ARNOLD VS MENTZER: Whose Training Style Was The Best?

Khirul Alam

ARNOLD VS MENTZER: Whose Training Style Was The Best?

Arnold Schwarzenegger, Difference, Exercise, Mike Mentzer, Training, Workout

Arnold Schwarzenegger favored high volume training, while Mike Mentzer promoted Heavy Duty training. Each method has its distinct advantages.

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Mike Mentzer were iconic bodybuilders with contrasting training philosophies. Arnold’s high volume approach involved numerous sets and repetitions, focusing on muscle endurance and hypertrophy. This method aimed to maximize muscle pump and stimulate growth through extended workouts.

In contrast, Mentzer’s Heavy Duty training emphasized fewer sets with maximum intensity, advocating for shorter, more intense sessions. Mentzer believed in pushing muscles to their absolute limit with heavy weights and minimal rest. Both styles have their proponents and unique benefits, making the choice between them dependent on individual goals and preferences. Understanding these methods can help tailor a personalized training regimen.

Clash Of Bodybuilding Titans

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Mike Mentzer are legendary bodybuilders. They had different training styles. Arnold followed high volume training. Mentzer practiced Heavy Duty training. Their methods sparked debates. Let’s explore their journeys and philosophies.

Early Years And Philosophies

Arnold started bodybuilding in Austria. He believed in high volume. His workouts were long. He trained twice a day. Arnold’s sessions included many sets and reps. He thought more work led to more growth.

Mike Mentzer began in Pennsylvania. He had a different view. Mentzer valued intensity over volume. He created Heavy Duty training. His workouts were short but intense. He pushed muscles to failure quickly. Mentzer felt this was more effective.

Rise To Fame

Arnold moved to America. He won Mr. Olympia seven times. His charisma and physique made him famous. Arnold’s high volume training was well-known. Many followed his methods.

Mentzer also gained fame. He won the Mr. Universe title. His Heavy Duty training drew attention. Mentzer’s scientific approach was unique. He published books and articles. His influence grew in the bodybuilding world.

Here is a table comparing their training philosophies:

AspectArnold SchwarzeneggerMike Mentzer
Training VolumeHigh VolumeLow Volume
Training IntensityModerateVery High
Workout DurationLongShort
FrequencyTwice a DayFew Times a Week

Arnold’s Training Regimen

Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Austrian Oak, is a bodybuilding legend. His training regimen is famous for its volume and intensity. Arnold’s dedication and discipline set him apart. Let’s explore the key elements of his training style.

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Volume Training Essentials

Arnold believed in high volume training. This means doing many sets and reps. His workouts often included 5-6 exercises per muscle group. Each exercise had 4-5 sets. Reps ranged from 8-12 for each set. He worked out twice a day, six days a week. This approach aimed to maximize muscle growth and endurance.

  • 5-6 exercises per muscle group
  • 4-5 sets per exercise
  • 8-12 reps per set
  • Twice a day workouts
  • Six days a week training

Mind-muscle Connection

Arnold emphasized the mind-muscle connection. He believed in focusing on the muscle being worked. This means feeling every rep and contraction. Arnold said this helped him achieve better muscle development. He visualized the muscle growing with each rep. This mental focus was a key part of his success.

ARNOLD VS MENTZER: Whose Training Style Was The Best?

Here are some tips to achieve a mind-muscle connection:

  1. Focus on the muscle you’re working
  2. Visualize the muscle contracting
  3. Perform slow and controlled movements
  4. Use lighter weights if necessary
  5. Concentrate on the quality of each rep
VolumeHigh sets and reps
FrequencyTwice a day, six days a week
FocusMind-muscle connection

Arnold’s training regimen was intense and effective. The high volume and mental focus contributed to his legendary physique.

Mentzer’s Hit Approach

Mike Mentzer’s High-Intensity Training (HIT) approach changed the way many trained. His method emphasized fewer workouts with greater intensity. This was a stark contrast to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s high-volume training style.

High-intensity Training Defined

High-Intensity Training (HIT) is simple yet effective. It focuses on doing fewer sets but with maximum effort. Each set is taken to the point of failure. This means you cannot do another rep with good form.

