T Nation

Muscle Media

Does anyone know what happened to Muscle Media magazine?

Where have you been for the last 7 years?

Long Story Short:

TC left Muscle Media… it went downhill from there.

TC is now here, this place is awesome.

              WELCOME!

I bought a few issues of it a couple years ago and it was more oriented toward weight loss and stuff than back in the day but it still had some merits. In particular I liked things like the recipes and some articles by people like Pavel. Anyway, nowadays I dont seem to see it in bookstores anymore. When did it disappear completely and does anyone know why? Just curious

[quote]2ms wrote:
I bought a few issues of it a couple years ago and it was more oriented toward weight loss and stuff than back in the day but it still had some merits. In particular I liked things like the recipes and some articles by people like Pavel. Anyway, nowadays I dont seem to see it in bookstores anymore. When did it disappear completely and does anyone know why? Just curious[/quote]

Because Bill Phillips turned into a pussy sellout.

TC would be more of the expert here, but here are my observations merely as a consumer.

I liked “Muscle Media”… a LOT… and got caught up in the whole “Body-for-Life” phenomenon like many people did. (Who will admit it!)

I am the first to also admit that it really did a lot of good, in that it brought resistance training and contest dieting to a lot of people who either feared weights or had never thought about the importance of weights, cardio and proper nutrition in molding a beautiful physique.

Bill Phillips had also captured a niche market often overlooked in the “traditional” bodybuilding market; the stereotypical “Soccer Mom/ Working Mom/ Young Working Woman” market that is a HUGE demographic in the overall dieting and self-improvement market.

And herein lies the frustrating thing to me; Phillips and “Muscle Media” had begun to capture a HUGE part of this market. I couldn’t go ANYWHERE; work, the grocery store or the Doctor; without talk of “Body-for-Life”.

Then they seemed to blow it…

What do I think happened?

  1. The Phenomenon was too “personality” and “contest” dependent

Phillips was a work-a-holic with a strong personality who was out promoting “Body-for-Life” and “Muscle Media” 24-7. He was EVERYWHERE… from TV to Internet Chats to book stores. When he stopped promoting, things began to die.

Also, a lot of the “momentum” was created by the lure of the contest itself (I think that there were two per year). This was a HUGE motivator for a lot of people and created almost an “instant” market for the magazine. It became almost a “Body-for-Life” monthly newsletter with a captive market. As the contest enthusiasm tended to die down as Phillips began to be less and less involved, so did the magazine.

  1. They stopped catering to their niche and got lost

With the waning of the “Body-for-Life” phenomenon, the magazine tried to become everything from “Flex” to “Men’s Health” to “Oxygen” to some hybrid of a lot of mags, while almost appearing to “abandon” that core demographic they had captured. In other words, they tried to be all things to everybody, when other mags were doing a much better job of it in their niche markets. The “Soccer Moms” couldn’t relate, and the “Men’s Health” readers had a MUCH better magazine in “Men’s Health”.

It was inevitable that the magazine was going to die because it had no core or niche market… and had “abandoned” the one it had.

The whole thing could have been a lesson in “Business/Marketing 101”.

Anyway…these are just the opinions of an outsider…maybe TC can give us better insights.

Mufasa

I don’t remember the details here, but basically Muscle Media was owned by EAS. EAS was sold a couple of times but the media portion didn’t sell, or the new owners didn’t want that part, or something like that. So the mag ended.

But as we all know, it really “ended” when TC left and it lost all personality and edge. TC was replaced with a mainstream female editor with no experience in lifting and a gay guy. (I don’t remember the order here.) No, there’s nothing wrong with that, but you could really see it in the photos and graphics. (The gay guy – Kal Yee or something like that – was a great photographer though; it’s just the subject was a little fruity for comfort.)

Muscle Media 2000, as it was called before it was castrated, got me into lifting, introduced me to Poliquin and Staley, educated me about drugs, and got me to thinking about the science of nutrition. It was a great mag in the middle years.

But you know what? T-Nation is better. Sometimes we tend to mythologize things that are no longer around, but if you really think about it, T-Nation is far better than MM2k.

Real interesting stuff, Chris…

I think that those new editors/photographers etc. probably fit in well with the “Body-for-Life” juggernaut…but it just wasn’t sustainable…

Mufasa

[quote]Chris Shugart wrote:
I don’t remember the details here, but basically Muscle Media was owned by EAS. EAS was sold a couple of times but the media portion didn’t sell, or the new owners didn’t want that part, or something like that. So the mag ended.

