Who Was Your Key HIT Influencer?

Key Influencer
  • Mike Mentzer
  • Casey Viator
  • Arthur Jones
  • Ellington Darden
  • Brian Johnston
  • John Little
  • Markus Reinhardt
  • JIm Flanagan
  • Kim Wood
  • Ray Mentzer
  • CF Smith
  • Joe Means
  • Dave Maskatoris
  • Dorian Yates

0 voters

Ken leistner


Mike Mentzer was my initial influence and introduction to HIT. Which then led me to Arthur Jones, which in turn got me into reading El’s books.
In more recent times (last 15 years) Brian Johnston’s work has been a significant influence for me
There are many others whose books , articles , words, etc have enriched how I think about exercise, some of which are mentioned above and some not .
But nobody else comes close to the 4 I mentioned above.


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Mike Mentzer
Dorian Yates
Markus Reinhardt
Casey Viator
Arthur Jones
Ellington Darden

i started out with heavy duty back in the late 90s, got very strong following Mentzer and Yates routine…also got fat, then injured myself by using yates explosive type movements…took some time off (about 10 years) then after research i found the colorado experiment which led me to Jones and then Darden…i will say that Darden’s biggest influence on me is the diet, i was always on a high protein high fat type of eating and could not lose a pound, then i decided to go completely high carb, low fat and low protein and i lost 20 lbs (i have stalled, would like to lose 20 more)…the reason i mention Reeves is because of his power walking which i include into my routines 3 to 4 days per week


My first exposure to Nautilus training was after a recommendation by a friend to give it a try. Shortly after, I acquired several books by Darden, and those were my only HIT references for many years. So he gets my vote.

After Darden, the next most influential was McGuff, and Body by Science, which refreshed my interest in the subject.

I didn’t start looking at Jones’ materials until years later, when they became widely available for free on the internet.


Dr Ken
Kieth Wassung
Bob Wheelan

Sean Tooney
Kevin Fulton

Jay Trigg

I read Mentzers books when I was in grad school, and grabbing everything I could about any science-based training or nutritional stuff.

Eventually I came around to Yates, and others who despite what people think they did, they were conscious of recovery but didn’t actually do the 1 set to failure and do nothing else for a week that people think built champion caliber physiques. That was a smart realization for me actually.


Is Dante Trudel an option? Doggcrapp was as close as I got to this type of training.

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Kinda seems like Yates doesn’t really belong on this list at all.

What happened to the “greatest influence” poll that was recently posted on the forum?

I don’t know? I thought it was going to be an interesting poll.

The moderators moved it to the Bigger Stronger Leaner board

The nautilus bodybuilding book. ~1982.

Joe Means on cover.

Mentzer was originally, I saw a picture on the front of one of his books and was very impressed by his physique. I’d previously mostly seen Arnold’s physique which to me didn’t look as rugged as Mentzer’s. I went off Mentzer quite quickly because the too infrequent training method and when I saw a video of him training a German bodybuilder he looked like he’d let himself go completely.

I really only started looking at Dr. Darden because of all the stories associated with Arthur Jones that was what I was more interested in. He seemed like a real hellraiser. To me these are the real men not the one’s that want to look like Ken doll’s.

Same here

Jones, then Darden, Mentzer 3rd

A nice thread revival! Dr Darden and Brian Johnston. These thinkers will keep me occupied for several lifetimes. My hope for the future goes to cloning. I almost dived into Mike Mentzer, but as much as I like his theories, his practice doesn’t seem realistic in terms of enduring results. Also, I always like to keep my eyes open for Drew Baye’s whereabouts. Where’s the poll?

No love for Ken Hutchins?

Mike Mentzer would definitely be the biggest influence in getting me into HIT. He had an amazing physique and made actually start putting more thought into my programming, which is definitely the most important part of the equation for naturals. I don’t use any of his routines anymore, but he’s great at getting you to think about what you’re doing. That’s something I carry with me, I’m always thinking about ways to improve my training in the gym.

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When I started into this stuff I mostly looked up to Bob Hoffman and Strength and Health magazines. We went to York Penn hoping to meet Hoffman. Then bodybuilders like Jim Haislop and Chuck Sipes caught my eye. After that it sort of got insane with the likes of Sergio and Arnold who caught my eye until I found Jones in Ironman magazine. Then after Jones passed on I followed Mentzer a while and then Darden.