The Dark Side of Fitness Magazines
Most of what we hear about health and fitness stems from brilliant marketing tactics. We learn fitness advice from fitness magazines. Sounds reasonable, right? Getting sound fitness advice from fitness magazines.
The problem with this is that most of the fitness magazines are owned by the supplement companies or have business relationships with supplement companies. When you buy a fitness magazine you’re basically paying to read about the advertisements and articles that attempt to indirectly or directly lead you to purchase supplements.
Most Fitness Magazines are owned by Supplement companies
We all know that fitness and bodybuilding magazines have way too many ads for supplements. There are usually more ads than informational articles! When I used to read these magazines, I though to myself, did I really just pay 7 bucks for a little book of advertisements? Shrugging the question aside I would just scan past the ads, searching for that cover article on how to get bigger biceps than The Rock, in only 4 days.
It’s easy to assume that the magazine companies need to make money so they sell out ad space to supplement companies. While this is somewhat true, it surprising to find out that most of these bodybuilding magazines are actually owned by big, conglomerate supplement companies.
If they’re not owned by the supplement companies, there are usually business partnerships in place to promote the much more lucrative supplement industry. So these bodybuilding magazines that we actually pay money for are basically expensive, biased catalogs of supplement products. I guess my gut feeling was right all along, back in the day when I would read these.
The purpose of these bodybuilding magazines is not to educate people, it is to sell us supplements! Supplements are where the money is at in the fitness industry. It is the equivalent to the pharmaceutical companies and the healthcare industry. There is a lot of money in pills because it is something that people continually consume day after day.
List of Supplement Companies who Own Muscle & Fitness Magazines
Here are a few examples of mainstream fitness magazines and supplement companies who are one in the same:
- Weider Supplements: Weider owns Muscle & Fitness and Flex Magazine. Since Weider is so big, they can also afford to offer ad slots to other companies like MuscleTech. Either way they are promoting their own supplements or other company supplements who they have some sort of business relationships with.
- EAS & MET-Rx: Bill Phillips founded muscle media magazine in 1992. Initially the magazine promoted MET-Rx pretty heavily. It was later found out that Bill Phillips was actually business partners with the founder of MET-Rx. In 1996 Bill Phillips bought EAS from EAS’s founders. He then began promoting mostly EAS products in his muscle media magazine.
- T-nation: Though this online magazine may have better content than some of its other paper counterparts, the purpose is still to sell their biotest supplements.
There are probably a million other fitness magazines owned by supplement companies out there. What you really need to consider next time you pick up a fitness magazine is, is the content biased? Is this good advice? Or is there really a hidden agenda behind all the articles?
How Fitness Magazines Dupe You
To get you to continually read and purchase these fitness magazines, they write articles that seem beneficial. Sure, sometimes they may actually be informative and beneficial. But most of the time it is just some outlandish roadmap to bigger arms or a sexier core.
There are professional writers who creative twists on workout routines or advice that is geared to sell you supplement products. Their goal is to continually pump out article after article about new exercises, new workout techniques, new ways to get fit, new diets, studies on supplements, etc. All this with an end game to sell you supplements. Kinda puts a bad taste in your mouth doesn’t it?
If they were to really tell you the nuts and bolts on how to get fit & muscular (or toned for women) they wouldn’t be able to endlessly pump out article after article. They would probably have about 25 articles and that’s it. Or maybe a small book. To continually write article after article, they have to get creative and think of catchy new workouts, new drop sets, or how to get big arms in 4 days, etc. These are all typically just nonsense articles.
These fitness magazines are the equivalent to watching reality TV shows or tabloids. They may give you some entertainment, but they are just a bunch of fluff. They really do not add much value to your life. Sure magazines can be useful if they motivate you to work out, but it’s much less efficient then learning the truth about diet and exercise from other more trusted sources, that aren’t so biased towards selling their supplements.
In reality it’s pretty simple to getting fit and muscular. At the end of the day you shouldn’t be buying into these magazines and continually reading them. I stopped years ago. I encourage you to do the same.
Are all Magazines and Websites who Sell Supplements and Fitness Products Bad?
It doesn’t necessarily mean that anybody who has a magazine or website that also sell supplements or fitness products has bad information. It just means you need to be more aware of hidden agendas. Learn to read between the lines. It also means you need to do your own research and you shouldn’t believe everything you read.
Since our website sells foam rollers and has fitness articles, are we biased in our health and fitness articles? We would like to think not, because we are actually very passionate about health, fitness, pain management, and foam rolling. Since there is such a lack of understanding of myofascial trigger points that lead to pain and other things related to muscle and fascia health, we made it our mission to spread the word.
In fact there is probably better money in marketing hyped up fitness supplements, but we chose to sell muscle roller products because they solve real problems in peoples lives. Foam rollers & Muscle Rollers relieve pain through targeting trigger points and they speed muscle recovery after workouts. There are a ton of foam roller benefits, and that’s why we use them daily ourselves.
Muscle rollers are an amazing tool to help people achieve certain pain management and fitness goals. Thats it, plain and simple. It’s not some gimmick that promises insane results. Its not something that we need to create a widespread fitness magazine to promote. People use it, they love it, word spreads. You don’t have to promote something that actively has a word of mouth phenomena because how well it works. Muscle rollers are a no-nonsense massage tool that thousands of people use for muscle health. You can very easily buy a muscle roller from any other company, but if you get some good information from our articles to better your life, that fulfills our mission.
So these are our passions. We hope that our passion for the truth can eliminate any perceived biases against us. We also love to write articles about the evolving scientific understanding of foam rolling, muscle massage, health and fitness. Since we are in search for the answers, we hope to find and share them with others.
Enough self promotion already – gosh!
The point is, when reading fitness articles (or any online article for that matter) you have to ask yourself – does this information sound valid? Can this information be verified against other sources? Always question, and don’t stop questioning. Just remember that those companies or magazines who write articles for the sole purpose of selling you their crappy supplements, are not articles or magazines you should be reading to expand your fitness knowledge.