The legendary Joe Weider created a legacy in the fitness industry that was unparalleled. Aside from being the dominant publisher of bodybuilding and fitness publications (including Muscle & Fitness, Flex, Muscle Builder/Power, Shape, Muscle & Fitness Her’s, Your Physique, Mr. America, and All-American Athlete) he also had a huge role in popularizing weight training in general. When Weider first advocated the use of weights to build muscle and increase health for physique improvement purposes beyond just getting stronger, popular myths like “muscles turning to fat” and becoming “muscle bound” and therefore stiff, slow, and less athletic, were standard beliefs. Very few athletes other than competitive weight lifters and strength performers saw the value in weight training for it’s own sake. Fast forward to today and you’d be hard pressed to find any competitive athlete who is not devoted to a serious resistance training program.
Through his magazines, Weider also advocated and popularized certain training methods. He published and marketed his Weider System of Training which was a collection of training principles and techniques Joe claimed were being constantly used by, and responsible for, all the best physiques of the day. Joe took no small amount of credit for being the “Trainer of Champions” and used his magazines to promote his athletes, various training and nutrition products, and himself. In his signature arms-folded pose that he used for promotions, he even had his face superimposed on an illustration of Mr. America Clancy Ross, and a bust of Mr. Universe Robby Robinson, for the best effect.
Joe did state many times that he did not invent all of the highly marketed Weider System principles, but that they were what he observed many of the top people commonly doing. He became the catalyst for their popularity and use by scores of enthusiastic trainers. Weider was able to organize and make some sense of the would be chaos that training could become by breaking down, defining, and even naming popular approaches and techniques. Soon supersets, forced reps, giant sets, split training, flushing, cheating, super speed reps, and others were common terms heard around most gyms. Many of Joe’s principles are so frequently used today that they’ve become second nature to gym goers. As a tribute to Joe Weider’s creativity and marketing genius, and to recognize him and the many others who contributed to the in-the-trenches, trial and error, lab rat approach to training in search of better gains, Bodysport will be highlighting some of the more popular and potentially effective principles and approaches for you to learn about and even field test in your own training.
Thank you Joe for the inspiration, information, and for telling us all to, “Strive for excellence and exceed yourself!”