Build the perfect routine - or make any workout better -— with these tried-and-true training principles, collected by the Master Blaster himself, Joe Weider.
The Weider Principles, a list of weightlifting truisms gathered and honed by the father of bodybuilding Joe Weider, have stood the test of time.
We highly recommend that you use them, too, as you learn and advance your muscle-building efforts.
Bodybuilding Intensity Boosters Weider Principles
Cycle Training
Devote portions of your training year to specific goals for strength, mass or getting cut. This can help decrease your risk of injury and add variety to your routine. Cycle periods of high intensity and low intensity to allow for recovery and spur new gains.
Eclectic Training
Incorporate a diverse selection of variables, such as set, rep and exercise schemes, into your workout. Bodypart routines should utilize both mass-building multijoint moves and single-joint exercises.
Instinctive Training
Experiment to develop an instinct as to what works best for you. Use your training results along with past experiences to constantly fine-tune your program. Go by feel in the gym: If your biceps just don'’t feel like they'’ve recovered from the last workout, do another bodypart that day instead.
Muscle Confusion
Constantly change variables in your workout --— number of sets, number of reps, exercise choice, order of exercises, length of your rest periods --— to avoid getting in a rut and slowing growth.
The Weider Principles
Build the perfect routine - or make any workout better -— with these tried-and-true training principles, collected by the Master Blaster himself, Joe Weider.
YOU MUST TRAIN YOURSELF TO TURN THOUGHT INTO ACTION. THIS IS THE ONLY WAY YOU WILL EVER SEE RESULTS IN YOUR LIFE.
You must train yourself to turn thought into action. This is the only way you will ever see results in your life. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve heard say they’re planning on starting a fitness regimen, that Continue reading.
HOW ARE YOU DOING WITH YOUR NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION?
How are you doing with your New Year’s resolution? If you’re like most people, it was related to your health – lose weight, become more active, tone your body, get healthier. Yet most people also forgo their resolutions by the Continue reading.
DON’T MAKE EXCUSES FOR NOT EXERCISING. MAKE EXERCISING A PRIORITY!
Don’t make excuses for not exercising. Make exercising a priority! I hear the laments all the time: “Oh Joe, I would work out but I just don’t have the time!” “How can I possibly squeeze exercise into my busy schedule?Continue reading.
STRETCHING ISN’T SUPPOSED TO HURT.
Stretching isn’t supposed to hurt. Over the years I’ve seen any number of bodybuilders grimacing in pain as they stretch out before, during and after workouts. While stretching isn’t always easy, especially if you’re doing it right, it should never Continue reading.
IF YOU’RE LOOKING TO REACH AGO, TAKE A PAGE FROM THE BOOK OF ARNOLD.
If you’re looking to reach ago, take a page from the book of Arnold. I’ve known Arnold Schwarzenegger for over 40 years and in that time I have never known a person more driven to succeed than him. Through a Continue reading.
IT’S BETTER TO FEEL GOOD THAN TO LOOK GOOD. YES, I SAID IT.
It’s better to feel good than to look good. Yes, I said it. Now, don’t get me wrong – I have made a career of encouraging people to look their best. In fact, achieving a physical ideal has been a Continue reading.
WHATEVER IT IS YOU’RE LOOKING FOR AS YOU AIM TO REACH YOUR FITNESS GOALS THE ODDS ARE YOU WON’T FIND IT IN A PILL.
Whatever it is you’re looking for as you aim to reach your fitness goals the odds are you won’t find it in a pill. While I’m not implying that there aren’t a number of good supplements on the market I Continue reading.
BE A MENTOR AND HELP GET A YOUNG PERSON SET ON THE PATH TO FITNESS.
Be a mentor and help get a young person set on the path to fitness. When I was a young man I immersed myself in Montreal’s weightlifting community, most of whose members were older than me.  As a matter of Continue reading.
WANT TO BURN FAT AND GET YOUR HEART IN SHAPE? LIFT WEIGHTS!
Want to burn fat and get your heart in shape? Lift weights! Most people think of bodybuilding as an activity that will give you big muscles, maybe some strength, but not much else. Well, I’ve got news for them! 
READ THE LABEL BEFORE BUYING THAT FOOD OR BEVERAGE!
Read the label before buying that food or beverage! So many of us are accustomed to walking into the grocery store and simply pulling packages off the shelves and throwing them in our baskets without checking anything more than the Continue reading.
PROTEIN IS ESSENTIAL FOR BUILDING, AND REBUILDING, THE BODY. BUT WHILE TOO LITTLE CAN BE A BAD THING, SO CAN TOO MUCH.
Protein is essential for building, and rebuilding, the body. But while too little can be a bad thing, so can too much. The trick is finding the right amount for you. Protein is one of the three macronutrients (the others  Continue reading.
