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Mike Mentzer Once Revealed the True Purpose of Bodybuilding

Radha Iyer

Mike Mentzer Once Revealed the True Purpose of Bodybuilding

Bodybuilding doesn’t simply require a stack of muscles built by hitting the gym every day. Some of the top-ranking bodybuilders with a series of titles and accolades know how crucial having a winning mindset is over actual exercising and dieting. This was one of the themes that Mike Mentzer would focus on in one of his lectures.

For Mentzer, the purpose of bodybuilding went beyond the threshold of trophies and competitions. He focused on innovation, science, logic, and muscle-building through those means. Therefore, it wasn’t surprising when a resurfaced video clip of his, posted by Heavy Duty College on YouTube, talked about the metaphysical realm of the sport.

The late legend was a pioneer of the heavy-duty training routine and put his own twist on it to include extended periods of recovery. He believed in extreme intensity and less time spent on workouts over traditional techniques.

Ultimately, he believed that to be a successful bodybuilder, one must transcend the daily grind at the gym. Athletes must prioritize mastering the skill over simply winning.

“A lot of people find once they acquire the muscles they’d always dreamed of, they’re not really different inside because they don’t take this philosophical approach.”

Mentzer ruminated on this thought a bit more, explaining how simply growing muscles won’t cut it when the intention is to master the sport. A change in the mindset is essential when one plans to achieve a holistic set of goals in the fitness realm.

“The idea is to gain a sense of mastery, a sense of self-esteem, happiness…which can only be derived from achieving goals.”

Over the decades, Mentzer grew to be one of the icons of his sport, mostly for his incredible physique and mindset. The passion and love he had for bodybuilding remained unmatched by other athletes.

Eventually, Mike Mentzer quit competing onstage

Despite his sincere admiration and love for the sport, Mentzer made the tough decision of quitting competing on stage. Sometime in 1981, he noticed the changes in the bodybuilding world, particularly at Mr. Olympia, and decided that his morals didn’t align.

This decision came as a result of the infamous moment at the 1980 Mr. Olympia when Arnold Schwarzenegger won despite several other deserving candidates. The controversial event repeated a similar decision next year with Franco Columbu, and Mentzer felt that he had found his calling in training instead. With a change in mindset and a permanent decision made, he made waves in the community for his ideology.

Post Edited By:Shraman Mitra

About the author

Radha Iyer

Radha Iyer


Radha Iyer is a US Sports writer at The SportsRush. With a Master's degree in Media and Communication, and a background in content creation and production, sports journalism has been a part and parcel of her demonstrated history in the said field. Olympic sports hold a special place in her heart, and she is particularly interested in sports like track and field, gymnastics, and swimming. She also draws inspiration from legendary athletes like Michael Phelps, Usain Bolt, Simone Biles, and many more.

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