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S&C UnderGround >> R.I.P. Joe Wieder


3/31/13 2:16 PM
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Taku
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Edited: 03/31/13 2:18 PM
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RIP, Joe Weider, March 23, 2013

WOW...The Master Blaster goes down.

I was just thinking about this recently and a friend sent me the link confirming Joe had passed.

I'm not a fan of Big Joe, but I think he probably does deserve a little props for all he did for the Iron Game.

TAKU

4/1/13 3:29 AM
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Chocolate Shatner
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I kinda have a love/hate relationship with my image of Joe Weider.

On the good side, you are correct TAKU in that he probably did more than any other one person to popularize and spread the use of weight lifting as a means of physical improvement. Honestly, without that, I think a ton of other things we see today that have nothing to do with bodybuilding would never have come into fruition.

Let's face it, the Strongman contests of today were at first competed in by former weightlifters, and bodybuilders. Who can forget Franco Columbu blowing out his knee while running with a refrigerator on his back?

He also was true to himself, constantly supporting the up and coming bodybuilders, giving them endorsement contracts and shit. In many ways, he was the Tapout crew of bodybuilding before there was a Tapout crew.

On the negative side, his elevation of bodybuilding and aesthetics over performance has given you and I and EVERY performance-based trainer headaches for the past 40 fucking years. The myths, the bullshit, so many of them trace their roots to bodybuilding. I swear to fucking God if it wasn't for all the bullshit myths that have cropped up because of it, we wouldn't have Planet Fitness.

And of course, the number one thing I have wrong with Joe Weider was his constant pimping of bullshit through his magazines. Whether it was "miracle supplements", the bullshit workouts that would do nothing for you except land you in an orthopedic surgeon's office, or the fact that until the late 1990's, he would over claim that a pro-level bodybuilder's physique was attainable without the use of massive amounts of steroids and other drugs.

So in many ways, I do think that Weider's passing is a sad day for the "physical culture." On the other hand, perhaps the passing can pave the way for a new era, perhaps even a better one.
4/1/13 6:48 PM
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Wiggy
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^EXCELLENT post.  Mirrors many of my own thoughts.

I'll fully admit that if it (indirectly) weren't for Joe Weider, I literally wouldn't be posting this right now.  My old man tried to get me into working out (and by "tried to get me into working out", I mean "made me do pushups and situps") when I was younger and it never really took.  It wasn't until I started reading bodybuilding magazines (primarily "Flex") that the bug really bit.  I was something like 14-15 then, and I've been at it ever since.

Magazines were my primary source of information for a long time - up until I was in college during the late '90s.  I couldn't tell you how many issues of Flex magazine I bought and re-read the articles time after time.

Then, on the flip side, as I got older and was exposed to more and more information, I realized that much of what I grew up believing and being interested in was bullshit.  This was somewhat disheartening, but unlike when you learn that Santa Claus is really just your dad dressed up in a red suit your folks store in the garage when you're not looking, I wasn't really dismayed or anything like that.  Instead, I was motivated, intrigued, and even more curious to learn as much as I could.

Of course, my endeavors into more "athletic" forms of training (as opposed to just bodybuilding) fueled this, as well.

As far as how the bodybuiding industry was propogated, I don't think you could ever solely blame Joe for that.  Now I'm talking about the direction the sport went - not the crazy, weird shit that goes on when you become one of the "in" crowd.  (We've all heard/read those stories - don't want to bring them up here.)

Drugs have pushed the physique in crazy directions - to the point that many of us don't like it.  And it's arguably gone off the deep end in the past decade or so.  However, at the same time, you know that Joe was a great businessman above all else.  If it didn't sell, he wouldn't have pushed it. 

There was great public outcry for drug testing at one point - to the point that they tested at the (IIRC) 1990 Mr. Olympia.  Now, how accurate/fudged/whatever the testing was is anybody's guess.  But for the most part, the contestants showed up MUCH smaller than in previous years.  Smaller guys that relied more on symettry  such as Lee Labrada didn't have the apparent difference in size/bodyweight, but most of the rest of the field did.

The show was more or less a failure as the fans didn't wanna see these guys now smaller on-stage - they wanted to see the big 'monsters'.  The IFBB quietly dropping the drug testing from the Mr. O the next year.

Point is that as much as people chastise Joe for letting guys take drugs, those same people didn't put their money where their mouths were when they did test.  Joe sold the industry what it wanted.

You could, of course, always make the case that Joe could have taken the moral/high road, not cared about the $$, and so on, but that's a whole other topic.

