“Mr. Genetics” has passed away, for reasons still unknown, at the age of 61.
He is known as the best bodybuilder who ever achieved a professional license. Bad luck and wrong decisions did not allow it. He competed between the 80s and early 90s.
Matt Mendenhall was one of the great bodybuilders on the stage. Matt competed against some of the best bodybuilders in the history of the sport. Going up against greats such as Lee Haney, Berry DeMey, Bob Paris, Mike Christian, Gary Strydom, and many more. Mendenhall became a fan favorite with his good looks and beautiful physique. Matt became a fan favorite due to his well-manicured-looking body. He died in his sleep on August 28, 2021. It remains unknown what caused his death.
Matthew Mendenhall was born on Sunday, June 26, 1960, in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he was raised with his three older brothers Mark, Scott, and Bobby, and his two sisters Robbie and Martha.
The Mendenhall family had undoubtedly been blessed with the gift of excellent genetics. As a teenager, Matt was a great soccer player, and his exceptional physique was being talked about especially among his fellow students. In 1975, while practicing pole vaulting at home, the pole broke, and Matt fell ten feet into the sand pit, causing a double compound fracture of his forearm.
After 16 weeks, it seemed that the arm had healed poorly, and Matt needed physical therapy: the doctors predicted that he would never be able to regain full use of his arm! However, on his recommendation and later following the example of his brother, he started weightlifting. He quickly regained full use of his arm, and after a year, he decided to start powerlifting in earnest, in the basement of his home. At that time it was 1,
In 1978, after a couple of years of powerlifting, in his senior year in high school, Matt was already demonstrating an impressive ability to easily build muscle mass, especially in the legs, and was prompted by a teacher to enter his first bodybuilding competition. , the Mr. High School in Ohio, where at 17 Matt achieved second place. In 1979, he participated in the Mr. Metropolitan in
Cincinnati, winning the overall Teen Title, Upper Class, Best Power, Most Muscular, and the Open Men’s Division! In collaboration with his brother Mark, he opened a gym in Cincinnati, which offered a good training environment and a source of income. In 1979, Matt graduated from Ohio University in Applied Sciences,
In 1981, he participated in the Mr. Cincinnati and Mr. Buckeye Estate, and in both competitions, he won the title.
On the night of December 8, 1984, Matt’s hectic life took a sudden turn: on his way to collect material for a bodybuilding seminar he was going to give the next day in Canada, Matt collided with another car driven by a drunk. , and not wearing a seat belt, he was thrown through the windshield and fell into the middle of the street. He was rushed to the hospital and doctors found that he had not broken his neck or back, a phenomenon they could only attribute to his exceptional muscle mass and physical development. Matt was out of the gym for 16 weeks, in which he followed therapy sessions at the Neuromuscular Reeducation Institute.
There were rumors that his career was over, but they lacked Matt’s stamina, and he started training again, holding meetings and seminars, which would keep him busy four days a week for most of the following year … In fact, In 1985, Matt met clients in 48 weeks of the year!
After moving to California from Ohio, it soon became apparent that the Mendenhall’s would have to get used to a new, more public lifestyle. Sometime after the car accident, the pressure became too much for her marriage, and Lori decided to return to her home Ohio. She remarried shortly after their divorce and had two children.
Towards the end of 1985, Matt was convinced to enter the NPC United States Championships and entered the contest in Las Vegas at the last minute. He showed an imposing physique of 103 kg.
He easily won first place heavyweight, which earned him to represent the United States in his class at the 1985 IFBB Word Games in London. By then, Matt was tired from his hectic schedule. His confused body clock, which made it impossible to control his fluid retention, and despite the support and encouragement of his new girlfriend, the glamorous and mediatic Rachel McLish, it was not enough to win those World Games, he was second. place behind Berry DeMey.
Matt resolved not to re-enter a competition when he knew he was in no condition to achieve his best and decides to forgo the upcoming 1985 NPC Nationals. (In hindsight, it is clear, however, that Matt would have won against Phil Williams, by an order of magnitude! The competition in 1985 was not comparable to the three exceptional contests of 1982, 1984 and 1986, that’s the irony of life!)
In 1986, at the NPC Nationals in Atlanta, Matt battled a Gary Strydom who was like never before or since and in the absolute best condition of his career. Equally one thing seemed evident to all the spectators present on the night of the show: Gary’s magnificent physique could not be compared to a superhuman Matt, transcendent in symmetry and proportions, especially in the legs, chest, triceps, and delts.
Jeff Everson would say after the contest, “Matt seems from a different galaxy. He’s too thick and defined.” However, Matt seemed to have reached his peak too late, as most of the points had already been awarded in the pre-judging when for some commenters, he was supposedly still holding water, and Gary got the upper hand. Once again, Matt took second place in the heavyweight category, to the disbelief of his many fans.