Mentzer believed this method was more efficient. He argued that the body needs intense stress to grow. He also felt that over-training was a big problem. With HIT, the workouts are shorter, giving more time for recovery.

Principles Of Heavy Duty

Mentzer’s Heavy Duty training had key principles:

  • Intensity: Push each set to failure.
  • Volume: Keep sets and reps low.
  • Rest: Allow ample recovery time.
  • Form: Maintain perfect form on each rep.

He also focused on compound exercises. These target multiple muscle groups. Examples include squats, deadlifts, and bench presses. Mentzer’s workouts were brief but grueling. He suggested training each muscle group only once a week.

Mentzer also emphasized the importance of nutrition and rest. He believed these were crucial for muscle growth. Without proper recovery, muscles cannot grow. His approach was holistic, considering all aspects of bodybuilding.

Key Differences In Methodology

The debate between Arnold Schwarzenegger’s High Volume training and Mike Mentzer’s Heavy Duty approach has fascinated bodybuilding enthusiasts for decades. Both legends achieved extraordinary physiques using distinct methodologies. Let’s explore the key differences in their training styles.

ARNOLD VS MENTZER: Whose Training Style Was The Best?

Training Frequency And Duration

Arnold trained six days a week. His sessions lasted for 2-3 hours. He believed in high frequency and extended training periods. This method aimed to maximize muscle growth through consistent stimulation.

Mike Mentzer’s Heavy Duty approach was the opposite. He trained only 3-4 times a week. His sessions were short, lasting 45-60 minutes. Mentzer focused on high-intensity workouts with longer recovery periods.

Arnold’s High VolumeMentzer’s Heavy Duty
6 days a week3-4 days a week
2-3 hours per session45-60 minutes per session

Exercise Selection And Intensity

Arnold’s routine included a wide variety of exercises. He used multiple sets and reps to target each muscle group from different angles. His goal was to achieve muscle pump and fatigue.

Mentzer’s Heavy Duty training focused on fewer exercises. He used maximum intensity, often reaching muscle failure in each set. His objective was to stimulate muscle growth with minimal volume.

  • Arnold’s Exercises: High variety, multiple sets, higher reps.
  • Mentzer’s Exercises: Few exercises, fewer sets, maximum intensity.

Diet And Nutrition Strategies

Diet and nutrition are crucial parts of any bodybuilding regimen. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Mike Mentzer had distinct approaches. Their diets supported their unique training styles. Let’s explore their strategies.

Macronutrient Breakdown

Both Arnold and Mentzer emphasized the importance of macronutrients. But their ratios differed.

Arnold Schwarzenegger60%30%10%
Mike Mentzer40%40%20%

Arnold favored a high-protein diet. This supported his high-volume training. He consumed lean meats, eggs, and protein shakes. His moderate carbs came from vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.

Mentzer’s diet had a balanced approach. He used equal parts protein and carbs. This supported his heavy-duty training. His fats were higher, helping with energy and recovery. He ate nuts, seeds, and avocados for healthy fats.

Fueling For Muscle Growth

Both bodybuilders had specific strategies to fuel their muscles.

  • Pre-Workout: Arnold consumed a small meal rich in protein and carbs. This meal gave him energy for long workouts.
  • Post-Workout: Arnold’s post-workout meal was crucial. It had high protein to repair muscles. He included carbs to replenish glycogen stores.
  • Pre-Workout: Mentzer preferred a balanced meal. It had moderate protein, carbs, and healthy fats. This meal sustained his intense, short workouts.
  • Post-Workout: Mentzer’s post-workout meal focused on recovery. It had high protein and moderate carbs. He also included fats for hormone production.

Arnold and Mentzer had unique approaches. Both relied on structured diets to fuel their training. Their strategies show the importance of nutrition in bodybuilding.

Psychological Aspects Of Training

The psychological aspects of training often get overlooked. Yet, they are crucial for success. Training styles like Arnold Schwarzenegger’s high volume and Mike Mentzer’s Heavy Duty require mental fortitude. This section explores the psychological elements that drive these methods.