Either way, the fitness/physical culture world did lose an icon (as much as many don't want to admit it ) when Joe died, and if it hadn't been for Joe and the Weiders in general (again, either directly or indirectly), there's a lot of great people we all know, like, and admire that wouldn't even be in this game for us to learn from.

Wiggy - http://www.workingclassfitness.com/newsletter

4/4/13 11:56 PM
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Shortkick
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Wiggy -

^EXCELLENT post.  Mirrors many of my own thoughts.

I'll fully admit that if it (indirectly) weren't for Joe Weider, I literally wouldn't be posting this right now.  My old man tried to get me into working out (and by "tried to get me into working out", I mean "made me do pushups and situps") when I was younger and it never really took.  It wasn't until I started reading bodybuilding magazines (primarily "Flex") that the bug really bit.  I was something like 14-15 then, and I've been at it ever since.

Magazines were my primary source of information for a long time - up until I was in college during the late '90s.  I couldn't tell you how many issues of Flex magazine I bought and re-read the articles time after time.

Then, on the flip side, as I got older and was exposed to more and more information, I realized that much of what I grew up believing and being interested in was bullshit.  This was somewhat disheartening, but unlike when you learn that Santa Claus is really just your dad dressed up in a red suit your folks store in the garage when you're not looking, I wasn't really dismayed or anything like that.  Instead, I was motivated, intrigued, and even more curious to learn as much as I could.

Of course, my endeavors into more "athletic" forms of training (as opposed to just bodybuilding) fueled this, as well.

As far as how the bodybuiding industry was propogated, I don't think you could ever solely blame Joe for that.  Now I'm talking about the direction the sport went - not the crazy, weird shit that goes on when you become one of the "in" crowd.  (We've all heard/read those stories - don't want to bring them up here.)

Drugs have pushed the physique in crazy directions - to the point that many of us don't like it.  And it's arguably gone off the deep end in the past decade or so.  However, at the same time, you know that Joe was a great businessman above all else.  If it didn't sell, he wouldn't have pushed it. 

There was great public outcry for drug testing at one point - to the point that they tested at the (IIRC) 1990 Mr. Olympia.  Now, how accurate/fudged/whatever the testing was is anybody's guess.  But for the most part, the contestants showed up MUCH smaller than in previous years.  Smaller guys that relied more on symettry  such as Lee Labrada didn't have the apparent difference in size/bodyweight, but most of the rest of the field did.

The show was more or less a failure as the fans didn't wanna see these guys now smaller on-stage - they wanted to see the big 'monsters'.  The IFBB quietly dropping the drug testing from the Mr. O the next year.

Point is that as much as people chastise Joe for letting guys take drugs, those same people didn't put their money where their mouths were when they did test.  Joe sold the industry what it wanted.

You could, of course, always make the case that Joe could have taken the moral/high road, not cared about the $$, and so on, but that's a whole other topic.

Either way, the fitness/physical culture world did lose an icon (as much as many don't want to admit it ) when Joe died, and if it hadn't been for Joe and the Weiders in general (again, either directly or indirectly), there's a lot of great people we all know, like, and admire that wouldn't even be in this game for us to learn from.

Wiggy - http://www.workingclassfitness.com/newsletter

Nice post Wiggy.. My sentiments exactly, will vote up when I have another one tomorrow Phone Post 3.0
4/9/13 11:11 AM
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WidespreadPanic
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If you look at all the other BB publications that are on the news stands today, they're all pimping these body-dysmorphic guys, shaved and oiled up and so bulked up they can barely put their shoes on.

Rather than blame Joe Weider, I think it makes more sense to take the average lifter to task for being so gullible and foolish.

I wonder if everyone didn't realize that the routines published in the mags required someone to be taking gear in order to do them and still recover?

For me, it was fun looking at the BB back in the day. I was a student of kinesiology and anatomy and it was neat being able to see these living 'sculptures'. But I realized it was a product of advertising and of taking 'roids.

Anyway, I don't disagree with your posts, the whole industry is a sham and when you look at female BBers, they're cringeworthy with their deep voices and masculine jaws, and the guys are the same with their hGH bellies.

I don't know if it will get better before it gets worse, but I wonder if, in the end, Joe wasn't just a little sad at what he had produced?

4/9/13 2:56 PM
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jeremy hamilton
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Good article on Weider here.

http://startingstrength.com/index.php/site/article/joe_weider_bodybuilding_patriarch
4/9/13 3:13 PM
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Taku
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For J.H.

ARTICLE:

TAKU

4/16/13 9:11 AM
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torquemada
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Same love hate. I respect that he promoted bodybuilding, but I wasted my teens doing those ridiculous routines. Phone Post

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