Mike Mentzer and Heavy Duty training

Technically there is a training “tree” that I have always been deeply fascinated with. That is the lineage stemming from Arthur Jones.

Arthur Jones was a force of nature and his impact and legacy can be seen in the brands he invented, Nautilus Inc and MedX Inc, both of which produce to this day the absolute finest exercise machines period for building the body.

Mike branded his specific High Intensity training Heavy Duty and its evolution began in the late 1970’s. I had the privilege to train with Mike in the late ’90s at which point I was embarked on my first competition period and at that point Mike was advocating a very brief and infrequent protocol.

We may dig into that Heavy Duty phase II and even Arthur Jone’s original 12 exercise programs such as used in the “Colorado experiment” and measure and document progress during later training phases. https://physicalculturestudy.com/2014/12/29/how-to-gain-63-pounds-of-muscle-in-28-days-the-infamous-colorado-experiment/

For now the topic will be Mike and his take on training intensity, volume, and frequency. We will discuss exercises, form as well as recovery.

Part 1 of the Workout as Mike published it in the late 70’s was as listed ( and we shall discuss)

Monday and Thursday:


Leg extensions

Leg presses

Squats (barbell) (1 triset to Failure after warm up)

Leg curls 1 set Failure

Calf raises 2-3 sets


1.Dumbell flyes

2. Incline press (Db/BB or machine) (2 supersets to Failure after warm up)


  1. Tricep pushdown
  2. Dips (2 supersets to Failure after warm up)
Heavy Duty partial Squats





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