The Weider Principles - Pt.2


The Foundation of Modern Bodybuilding - Joe Weider

Joe Weider - the "father" of modern bodybuilding 

Joe Weider - the "father" of modern bodybuilding 

1)    Holistic Training Principle—It’s a scientific fact that different parts of your muscle cell contain proteins and energy systems that respond to different levels of exercise. Muscular fiber proteins get larger when they are confronted with high-resistance loads. The cell’s aerobic systems (mitochondria) respond to high endurance training. Therefore, to maximize the size of the total muscle cell, you must do a variety of repetitions, from low to high. For instance, the first set of an exercise do 15 reps, second set 10, third set eight, final set six reps.

2)    Cycle Training Principle—During one part of your training year, you should construct routines for mass and strength. Other times, you should lower your weights, increase your repetitions, and train with less rest between sets (quality training). In this way, you will avoid injuries, provide variety and keep progressing.

3)    ISO-Tension Training Principle—Perhaps my most revered principle is ISO-Tension. It’s also my most misunderstood principle (right up there with forced repetitions). ISO-Tension has to do with muscle control. You can also utilize this principle by flexing a muscle when you are not exercising—just flexing it, holding the peak tension for 3-6 seconds, repeating this procedure about three times. Champions use this method by tensing all their muscles three times weekly, because this constant isometric flexing enables you to neurologically control your muscles better and allows you to bring out muscle separation and peak when you pose in competition.

4)    Cheating Training Principle—Cheating should be viewed, not as a way of removing stress from a muscle, but as a way of increasing it. The whole idea behind bodybuilding is to make your muscles work more, not less. Therefore, you should use cheating methods only to add a rep or two, or perhaps to assist your working muscles by using another body part. Let’s say you are doing a set of concentration curls on a cable system, and you are not quite able to finish your last few repetitions. If you use your free hand to help the exercising arm to squeeze out a couple more reps, that would be judicious use of the Weider Cheating Principle. If, however, you lift your derriere off the bench in an effort to get a couple more reps in the bench press—that’s not judicious use of the Weider Cheating Principle. The first adds to the stress on a muscle; the second diminishes the stress on the muscle.

5)    Tri-Sets Training Principle—When you do three exercises for the same muscle group without a pause between sets, you are doing a tri-set. This technique allows you to pump your muscles rapidly. Since you hit them from three different angles, it’s primarily a shaping technique. Tri-setting emphasizes local muscle endurance recovery factors within the muscle and, as such, is a great technique for increasing vascularity.

6)    Giant Sets Training Principle—A giant set is a series of 4-6 exercises for one muscle group, with little or no rest between them.  Let’s say you’re going to train your chest. You might be doing flat benches, inclines, dips and pullovers. You do one set of flat benches with a 30-second rest, then a set of inclines with a 30-second rest, then a set of dips with a 30-second rest, then a set of pullovers with a 30-second rest. This is one giant set. Doing the sets this way, and repeating this procedure 3-4 times, you will be able to give full effort to each exercise working different parts of the muscle. This gives your chest a balanced development.

7)    Pre-Exhaustion Training Principle—When you work a muscle group to the point of fatigue in its primary motion using an isolation movement, then immediately superset that exercise with a secondary motion using a basic movement, that’s pre-exhaustion. For example, you can pre-exhaust your quadriceps by doing a set of leg extensions and then immediately go into a set of squats, which works the quads even harder than usual by bringing in assisting muscles like the low-back extensors and hip-flexors.

8)    Rest-Pause Training Principle—How can you do a maximum weighted set for every repetition? Rest-pause is the answer. If you do as much weight as you can for 2-3 repetitions, rest 30-45 seconds and squeeze out another 2-3 reps, rest 40-60 seconds and get another two reps, and then rest 60-90 seconds and get 1-2 more reps, you will have done one long set of 7-10 reps that have all been near-maximum repetitions. Rest pause is a strength and size-producing technique

9)    Peak Contraction Training Principle—Peak contraction is a method by which you keep full tension on a working muscle when it is in the fully contracted position. For example, when you do a dumbbell curl you normally lose effective resistance at the top of the motion when you lock out with the weight. To avoid this loss and provide resistance in a position of full muscle contraction, you can lean forward, taking your arm out of the direct line of gravity so that you can never fully lock out. You keep constant tension on your muscles, which in turn helps to peak and striate your biceps

10)         Continuous Tension Training Principle—Momentum can be your muscles’ worst enemy. If you train so fast that you swing your weights through most of their full range of motion, you decrease the work of the muscle. It’s better to train slowly and deliberately, maintaining constant tension on your muscles at all times. This type of training is intense and stimulates the muscle fibers.