Arnold Schwarzenegger on ‘The Profession of Bodybuilding’

As bodybuilding gained in popularity, the money to be made from the sport also increased. Whenever a lot of money suddenly be- comes involved, everything starts to change. Professional bodybuilders had been making money at the sport since the days of Sandow, but very few were able to make a good living. Many opened gyms, manufactured equipment, got into movies, or supplemented their income through mail-order sales and posing exhibitions. But the prize money available in contests was minimal.

Now, with the Grand Prix events and so many other professional contests, and a total purse in the Olympia exceeding $100,000, there is enough money in bodybuilding competition to attract an increasing number of young athletes. And a larger pro- portion of established stars are staying active through their thirties and even into their forties.

The opportunities available in bodybuilding today are extraordinary. We can see from the proliferation of bodybuilding magazines, from the fact that the circulation of Joe Weider‘s Muscle eJ Fitness has more than quadrupled in the last few years, from the tremendous increase in the number of gyms around the country, and from the sale of gym and fitness equipment that bodybuild- ing has turned into big business.

Bodybuilding events are now televised as a matter of course. The Mr. America competition is held at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas; Manila and Cairo are the sites of Mr. Universe competitions; and the day is approaching when bodybuilding will be included in the Olympics.

Any discussion of bodybuilding would be incomplete without mention of the contribution of Joe Weider and his magazine Muscle Builder (now Muscle & Fitness). Joe has done more than sim- ply provide good articles and photos detailing the lives and training methods of the top physique stars, he has also managed to gather and preserve enormous amounts of valuable training information.

Joe spent a lot of time going into gyms around the country and observing how the stars trained. For instance, he noticed that Larry Scott used a preacher bench to do Curls, and that Chuck Sipes continued to do set after set with great intensity by quickly taking weight off the bar between sets. He took note of these methods, wrote them down, then gave them names. Scott didn’t call his technique “Scott Curls,” and Sipes didn’t realize he was using the “Stripping Method.” But, through Joe, soon everyone had access to these particular training techniques.

In Austria, I trained in the morning and again in the evening because that’s what my daily schedule demanded. Now, this is known as the “Weider Double-Split System,” and is being used by bodybuilders all over the world.

The “Weider Training Principles” are a collection of the best bodybuilding techniques ever created. Joe Weider recognized these principles, tagged them with his own name (the Weider Instinctive Principle, the Weider Priority Principle, the Weider Peak-Contraction Principle, and so on), and promoted them in his magazine. A generation of bodybuilders has benefited from Joe’s ideas on training, nutrition, diet, and anything else new in bodybuilding.

Source: Arnold Schwarzenegger with Bill Dobbins, The Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding (Simon & Schuster: New York, 1985) 61-63.

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