YOU ARE GREATER THAN THE SUM OF YOUR PARTS, BUT YOU SHOULDN’T FORGET TO PAY ATTENTION TO EACH OF THOSE PARTS TO CREATE A GREAT SUM.
You are greater than the sum of your parts, but you shouldn’t forget to pay attention to each of those parts to create a great sum. There are lots of options for the person looking to get into shape these Continue reading.
THERE’S NO TIME LIKE THE PRESENT TO BEGIN YOUR FITNESS ROUTINE. NOT TOMORROW, NOR EVEN NEXT WEEK. NOW!
There’s no time like the present to begin your fitness routine. Not tomorrow, nor even next week. NOW! As humans we tend to procrastinate. I know – I’ve been there myself. However, if I may belabor an old axiom, none Continue reading.
Intensity Boosters
Continuous Tension
Don'’t allow a given muscle to rest at the top or bottom of a movement. Control both the positive and negative portions of a rep and avoid momentum to maintain constant tension throughout the entire range of motion.
Flushing Training
Train one bodypart with multiple exercises (3-–4) before you train another. The "flushing"” is your body sending a maximum amount of blood and muscle-building nutrients to that area to best stimulate growth.
Holistic Training
Use numerous training techniques (low and high reps, faster and slower speeds, and alternate exercises) to stimulate maximum muscle fibers. Don'’t always approach exercises with the same 6-–10-repetition sets; try lightening the load and going for 20 reps in some training sessions to build endurancerelated muscle fibers.
Isolation Training
This is a technique designed to work individual muscles without involving adjacent muscles or muscle groups. A pressdown for triceps (rather than a close-grip bench press) is an example of an isolation movement.
Iso-Tension
Between sets (or even between workouts), flex and hold various muscles for 6-–10 seconds, keeping them fully contracted before releasing. Competitive bodybuilders use this technique to enhance their posing ability through increased muscle control.
Muscle Priority
Hit your weakest bodypart first in a workout or bodypart split, when you can train with more weight and intensity because your energy level is higher.
Peak Contraction
Squeeze your contracted muscle isometrically at the endpoint of a rep to intensify effort. Hold the weight in the fully contracted position for up to two seconds at the top of an exercise.
Progressive Overload
To continue making gains, your muscles need to work harder in a progressive manner from one workout to the next. During most of your training cycle, try to increase your weights each session, do more reps or sets, or decrease your rest periods between sets.
Pyramid Training
Incorporate a range of lighter to heavier weights for each exercise. Start light with higher reps (12-15) to warm up the muscle, then gradually increase the weight in each successive set while lowering your reps (6-–8). You could also reverse the procedure --— moving from high weight and low reps to low weight and high reps, aka a reverse pyramid.
The Weider Principles
Build the perfect routine - or make any workout better -— with these tried-and-true training principles, collected by the Master Blaster himself, Joe Weider.
WHETHER IT’S A TRAINING PARTNER A REGULAR SPOTTER OR A PERSONAL TRAINER, HAVING SOMEONE TO SUPPORT YOUR BODY RESHAPING EFFORTS IS OFTEN A GOOD IDEA, ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU’RE JUST STARTING OUT.
Whether it’s a training partner a regular spotter or a personal trainer, having someone to support your body reshaping efforts is often a good idea, especially when you’re just starting out. The main problem I’ve seen with most new trainees Continue reading.
SOME SAY THAT WHEN IT COMES TO ALTERING YOUR BODY COMPOSITION (AS IN LOSING FAT AND ADDING MUSCLE), DIET IS 75% OF THE BATTLE.
Some say that when it comes to altering your body composition (as in losing fat and adding muscle), diet is 75% of the battle. Some put it at 60% and others still put it at over 80%. Whatever the number, Continue reading 
SURE, I’LL BE THE FIRST TO TELL YOU THAT CONSISTENCY IS ESSENTIAL TO ACHIEVING CHANGE IN YOUR BODY.
Sure, I’ll be the first to tell you that consistency is essential to achieving change in your body. For as long as I can remember I’ve preached the importance of staying focused, with your eye on the prize, and making Continue reading.
WHILE I’M SURE YOU’RE FAMILIAR WITH THE UNDENIABLE BENEFITS EXERCISE CAN HAVE ON YOUR BODY, DID YOU KNOW THAT IT CAN ALSO BE HIGHLY BENEFICIAL TO YOUR MENTAL FUNCTION, HELPING KEEP YOUR MIND SHARPER, ALERT AND RELAXED?
While I’m sure you’re familiar with the undeniable benefits exercise can have on your body, did you know that it can also be highly beneficial to your mental function, helping keep your mind sharper, alert and relaxed? It’s true. In Continue reading 
DEVOTE A DAY A WEEK TO TRAINING YOUR WEAK PARTS.
