T Nation

First Mike now Ray is dead?

I thought this was a joke when I first heard it but you would think Weider wouldn’t put this up unless it was either true or someone hacked their site. The following is what is posted on the Flex site.

Mike Mentzer, legendary bodybuilding competitor and writer, died suddenly Saturday, June 9, of an apparent heart attack. Mentzer’s body was discovered by his younger brother Ray Mentzer Sunday in the apartment they shared in Redondo Beach, California. Then, in a shocking development, Ray Mentzer was found dead this morning, June 12. The cause of death has not been determined as of this time. We’ll bring you more details of this developing story as soon as possible. Mike Mentzer was 49 years old. Ray Mentzer was 47.
According to John Balik, publisher of Ironman, where the elder Mentzer most recently worked, Mike had been in ill health lately and was contemplating treatment for his ongoing cardiac problems. In past interviews, Mike had mentioned that his family had a history of heart disease, and that his own father died relatively young from a heart condition.
Mentzer was the creator of the popular Heavy Duty training system, and his articles appeared for decades in many of Joe Weider’s publications. While he never won the Mr. Olympia, Mentzer was considered to have one of the greatest physiques of his time.
We’ll have much more on Mike and Ray Mentzer in a future issue of FLEX magazine.

I have been searching the Wire, but am not producing any hits. It is beginning to sound like a hack. If I find anything solid, will post it in this thread.


No the site was not hacked. This is a true story. Might have been very stressful for Ray that contributed to him dying or could have been some foul play. We will see.

Ray, who was in poor health, took his own life.

Hey, where are all the Mentzer bashers. Let me guess, now they’re going to be respectful.

I am a not a heavy duty or mentzer fan and I am not afraid to speak up. I thought the guy was a delusional prick who was quite childish not to get over something inane like a stupid bodybuilding contest 21 years ago.Boo fucking hoo! Everyone gets screwed in life at least once, get over it.That and the guy would attack anyone who questioned his training system.So that being said I think his bitterness as a man and whatever demons like drugs or alcohol abuse contributed to his demise.As well as the fact that his training system was in his mind the only way yet he didn’t look like he even took the workouts himself.

Sorry but you won't hear me going too bad except for his brother who didn't shoot off his mouth like a lunatic like MIke did.

Do I think heavu duty has a use? yes but it was not the end all and be all so in Mike’s eyes people like me are stupid because he knew best.I have no sympathy for the guy sorry.

The only thing I find hypocritical are the people who either hated the guy or the HIT groups out there who use his ideas only to spend time bashing or engaging in war of words with the guy while he was alive going how sad and sorry they are to see him dead.

Sorry if I am insensitive but at least I am not a hypocrite.I just don't give a flying shit for closed minded people like that dead or alive.

Andrew, I love a man who speaks his mind. You are right to stick to your opinion concerning Mentzer. Nothing I hate worse than people who bad mouth another person and if something tragic happens, “Oh, they were such a wonderful caring person, blah,blah,blah”. Yeah, and yesterday I heard them say what an asshole (s)he was.

As far as my personal feeling on Mentzer go, I didn't particularly care for him. He turned me off to any of his workouts because of his take on aerobics (didn't do them, didn't believe in them) and his general attitude on woman lifters. As far as aerobics, I have to wonder if he maybe re-thinking his position. And a real T-man is never threatened by a 'chick' who is strong and can give a few of the guys a run for their money.

What is just so messed up is the fact that guys like Mentzer really do not do bodybuilding any favors in the image department. The guy is dead at 49(?)? Oh, real healthy life style, I see. I can hear the pencil-necked geeks at the gym today "Ya see", as they curl 7 lbs weights,"bodybuilding will killlllllllllll you!" Uh huh, and you keep eating them Twinkies, imbecile. And oh yeah, wanna get on the treadmill with me?

Hey, I'm a big believer in fate. Bet ya he comes back as Richard Simmons. -


wghtlftgrl–I don’t associate bodybuilding with health anymore. At least professional bodybuilding. I’m sure there are many definitions of bodybuilding.
I learned from Mentzer, applied what I could, and then moved on. That’s what I try to do—apply info to my own situation. Throw out what doesn’t work, use what works. I don’t get attached to all the “fitness gurus” so common today.
I think it’s sad they died. Simple as that.