Mental Toughness And Discipline

Mental toughness is key for both training styles. Arnold’s high-volume workouts demand incredible discipline. He often trained twice a day, pushing his limits. This rigorous schedule requires a strong mind.

Mike Mentzer’s Heavy Duty approach is different but equally demanding. His style focuses on fewer, more intense workouts. Here, mental toughness means giving 100% effort in each session. Both styles show that discipline is essential.

Visualization Techniques

Visualization is a powerful tool in both training methods. Arnold was known for his mental imagery. He would visualize his muscles growing during each rep. This technique helps to boost performance and focus.

Mentzer also believed in the power of the mind. He used visualization to prepare for his intense sessions. By picturing the perfect lift, he could mentally prepare for the physical challenge. Visualization is a common thread in both styles.

Impact On Bodybuilding

The debate between Arnold Schwarzenegger’s high-volume training and Mike Mentzer’s Heavy Duty method has shaped bodybuilding. Both styles have unique impacts, influencing training philosophies and practices.

ARNOLD VS MENTZER: Whose Training Style Was The Best?

Influences On Modern Training

Arnold’s high-volume training focuses on multiple sets and reps. It builds muscle endurance and size. Many modern bodybuilders follow this method. It promotes frequent workouts and muscle confusion.

Mentzer’s Heavy Duty method emphasizes intensity. It uses fewer sets but higher weights. This method aims for maximum muscle growth with minimal time in the gym. It appeals to those who want efficient workouts.

Arnold’s High-VolumeMentzer’s Heavy Duty
Multiple sets and repsFewer sets, higher weights
Builds muscle enduranceMaximizes muscle growth
Frequent workoutsEfficient, short sessions

Legacy And Followers

Arnold’s training style has a massive following. His high-volume approach is popular in gyms worldwide. Many admire his physique and dedication.

Mentzer’s Heavy Duty method also has loyal followers. Some prefer his scientific approach to training. His method appeals to those who seek quick, effective results.

  • Arnold’s followers: broad and diverse
  • Mentzer’s followers: focused on intensity and science

Both training styles have left a lasting legacy in bodybuilding. Their influences are evident in modern training programs.

Scientific Analysis

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Mike Mentzer had different training styles. Arnold favored high volume. Mentzer preferred heavy duty. Which one is better? Science can help us decide.

Research On Training Efficacy

Studies show both methods work. High volume training involves many sets and reps. It builds muscle endurance. Heavy duty training uses fewer sets with more weight. It focuses on strength and muscle size.

Training StyleSets per ExerciseReps per SetFocus
High Volume3-68-12Endurance
Heavy Duty1-24-6Strength

Research indicates both methods can build muscle. The key factor is consistency. The body adapts to different types of stress. Both high volume and heavy duty have their place.

Modern Interpretations

Today’s trainers mix both methods. They use high volume for endurance. They use heavy duty for strength. This balanced approach can be effective.

  • High Volume: Good for muscle endurance.
  • Heavy Duty: Good for muscle strength.
  • Mixing both: Can maximize results.

Modern athletes often use a mix. They switch between high volume and heavy duty. This keeps the body guessing. It can lead to better muscle growth.

Personal Accounts And Testimonials

Choosing between Arnold Schwarzenegger’s High Volume and Mike Mentzer’s Heavy Duty training styles can be tough. To help, we gathered personal accounts and testimonials from athletes. These stories showcase the impact of each training method.

Success Stories

  • John’s Transformation: John followed Arnold’s High Volume training. He trained for hours daily, focusing on multiple sets and reps. He gained 20 pounds of muscle in six months.
  • Mike’s Journey: Mike used Mentzer’s Heavy Duty approach. He trained intensely but with fewer sets. His muscle mass increased by 15 pounds in four months.
  • Sarah’s Experience: Sarah started with High Volume, then switched to Heavy Duty. She found Heavy Duty more effective for her strength gains.

Comparative Results From Athletes

AthleteTraining StyleMuscle GainTraining Time (Daily)
JohnHigh Volume20 pounds3 hours
MikeHeavy Duty15 pounds1 hour
SarahMixed15 pounds2 hours

Athletes noted key differences. High Volume required more time, but offered steady gains. Heavy Duty was more intense, yielding quicker results with less time.