But as we all know, it really “ended” when TC left and it lost all personality and edge. TC was replaced with a mainstream female editor with no experience in lifting and a gay guy. (I don’t remember the order here.) No, there’s nothing wrong with that, but you could really see it in the photos and graphics. (The gay guy – Kal Yee or something like that – was a great photographer though; it’s just the subject was a little fruity for comfort.)

Muscle Media 2000, as it was called before it was castrated, got me into lifting, introduced me to Poliquin and Staley, educated me about drugs, and got me to thinking about the science of nutrition. It was a great mag in the middle years.

But you know what? T-Nation is better. Sometimes we tend to mythologize things that are no longer around, but if you really think about it, T-Nation is far better than MM2k.
[/quote]

Amen! T-Nation is better. I too was introduced to Poliquin and Staley through Muscle Media 2000 and both those names led me here. I’m home now.

Rolo.

6 months ago I gave away a huge stack on MM2K and MM magazines. It was like saying goodbye to an old friend.

I still remember the first time I looked at that magazine in late 98’. I was 18 years old and skrawny as all hell. I literally read and re-read that entire thing from cover to cover. My entire next measily paycheck went to EAS. I got Phospha-everything!

Mufasa, I got caught-up in the Body-for-Life thing too. Took pictures and got meansurements taken and that’s what started the whole process for me…Memories, but this site is soooo much better in soooo many ways!

Soldierslim:

A funny thing was how the “Hardcore” guys would try to “slip into” the contest and get mad when they were rejected!

Phillips and his people were DAMN good at recognizing those guys who would “train down”, eat like pigs, get pale, grow facial hair and take an AWFUL “before” pick in the hopes that the “after” would look like this amazing transformation.

It didn’t work…and those guys would get PISSED!

To Phillips credit, I think that the VAST majority of his champions were “real” transformations…

(Oh…I would read the Mag from back-to-front during those days too! It was great to read the stories of everyday “workin’ folks”!

Mufasa

How does the saying go?

…“Muscle Media” seemed to “snatch defeat from the jaws of victory”…?"

(Or some kind of paradox like that…!)

Mufasa

I disagree with you Mufasa in the fact that Muscle Media’s original niche was the hardcore weightlifters who were originally catered to when it was MM2000. In retrospect, that Body for life transformation of the magazine was frickin painful. At the beginning I was like, yeah this sounds pretty cool, a Lambroghini would be bad ass. Then those bastards started touting that video as the next “Pumping Iron.” When I watched that stupid-ass video, words can’t really express the disappointment. It was right about here that I realized the magazine was no longer for us.

Thank you T-Nation for not only filling the void, but building a better forum for everyone who was looking for no-bullshit advice and training techniques that actually work. Grow!, MAG-10(when it was produced,) and Grow Bars are pretty good too.

slimjim…

Almost two different mags at two different times…

The “original” “Muscle Media” isn’t the one that died…it “morphed” into the “Muscle Media/Body-for-Life Newletter”…THEN died…

Same name…MUCH different focus…

Not even the same Mag…

Mufasa

[quote]Soldierslim wrote:
I still remember the first time I looked at that magazine in late 98’. I was 18 years old and skrawny as all hell. I literally read and re-read that entire thing from cover to cover. My entire next measily paycheck went to EAS. I got Phospha-everything!

Mufasa, I got caught-up in the Body-for-Life thing too. Took pictures and got meansurements taken and that’s what started the whole process for me…Memories, but this site is soooo much better in soooo many ways![/quote]

You definitely missed the goodtimes of the magazine.

[quote]doogie wrote:
Soldierslim wrote:
I still remember the first time I looked at that magazine in late 98’. I was 18 years old and skrawny as all hell. I literally read and re-read that entire thing from cover to cover. My entire next measily paycheck went to EAS. I got Phospha-everything!

Mufasa, I got caught-up in the Body-for-Life thing too. Took pictures and got meansurements taken and that’s what started the whole process for me…Memories, but this site is soooo much better in soooo many ways!

You definitely missed the goodtimes of the magazine.

[/quote]

Amen; I started reading MM2k in '96, and was instantly hooked. Around '98 is when (overnight) it started to cater to the soccer-mom/BFL crowd. It was sad at the time, but now I’m thankful it happened because it gave rise to T-Nation.

I still have my first MM when TC was still editing and Bill Davey was on the cover (December '97). The guy at GNC recommended it to me when I tried to buy some Nitro-tech (thank god he did), and the rest is history.

Damn, I was 15 back then…

Well…

I saved all my paper editions of “Testosterone”!

Mufasa

I have one issue of Muscle Media where they are predicting what will happen in the world of muscle building ten years down the road. The date of the issue is something like 1994 I think.

There is a guy named TC who has some mighty interesting predictions!