10 Important Weider Principles Lifters Need To Know

Joe Weider published his first muscle magazine, Your Physique, when he was 17 years old. He went on to create a lasting legacy as a muscleman and publisher of magazines such as Flex and Muscle & Fitness, as well as an entrepreneur who created and marketed fitness products and sports supplements. Without question, Weider’s influence helped the health and fitness industry find itself in the prominent position it enjoys today.

That said, looking back at some of the claims on the bottle of his workout supplements from the 1960s are laughable today. One weight-gain supplement was said to enable those who consumed it to put on a pound of muscle in just one day. One day!

Since P4 supplements are NSF Certified for Sport — which means the claims on our labels are fact-checked and verified by an outside party —we’d never be able to print that type of nonsense on the label. And we wouldn’t want to. Our mission has always been to be transparent and honest about our products. We put countless hours into creating workout supplements for serious and dedicated athletes so that each one tastes as great as it works. And then we take another step — and happily pay another fee — to obtain an NSF Certified for Sport certification that puts you at ease. That way, when we say Pre Game Formula and Energy Formula can help boost your energy levels, which can in turn aid intensity during a workout, that’s because those supplements can do that. Additionally, when we tell you that Recovery Push Formula was engineered to aid your body’s recovery through rehydration, electrolytes, and vitamins, that’s true too. But in the end, YOU have to lift the weight. YOU have to run the sprints. YOU have to do the reps to get the results you desire.

And that leads us back to the Weider Principles, which were essentially a list of Weider’s tips and methods about training, health, and fitness. Reminding yourself of what “ The Master Blaster” came up with decades ago can support your training so the strength and muscle gains keep on coming. Here are 10 of our favorites …

#1. Muscle Confusion

Switch up elements of your workouts on a consistent basis. From the number of sets and reps you execute to exercise selection to the length of your rest periods and exercise order — changing your approach prevents your body from adapting. In turn, this leads you, the lifter, from running into stagnation.

#2. Instinctive Training

Use experimentation to decide which approach works best for you, and if you have a gut feeling about something, follow it. Have bad knees or a bad back? Heavy squats or deadlifts aren’t a wise idea. You probably know this as you walk up to the bar, but may not be willing to listen to your body’s messages. Bad move. If you’re not in tune with your body or your gut instinct, you’re all but certain to find yourself on the sidelines.

#3. Muscle Priority

Pinpoint your body’s weakness and hit those areas first in your workout. Doing so will put you in a better position to attach the weights with more zest than you’d be able to employ later in the workout.

#4. Peak Contraction

When you squeeze your muscle at its peak contraction — the apex of the movement —it’ll add intensity to the rep and make the muscle work harder. Give it a try next time: with biceps curls, for example, when you reach the top of the rep squeeze (or flex) for a second before lowering the weight back to the start position with control. You’ll be surprised to see how that small tweak can exhaust the muscle.

#5. Superset: 

perform two exercises back to back without rest in between.

#6. Tri-set: 

exercises performed back to back to back without rest in between.

#7. Giant set: 

four or more exercises performed back to back to back to back without rest in between.

#8. Negatives

Focus on the downward motion of the rep as much as you focus on the upward motion. The technical terms are the eccentric (negative) and concentric (positive) contractions.

#9. Pre-Exhaustion

Using a single-joint movement (i.e. leg extensions) prior to a compound movement (i.e. squats) forces the muscle to work harder to complete the multijoint movement and thus, will lead to greater strength gains. However, pre-exhausting a muscle also means you’ll likely need to use less weight to execute reps with proper form.

#10. Rest-Pause

Giving yourself a small break when you’re completely gassed — say, for 15 or 20 seconds — and then lifting the weight again for two to three more reps can overload the muscle and lead to greater strength and muscle mass gains.