Review: Andreas Münzer - The Real Workout DVD
A Tribute to a Lean Bodybuilding Legend
After finishing the article, I feel compelled to add this preface:
This is probably a far too in-depth analysis of this short DVD.
I feel the need to warn you in case I come off as some sort of basement-dwelling, armchair bodybuilding dork.
All I can say is that I got a little too engrossed and got caught up—possibly adding more detail than was necessary.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy this review and synopsis of the late Andreas Münzer.
Oh yeah, and don’t forget to leave a comment, too.
Yesterday, I watched ‘Andreas Münzer’s, The Real Workout DVD.’
I had never heard of the guy and was even more intrigued when I searched his name on google.
Allegedly the leanest bodybuilding competitor to date, dedicated to the nth degree, and regularly practicing extreme dieting and training habits.
And in the end—it killed him.
I had to know more.
What I did find ultimately left me somewhat unsatisfied, as I felt like I could find little on his actual training and dieting regimen.
If someone who reads this is knowledgeable on the topic, I would love to hear from you.
However, when I discovered through a forum discussion of his untimely demise that he had filmed a DVD just prior to his death, the hole in my curiosity was filled.
And before I give a brief blurb with regards to who he is and get on to the review, let me tell you why I felt the need to purchase this bodybuilding DVD in the first place.
I love bodybuilding, and as a result, I must look under all stones in the bodybuilding forest.
This rings true for almost all of my interests.
I’m not sure why, exactly.
It’s just my nature.
I’ve got to see all that’s out there.
Life & Career Overview
Andreas Münzer was born in 1964 and grew up in Graz, Austria—the same town the infamous Arnold Schwarzenegger is from.
He was also a huge fan of Schwarzenegger, who served as one of his primary influences regarding his keen desire to enter the world of bodybuilding.
Münzer began competing in bodybuilding in 1986, competing in the European Amateur Championships Middleweight Class, where he took 6th place.
Just two years later, he took 3rd place in the World Amateur Championships in 1988, qualifying for the IFBB Pro Circuit.
Shortly thereafter, Andreas made his Pro Debut at the IFBB Mr. Olympia, placing 13th and officially presenting himself as a serious contender.
As he delved headfirst into professional bodybuilding, Münzer quickly built up a reputation for the level of conditioning he’d bring to every single show.
Not only did he come to each contest peeled to the bone, but he would also stay relatively close to this level of conditioning throughout the off-season.
After making a name for himself at the Olympia, Münzer won his first content in 1989 at the World Games, winning the HeavyWeight Divison.
Following this, and throughout the rest of his career, Münzer ultimately did not win any other major bodybuilding competitions.
Yet, in spite of this, Münzer was held in high regard by his fellow competitors.
His level of impeccable conditioning and exceptional posing routines earned him substantial recognition and a degree of respect amongst all professional bodybuilders.
During his last two competitions in 1996, Münzer was regularly experiencing abdominal pain, alongside aches in his muscles.
On March 12th, 1996, the pain become so unbearable that Münzer finally decided to admit himself to the hospital.
After an assessment of his condition took place, Münzer was quickly wheeled off to emergency surgery—his internal organs were bleeding.
As the operation began, his liver and kidneys failed, causing his condition to become too severe for a life-saving blood transfusion.
The ensuing autopsy cited dystrophic multiple organ failure as the cause of death.
He was 31 years old.
For a full analysis of his autopsy, go here.
Below, I’ve quoted the most notable details.
1) An extremely muscular body with almost ZERO subcutaneous fat. If you don't know, fat is essential for the human body's survival.
2) The liver was infected with table-tennis-ball sized tumors. Half the liver was no better than pulpy plastic.
3) His liver weighed 2.9 kilograms, almost a kilo heavier than a normal male's liver weighing in at 2 kilograms. Bile ducts in the liver were also proliferated and had stopped functioning.
4) Lungs had gone into shock.
5) Kidneys had no fat whatsoever and were swollen to immense proportions.
6) His heart was also enlarged and weighed in at an astonishing 639 grams. A normal man's heart weighs about 300 grams.
7) His testicles were shrunken beyond belief.
8) His electrolyte balance was out of whack. Traces of as many as 20 odd drugs were found in his blood.
