Muscle Sport Magazine

Setting the Bar

Muscle Mags from Yesteryear Paved the Way for Today’s Giants

If you ever have the opportunity to purchase one of the vintage muscle magazines, I totally recommend doing so. If you search on eBay, it’s pretty easy to find them, and for the most part, they will be in good condition.

For a complete list of old titles – and even cover scans of the majority of them – you have to check out There’s everything from Your Physique (the pre-cursor of Muscle & Fitness, and the Weider brothers first publishing endeavor – August 1940 inaugural issue shown), to Strength (the first American publication, which ran from 1914 to 1930), up to the latest titles.

These old books were obviously written long before steroids came on the scene, so the bodies that you see are completely natural. Some look great, others more lean, but not mean. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I suppose. There are advertisements included, but for the most part, they are ‘house’ ads for workout equipment, supplements, manuals, etc. put out by the publisher. In the Weider pubs, there is ‘Master Blaster’ everything, and in Strength and Health, the York, PA barbell company has all of their items listed and pictured.

Not knocking any of the magazines today (OK, I’m really knocking them but trying to be unbiased since I am in the industry), but they have become basically catalogs for supplements, masked to make them appear to be editorial. Not exactly the most interesting thing to read, although I realize the need for that. Ad $ make the world go ’round.

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