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Mike Mentzer Ab Routine
Mike Mentzer using the HIT (high intensity training) technique that he developed, correctly believed that the only way to increase the thickness of the abdominals is to train your abs with weight to the point of failure. Many bodybuilders still believe that training abs every day without using any resistance except bodyweight gets results, but they are wrong.
Mike believed that the abdominals were just like any other muscle in your body that responds to high intensity training to failure which is exactly what he did. Mentzer would do sit-ups leaning over a bench holding a 100-pound plate on his chest. He would do about 8 strict reps per set with 3 sets in total with a minute break between sets.
In true HIT fashion Mike trained his abs the same way he trained all his body-parts, he would even tie a dumbbell around his ankles and hanging from a chin-up bar would do leg-ups to failure on his lower abdominals. Mike stopped at nothing to get to the point of failure when training any muscle group.
It was many years after Mike died that his training philosophy was proven with a number of studies showing that abdominal training without using weights will not increase abdominal strength no matter how many reps you do. Mike was ahead of his time knowing that reaching failure when developing a muscle is the only way to increase size and strength.
In his usual HIT style Mike would only do 2 sets of the two different abdominal movements for the upper and lower abs.
His short and simple abdominal workout routine would look like this:
Hanging leg raises with 25lbs dumbbell 2 X 6 to 8 reps
Sit-ups with 100lbs plate on chest 2 X 6 to 8 reps
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