Devote a day a week to training your “weak parts.” It’s easy to devote time to training your strengths. If you have powerful legs you’ll probably find yourself devoting time to them before another bodypart. Likewise, if you are in Continue reading. 
PAY ATTENTION TO ALL ASPECTS OF YOUR EXERCISE FORM. A BREAK IN GOOD FORM CAN LEAD TO A LOSS IN PRODUCTIVITY OR WORSE, INJURY.
Pay attention to all aspects of your exercise form. A break in good form can lead to a loss in productivity or worse, injury. Take, for example, as basic an exercise as the squat. On the surface it seems like Continue reading.
IF YOU DON’T LOVE WHAT YOU’RE DOING, THEN FIGURE A WAY TO DO WHAT YOU LOVE.
If you don’t love what you’re doing, then figure a way to do what you love. There’s absolutely no need for you to stick with an exercise program that isn’t thrilling you because there are so many options available to Continue reading.
Advanced Training Techniques
Supersets 
Perform sets of two exercises for the same or different muscle groups back-to-back with no rest in between.
Tri-Sets
Perform three consecutive exercises for one muscle group in nonstop sequence.
Giant Sets
Four or more exercises for one muscle group performed in back-to-back fashion without rest in between.
Burns
Continue a set past the point at which you can lift a weight through a full or even partial range of motion with a series of rapid partial reps. Do this as long as your muscles can move the weight, even if only a few inches.
Cheating 
Use momentum (a slight swing of the weight) to overcome a sticking point as you fatigue near the end of a set. While doing heavy barbell curls, for example, you might be able to perform only eight strict reps to failure. A subtle swing of the weight or a slightly faster rep speed may help you get 1-2 additional reps. For advanced bodybuilders only.
Descending or Drop Sets
After completing your reps in a heavy set, quickly strip an equal amount of weight from each side of the bar or select lighter dumbbells. Continue to do reps until you fail, then strip more weight off to complete even more reps.
Forced Reps
Have a training partner assist you with reps at the end of a set to help you train past the point of momentary muscular failure. Your training partner will lift the bar with just enough force to get you past the sticking point.
Negatives
Resist the downward motion of a very heavy weight. For example, on the bench press, use a weight that's 15%-25% heavier than you can typically handle, and fight the negative as you slowly lower the bar to your chest. Have your partner assist with the positive portion of the rep.
Partial Reps
Do reps involving only a partial range — at the top, in the middle or at the bottom — of a movement.
Pre-Exhaustion
Pre-exhaust a muscle with a single-joint exercise before performing a multijoint movement. In leg training, you can start with leg extensions (which target the quads) before a set of squats (which also work the glutes and hamstrings).
Rest-Pause
Take brief rest periods during a set of a given exercise to squeeze more reps out of a set. Use a weight you can lift for 2-3 reps, rest as long as 20 seconds, then try for another 2-3 reps. Take another brief rest and go again for as many reps as you can handle, and repeat one more time.
TO MAXIMIZE MUSCLE BUILDING PAY ATTENTION TO THE CADENCE OF YOUR REPS.
To maximize muscle building pay attention to the cadence of your reps. A lot of us take rep speed for granted, but what you should know is that it matters how fast you perform each rep, and even how fast Continue reading. 
DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME DOING SIT-UPS. THERE ARE FAR MORE PRODUCTIVE WAYS TO TRAIN YOUR ABS.
Don’t waste your time doing sit-ups. There are far more productive ways to train your abs. I’ve never been a fan of sit-ups and recent studies have shown that not only are they not very effective for working your abs,Continue reading.
REMEMBER TO TAKE YOUR EYES OFF THE MONITOR AND LEAVE YOUR DESK SEVERAL TIMES A DAY.
Remember to take your eyes off the monitor and leave your desk several times a day. I’ve been as guilty as anyone for having not heeded this bit of advice. While I don’t use a computer (I am 88, after Continue reading.
BEWARE OVERTRAINING!
Beware overtraining! For some the thought of training too much may be near impossible to fathom, but for those of us who can’t imagine a day in which they didn’t perform some form of physical activity, overtraining is a real Continue reading.
YOU ARE UNIQUE AND CANNOT BE MEASURED ACCORDING TO THE STANDARDS OF OTHERS.
You are unique and cannot be measured according to the standards of others. Every single one of us has their own specific set of physical strengths and weaknesses, tolerances and intolerances. Our culture would have us believe that every woman Continue reading.
UNLESS YOU’RE TRAINING TO BE A BODYBUILDER, LIMIT THE NUMBER OF ISOLATION EXERCISES YOU PERFORM IN FAVOR OF COMPOUND MOVEMENTS.
