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Muscle & Fitness Magazine Review
Article care of

Periodical Review

Muscle & Fitness by Joe Weider Publications (Rated 9.5 out of 10)

Muscle & Fitness is one of many periodicals by Joe Weider. It covers fitness information and research updates that cover information for everyone from everyday people trying to get in shape through your recreational health nuts and athletes to competitive bodybuilders.

I have been regularly reading this magazine since 1987 and have watched it go through its evolutions since. However, even before I picked up my first issue of this magazine (when I was 13 years old) it had already gone through various transformations. It is the decendant of YOUR PHYSIQUE which is the precursor to his many publications which include Muscle & Fitness Hers, Flex and Shape (to name a few) and was later renamed MUSCLE POWER, which eventually evolved into what is now known to us as MUSCLE & FITNESS. Joe Weider has been publishing magazines for many years and he and his brother Ben can be credited with taking the trends of 'physical culture' (a lifestyle/sport that eventually evolved and split into powerlifting and bodybuilding to overgeneralize things a bit) and putting bodybuilding as we know it on the map.

While there are many debates over the sport, particularly as it is now in the International Federation of Bodybuilders (IFBB) with the amount of drugs (particularly anabolic steroids), what cannot be denied is that without Joe and Ben Weider, we may not have had bodybuilding at all. (Meanwhile my opinion remains unchanged, that the IFBB could and should enforce their own drug rules with more thorough testing and the immediate, uncompromising dismissal of all bodybuilders who test positive for drug use within at least a five year period preceding any given show. A start would be 100% drug testing with both polygraph and urinalysis. While there would always be someone who slipped through the cracks, this alone would go a long way in cleaning up the sport and making it much more attractive to regular folks, increasing the fan base, protecting the athletes, and increasing revenue. Further, this could probably be done at a fraction of the prize money awarded to first place in the Mr. Olympia competition.)

However, Muscle & Fitness takes an anti-drug stance and has done so for many years. It recommends hard work, discipline, sound nutrition (including supplementation-with which I personally agree) as the best and only viable means to live a healthy, fit lifestyle and increase sports performance as well as to develop an attractive physique.

Each month Muscle & Fitness has come out with a great publication that is as useful to competitive bodybuilders as it is to recreational weightlifters and health enthusiasts. It's publication is full of motivational true stories about regular people who have accomplished great feats in the fitness arena despite ovewhelming odds, that would inspire the most cynical of readers. It provides the latest in research on nutrition and supplementation and despite the fact that Weider produces his own line of supplements the magazine he produces takes no sides in the debate (other than generally taking the side that supplementation is necessary for those seeking to reach their full potential in health and fitness-with which I again concur) while siting legitimate and unbiased references in the research such as medical studies and college research. Further, the publishers are the publishers not afraid to state when an item requires more research before its effectiveness can be proven one way or the other, but they also point out when a supplement is bogus. It also provides training articles for everyone from beginner levels to advanced, and often publishes an ongoing training program that allows beginners to know when and how to cycle their training periodization. For intermediate and advanced trainers it provides information on techniques and work out cylces to get the most out of their training as they advance. And for those who, like me enjoy following the sport of bodybuilding, it also has interiews with top competitors in the sport as well as articles on the latest competitions.

Another note that may be important to some is that it is a clean magazine. Aside from taking an anti-drug stance (despite showing some bodybuilders who use steroids to attain their physiques), it has a wholesome quality to it in another area, the presentation of physiques. The bottom line here is that in a magazine that covers physique development, it is important to display physiques that demonstrate the aesthetic benefits of the bodybuilding and fitness lifestyle. While many magazines are using fitness models in scenes that verge on pornography, Muscle & Fitness presents those physiques, usually by use of competitive athletes (particulary female fitness competitors and bodybuilders), in a way that didn't make me ashamed to ask my mother to buy me the magazine off the rack when I was only thirteen years old. So for those of you who might be offended by the displays of too much skin, as long as you can handle folks in the suits that would be likely to be worn on the bodybuilding or fitness stage this magazine should be acceptable to you.

As a lifelong fitness buff, double certified personal trainer (ISSA and IFA) and as a current natural bodybuilding competitor, I stand by this magazine. It has been a great asset in the development of my knowledge in fitness and nutriton, particulary when I was first starting out. And while I haven't always agreed with everything stated in the magazine, on the whole I have agreed with most of it. My rating of this on a 1 to 10 scale is a 9.5. (10, you will find is almost impossible with me.) Further it is the publication I would most highly recommend to clients and others looking to find a magazine that will provide them with sound information as well as inspiration in their quest for fitness.

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