professional bodybuilding in 1982, he continued to play an active role in promoting correct bodybuilding techniques. Along with traveling the world and speaking at various seminars, he also wrote articles for multiple muscle magazines and was the owner of gyms in both California and Australia. He eventually opened six medical diagnostic and rehabilitation clinics for the MedX Corporation. Ray Mentzer played a profound role in the world of professional bodybuilding.
As mentioned, Ray believed in a high intensity training program. This form of training was just beginning to be popular when Ray was at the height of his bodybuilding career. This method of training focuses on completing repetitions with weights to the point of temporary muscle failure. The core principles of high intensity training focus on short, intense, infrequent exercise. Since one of the main principles of high intensity training is infrequent exercise, he would only work out three days a week to allow time for his muscles to rest. Many advocates of this type of training believe that it is the best way to build muscle strength and size.
To illustrate the high intensity training method, the following is an example of one of Ray Mentzerís chest workouts that he used getting ready for the 1979 Mr. America contest:
Nautilus pec deck one arm at a time using the whole stack plus a 75 pound plate for 4 rest pause reps each side.
One set of negitive only reps.
A set using both arms for 8 regular reps to failure.
Incline bench press with 375 pounds for 3 rest pause reps.
Although Ray Mentzer died in 2001 of kidney failure from complications of Bergerís disease, he was known worldwide for his bodybuilding abilities. He also worked extremely hard to spread the awareness of proper bodybuilding techniques. Ray Mentzer was one of the first advocates of high intensity training, and will always be missed in the bodybuilding world.