by Craig Titus
This column does not represent the opinions or views of IronMagazine, it’s advertisers or affiliates. Craig’s column is unedited and for entertainment purposes only, read at your own risk.
Mr. Joe Weider
It was a sad day when I saw on Sports Center that Joe Weider had died at the age of 93. So many thoughts and emotions surged through my mind as I pondered the contributions to society Joe gave for so many years. I did however find some comfort knowing that someone of Joe’s magnitude was blessed with a long productive and privileged life undoubtedly surrounded by loved ones when he passed. The scale of Mr.Weider’s existence in regard to the lives he’s touched and what he’s done for the bodybuilding and fitness industry in general is so immense and so incredibly magnificent, I dare not fool myself into thinking I can even begin to scratch the surface…but I’ll certainly try.
Let me start by saying my thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Weider family and I am truly sorry for the loss. People, Joe Weider is the beginning of bodybuilding and the absolute reason professional bodybuilding even exists to this very day, period. If you’re the current Mr.Olympia Phil Heath or just getting ready for your first NPC competition, the sole reason you’re able to pursue the dreams of a professional bodybuilding career, is because of Joe Weider. If you’re a smokin’ hot bikini model or a unbelievably talented fitness athlete you should be thanking your lucky stars Joe Weider decided to pursue his passion and launch the international Federation of Body building. The 100s of nutritional supplement companies as well as fitness equipment manufacturers’ one their very livelihood to Mr. Joe Weider and his vision. His passion became reality with the very first bodybuilding magazine to be published attempting to promote and generate public interest in professional bodybuilding. Not only is Joe Weider the founder and creator of bodybuilding as we know it, but he’s also a pioneer in literally every aspect of the bodybuilding and fitness industry including weight training equipment. Thousands of young men over the world gained confidence, dedication and work ethic using their very first Joe Weider bench and weight set, myself included which then sparked the development of 1000s of equipment manufacturers over the decades…Hammer Strength, Cybex, Nautilus and Flex Equipment, to name a few all owe their very existence to Joe Weider!! It’s almost hard to comprehend how many lives Joe Weider had touched in a positive way. Joe gave the capability for so many to cultivate and create careers centered in and around the sport of bodybuilding. The Weider organization has made it possible for literally thousands of men and women all over the planet to pursue their dreams of greatness expressing themselves through the art of building and displaying muscle. I for one will be forever grateful and truly thankful for Joe did for me with his unforgettable act of generosity giving me a second chance at a bodybuilding career. At a time during my career when no other supplement companies were interested in signing me to a endorsement contract, Joe did just that. In 1999 after serving a two year sentence in Lompoc Federal Correctional Center for drug charges involving steroid distribution I received a fax from Weider Publications in Woodland Hills California. Just days later I personally met with Joe Weider himself where he indicated he was completely confident in my abilities to be one of the greatest names in professional bodybuilding, Joe felt that I would be a asset as well as a polarizing personality for the Weider Organization and the IFBB. He went on to say with his assistance I would become one of the most photographed athletes ever and he would do what no other company would even entertain…sign me to a Weider Nutrition endorsement contract for not one but two years. Joe literally saved my career that day back in 1999 and I will be forever grateful for his kindness and his gift of a bodybuilding lifestyle for so many wonderful years. So many owe their success to Joe Weider, including Arnold Swarzenegger. Just think, without Joe there would be no Arnold, depriving the world of Arnold’s Movies as well as the tag lines we so often use on a daily basis, such as… “I’ll be back.” Just like I’ve stated in the beginning of this article…the scale of Mr.Weider’s existence in regard to the lives he’s touched and lifestyles he’s created, is so immense and so incredibly magnificent, I dare not fool myself into thinking I could even begin to scratch the surface…but I certainly tried. It was a privilege and most certainly an honor to personally have known Mr. Joe Weider…
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Craig Michael Titus was born in Wyandotte, Michigan on Jan 14, 1967. The eldest of Michael and Sandra Titus’ three children. In high school, Craig wrestled for his school team at 132lbs. After graduation, decided to put on some muscle via weight training. When Craig graduated from high school he was 5’6″ and 140lbs. By the age of 21, he was 5’9″ and 185lbs. Once he started weight training and seeing results, he was hooked. Craig’s first bodybuilding show was the 1988 Houston Bodybuilding Championships in which he won the Men’s Open middleweight class and the overall title.
2002 Mr. Olympia – 11th
2002 Night of Champions XIV – 5th
2002 Southwest Pro – 7th
2001 British Grand Prix – 9th
2001 Mr. Olympia – 12th
2001 Arnold Classic – 6th
2001 SAN FRANCISCO GRAND PRIX – 2nd
2001 IRONMAN PRO INVITATIONAL – 5th
2000 Toronto Pro – 1st
2000 Arnold Classic – 10th
2000 Night of Champions – 11th
2000 Ironman Pro Invitational – 8th
1996 NPC USA Championships — 1st Heavyweight and Overall
1995 NPC USA Championships — 2nd Heavyweight
1994 NPC National Championships — 2nd Heavyweight
1994 NPC USA Championships — 2nd Heavyweight
1993 NPC USA Championships — 4th Heavyweight
1991 NPC Ironman/Ironmaiden — Overall
1990 NPC Tournament of Champions — 3rd Heavyweight
1990 NPC Western Cup — Overall
1989 NPC Houston Bodybuilding Championships — Overall