CF Reviews

Excruciatingly Honest Opinions About Health and Fitness Products.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Fitness Magazine Giveaway

So Do We Really Need Another Health and Fitness Magazine?

Of course we do! Or at least I do. I have to confess I'm addicted to them, despite my many complaints about them. You'd think spending so much time on the web visiting health blogs, news sites, journals, etc, the last thing I'd want is a glossy magazine full of healthy eating and exercise tips. But as it turns out, yes I do! Because when the Fitness Magazine folks offered me a free subscription I jumped all over it. Jump, jump, jump! And they were generous enough to offer a giveaway subscription and prize pack too.

So What Do I Think?

Well, unfortunately, my copy hasn't arrived yet, and I'm too cheap too darn busy at the moment to purchase an issue off the newsstand. So this isn't intended to be a review. But I did get a peek at the July issue, and it's got some cool stuff in there. Don't let the cover throw you off though, because as is the case with almost all magazines marketed to women, it's annoying as hell.

The cover makes many promises to make you "slim," "hot," "pretty," and "skinny," but there is the frustratingly little cover ink devoted to "getting healthy," "building strength," "avoiding heart attacks" or "kicking ass." However, I suspect this is because most women standing in line at the grocery store will not buy magazines about kicking ass, just about looking pretty. I have ranted about this many times before and so will just shut up about it now.

Anyway, that said, the magazine itself seems way more health and fitness-focused than the cover. In fact, the article billed as "50 Best Foods That Will Keep You Skinny" on the cover turns out to actually be titled the Fitness Healthy Foods Awards, highlighting the best tasting and healthiest convenience foods they could find. And many of my favorites were on the list!

So I sense there may be some tension between the Skinny Pretty Cover Agenda and the Fit and Healthy Editorial Agenda. And I personally think the best way to resolve it would be to have a kickboxing match between the marketing folks and the editorial folks. And if the editorial people should happen to thrash the marketing people? Then they should be able to put an actual real life Size 12 model on the cover and talk about nothing but actual health and fitness! In which case sales would no doubt plummet and all the Fitness Magazine people would unfortunately be out of jobs, but it would great while it lasted and at least it would be fun to watch them duke it out, don't you think?

Go Editorial!
Photo: livegym-showtime

How to Win a Subscription and a Prize Pack:

So sadly, I think this is another US only deal. To be honest, I forgot to ask but I noticed it said U.S. only at MizFit's site. And what are the chances they're going to say: oh, but for you, Crabby McSlacker, we'll ship anywhere! So Canadians and others non-Americans, comment at your own risk. We'll totally appreciate your contribution, but you probably won't win a magazine subscription. Winner will be chosen via Random Number generator; only first comment counts if you comment more than once.

So the Prize Pack includes a magazine subscription, cosmetic bag, umbrella, apron, hat, notebook, and massager. (Note: not that kind of massager, sorry).

To enter, just leave a comment below saying what you like or don't like about health and fitness magazines.

Entry deadline: Tuesday night, July 28th.
Winner announced: Wednesday, July 29th.
Check back to claim your prize by end of day Saturday, Aug 1.

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  • How am I the first one. Count me in.

    I totally get your fitness magazine addiction. I was getting Self and Shape subscriptions, and buying the occasional women's health at the grocery store.

    BTW my husband loves your site. Me too, but I find it funnier that he does.

  • Woot! I love magazines. I love crabby mcslacker... :)

  • I just bought this magazine...came with a free workout video :) cheap. I liked it for the most part. Hard core people may find it a little lacking (?), but for me it was perfect. I didn't realize it was new though...explains the workout video.

  • I lost out on MizFit's's to my second try. Second try is the charm...right?!!! Oh wait it's supposed to be the third time...drat! Maybe I'll still get lucky ;)

  • I'm new to your blog... love it! I adore fitness magazines (most of them). I've noticed a trend in the one I currently subscribe to (Oxygen) of highlighting the over 40 crowd (me), and selfishly, I like that!! -Tammy

  • I, too have an unfortunate addiction to fitness magazines. Sometimes I start reading one at the gym, then I "borrow" it and finish it home. I do bring them back, though haha. Don't judge me. :)

    Thanks for the great giveaway, crabby! Happy Friday!

    said Anonymous on July 24, 2009 at 6:43 AM
  • This could really motivate me to try some new workouts.

