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The Weider Principles

Joe Weider, along with his brother Ben, are considered the founding fathers of bodybuilding.  Together they founded the International Federation of Bodybuilders and created competitions like the Mr Olympia, Ms. Olympia and Master’s Olympia.  He is the publisher of several bodybuilding and fitness-related magazines, most notably Muscle & Fitness, Flex, Men’s Fitness and Shape, and is the manufacturer of a line of fitness equipment and fitness supplements.  But perhaps the most important of his contributions to the health and fitness industry is his series of training methods collected over many years, which became widely known as the Weider Principles.

The Weider principles are more like  a guide than a system, assisting you in developing your own personal routine based on your own unique recuperative ability, experience, goals, strengths and weaknesses.  The Weider Principles are grouped into three distinct categories:

  1. Planning Your Training Routine
  2. Arranging Your Exercises In Each Workout
  3. Helping You Perform Each Exercise

This group of principles grows as new training styles and methodologies are developed, but they all started with the concept of splitting your workouts to train specific body parts. The split system, double split system and triple split system, as they became known as, are Joe’s unique contribution to bodybuilding science.

Below is a list of all the principles for each category.  In the near future, we will dive deeper into each individual principle and discuss how it can be used to help you reach your goals. Until then, enjoy the building blocks of bodybuilding science.

WEIDER PRINCIPLES TO HELP YOU PLAN YOUR TRAINING CYCLE

  1. Cycle Training Principle (Dividing your training year into cycles for strength, mass or contest preparation)
  2. Split System Training Principle (Diviving your workout week into upper versus lower body training)
  3. Double or Triple Split Training Principle (Dividing your workout down into two or three training sessions per day)
  4. Muscle Confusion Principle (Constantly varying exercises, sets, reps and weight to avoid muscle accommodation)
  5. Progressive Overload Principle (Increasing any parameter of fitness to make your muscles work harder than they are accustomed to)
  6. Holistic Training Principle (Using a variety of rep/set schemes, intensity and frequency to maximize muscle mass)
  7. Eclectic Training Principle (Using your instincts to combine mass, strength or isolation-refinement training techniques in your workout)
  8. Instinctive Training Principle (Constructing diets, routines, cycles, intensity levels, reps and sets that work best for them based on experience)

WEIDER PRINCIPLES TO HELP YOU ARRANGE YOUR WORKOUT

  1. Set System Training Principle (Performing multiple sets for each exercise)
  2. Superset Training Principle (Alternating opposing muscle group exercises with little rest between sets)
  3. Compound Sets Training Principle (Alternating two exercises for one bodypart with little rest between sets)
  4. Tri-Sets Training Principle (Doing 3 exercises for one muscle group with little rest between sets)
  5. Giant Sets Training Principle (Doing 4-6 exercises for one muscle group with little rest between sets)
  6. Staggered Sets Principle (Performing small muscle group exercises in between large muscle group exercises)
  7. Rest-Pause Principle (Performing 2-3 reps of 85-90 percent of your max for 3-4 sets with little rest between sets
  8. Muscle Priority Principle (Working weaker body parts first in any given workout, or working larger muscle groups first
  9. Pre-Exhaustion Principle (Performing auxillary, isolation exercises for a muscle group before performing primary, compound exercises)
  10. Pyramiding Training Principle (Gradually adding weight and reducing reps for each set of an exercise)
  11. Descending Sets Principle (Reducing the weight for each set of an exercise while keeping reps range the same)

WEIDER PRINCIPLES TO HELP YOU PERFORM EACH EXERCISE

  1. Isolation Principle (All muscles act as stabilizers, synergists, antagonist or protagonist. By making any given muscle the prime mover in any given exercise you’ve “isolated” it as much as possible, and therefore the stress applied to it)
  2. Quality Training Principle (Gradually reducing the rest between sets while still maintaining or increasing the number of reps performed)
  3. Cheating Training Principle (Using momentum to move the weight past the sticking point at the end of a set in order to add stress)
  4. Continuous Tension Principle (Maintaining slow, continuous tension on muscles to maximize muscle fiber involvement)
  5. Forced Reps Training Principle (Assisted reps at the end of a set)
  6. Flushing Training Principle (Doing 3-4 exercises for a bodypart before moving to another bodypart)
  7. Burns Training Principle (2-3 inch, quick movements at the end of a set)
  8. Partial Reps Training Principle (Because of leverage changes throughout any given exercise, it’s sometimes helpful to do partial movements with varying weight in order to derive maximum overload stress for that bodypart)
  9. Retro-Gravity Principle (“Negatives” or “eccentrics” as they’re called, make it possible to get more muscle cells to respond because you can lower about 30-40 percent more weight than you can successfully lift concentrically)
  10. Peak Contraction Principle (Holding the weight through maximum contraction for a few seconds at the completion of a movement)
  11. Superspeed Principle (Compensatory acceleration of movements to stimulate hard-to-reach fast twitch fibers)
  12. Iso-Tension Principle (Method of practicing posing, tensing each muscle maximally for 6-10 seconds for up to a total of 30-44 flexes in a variety of posing positions)
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About The Author

Mind-Muscle

Mind-Muscle, or Jeff Harding, is the admin here at The Mind-Muscle Connection. He has had Mind-Muscle.com for over 5 years, with it home to Mind-Muscle Supplements for the past 4 years. Now, Mind-Muscle.com is all about information and results. Jeff's goal is to provide information to make achieving your goals an easier, more efficient process. He has been training since high school, where he weighed a measly 165. Gradually gaining weight and muscle, he now weighs in at 230 in the offseason and cuts to 210 shredded for the summer at 6'2". Although he has no plans to compete, Jeff has gained a broad range of knowledge in all areas of training, nutrition, cardio, supplementation and a winning mindset. Feel free to contact him through the "Contact Us" link at the top of the homepage.

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