In 1977, a docudrama focused on the 1975 Mr.Olympia and Mr.Universe competitions became available to the viewing public. This film, appropriately titled Pumping Iron, introduced many to the world of Bodybuilding and training for the purpose of muscular development, myself included.
The science behind training for muscular development, referred to as hypertrophy, is simply captivating. Five years ago as I first watched the namesake of this site training, I couldn’t help but let my mind wander – why was he using this rep range, why was he using momentum on his barbell curls, what is the purpose of his training program being laid out the way that it is?
These questions drew me towards the science of bodybuilding, and more importantly, the science behind writing programs for maximal muscular development – and those techniques that were seen during Pumping Iron? I later found out that they were referred to as The Weider Training Principles; created by a Canadian gentleman named Joe Weider. Since then, my fellow coaches at The Strength Guys and I have studied, practiced, and created hundreds of periodized training programs with the goal of maximizing muscular development. During this process we have learned how to manipulate the usage of these techniques to maximize positive outcomes, and minimize the negative outcomes. The purpose of this article is to share the theory, supporting research, pros, cons and practical implications of three popular intensity techniques with you – so that you can implement them into your own training as well.