How the Weider Brother’s Reaffirmed My Calling

 I read “Brothers of Iron: Building the Weider Empire” authored by Joe Weider, Ben Weider and Arnold Schwarzenegger when I was twenty.  This was THE autobiography that affirmed my passion not only to own a fitness business but to put myself in a position that I would be able to pursue all of my interests.  Joe and Ben Weider grew up as two dirt poor kids in Montreal and they eventually started and legitimized bodybuilding and created one of the most strongest fitness brands, “Weider”, that still resounds with fitness fanatics all over the world.  These two brothers were the creators of the first fitness magazines that we now see littering the shelves.  They were also responsible for aggregating all of the exercise theories around the world and condensing them into an understandable form.  Not to mention they convinced Arnold Schwarzenegger and his buddy Franco Columbu to immigrate to America!

What was even more intriguing to me was that these two men embodied the definition of a Renaissance Man:

  • Ben is an Officer to the Order of Canada, he received the French Legion of Honor, he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, member of the Quebec Hall of Fame and received several honorary degrees.   He also held one of the largest private collections of Napoleon memorabilia.
  • Joe authored many training manuals branding other peoples exercises as part of the Weider System of Bodybuilding (which people still use to this day!). He is still iconic in the fitness industry not to mention the publication industry too.

What separated the Weider brothers from all the other people that I’ve read was their passion for other things that did not fit in their identities as fitness guys.  The Weiders saw the big picture of success, that it is not just about building a one trick pony or checking off the goals list that we’ve artificially imposed on our lives.  Success is about pursuing a well rounded life, it’s about striving to make ourselves better within the context of affecting others in our circle of influence so that they can corporately see fulfilment.

The Weider Brothers reaffirmed that my passion for all things: fitness, music, philosophy, and people.  For me, it’s not ok just to be the fitness guy, or the nerd (closet one; ok I’m a full blown nerd), my approach to life has always been to break constructs and to  be passionate about things for its own sake.

Blitz Conditioning has been a dream of mine for the past decade and it has been awesome to see the effect that the company has had on our growing client basis.  As a personal trainer, and owner I strongly believe that we influence those around us by our actions and attitude.

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About Chris Tse

I’m a scientist turned owner of Blitz Conditioning, a Fitness Columnist at CBC Radio on Thursdays at 8:20 am, and owner of Tse Social Strategy. Follow me on Twitter or Read my full bio.

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