Matt Mendenhall was one of the finest bodybuilders known in the history of the sport. He has a lot of honors to his credit and his story is one that fascinates most people. Here’s a peek.
|5 Foot 11 Inches
How Old Is Matt Mendenhall?
Matt Mendenhall was born in 1960 and he died in his sleep on August 28, 2021, at the age of 61. Mendenhall made several appearances during his lifetime and won many awards and titles too. We are going to get to that in a minute.
Strictly speaking, his last appearance on stage is considered to be the one he made when he was 31. But he was persuaded to appear once more for the NPC Nationals in 1991, which is a part of competitive bodybuilding. He came fifth in the competition, which is considered quite respectable.
After his retirement as a bodybuilding legend, Mendenhall shifted base to the southern state of Texas. He started a company for personal training and took it from there.
How Tall Is Matt Mendenhall?
Matt Mendenhall was 5 feet 11 inches or 180 cm tall and weighed 235 to 245 pounds.
Where Is He From?
Mendenhall was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. He came from a family of fitness lovers. In fact, he wasn’t the only one to enter the bodybuilding industry. He had three siblings who were also in the business. And two of them were a part of competitive bodybuilding even when Matt was a kid.
Mendenhall did not take to the bodybuilding industry right away. He moved away from the family tradition and put his efforts into becoming a football player. He was also known to enjoy pole vaulting.
He is popularly considered to be genetically gifted and had a great body that could give the competition a run for their money. And he was able to be so without ever going to the gym, which is quite an accomplishment when you look at where his career took him.
So, it was only a matter of time before he took part in the family tradition of bodybuilding. But his story isn’t without a few hiccups. There were several injuries and illnesses that threatened to hamper his way to greatness.
Matt Mendenhall fell ill two consecutive times, once in 1985 and the next year when he was set to compete in the NPC World Games. The first time, he was jetlagged after taking a flight to London. His body ended up retaining a dangerous level of fluid and cost him the match. He lost to Berry DeMey.
The following year, he came second and the loss was also attributed to illness. His body was under pressure from the toughness of competitive bodybuilding. This was a time he considered giving it up for good.
In the 1987 NPC Nationals, he came 10th, and the next year, things got even worse as he placed 11th. This was his worst placement on the chart throughout his career. And it made him choose retirement.
Following this move, he went to college for three years and studied homeopathic medicine. Easy to see where the motivation came from, isn’t it? After these three years, he started a company making supplements.
What Is Matt Mendenhall’s Ethnicity?
Mendenhall was an American from Ohio.
Is Matt Mendenhall Natural (Natty)
One thing that is greatly discussed when you mention bodybuilder Matt Mendenhall is that he definitely had the body for it. It is also why he is lovingly referred to as Mr. Genetics.
Also, check out ChestBrah’s bodybuilder profile.
He is also known to be one of the few bodybuilders to be as gifted without ever turning pro. He is said to have had a superior body structure which made him one of the best and put him in the league of bodybuilding legends.
Mendenhall won several titles during his career as a bodybuilder. This is just a list of the competitions where he placed first or second.
- 1978, Mr. Ohio High School, first place
- 1980, Teen Mr. Metropolitan, first place (and the Open winner)
- 1981, Mr. Cincinnati, first place
- 1981, Buckeye Open, first place
- 1982, NPC Nationals, second place
- 1984, NPC Nationals, second place
- 1985, NPC USA Championships, first place
- 1985, IFBB World Games, second place
- 1986, NPC Nationals, second place
Matt Mendenhall was known to maintain his calorie intake at 1,800 when he was a competitive bodybuilder. This is said to have helped him stay at his physical peak in the season.
He was known not to consume any kind of junk food, obviously. But he also consumed as little fat as he possibly could. But what sets him apart is that Mendenhall never counted carbs like other bodybuilders.
He kept his diet heavy in vegetables, fruits, complex carbs, and lean proteins. And he was known to cook all his veggies and meats in the steamer.
Experts say that Matt Mendenhall’s diet would have included four meals a day.
The first one had a protein shake with a banana and apple juice with ice. The second meal was just a piece of fruit. And the third and fourth meals would have been chicken or fish with some veggies.
Of course, he took several supplements, including whey proteins, multivitamins, and essential minerals.
Illnesses and Injuries
When he was 15, Mendenhall injured his forearm during a pole vaulting practice session. That was in 1975 and it got serious enough for experts to consider amputating the arm. He was also told that he wouldn’t recover completely.
But with encouragement from his siblings, Matt went to the gym and started using weights under a rehabilitation program. He proved his doctors wrong and not only did the forearm recover, but he also added a whole lot of muscle mass to it.
Then, in 1983, he got the flu just three weeks ahead of the NPC Nationals. He lost a lot of weight, but with encouragement from his parents, he went on stage anyway.
Mendenhall was also in a terrible car crash a year later when he flew out of the front window. He was able to recover, but he lost first place to Mike Christian. However, there was a controversy involving this verdict and it was questioned for many years to follow.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Was His Rarest Success?
Winning the NPC USA Championship in the heavyweight category at the age of 25.
How Did He Die?
It was only made known that he died in his sleep. The cause of death is often speculated.
There are a lot of things to learn from Mendenhall. There are plenty of things to admire about him too. And discipline is just one of those. Now you know that perseverance does triumph, and he’s a great example of that.