When you’re intent on getting fit, you’re willing to do just about anything for a little more muscle and a little less body fat. Low-carb days, ultra-high-rep sessions, extra work on the treadmill, a few early-morning workouts or even the paid assistance of a trainer or nutritionist — whatever it takes, right? But in the rush to put the latest hardcore craze to work for us, we lose sight of the fact that the simplest solution can often be the correct one.
For decades, some of the world’s most amazing physiques have been built through strict adherence to an authoritative set of guidelines known as the Weider Principles. Named after the late father of modern bodybuilding, Joe Weider (1919-2013), these “rules” — a list more than 20 deep — formed the basis for nearly every approach to bodybuilding in practice today. Just about every one of them has been affirmed in some fashion by research, even if references to the original guiding principles were artfully omitted.
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Developed through years of firsthand experience and anecdotal evidence from those under his tutelage, Joe Weider’s principles remain the true-north training indicator for muscle-seeking athletes everywhere. In the pages that follow, we continue our examination of these principles with a few tidbits on how to put them into practice today.
Weider Principle: Negatives
Nearly every lifter in gym-dom is concerned with their bench stats. How much do you bench, bro? To so many, this effort to overcome gravity far too often usurps what follows: the power to resist it.
NEGATIVE GAINS | CHEST
Take advantage of eccentric reps in your next chest workout to speed your size and strength gains.
OXFORD METHOD (REVERSE PYRAMID) | BACK
JOE SAYS: Whether you choose traditional or reverse pyramids, you’re going to see huge gains in size and strength. The DeLorme method can help you gain strength faster, which translates to more reps with more weight on everything else. The Oxford method of pyramid training may help you gain more size because of the increased intensity factor of failing on multiple sets. Either approach is a welcome departure from straight-set training, in which you use the same weight for the same number of reps from set to set.
DELORME METHOD (PYRAMID) | BACK
CHEAT AND PROSPER | BICEPS
Judicious use of this go-beyond-failure technique is the only way to get anything out of it.