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Bodybuilding Mags Worth Reading


Is there such a thing? I'm without internet at home for a few days, so I thought I'd buy a few magazines to keep me going after work. I tried Muscle and Fitness and I think it's crap. I can't put my finger on what exactly I thought was crap, but it definitely was. So the only others I can see on the shelf aruond here are Flex and Muscle Mag.

Before I spend my hard earned £3.80, are either of these any good? I'm not really interested in training advice, I get that off t'internet and in books, more looking for news, competition reports, reviews, articles etc. Are there any other bodybuilding mags out there besides these that I should look out for? Or are they all relentlessly rubbish?

While we're at it, any book recommendations would be appreciated too.


Mostly rubbish, but I think I read somewhere that Iron Dwarf has some illustrations in Muscle Mag, I'd check that one out.


Muscular Development.


Heh heh. Thanks Ucall.
Yep, that's the reason to read MuscleMag!


I buy Muscular Development very often..although with the changes they ahve made recently, I am not sure what the mag will look like from here on out.

Anyone who says all bodybuilding mags are useless is using them for the wrong reasons. Most are going to be filled with ads because that is how they make their money along with sales. I use them for inspiration, not for some holy source of training knowledge because I figured out how to lift a weight a very long time ago. They are great for following the people who are on stage and for basically understanding the lifestyle surrounding that sport. Anyone expecting a pamphlet to tell them how to lift needs to find a personal trainer.


No problem buddy


MD is good if you want to read about bodybuilders and what they are up to, on and off the stage. There is also a section about various kinds of research that has some interesting stuff every now and then. A lot of the columns in MD are written by BBers so it's different than the tabloid feel of the other mags.

Flex is alright. But it's more of a tabloid with a 'hardcore' theme. It may be that I'm just not a fan of Weider publications. If you are a Phil Heath and Jay Cutler fan you'll probably enjoy Flex.

I think Flex covers a wider array of competitions than MD does but I prefer the way MD is layed out and it's substance.


You can still get plenty of small helpful tips from these mags even though they are really only suited to those with above average genetics and those who juice.

But make no mistake; they are full of bullshit!

It's funny how the beginning of Weider mags read something along these lines:

... "Strive for excellence, speak the truth, practice fidelity, and honour your father and mother".

Speak the truth?


Practice fidelity?

The truth is that the strength and size gains readers are promised are so overly exaggerated its beyond ridiculous. Every single male model in these mags is on steroids even though most (M&F and MuscleMag especially) advocate to their readers to adopt healthier lifestyles; eat more healthy foods and less junk, do plenty of exercise, drink less alcohol, quit smoking, etc.

Readers are given the idea that off-season, pro-bodybuilders eat all these healthy foods even when trying to gain as much muscle mass as possible; fruits and vegetables, whole-grains, lean meats, low-fat dairy products etc. But there is no way bodybuilders would get so overly fat off-season if their daily diets resembled the examples given in these mags. Instead, they eat a lot of junk and very little healthy stuff for most of the year (about 9 months), and you can actually see this in many bodybuilding DVDs.


Someone needs a nice tall glass of Shut the Fuck Up.



Overly fat? Most of those guys stay under 15% in the off season at the pro level. By that stage they are doing guest posings to make more money in the off season which is why most of them don't get as heavy as they did right before they turned pro. You clearly don't know what you are talking about.


I suppose you are raging against the fact that you think I have a problem with people using gear.

Well, I don't!

That, or you work for Joe Weider.

My beef is with the mags, not bodybuilders who use steroids. I made that perfectly clear in my post; if you think it's the other way round you clearly read wrong!

My gripe with these mags (especially the Weider ones) is something that has been well documented for a long time now; Muscle & Fiction is crap, people (especially kids) are being lied to about the gains they can make, and the training programs are only suited to those who can tolerate and recover from high volume work.


I love how they focus on training so much,then give a few pages to nutrition. It is what it is though.

I like to read Flex and MD while taking a shit


This is what I have a problem with. You are clearly implying that steroid users are unhealthy. Making such a generalization is foolish.

I also have a problem with this. Where are these overly fat, pro-card holding bodybuilders? Which ones have you spoken with about their daily nutrition? Or are you just going by the video of Ronnie Coleman eating cornbread and grits as his PWO carb source? Explain how someone puts on over 250 pounds of LBM by eating "very little healthy stuff" (read: food with poor nutritional value). I have a feeling you are talking out of your ass.

The magazines may not provide the most logical training methods for the majority of the population but the problem with today's population is that people don't try hard enough, not that they try too hard and fail because of excessive volume and lack of recovery. These magazines are for entertainment. People don't read US magazine because they want to learn how to become an actor.


Do you use the mags as toilet paper and declare "kiss my ass because I will become bigger than you!"


Usually if I want to read them I just go to Borders or the store and read them without buying...


Anyone read "Powerlifting USA" or any other powerlifting mags. Are they any good?


I'm not saying that there aren't plenty of pro-bodybuilders who stay under 15% off-season, of course there are; some stay even leaner than this all year round because that's the approach they prefer as they don't like getting too out of shape. It just makes their job that much harder when it's time to cut. I know Ronnie Coleman followed this approach; I think it was for the 2005 Olympia. He basically had one cheat meal and then dieted for the whole year (he ate off-season what he would normally only eat pre-contest) and consequently stepped on stage leaner than usual and with a smaller waist.

Bodybuilders today are definitely not getting as fat off-season as they use to in the past.

However, there are those who end up higher than 15% body fat off-season because they eat too much junk. One example is Lee Priest. In the link below you can see that he was obviously higher than 15% here. And I know what you're going to say. That's just one of the many thousands of pro bodybuilders in the world who went too far. But do you honestly think that there aren't others out there who have been/are in Lee Priest's shoes? Virtually all the photos of bodybuilders in the mags are around contest time when they don't have protruding stomachs and when they are ripped. The magazines don't want their readers to see bodybuilders carrying too much fat just in case they are put-off from buying again or the sport, so off-season photos rarely make it inside.



Of course you'd pick Lee Priest. In the first photo he isn't fat. Not even close. The next two photos are famous because he was paid to get into that condition to do a 'before and after' shot. It is obvious that you don't know what you are talking about when it comes to the offseason habits of successful bodybuilders. If your errors weren't enough, flip flopping your argument sure doesn't help you out. Just stop with the whole "bodybuilders cant walk up stairs or they'll have a heart attack", everyone's heard it all before.


My problem with Muscle and Fitness was that it didn't seem to be about bodybuilding. I suppose "...& Fitness" was the clue. It was all about how to train to look like an action hero and BS like that. I have ended up with a copy of Flex and a restored internet connection, so the problem has gone away.

At the end of the day I don't want a magazine full of training articles because a) I don't trust them and b) I am very happy with the training info I get here and my routine is set for about the next year. I am also not bothered by loads of adverts. I like to know what products are out there and it's good to keep up to date with new offers etc.

I just want a magazine that is about the sport of bodybuilding, past, present and future. And I'm all for training and nutrition tips that can be incorporated into an existing routine.

To be fair Flex seems to tick MOST of these boxes. It wouldn't hurt to cover a bit more than the top level pros though. And I assume admitting the existence of tested bodybuilding federations goes against the marketing policy of all these mags?


Not to mention that picture of Lee Priest was taken YEARS ago(notice the lack of tattoos?). He doesn't bulk up like that anymore.