Good post Wghtlftgrl! Personally, I thought Mike Mentzer should have been in a padded room wearing a straight jacket. It’s so, so sad that the 1980 Olympia fucked up Mike’s head so badly. It just goes to show you that there are people that will allow one specific incident to destroy their entire life. Mike was a lunatic but I still feel bad that he died. He had so much potential to do more with his life. Oh well.

Thanks weighliftingirl.

And it’s true all over the net you see people who bashed him and calling him a lunatic now saying how sorry they are he is dead.

Well if they felt so bad they should have been sorry when he was alive.
Reminds of when you see a school kid getting killed by punks and the televison reporters are interviewing kids who are bawling and saying how what a great kid he was yet they are the very ones who ignored or teased the hell out of the kid because he was different or something.

At least Mike will have plenty of time to spend with Ayn Rand - I’m sure they’re now both in the same place.

Its just amazing to sit back and watch people in the name of not being ‘hypocrites’, be completely insensitive. Well I have news for you. Criticizing a persons beliefs when they’re alive is fine, as well as it is fine when they are dead, but when a person dies, the time for a moment of reflection. Maybe people regret the extent to which they were harsh on Mike (whether he deserved it or not). To wish things were different and to look at the POSITIVE a person did during their lifetime despite the negative they may have had is NOT being a hypocrite - its being humane. TC made it clear that the contest for an embarrassing photo of Mike is over. Why?? Because he’s DEAD. While Mike recently and unfairly bashed Testosterone Magazine and Tim Patterson in particular, there comes a time when you put nonsense behind you. Would it have been funny to see what was done with Mentzer’s picture? Yes. Would it be funny anymore? No. And more importantly, it would be classless. When I look around at the various boards I don’t see people saying “Oh Mike was the greatest”. I see people saying that despite his faults, he had his positive contributions, but most importantly, its sad to see him go.

Ill be honest. I thought Mentzer was a nut. How could he promote theories that were being proved wrong in labs every other day? I heard that insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Mentzer was crazy. Yea i used his methods. but not all the time. And i think his methods were actually author jones’ methods rehashed. I remember reading in an Ironman a long time ago about his training. Its was low volume but it was not one set to failure. He did numerous warmups and then a couple of work sets. I even saw where he worked up to a single in power cleans. And anyone who let themselves get to the point he was at deserves to die anyway. They just wasted their genetics. Having said all this, it still saddens me that he died. He was probably a good all around person to everyone outside of the weightlifting community. But his unwillingness to say he was wrong about training is what made him so hated in our world. but that has nothing to do with him as a person. I may hate your ideas and bash them heavily, but that doesnt mean i hate you. People need to realize that everything is not personal.

Mike Mentzer created a revolution in an era where overtraining was the norm. He was able to do this because of his communication skills and his intelligence. I started growing when I applied his principles, and now that I know more about perfect form and intensity, I can follow a Ian King’s routine and perform better. I am not saying that everybody should worship Mike Mentzer, but at least respect his contribution to bodybuilding, like Sigmund Freud’s contribution to psychology, even if he’s the one who came out with the “penis envy” theory. For me, Mike represents the true beginning of my transformation, and I will always be thankful for that. I don’t care if he was bitter, a drug addict or alcoholic, that’s his life (was…). But for me, I will always have a good image of him, and I recognize him as one of the pionneers of modern bodybuilding.

Hey Ron, I have nothing against what you just said except for the part about people like me being insensitive. Thats fine if you think that but listen I really don’t have any sympathy in this world for someone who spends all of this precious thing called life abusing themselves and thinking that they are the only ones who know everything.I say the same things when the guy was alive and say the same things when he is dead. There is no black or white for me.If I don’t care when you are alive why should I care when you are dead? Thats hypocrisy.

Anyways there are worse things to be sad for like those little kids all over North America who are stuck and dying of terminal diseases who never did shit wrong to themselves or others. That I am sensitive to. Not this garbage.