Philosophy & Professional Accomplishments
Nutrition & Training Practices
Münzer believed in long, high-volume workouts, that were also done with immense intensity—taking muscles to failure during their last set with the help of a partner.
High volume pump-style training with moderate weights, paired with absolute muscular failure near the end.
His workouts seemed to include every possible exercise for a body part, coupled with 4+ sets and 8 or more reps, and then taking it to failure at the end.
A typical leg day looked like this:
Squats, 4 sets of 8-12 reps
Hack squats, 4 sets of 8-12 reps
Leg extensions, 4 sets of 8-12* reps
Lunges, 4 sets of 8-12 reps
Lying leg curls, 4 sets of 8-12* reps
Seated leg curls, 4 sets of 8-12* reps
Standing leg curls, 4 sets of 8-12* reps
*Indicates 3-4 forced reps past failure.
In my opinion, it is clear that no normal human could make this training style effective week after week without completely draining their body, alongside training drug-free.
Regarding his nutritional needs, Münzer would consume upwards of 6,000 to 8,000+ calories per day, choosing lean meats and clean carbohydrate sources like rice and potatoes.
Prior to a contest, Münzer would bring his calorie intake down to ~2000 or so, in addition to adding fat burners and specific cutting agents to his supplement and drug protocol.
He liked to only stay a few pounds away from contest shape to make the cutting process as short as possible.
Finally, Münzer would compete at sub-5% body fat, which he achieved in company with potentially dangerous doses of diuretics, stimulants, anabolics, and his aforementioned yo-yo diet style.
Weight: 239 - 245 lbs (108 - 111 kg)
Arms: 21 inches (53 cm)
Chest: 58 inches (147 cm)
Height 5’ 9” - 69 inches (175 cm)
European Amateur Championships MiddleWeight, 1986, 6th
World Amateur Championships Light-HeavyWeight, 1987, 3rd
World Amateur Championships Light-HeavyWeight, 1988, 3rd
Mr. Olympia, 1989, 13th – IFBB Pro Debut
World Games HeavyWeight, 1989, 1st
Arnold Classic, 1990, 3rd
Grand Prix Germany, 1990 3rd
Mr. Olympia, 1990, 9th
Arnold Classic, 1991 9th
Ironman Pro Invitational, 1991 3rd
Mr. Olympia, 1991, Didn’t place
Pittsburgh Pro Invitational, 1991, 4th
Arnold Classic, 1993, 7th
Grand Prix Germany, 1993 (2) 2nd
Grand Prix Germany, 1993 4th
Night of Champions, 1993, 2nd
Mr. Olympia, 1993, 9th
Arnold Classic, 1994, 5th
Grand Prix France, 1994, 8th
Grand Prix Germany, 1994, (2) 5th
Mr. Olympia, 1994 9th
Arnold Classic, 1995, 4th
Arnold Classic, 1996, 6th
San Jose Pro Invitational, 1996, 7th
I found this Instagram account that has quite a few photos of him if you’d like to see more than what you’d find with a Google image search.
Andreas Münzer The Real Workout - Review
Ideation & Delivery
Münzer filmed the video just prior to his tragic death in 1996.
From what I understand at the time of filming, Münzer was now competing as a bodybuilder full-time and was just beginning to build up a personal brand and create informational products around his name.
He makes a point to note at the beginning of the DVD that he is filming this video because he loves bodybuilding, not because he wants to simply make money from his hobby and passion.
Sadly, it seems like The Real Workout would probably have been the first of many Münzer bodybuilding products.
It’s worth noting that the video also feels incomplete—something I touch on later.
The video alternates almost exclusively through two different shots and runs for just a few minutes under an hour.
The first is a shot of Münzer sitting on a stool, discussing the topic(s) at hand, whereas the second is Münzer busting his ass in the gym, demonstrating the workouts.
There are a few cameos from a doctor as well—more on that below.
I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I purchased this, other than the fact that I really wanted to know what Münzer’s workout routine was, and I really wanted to know what his nutrition strategy was.
While I have basically solidified my own philosophies regarding both, I thought that there would probably be something I could learn from the man.
The guy was a specimen and is still to this day regarded as such.
The video begins with Münzer introducing himself, beginning his discussion of the sport of bodybuilding, and then pans over to the first workout he is going to walk us through.
