A. My name is Val and I am Mike's close friend, pupil and protÃ©gÃ©. I met Mike seven years ago in Gold's Gym in Venice, when I was one of his numerous in-gym clients. After exercising 5 times per week with a little or no progress, I decided to modify my training and hired Mike to train me. After 3 months of Mike's supervision, I gained 40 pounds of pure muscle and increased my strength with Mike's encouragement, cognized philosophy and high-intensity training theory. We developed a great friendship and he appointed me to consult people over the phone on the subject of High-Intensity Training.
A couple of years ago, with Mike's patronage, I started my own personal training business; being occupied with his magazine writings and other businesses, he finished training people and asked me to supervise all of his in-gym clients.
Q. A lot of rumors circulate in connection with the deaths of both brothers. Was it caused by health problems or suicide?
A. I can't believe some people are making unverified statements about suicide. I spent the last hours with Mike and Ray, and I can assure that they both died of natural causes. There was a history of heart disease in the Mentzer family.
Q. Do you know anything about "Mike Mentzer's HIT Exercise Video"?
A. On Saturday June 9th we finished filming "Mike Mentzer's HIT Exercise Video". Tragically, a few hours later Mike passed away in his sleep. We will have two videos available; one called "Behind the Scenes of Mike Mentzer's HIT Exercise Video" and an original "Mike Mentzer's HIT Exercise Video". First video will be available in limited release at mikementzer.com, bodybuildingstuff.com and Bodybuilding.com.
In this exclusive video you will spend the last moments with Ray and Mike behind the scenes of the original video. Witness incredible interviews, funny moments, and hear Mike gossip about such celebrities as Frank Zane, Dorian Yates and Joe Weider.
No retakes, no music, no editing; just the row footage of the man you've learned to respect as the lone voice of reason, truth and integrity within the sport.
The original videotape is in editing studio and will be released in the next couple of weeks. It was the final chapter of Mike's lifework on the subject of High-Intensity Training.
Q. What was it like to work with Mike and Ray on this project?
A. Ironically, we almost changed the day of the shoot for the following Saturday, since World Gym backed out on us in the last moment. On Wednesday, June 6th Mike called me and asked me to call World Gym. I called Joe Gold's office and they have told me that we couldn't use their facility for the film. Mike suggested waiting a few days until we'll find another gym. However, I insisted finishing on Saturday; he gave up and told me, if I will find the gym, he'll be more than happy to star in it.
I contacted Angel City Fitness and International Star Productions, and scheduled filming for Saturday, June 9th. The entire production took more than 5 hours. Everyone worked extremely hard on this project, however all of us had a terrific time and everything went just as planned. After the shoot, I treated Mike and Ray for dinner in their favorite restaurant in Los Angeles. We were very excited about the video and Mike stated, "It will be the best training video of all time!" After dinner, they gave me friendly hugs and thanked me for one of the most enjoyable days in their lives.
Q. This is an incredible story and great news for Mike Mentzer's fans and entire bodybuilding world. Was anyone else starring in the video?
A. I hired Markus Reinhardt (past Amateur Bodybuilder Of the Week here on Bodybuilding.com) an inspiring young bodybuilder, who possesses thick, heavy, densely developed muscles reminiscent of Casey Viator. We caught Markus just couple of weeks away from one of the most prestigious bodybuilding competitions held in Miami, Florida.
Also, we wanted to include some testimonials of such celebrities as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Joe Weider, Steve Blachman of Twinlab, Dorian Yates and Anthony Robbins. At this time, I'm trying to contact all of the above individuals to fulfill Mike's wish.
Q. Wait a second, Mike and Arnold? Everyone knows about controversial placing at 1980 Mr. Olympia. Did Mike and Arnold finally make peace?
A. A few months ago, Arnold's assistant emailed Mike with a message from Arnold. Arnold was concerned about Ray's health conditions and tried to offer help. For those of you who don't know, Ray had a severe kidney problem. Arnold even wanted to come over to Ray's apartment and offer help personally. At some point Mike spoke to Arnold over the phone and was very touched by Arnold's kindness and concerns. Despite differences of opinions in the past, Mike always stated that Arnold was the greatest bodybuilder of all time and his contributions to the sport are enormous. During the shoot Mike has told me that he would like to have a reunion with Arnold on this videotape.
Q. We would like to thank you for this interview. Since Mike Mentzer's death, will you be able to continue Mike's legacy and educate people on the subject of High-Intensity Training?
A. I will do everything in my power to keep Mike's legacy alive. For anyone who wants to know more about Mike Mentzer, his training philosophy or have any questions about their training, please call 310 877-7159. You can also join Mike Mentzer Fan Club at Yahoo: http://clubs.yahoo.com/clubs/mikementzerhitclub
MORE MIKE MENTZER STUFF!
Exclusive Bodybuilding.com interview with Mike Mentzer only a few months ago. Click HERE!
More information on the death of Mike and Ray Mentzer. Click here.
Learn more about Mike Mentzer by clicking here.
Mike Mentzer's HIT Exercise VideoBodybuilding.com is proud to present a New Original HIT Exercise Video by legendary Mike Mentzer, master of the art of bodybuilding, best selling author and Mr. Universe Bodybuilding Champion. This is the video made hours before Mike's untimely death.
Including Dave Draper!