Both styles have their merits. Personal preference and goals will determine the best fit.

The Ultimate Showdown

In the world of bodybuilding, two legends stand out: Arnold Schwarzenegger and Mike Mentzer. Arnold’s high-volume training and Mentzer’s Heavy Duty approach have sparked debates for years. Which method reigns supreme? Let’s dive into this ultimate showdown.

ARNOLD VS MENTZER: Whose Training Style Was The Best?

Hypothetical Matchup

Imagine Arnold and Mentzer facing off in the gym. Arnold’s routine focused on high reps and multiple sets. He often trained twice a day, hitting each muscle group with intensity. His workouts lasted hours.

Mentzer’s Heavy Duty training was different. He believed in low volume and high intensity. He did fewer sets but pushed them to failure. His sessions were short but intense.

Here’s a table comparing their training styles:

AspectArnold SchwarzeneggerMike Mentzer
IntensityModerate to HighVery High
FrequencyTwice a dayOnce every few days

Expert Opinions

Experts have weighed in on this debate. Some prefer Arnold’s high-volume approach. They argue it builds endurance and muscle size. They believe more sets mean more growth.

Others side with Mentzer. They say Heavy Duty training is more efficient. It saves time and reduces the risk of overtraining. They argue that pushing muscles to failure leads to maximum growth.

Here are some key points experts highlight:

  • Recovery: Heavy Duty allows more recovery time.
  • Variety: High volume offers more exercise variety.
  • Efficiency: Heavy Duty is time-efficient.
  • Endurance: High volume builds muscle stamina.

Choosing a training style depends on your goals. If you want endurance, high volume might be best. If you prefer quick, intense sessions, Heavy Duty could be for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who Is Best, Arnold Or Mike Mentzer?

Choosing between Arnold Schwarzenegger and Mike Mentzer depends on personal preference. Arnold excelled in charisma and multiple Mr. Olympia wins, while Mentzer promoted high-intensity training. Both are legendary.

What Was Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Training Style?

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s training style focused on high volume, heavy weights, and intense workouts. He often used supersets and drop sets.

What Is The Best Type Of Training For Muscle Growth?

The best type of training for muscle growth is resistance training. Focus on lifting heavy weights with progressive overload. Compound exercises like squats, deadlifts, and bench presses are highly effective. Aim for 8-12 reps per set and ensure proper rest and nutrition for optimal results.

Did Mike Mentzer Train Heavy?

Yes, Mike Mentzer trained heavy. He believed in high-intensity, low-volume workouts with heavy weights to maximize muscle growth.

What Is Arnold’s High Volume Training?

Arnold’s high volume training involves multiple sets, high reps, and frequent workouts to maximize muscle growth and endurance.

What Is Mentzer’s Heavy Duty Training?

Mentzer’s heavy duty training focuses on low volume, high intensity workouts with fewer sets and reps for maximum muscle stimulation.

Which Training Style Builds More Muscle?

Both training styles can build muscle effectively. Arnold’s method focuses on volume, while Mentzer’s emphasizes intensity.

Which Training Style Is Better For Beginners?

Beginners may find Arnold’s high volume training more manageable due to lower intensity and higher frequency.

Who Had Better Competition Results?

Arnold had more competition wins, including multiple Mr. Olympia titles, showcasing the effectiveness of his training style.

Which Training Style Is More Time-efficient?

Mentzer’s heavy duty training is more time-efficient, requiring less time in the gym due to its lower volume.


Choosing between Arnold’s high volume and Mentzer’s Heavy Duty depends on personal goals and preferences. Both methods have proven effective. Experiment with each style to find what best suits your needs. Prioritize consistency and listen to your body. Ultimately, the best training style is the one you can maintain and enjoy.

About the author
Khirul Alam
I'm Khirul Alam, aka NILOY FITNESS, a devoted bodybuilder and fitness expert. I write about fitness, bodybuilding, and mental health at Hercules Bodybuilding to inspire and help people reach their fitness goals. I'm committed to making a positive impact in the fitness community.