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Joe Weider and his brother Ben are well known names in the world of bodybuilding. They were famous for promoting nutrition and fitness equipment within the bodybuilding world. Joe Weider was also Arnold Schwarzenegger’s fitness coach. He was born in Montreal in 1922 and the tough neighborhood he grew up in led him to the world of bodybuilding and, gradually, he built up his empire to take in the worlds of publishing, advertising and nutrition.

Publishing and Promotion

In 1939, Weider began to publish a small magazine. He called the magazine ‘Your Physique’ and it became a hit with those interested in bodybuilding. This was the beginning of the rise of the Weider brothers. In 1968, Weider renamed the magazine ‘Muscle and Builder’ before changing it again in 1982 to ‘Muscle and Fitness’. The brothers also published other magazines including ‘Flex’, ‘Shape’, ‘Men’s Fitness’ and ‘Senior Golfer’. In 1983, Joe Weider was named Publisher of the Year by the Periodical and Book Association.

The Weider brothers also began to establish competitions in which bodybuilders could compete. These competitions focused on strength and muscle development. Weider also started the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness, as well as organizing the first Mr. Canada and Mr. Olympia. The Weiders were also well respected for their work with females and minorities in the bodybuilding arena.


One of the biggest parts of the Weider empire was their marketing of fitness equipment. They were famous for the development of the Weider Crossbow, as well as for numerous other types of bodybuilding equipment. The company produces equipment such as mats, sit-up bars, bands, jump ropes, weight benches, free weights, boxing gyms and strength training machines. Equipment made by the Weider company is generally rated as being amongst the best on the market. In addition to promoting and producing equipment, the Weiders also worked hard to gain recognition for bodybuilding as a sport, something which was eventually achieved in 1998.

Nutrition and Training

Joe Weider was unique in recognizing the dangers and potentially harmful effects of alcohol and cigarettes. The brothers became advocates of healthy eating and proper nutrition as part of the bodybuilding regime. One of Weider’s greatest achievements was to bring nutritional research and proper dieting into the world of bodybuilding. Weider produces a variety of nutritional supplements designed to assist athletes. Mainly, these supplements focus on balancing the levels of carbohydrate and protein in the body. Additionally, Weider produces protein shakes and herbal green tea. Weider also focused heavily on improving training methods. He is responsible for many principles of bodybuilding, such as the descending set principle or the double or triple split training principle.

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