Joe Weider’s 1954 Power and Bulk Routine

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Each of the following exercises was to be performed for 2 sets of 6 reps only. Weider emphasised the need to lift heavy weights with as good form as possible. So adamant was Joe on this point that he often wrote you should be struggling to hit the 6th rep on the 1st set! So go heavy.

Rest time was roughly 2 minutes between sets, enough to allow the Lifter regain his strength back before attacking the weights again. Going to failure on the second set (i.e. only hitting 4-5 reps) was encouraged as Weider believed you should only increase weight when you could hit 6 reps on both sets.

You’d perform this routine 3 days a week with at least one day off in between (Monday, Wednesday, Friday for example) and combine it with a high protein diet and adequate rest. This program was to be followed for 3 months.

• Shoulder Bridge (similar to a decline Bench Press)
• Cheating Barbell Curl
• Deadlift Off Boxes
• Cheating Standing Lateral Raise
• Bench Squat
• Cheating Standing Triceps Barbell Curl
• Cheating Bent Over Rows
• Power Prone Press (Effectively a bench press lock-out)

If followed diligently, Weider promised that this routine, with its full body high intensity emphasis, would see mass added in no time regardless of one’s ‘hard gainer’ status. So why not try it out and see how the Old School did things!

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