The DVD sticks to this format throughout its entirety, moving back and forth between Münzer in the studio and then back to the gym, observing his workout while giving commentary.
He walks us through three different workouts and an aerobics session at the end—unfortunately, not all body parts were covered—and describes his bodybuilding philosophy, training strategies, and tips as he does so.
He starts with the back, moves on to the triceps, then legs, and finally finishes up with cardio.
After a bit more than halfway, there is a short aside by a German doctor who explains the benefits of inhaling oxygen through an oxygen tank in between sets.
We see Münzer doing this between sets a few times, and then the doctor jumps in to explain why he is doing so.
It seems like a cross between an advertisement for the oxygen tank and a justification for its usage, probably in case the behavior is interpreted as strange by any viewers.
In fact, the oxygen tank was no ordinary oxygen tank.
It was a Weider brand oxygen tank.
That definitely caught my eye.
Finally, the DVD wraps up with some closing comments by Münzer, stating that you’ve just seen his approach to bodybuilding, alongside how happy he is to have ultimately turned his favorite sport and passion into a career.
The video closes with one last workout montage before we see the credits roll.
What I Liked
Overall, I enjoyed the video.
The delivery style works very well, and it is very fortunate that Münzer was able to record this before his untimely demise.
What’s best about this video is that he thoroughly explains why he does what he does, with regards to his training method.
What I Didn’t Like
The primary issue I have with this DVD is that it felt incomplete.
But first, before I continue: Don’t get me wrong here, I believe it’s fantastic that we have this piece of Münzer memorabilia in the first place, and I’m aware that this review won’t somehow change the contents.
Rather, I want to represent what I believe is lacking, and illustrate the difference between the actual contents and my expectations.
Continuing the discussion…
What Münzer does show us and discuss, he goes over in great detail.
However, it seems like several topics are left out.
Whether that is by design, or they didn’t get the chance to finish filming, I’m not sure.
In the same way, the description of what the DVD contains is inaccurate.
In other words, the video is not a detailed overview of his training and nutrition regimen and instead appears to have been filmed as some sort of promotional piece.
That, or as I alluded to above, they just didn’t get the chance to finish filming.
I say this because when you read the description on the back of the box, that’s what it seems like you’re going to get, but you don’t.
So what do you get?
Andreas Münzer The Real Workout - Takeaway & Application
The primary things we learn from the video are this:
His exercise selection for his back workout, triceps workout, and leg workout.
The order he performs the exercises in.
Why he selects the exercises he does.
What, why, and how, to avoid injuries and apply safety measures with regards to each exercise.
How exercises can sometimes be performed differently or with more success depending on one’s proportions.
Why and when he inhales oxygen while resting in between sets.
What aerobic exercises he likes, when he does them, why he uses certain machines, and why he occasionally inhales oxygen while doing so.
It’s a fun video, yet, as you can see, a lot is missing.
This is why I wouldn’t necessarily consider it as a true overview of what he does, nor consider it a serious instructional video.
With that said, I would label this as a fun promotional piece that illustrates who Münzer is in the world of bodybuilding.
However, if we choose to consider this video as a serious instructional piece of content as described, it’s missing quite a bit:
Discussion of volume.
Discussion of sets and reps.
Elaboration on workout intensity.
Length of workouts.
Length of aerobic sessions, and how often—though he does mention that he only uses his oxygen take for only 2 to 3 of his aerobic sessions per week, however many there are.
Discussion of his workout regimen as a whole—broad view of his weekly schedule, rest days, body part split, time of day he trains, when he eats, etc.
Nutritional information and strategies—this topic is unfortunately never discussed, despite its placement on the DVD summary.
Recovery & Life Balance.
I’m sure I may be overlooking something, but I don’t need to belabor the point.
If it was a true overview, it’s unfortunately incomplete.
The Key Takeaways
(1) Exercise Selection & Order
In my opinion, this is the best part of the video.
Münzer describes in detail why he does each exercise, how it is hitting the body part, what its place in the routine is, and how to perform the exercise in the most optimal way.
I’ll elaborate on this in the future if you guys are interested and I am asked, but I’ll give one example.
Münzer states that he does lunges not because they’re a good exercise for building mass, but because of what they do aesthetically to the appearance of the legs.
