The top five fitness magazines are:
- Men’s Health
- Men’s Fitness
- On Fitness
- Runner’s World
Let’s discuss each one briefly
Men’s Health – the top circulation in men’s health featuring articles for fitness, health, nutrition and others of general interest. Has workout features for all abilities, but mostly geared to those starting out. The nutrition and health features are geared for the athlete.
Men’s Fitness – good advice for fitness, nutrition, and training. Also has many stories on general interest for those who exercise.
On Fitness – more on athletics than aesthetics. Not so much geared to the beginner but to the athlete who is further along in their workouts. Good features on all equipment use with many advanced work out methods, less of general interest.
Outside – for the adventurer in outdoor sports. Plenty of advice for fitness and nutrition. Not necessarily geared for weight training but occasionally has articles related to weight training that gets a person ready for extreme sports.
Runner’s World – a magazine for runners of all age groups, both men and women. Features of fitness training especially geared for endurance and on nutrition and health issues of runners.
Most web sites that feature top 10 have most of these in their lists but not necessarily in the same order. There are other good magazines out there, but I could not include them in the Top Five.
What are their good points?
When they write on weight training they are usually very good but they are more for the novice weight lifter rather than someone who has many years behind them. The exception to that is On Fitness and to a degree Men’s fitness. On Fitness gears many of theirs to the trained athlete and leaves the beginners to other magazines. Men’s Fitness also has better weight lifting stories. That is not to say that the others don’t, but as in Outside and Runner’s World they are geared more to the sports they represent. Many good ideas can be gleaned from them for weight training, but it is not the norm.
Their health and nutrition stories are usually excellent in all cases and I for one would like to see more of that and more exercises.
What is bothersome about these magazines?
Almost all of the magazines have a lot of ads in them touting whatever product is out there. Not much is ever written about any of their advertisers or their products so one must do research to ascertain whether the products have any worth. There is a lot of advertising which can be overwhelming when you want to read stories on weightlifting.
There are also many stories on general interest, and sex etc. I know these are needed in the industry but I feel they detract from the basic premise of the publications. They tend to become too broad, trying to encompass, a general feel good quality.
We need more on equipment for weight lifting, endurance training, and health and nutrition and get rid general interest fluff.
I’d like to see more stories on buying guides for all equipment they discuss in all magazines like the adjustable dumbbells reviews on this site. Give the readership better ideas of what we need. I know Runner’s World does a good job with this and to a degree so does Outside.
I want to know about products that are out there. Some publications do a fair job of product review but overall I think it need to improve considerably. Take a product like the Bayou Fitness Adjustable Dumbbells BF-0250 it is represented well online but a good review on a product like this would help everyone.
What would I like to see in a magazine?
I along with most people cannot afford to purchase every publication for fitness every month. A magazine for an industry, such as weightlifting, having a compendium on features for the last quarter that pulls the stories on weightlifting together as an example. This has been done in other venues but I imagine with the competition between the publishing companies it is probably a futile venture.
Many publications are doing advertising articles, which are hard to pick up on at first. Ad space sells, but I don’t buy magazines for their ads, I buy for their content and all should be content driven not ad revenue driven.
These magazines are rated the top five in their field so they must be doing something right. I have used many of the ideas in both Men’s Health and Outside, so I know they have good content. I am not a runner but a walker and I have used Runner’s World’s features on shoe purchases, almost religiously. The content can get better in all the publications, but weight training need to be addressed more. A good product review on adjustable dumbbells would be welcome.