First ley me just say I’m sick of people being meanspirited and calling it “honesty”. But thats not the point. Why do I keep hearing things from people who never trained HIT(4 days a week and 8 sets per body part is NOT HIT) say how its proven wrong all the time.I beg you to show me the “proof” you can’t! Dont you know why the sup companys and rags out there don’t want you training HIT? They couldn’t sell all their rags and crap to you if you did (why read about so&so’s back work out if there is realy nothing to learn? why buy all their sups if you are growing and progressing and not overtrained?).PLEASE THINK, PLEASE READ THE “SCIENCE” AND THINK WHERE ITS COMEING FROM.see pg.38 of MD “single vs. multiple” Appalachian State did a study once again showing 1 set is as good or better than 3 well MD ends the little piece by saying “It appears that doing more than 1 set of each exercise is superior to doing 1 set-if you work hard enough.” They must have never even read the study (I did) because there is NOTHING in it to even suggest their conclusion(if its true why read their rag?)Gee they also did an article on test gel, why do I think they will be comeing out with a prohormone gel soon? Not trying just to point them out, they are ALL the same!!! “NOBODY LIKES REALITY, BECAUSE IT HURTS”

 It is funny how people can shoot their mouths off about what an asshole Mike Mentzer was when they never so much as spent 5 minutes talking to the guy. That is what I find rather childish and distasteful. There was more to Mike Mentzer than Heavy Duty, and it is extremely disheartening for me to see "T-men" acting like childish fools. 
 I'm sorry to say but judging someone you've never even met based on something as meaningless as a philosophy of lifting is just plain sad. I myself never met Mr.Mentzer and I would have liked to. If anyone had personal problems with him that is absolutely fine. People have problems with people, it is a fact of life and there are 2 sides to every story. If I knew Mentzer personally and thought he was an ass then that is fine, he would be an ass in my opinion. Sometimes certain people just have differences, it doesn't make one good and the other bad it just means they didn't get along. <P>
 Many people on this forum seem to be jumping on the Mentzer bashing bandwagon solely because a few of the higher ups at Testosterone had a problem with him. These people are acting like followers plain and simple. I am not judging what ever personal differences they had with Mike in the slightest, hell maybe Mike was an ass to them and they have a right to be angry, but the point is, whatever their opinion was, they had at one time known and spoken with Mike. They were aquainted with him first hand as opposed to writing childish remarks based on complete hearsay. 
 I'd wager that the posters on this forum have nothing more to base their ill comments on , other than postings on newsgroups and bodybuilding forums. They have no right to say "yeah heh heh, Mentzer was an ass cuz uhh... some people on (insert forum) said so!" I too pride someone who speaks their mind if they have  information to base their opinion on, I don't particularly respect anyone's opinion who has no concrete information to back it up other than "The editors at T-mag had a problem with Mike. I don't know the exact reasons how or why but that won't stop me from running my mouth. So I'm gonna act all cool to impress em' by disparaging a deceased man who I never even saw face to face.  And that is what some of the so called "opinions" on the subject amount to. I am unsure whether this message will be posted or not and I'm not trying to jump down anyone's throat but please have an educated opinion based on fact rather than hearsay when posting on the world wide web about a man who is no longer here to defend himself.

         Kind Regards to everyone,

Hey at least we will never have to hear how Mentzer got screwed out of the 1980 olyimpia again.

I am on will Brinks e mail list and he sent something about this the other day. It said mike was abusing drugs and they were going to rule the death natural causes until his brother died too. My impression from it is that maybe they both took the same drug that was laced or just some bad stuff. As for mikes training ideas. I gave heavy duty 2 a fair try and it just didn’t work. I was on the program for about a month and a half and I was loosing strength. I got much better results doing some of what poliquin recommends. When it came to training mike was very dogmatic and egotistical. If you told him that you made progress on a training program he didn’t like he would say you made 2 units of progress with that program if you used mine you would have made four units of progress. I think mike had some major problems and character flaws. That doesn’t mean I’m being insensitive but I’m not going to start agreeing with him because he died. I saw he was selling videos from the 1980 olympia has any one ever seen it?

Ray Mentzer has been fighting liver problems for several years, though so far nobody knows whether that contributed to his death, or whether he committed suicide, or what. Mike has looked very unhealthy for years; when I saw him last a couple of years ago he was overweight, grey in complexion, and looked just horrible and many years older than his true age. Haven’t seen Ray since he was competing and i attended one of his seminars.