Unless you’re training to be a bodybuilder, limit the number of isolation exercises you perform in favor of compound movements. An isolation exercise is one in which you primarily use a single muscle group to lift a weight. For example, Continue reading.
MAKE A POINT OF WALKING WHENEVER YOU CAN.
Make a point of walking whenever you can. We’ve gotten to a point in our lives where we almost instinctively look for the path of least resistance. When we go the the mall we would rather wait in our cars Continue reading.
DO NOT MISTAKE MUSCULARITY WITH HEALTH.
Do not mistake muscularity with health. While the work required to attain strong muscles may well lead to good health, a fit-looking body does not necessarily equate an optimally functioning body. Unfortunately I have known plenty of bodybuilders who, while Continue reading.
TO BELT, OR NOT TO BELT? THAT IS THE QUESTION.
To belt, or not to belt? That is the question. Whereas once upon a time it was de riguer to wear a lifting belt from the moment you stepped into a gym until you hit the lockerroom after training, these Continue reading.
YOU CAN NEVER HAVE THE PHYSIQUE YOU WANT WITHOUT FIRST BUILDING A SOLID FOUNDATION.
You can never have the physique you want without first building a solid foundation. Like a contractor building a house, you must construct your creation from the ground up. I’m sure you couldn’t imagine beginning construction on a house without  Continue reading.
WHATEVER IT IS YOU’RE LOOKING FOR AS YOU AIM TO REACH YOUR FITNESS GOALS THE ODDS ARE YOU WON’T FIND IT IN A PILL.
Whatever it is you’re looking for as you aim to reach your fitness goals the odds are you won’t find it in a pill. While I’m not implying that there aren’t a number of good supplements on the market I Continue reading.
TRAIN LARGER MUSCLE GROUPS FIRST, THEN SMALLER ONES.
Train larger muscle groups first, then smaller ones. If you want to get the most out of your workouts you need to structure them accordingly. This means beginning with larger bodyparts and working your way down to smaller ones. The Continue reading.
YOU MUST TRAIN YOURSELF TO TURN THOUGHT INTO ACTION. THIS IS THE ONLY WAY YOU WILL EVER SEE RESULTS IN YOUR LIFE.
You must train yourself to turn thought into action. This is the only way you will ever see results in your life. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve heard say they’re planning on starting a fitness regimen, that Continue reading.
HOW ARE YOU DOING WITH YOUR NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION? IF YOU’RE LIKE MOST PEOPLE, IT WAS RELATED TO YOUR HEALTH
How are you doing with your New Year’s resolution? If you’re like most people, it was related to your health – lose weight, become more active, tone your body, get healthier. Yet most people also forgo their resolutions by the Continue reading.
CAN’T GET TO A GYM? NO PROBLEM. SO LONG AS YOU HAVE A BODY, YOU CAN EXERCISE.
Can’t get to a gym? No problem. So long as you have a body, you can exercise. I often hear how some people don’t have the time to get to the gym, or can’t afford a Can’t get to a gym? No problem. So long as you have a body, you can exercise.
CAN’T GET TO A GYM? NO PROBLEM. SO LONG AS YOU HAVE A BODY, YOU CAN EXERCISE.
I often hear how some people don’t have the time to get to the gym, or can’t afford a gym membership. Fair enough. But while these may be reasons not to go to a gym, they are not reasons to not exercise.
It’s possible to work every major muscle group of the body without lifting a weight or pulling on a cable. By using your bodyweight as resistance you can eliminate the need for equipment as you tone your muscles and enhance your health.
Between pushups and chins you’ll find no better 1-2 punch when it comes to working the entire upper torso and arms. Scissor kicks, crunches and lying leg raises are excellent abdominal builders. Deep knee bends, walking lunges and wall sits are excellent for building thighs. Single leg raises off a step work the calves and the plank, a Pilates movement, is excellent for developing the core muscles.
Now you have no excuse for not exercising!
HOW ARE YOU DOING WITH YOUR NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION? IF YOU’RE LIKE MOST PEOPLE, IT WAS RELATED TO YOUR HEALTH
How are you doing with your New Year’s resolution? If you’re like most people, it was related to your health – lose weight, become more active, tone your body, get healthier. Yet most people also forgo their resolutions by the time February rolls around. But you’re not most people, are you?
This is why I’m here to remind you to stick with the plan. See your way into February and I believe by that point you won’t have any trouble keeping your New Year’s promise to yourself.
By my reckoning it takes a good month of sticking with a routine before it becomes force of habit. Because so many people drop their fitness plans before February begins they never get “hooked” by it. It often takes a solid month of sticking with a training and diet regimen to see and feel the kind of benefits that will make you want to stick with it.
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