“Some S**t He Made Up Way Back Then”: Exercise Scientist Blasts at Bodybuilding Genius Mike Mentzer’s HIT Training Philosophy

Published 12/09/2023, 7:00 AM EST

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Exercise Scientist Dr. Mike Israetel has become internet famous through his hilarious critique of celebrity workout programs. Despite his jokes and criticisms of celebrity fitness regimens, Israetel has retained popularity because of his reliable fitness advice. However, the bodybuilding coach recently gave his opinion on a popular exercise philosophy many follow.

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The exercise philosophy in question is Mike Mentzer’s High Intensity Training, or HIT. The HIT approach to bodybuilding relies on lifting as heavy as possible for ideally one set. Originally founded by Arthur Jones, HIT emphasized reaching muscular failure through a single set. The approach drastically cut down on time spent in the gym and allowed the practitioner to take multiple rest days. Jones and Mentzer often touted it as the superior method of building muscle. However, Israetel didn’t agree.

The clash of two bodybuilding philosophies

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Mike Istraetel discussed High-Intensity Training in a short YouTube clip on his channel. The Renaissance Periodization founder spoke about how Mentzer promoted HIT. “You just do one set. Why would you do another? I think the stupidest idea in the world…” said Israetel as he tried to sum up the late bodybuilder’s argument. 

He further mentioned how heavy weight, low reps, and set style of training didn’t hold any advantage to higher volume training. “Multiple set programs were definitively proven more effective in the early 2000s,” said the exercise scientist. In fact, the bodybuilding coach mentioned that multiple studies have found 52, 45, 27, and 18 set-per-week programs superior.

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“He said some shit he made up way back then,” Israetel said about the Golden Era legend. However, the exercise scientist didn’t put himself above scrutiny. Mike Israetel said he had also made claims in the past, which have been disproven by new studies. “You don’t see me talking about it anymore,” said Israetel. Interestingly, Mentzer’s philosophy was also in contrast to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s method.

Watch this story | Bodybuilding Legend Arnold Schwarzenegger Unveils an Ingenious “4-1-1 Tempo” Method to Overcome Muscle Stagnation

Different ways of achieving muscle failure

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While Mentzer had popularized High Intensity Training. Seven-time Mr. Olympia Arnold Schwarzenegger popularized high-volume training. While Arnold Schwarzenegger also trained to fail in the gym, he achieved it through the high-volume route. Schwarzenegger also lifted heavy but chose weights he could rep for at least eight to twelve reps.

However, Arnie’s high-volume philosophy led to prolonged workout sessions. Practitioners of the high-volume approach also took fewer rest days between workout sessions. While both methods can be used to achieve muscular failure in the gym, they get to that point through different routes. Jones, Mentzer, and Yates touted HIT as a more efficient form of exercise.

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While Arthur Jone invented HIT in the 70s, Mike Israetel claimed that the philosophy is outdated when it comes to the most efficient and effective way of putting on muscle.

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Written by:

Sagnik Bagchi

1,575Articles

One take at a time

Facts over feelings. This has always been my approach toward bodybuilding. Bodybuilding fans are a passionate lot and defend their favorite bodybuilder at the drop of a hat.
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Edited by:

Abhishek Manikandan

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