Born 29 November 1920 Montreal, Canada

Died March 23rd 2013

Body Building in post war Britain didn’t really exist, it was very wrapped up in the Physical Culture era of the pre war 30s. Body Building was part of the movement and not an entity, sport or activity on its own. Basements, disused buildings e.g. schools, church halls, garages and even garden sheds were the Gyms of post war Britain. Winter meant training in gloves, scarves and even woollen hats in the attempt to keep warm. In those days the weight trainer  was a real Spartan.           
Exercise routines and systems weren’t any better, they were based on 12 basic exercises which were performed for 3 sets of 8 for the first 12months, then after this period they could be upped to 4 sets, as you were then considered advanced. Equipment was in line with training locations and exercise routines. Lat machines consisted of a rope around a high pulley with a dumbell tied on the end, incline benches a plank propped against a wall, this also doubled as an abdominal board. Most if not all equipment was home made.
It was into this era that Joe Weider’s publications crossed the Atlantic, landing like  bombshells on newsagents’ counters. Up to this time British Bodybuilders had been served by Health and Strength Magazine and several similar publications, all of them still following the Physical Culture mantra of the 30s. 

London 1948; the first Mr Universe contest was run in conjunction with the 1948 Olympic Games, and for the first time British Bodybuilders were able to see the US Bodybuilders in the flesh, Body Builders they had only seen in grainy black and white photos in the magazines. Along with the Weider publications Body Building was to change very fast, but not for another 10 years.  The reason for this was the British Body Building hierarachy who stood their ground against the intruder, writing defamatory articles in the British magazines. Articles criticising the Weider methods of training, attacks on the honesty of his competitions. In the meantime National Amateur Body Building Association (NABBA) had been born, and under the leadership of Oscar Heidenstam waged war on the International Federation of Body Builders (IFBB), the Weiders organisation. But NABBA was fighting an ever increasing onslaught of American publications and Americanisms, like instructions to  “Bomb and Blitz”  your muscles. It was the late 50s, three sets of eight had gone, Weider had arrived. British Body Building was changed for ever.


The Weider Files presented here form the larger part of the material presented on this website about Joe Weider and his empire. Joe Weider was a force to be recognised in bodybuilding, health marketing, publishing and business from the 1940s until his death in 2013.

Joe Studied Stalin, Lenin, Alexander the Great, Napoleon, Hitler and Jesus Christ, the latter two surprisingly as he was Jewish. All but Jesus had created or ruled over great empires, empires that had grown and collapsed. Joe made sure, by noting their mistakes, that the Weider Empire would not go the way of these previously mentioned, and even after his death his legacy goes from strength to strength. We mention these facts to explain the diversity of the material presented here: Magazines, Courses, Advertising, Articles, Wars with competitors etc. all of which go to make up the Weider Legacy. We have used original Weider material, and we have tried to avoid either criticism or praise. So let the material itself tell the Weider story.

The Weider Files are presented in a different format to usual and is like a mini 'Weider' encyclopaedia allowing you to research in your own way.

Our grateful thanks to Peter Yates & Ron Tyrrell for their invaluable contribution of material to The Weider Files and for making it a more complete resource.

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Weider classic Courses & Lessons can be viewed below

The Weider Dumbell Training Course

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The Weider Iron Boot Course

The Secrets of Massive Neck Power Revealed

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Wrist & Forearm Development

The Weider Barbell & Dumbell System - 1948
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1945 - Joe Weider announces the world's first
100% Bodybuilding Magazine

May 1945 - Contains articles written by Joe Weider

Mr. America Muscle Building Course

The Weider System of Progressive Barbell Exercise
Wall Charts


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Publications in this section © Weider Publications