Q: I’ve read that studies looking into pre-exhaustion (isolation exercise prior to a multi-joint move for the same muscle) found that it isn’t any better at building muscle than straight sets. Mike Mentzer seemed to believe that it was a magic mass builder, like doing leg extensions first before going immediately to squats or leg presses. You have a stretch-first pre-ex workout in Old Man, Young Muscle. Is it any better than just doing straight sets? [Read more…]
Then there’s the time Mike Mentzer lost a bet and had to cart Casey Viator around the gym in a makeshift rickshaw. Mike’s Heavy Duty belly shirt was not part of the bet. Good times at Gold’s… [Read more…]
Here’s a classic shot of Joe Weider chatting with Mike Mentzer about the pros and cons of handlebar mustaches and whether “Free Mustache Rides” works as a T-shirt slogan. (It doesn’t.) [Read more…]
This pic is proof: Mike Mentzer had full-size Nerf footballs surgically implanted on the backs of his arms… [Read more…]
Q: First I want to thank you for Old Man Young Muscle. I’ve made spectacular gains in my meager home gym similar to what you did. My problem now is that I’m getting 25 reps on my first set of dumbbell decline presses with my 50s, and I have no more weight to increase resistance. Should I just keep going till I get 30? Then what?
A: The late Doug Brignole, friend, biomechanics genius, and Mr. America winner, did 30 reps on his first set. So, yes, you could just keep trying to add reps to your decline presses until you get there… [Read more…]
In yesterday’s newsletter, I discussed blocking blood flow to the target muscle by doing a continuous-tension exercise first for high reps, then following with the ideal exercise…
For example, you could do a high-rep set of leg extensions before sissy squats, the ideal exercise. Or cable flyes before dumbbell decline presses for chest… [Read more…]
Q: Reading Old Man Young, Muscle and how an initial high-rep set tires the slow-twitch fibers makes sense. But wouldn’t using a continuous-tension exercise be best for that first set? The blood-blocking [or occlusion] on those exercises you talk about in OMYM should tire and shut down the slow-twitch sooner, right?
A: That’s an interesting idea and one I addressed a few newsletters ago: “Occlusion and the Mass-Exercise Shuffle.” It’s great that you’re thinking about making our workouts more efficient rather than just blindly following… [Read more…]
Back in the 1970s, Mike Mentzer’s physique at its peak was shocking. But even by today’s standards, Mentzer’s grainy thickness is jaw dropping. [Read more…]
Mike Mentzer’s beach physique at its peak was shocking. Imagine seeing this on the beach (Gallasch photo). Even today Mentzer’s mass is still jaw dropping… [Read more…]
Mike Mentzer’s physique was thick. Even relaxed he looked Herculean, as in this gym shot from the ’70s. [Read more…]