Because of this aesthetic effect, which he states is superior muscle separation, he believes they are especially important to do if one plans to compete.
This is something I’ve actually heard before from a YouTube video years ago, yet didn’t think much of it at the time.
The thought somehow emerged up from the depths of my subconscious when he mentioned it.
The video was one of Beastmode Jones’ leg day workouts, however, I can’t remember the exact one.
(2) Research & Experimentation
The next takeaway from this video is that success in bodybuilding means experimenting with all available variables.
Although physiologically we are all quite similar, we do all have our own subtle differences.
While following the same cookie-cutter workout routine may usually provide all-around good results for most, it’s likely that there are changes one can make to improve results per their own body, personal preferences, and needs.
A simple example of this would be forgoing the barbell back squat in favor of the leg press because of a difference in leg leverage, height, and overall comfort during performance.
(3) Life Balance & Moderation
This isn’t something that is actually discussed in the DVD.
It is something I found is implicitly implied, primarily in hindsight.
First, I felt like Münzer included far too many exercises in each workout.
His routines would most likely deliver poor results for a natural bodybuilder.
Second, and this may not necessarily be true, but I still think it is worth noting—have a life outside of the gym.
Münzer states that bodybuilding is his life, and to be fair, he has turned it into his career.
Plus, for all I know, he may have had a very active and rich life outside of the gym.
Yet, given the circumstances of his death and extreme behavior, it does give the impression that it was everything in his life.
Now, there is nothing wrong with that per se—we should all do what we enjoy, and his dedication, discipline, and passion are what make champions win gold medals.
I’m all for it and believe it is necessary to truly be the best.
In fact, from what I understand, this isn’t even uncommon in the world of athletics.
I remember learning about Goldman’s Dilemma in high school.
So, take what I’m about to say here with a grain of salt, as it is really a personal opinion and could be why I’m not currently an Olympic athlete.
I believe one should make a point to cultivate at least some other personal interests and outlets, outside of their primary hobbies and how they spend the majority of their time.
Obviously, there are stages in life where one part of your life needs to be prioritized over others, but I think it wise to be able to enjoy a different activity or aspect of life every once in a while.
Forget about your main focus—even if just for an hour—then come back to it refreshed and perhaps with some new insights.
Are There Any Notable Comparisons to Other Products or Informational Pieces?
I’m including this section for context and the off chance that someone wants to know if there are other similar bodybuilding informational pieces.
I can only think of two off the top of my head, but it is kind of comparable to Richard Sullivan’s Workout Ph.D., an indie bodybuilding DVD, and, with a big stretch, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s book, Arnold: The Education of a Bodybuilder.
I plan to review Sullivan’s DVD fairly soon, so you’ll hear more on that later.
I’m a big fan of one of Richard Sullivan’s books, so I had to of course hear everything he had to say.
As I said, I’m a dork, and I like this stuff.
In brief, what makes Sullivan’s DVD similar is that they both review exercise technique, selection, form, and performance in a somewhat similar manner.
With regards to Schwarzengger’s book, they’re really only similar in the sense that they are both promotional pieces of their ‘Professional Bodybuilding Persona.’
As I said, it’s a stretch.
But they are comparable.
Where to go if you Want Your Own Copy
If you’d like to get a copy yourself, I just typed, ‘Andreas Munzer The Real Workout DVD,’ into google shopping and wound up at an eBay listing, where I purchased it for $14 bucks or so.
I did see it was also available on Amazon’s Germany marketplace if you want to go that route.
It looked like there were a handful of vendors selling it all across the web though, so it isn’t hard to get.
To wrap up,
The DVD is enjoyable and is worth your time if you want to milk the bodybuilding informational cow for all it’s got.
Albeit, the description was somewhat misleading with regards to contents.
All in all, it is a piece of bodybuilding history that was fortunately captured before Münzer’s passing and provides some lessons we can apply to our training and lives.
Until next time, friends.
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THE TRAGEDY OF ANDREAS MÜNZER By Peter McGough
The Untold Story Of The Most Shocking Death In The History Of Bodybuilding By Shantanu Prasher
Andreas Münzer from GreatestPhysiques.com
Andreas Münzer from Wikipedia