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Old 02-29-2008, 05:22 PM   #21
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Well, it seems to me they are competing for a similar cross-section of the male population.
The bodybuilding industry uses Flex, M&F, MMI, and MD essentially as glorified supplement-advertisement catalogues, and that was why they had worked so hard in the 80s and early 90s trying to curry the mainstream audience. However, when the Mr. Olympia and IBFF judges start siding unilaterally with freaky mass builders over aesthetics -- when Shawn Ray was literally the only guy out there who could compete without going 250lbs -- this damaged the supplement industry on two counts. First, the look was much less appealing to the mainstream audience. Second, it was impossible to believably sell customers that these supplements, not steroids, were the main reason for their freaky size. As a result, going into the mid-90s, the BB industry was in big trouble.

The men's fitness magazines now subsidize the hardcore mags. Supplement companies like EAS make most of their money from young male customers who want to emulate athletes, older men who are inspired by those physique transformations, and women who observe the fitness bunnies around them and want to be like them. These supplement companies still pitch products for the extreme market, and they still sponsor professional bodybuilders and contests, but now they don't have to base their livelihood on signing a Jay Cutler, a Lee Priest or Ronnie Coleman. They can go for a Brady Quinn to promote their products.

T-mag site is a good example of this, BTW. In the beginning, they were pitching themselves as a hardcore, "underground" alternative to publications, with articles on biochemistry and "hormone-like" connoctions. But they essentially followed Buttplug's Musclemedia business model and have transitioned toward a college subsection of the "men's fitness" audience, interested in MMA and sports, and using that to leverage the Biotest supplement company. Which is fine, T-mag has great columnists and have a format more similar to the Ironman Magazine style. But a lot of BB people feel betrayed over their turn. I cite their articles here, because this site matches their audience. But I would cite their work less if this were a BB site.

BUT, a guy who reads Muscular Development might also read a fluffy mag like Men's Fitness it seems to me, particularly younger guys.
Yeah, but there's actually more real and useful content (i.e. exercise technique, conditioning schemes) in Men's Fitness than Muscular Development. That's the stickler. Of ALL the mainstream BB magazines, the only publication worth a damn is still trusty Ironman Magazine. Flex is special in that it's the "industry magazine", and so you can read up on the latest beef between the top dogs. But outside of that, you're better off using the Internet or reading powerlifting/strongman publications.
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Last edited by tricky; 02-29-2008 at 05:27 PM.
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