Matt Mendenhall was one of the most promising bodybuilders of his time. He was known as “Mr. Genetics.” Matt, who was from Ohio, and Lee Haney were both at the top of their game in 1982, but Matt never got his Pro card because of a series of illnesses.
Even though he has died, Matt Mendenhall will always be remembered as one of the best bodybuilders of the 1980s and 1990s. Many people admire his almost-perfect body, his strong build, and his ability to keep going even when things don’t go his way.
This article is a summary of what we’ve learned about Matt Mendenhall diet and workout routine when he was at the top of his game. This is not his exact routine, but it is based on what we’ve learned from him, interviews with him, and other people in the sport.
What We Know Now
- Height: 5’11”
- Weight: 235-245 pounds
- Age: 61 at the time of his death (2021)
- Birthdate: June 26, 1960
- Accolades: 1978 Mr. Ohio High School 1st place, 1982 NPC Nationals 2nd place, 1983 NPC Nationals 4th place, 1985 NPC Championships, 1986 NPC Nationals 2nd place, 1987 NPC Nationals 10th, 1988 NPC Nationals 11th, 1991 NPC Nationals 5th, among many others
Matt’s great body is a result of his hard work at bodybuilding and strength training. However, his nickname “Mr. Genetics” shows that some things can’t be trained in the gym.
Because of their genes, some people are born with the right body to be good at sports. When Matt was a child, several people in his family were competing as bodybuilders.
Matt studied homeopathy after he stopped bodybuilding as a hobby. He also endorsed a supplement company and got into massage therapy and personal training. He liked helping people reach their goals for fitness and health.
Matt loved sports from a young age, and his body and mind were both strong enough for him to be a successful bodybuilder. From his first competition to his last, he gave it his all, just like a real athlete should.
Matt Mendenhall Workout Routine
When he was getting ready for a competition, Matt Mendenhall was a real beast in the gym. He did a hard abs circuit every day and was known to like training until he couldn’t go on.
When Matt was at the top of his game, he could do anywhere from 6 to 30 reps in sets of 4 to 5 reps. He worked out with different heavy weights and often had to do forced reps in each circuit.
Here’s what Matt Mendenhall does to workout:
Monday – Chest
Here’s what a chest workout looked like for Matt.
- Incline dumbbell fly (5 sets, 6 reps)
- Flat dumbbell press (5 sets, 6 reps)
- Turn and fly (5 sets, 6 reps)
- Dumbbell decline press (4 sets, 6 reps)
- Dumbbell pullover (4 sets, 10 reps)
- Switch cables (4 sets, 10 reps)
Tuesday – Shoulders
One of Matt’s best features was his strong shoulders. Here’s how he got them.
- Press behind the neck (5 sets, 8 reps)
- Side lateral raise (5 sets, 8 reps)
- Rear delt bent-over lateral (5 sets, 8 reps)
- Shoulders down (5 sets, 8 reps)
- Straight line (5 sets, 8 reps)
Wednesday – Legs
Matt usually worked out his legs twice a week. Here’s how he shaped the legs that he used to compete in the heavyweight division with Mike Christian and Lee Haney many times.
- Squat (5 sets, 10 reps) (5 sets, 10 reps)
- Nothing (4 sets, 8 reps)
- Leg curl (5 sets, 10 reps)
- Extending the thighs (5 sets, 10 reps)
- Calf machine that stands up (5 sets, 10 reps)
- Standing calf raise (5 sets, 8 reps)
- Toe raises on a leg press (5 sets, 10 reps)
- Donkey raise (5 sets, 10 reps)
Thursday – Back
To get those big lats, you have to work hard, stay consistent, and do a lot of back work. Here’s what Matt Mendenhall did on a day off:
- Wide grip chin-up (4 sets, 8 reps)
- Rowing with a T-bar (4 sets, 8 reps)
- Lat pull-up (4 sets, 10 reps)
- Sitting row (4 sets, 8 reps)
- Back lat pulldown (4 sets, 10 reps)
- Hyperextension (4 sets, 12 reps) (4 sets, 12 reps)
- Dumbbell bent-over row (4 sets, 10 reps)
Friday – Arms
Matt did different arm circuits that worked for each muscle group in his arms. This helped him build muscle and get his arms in better shape.
- Curl the weights while standing (4 sets, 8 reps)
- Curl up preacher (4 sets, 8 reps)
- Standing barbell curl (4 sets, 8 reps)
- Concentration curl (4 sets, 8 reps)
- Reverse curl (4 sets, 8 reps)
- Wrist curl (4 sets, 12 reps)
- French extension of lying (4 sets, 8 reps)
- French extension while seated (4 sets, 8 reps)
- Push-down (4 sets, 8 reps) (4 sets, 8 reps)
- Dumbbell extension (4 sets, 8 reps)
Saturday – Abs
Matt’s insane abs didn’t come easily. He worked his core in the gym almost every day. Here’s how he works his abs:
- Hanging leg raise (4 sets, 30 reps)
- Sit-up (4 sets, 30 reps) (4 sets, 30 reps)
- Lying leg raise (4 sets, 30 reps)
Sunday – Rest
On Sunday, Matt Mendenhall let his body rest and his muscles heal.
This is all about Matt Mendenhall Workout Routine.
Matt Mendenhall Diet
Matt always ate simple, clean meals. He ate mostly lean proteins and vegetables and kept his diet and eating habits simple. He thought of food as fuel that helped him work hard in the gym and helped his body heal.
Here is Matt Mendenhall’s diet:
- Protein shake
- Small banana
- Apple juice
- A piece of fruit, like an apple or banana
- Grilled fish or chicken
- Steamed vegetables
- Grilled fish or chicken
- Grilled vegetables
Matt knew a lot about supplements and even used a few of them while he was competing.
- Whey Protein
- Vitamin B
- Vitamin C
Also, read Big Ramy Workout Routine & Diet Plan.
Matt Mendenhall was without a doubt the best bodybuilder who never went pro. His body started to make him want to quit, which cut short his career and made fans sad. Matt died in 2021. His death shocked and saddened people in the bodybuilding world.
Matt is still a favorite bodybuilder of many people. Early in his career, he had some bad luck with his health and was in a car accident. However, his muscle mass and body shape are what people remember and admire.