Matt Mendenhall Biography, Bodybuilder, Age, Cause of Death, How Did He Die?

Matt Mendenhall is one of the greatest bodybuilder and personal trainer we have in history, despite his illness he didn’t give up on his dream. Saddened to announce that Matt Mendenhall passed away on August 28, 2021.

Sad to hear another bodybuilder passing. RIP Matt Mendenhall. says David St Romain, 61 is way too young. These guys and girls are passing almost on the daily. What’s happening to the sport of bodybuilding, so sad.

Matt Mendenhall cause of death has not been made public.

Matt Mendenhall Biography, Career

Matt Mendenhall was born in Cincinnati, Ohio on May 14, 1960. He attended East High School. He grew up in a family addicted to fitness. It was revealed that two of his siblings are well-known body builders when he was young.

The genetically-blessed Mendenhall suffered from illnesses during his competitive career and on December 8, 1984, he was involved in a car crash that ejected him through the windshield and onto the street.

Apparently, he did not suffer any serious injuries and while he returned to stage on several occasions following the accident, Matt wasn’t quite the same, as was evident by his placings in subsequent competitions.

He’d eventually stop competing to operate a supplement company and then returned to the stage one last time at the 1991 NPC Nationals but finished in a disappointing 5th place.

Not quite long, Matt proved his doctor wrong, he regained full use of his forearm, and packed an impressive amount of muscle mass onto his frame.

Matt (middle) after placing 2nd behind Lee Haney (right).

Matt Mendenhall Age

Matt Mendenhall was 61 years old before he died. When he was 15, a pole vaulting accident almost caused him to have to get his forearm amputated.

Matt Mendenhall contest history:

  • 1978 Mr Ohio High School, 1st
  • 1979 Teenage Mr Ohio, 3rd
  • 1980 Teen Mr. Metropolitan, 1st and Open winner
  • 1980 Mr. Ohio Association, 3rd
  • 1981 Mr Cincinnati 1st,
  • 1981 Buckeye Open, 1st
  • 1982 NPC Nationals, 2nd
  • 1983 NPC Nationals, 4th
  • 1984 NPC Nationals, 2nd
  • 1985 NPC USA Championships, 1st
  • 1985 IFBB World Games, 2nd
  • 1986 NPC Nationals, 2nd
  • 1987 NPC Nationals, 10th
  • 1988 NPC Nationals, 11th
  • 1991 NPC Nationals, 5th

Matt Mendenhall Training

While in his peak, Matt performed anywhere between 6-30 reps in sets of 4-5 depending on the exercise.

He enjoyed training to failure and completing forced reps in every exercise except legs.

Chest (Monday and Thursday)

•   Incline dumbbell press: 5 sets x 6 to 8 reps with 130 lb [59 kg]
•   Flat dumbbell press: 5 x 6 to 8 with 130 lb [59 kg]
•   Flat or incline flies: 5 x 6 to 8 with 70 lb [32 kg]
•   Barbell decline press: 4 x 6 with 340 lb [154 kg]
•   Dumbbell pull–overs: 4 x 10 with 130 lb [59 kg]
•   Cable crossovers: 4 x 10 with 120 lb [55 kg]

Back (Monday and Thursday)

•   Wide–grip chins 4 x 8 to 10
•   T–bar rows: 4 x 8 to 10 with 275 lb [125 kg]
•   Lat pull–downs (front): 4 x 10 with 250 lb [114 kg]
•   Seated rows: 4 x 8 with 250 lb [114 kg]
•   Lat pull–downs (rear): 4 x 10 with 200 lb [91 kg]
•   Hyperextensions: 4 x 12
•   Dumbbell bent–over rows: 4 x 10 with 120 lb [55 kg]
(Note: Deadlifts are a major part of my back training, but I stop doing them about 6 weeks prior to the contest to avoid injury.)

Shoulders (Tuesday and Friday)

•   Behind–neck press: 5 x 8 with 190 lb [86 kg]
•   Side lateral raises: 5 x 8 with 50 lb [23 kg]
•   Rear delt bent–over laterals: 5 x 8 with 80 lb [36 kg]
•   Shoulder shrugs: 5 x 8 with 405 lb [184 kg]
•   Upright rows: 3 x 8 with 145 lb [66 kg]

Biceps (Tuesday and Friday)

•   Standing dumbbell curls: 4 x 8 with 65 lb [29 kg]
•   Preacher curls: 4 x 8 with 120 lb [54 kg]
•   Standing barbell curls: 4 x 8 with 150 lb [68 kg]
•   Concentration dumbbell curls: 4 x 8 with 40 lb [18 kg]

Triceps (Tuesday and Friday)

•   Lying French extensions: 4 x 8 with 140 lb [64 kg]
•   Seated French extensions: 4 x 8 with 130 lb [59 kg]
•   Push–downs: 4 x 8 with 150 lb [68 kg]
•   Dumbbell extensions: 4 x 8 with 40 lb [18 kg]

Forearms (Friday)

•   Reverse curls: 4 x 8 with 100 lb [45 kg]
•   Wrist curls: 4 x 12 with 100 lb [45 kg]

Thighs (Wednesday and Saturday)

•   Squats: 5 x 6 to 10 with 405 to 550 lb [184 to 250 kg]
•   Hack squats: 4 x 8 with 250 lb [114 kg]
•   Leg curls: 5 x 10 with 120 lb [54 kg]
•   Thigh extensions: 5 x 10 with 200 lb [91 kg]
(Note: The last 3 weeks I add 4 sets of front and side lunges for separation.)

Calves (Wednesday and Saturday)

•   Standing calf machine: 5 x 10 with 800 lb [364 kg]
•   Seated calf raises: 5 x 8 with 300 lb [137 kg]
•   Toe raises on leg press: 5 x 10 with 400 lb [182 kg]
•   Donkey raises: 5 x 10 to 12

Abs (Everyday)

•   Hanging leg raises: 4 x 30
•   Sit–ups: 4 x 30
•   Lying leg raises: 4 x 30

Matt Mendenhall Nutrition

When he was competing, Matt would keep his calories at 1800 to get into peak condition. He’d cut out junk food completely from his diet and kept his fat intake as low as possible.

However, unlike other bodybuilders, Matt never counted his carbs. He planned his diet around lean proteins, complex carbs, fruit, and vegetables.

Matt prepared all of his meats and vegetables in a steamer.

Diet Plan

Matt’s diet would’ve looked something like this:

  • Meal 1 – Protein shake with banana, apple juice and ice
  • Meal 2 – Piece of fruit
  • Meal 3 – Fish or chicken with vegetables
  • Meal 4 – Fish or chicken with vegetables

Supplements Stack:

  • Whey Protein
  • Multivitamins
  • Minerals
  • Lecithin
  • Choline
  • Inositol
  • Vitamin B
  • Vitamin C

Matt has taught us to never give up on our dreams, regardless of any events. He still stepped on stage at numerous competitions despite suffering from extremely unfortunate events only weeks before.

One thing we can take away from Matt’s story is that winning trophies isn’t everything in life. Although he placed second on many occasions and didn’t become a professional bodybuilder, he’s still remembered as one of the greatest athletes in the sport’s history.

Funeral and Obituary Arrangements are still pending…

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