  • Health and fitness magazines?

    Hates: Anything that tells me that I will have a firm butt in 14 days, if only I just scrunch my glutes more often while I'm in budget meetings at work. Don't tell me hateful lies! We all know it's gonna take more than that.

    Loves: Things like telling me which convenience foods are actually not awful for me! I can use this!

    If only they could tell me how to shoehorn two more hours of sleep into my day, so I have more energy to work out. Well, that is, beyond those glutes-scrunches I'm doing in my budget meeting.


  • Cranky, I agree with your point of view on fitness mags completely. The covers often put me off, but it's nice to find helpful info inside, workout hints, healthy food choices, etc.

    I'd love to win the prize pack!

    Teri K

  • I love to read all the informative (and sometimes useless) information and I can never pass up a new workout to try!

  • I love fitness magazines. Though a lot of the information is repetitive it's a good way to stay up on new trends and get fresh ideas (I'd say about 15% of content each month is "fresh).

    said Anonymous on July 24, 2009 at 7:29 AM
  • love the motivation they provide by sometimes looking at the same food or activity, in a different way or seeing a different way to incorporate it into my life!

  • I like: success stories! I especially want to see success stories featuring nearly-43 year old women without gallbladders who successfully shrank from a BMI of 29 to something attainable in a believable manner, didn't get diabetes, and lived happily ever after! It would also be a plus if people commented how great they look and how incredibly sexy 43 year olds are! Thank you!

    What I don't like: When they make it sound too easy. "Just eat whole foods and exercise, you'll be as slim as an eel in 16 weeks!" Humph.

    I also secretly have to admit I don't like it when they have really boffo, low body fat women on the cover because my father and husband make alarmed noises about, "You're not going for THAT, are you?" I assure them it takes way more patience and dedication than I have to get a body like that, but it's kinda nice not to have to shuffle my magazines under the papers on my desk. Maybe the true reason for the magazine cover duke-out.

  • I like the fact that they show a bunch of people being active, thus inspiring me to be active.

    I don't like the fact that it's the same advice over and over again. And that 50% of most of these magazines is just advertisement.

    said Linteater on July 24, 2009 at 7:40 AM
  • I'm a magazine junkie! This would be a great addition to my collection :)

  • I like reading health & fitness magazines in moderation; I think like with anything in life, you can overdo it... Having said that, I really like Fitness Magazine and have read it for years!

  • I love health and fitness magazines because they always call me to ask me to be on their covers. Sad to say, I am usually far too busy with my fitness regimen to accommodate their requests. It's certainly nice to be asked though.

    I could totally see myself walking around under a Fitness umbrella with my new massager considering my OLD "massager" just left me over the weekend.

  • I love fitness magazines because they always give me a new perspective on my workouts, nutrition, and other health issues.

  • I miss my Shape magazine subscription, it's always good to get a reminder of why we work out so much.

    Plus I like all the new ideas, and new trends.

    Love your blog Cranky!

  • I love the motivation, the camraderie of reading others' stories, and the food and exercise tips (that I rarely follow). Also, I just love getting anything but bills in the mail.

  • I'm just starting to get up the nerve to read fitness magazines...didn't think I qualified before! I'd love to win the subscription and prize pack, even with the *ahem* plain massager!

  • I admit to mostly reading magazines while in line at the grocery store.

    I would love an actual subscription :)

  • Ok so I am in.

    I don't like it when fitness magazines show models who are clearly only models. You know the ones with zero muscle tone. Sure they are thin, but do they just live on a cracker a day? If so then they should not be on the cover. Just sayin'.

    I do love to try the healthy recipes and work outs they provide.

    Did I win?

  • Fitness magazines are new to me so I don't any have firm ideas about what I like or don't like. I'm interested in finding out!

    Thanks for the giveaway.

  • I love this magazine and just got my last one from my subscription... good timing :)

    I love all the workout and fitness tips... hate how they have extremely thin models and not one has a realistic average american size.

    Thanks for doing this give-away!

  • I want to know why fitness magazines all seem to have lipgloss reviews in them. Shouldn't that go in a beauty magazine?

  • I love seeing what other people have accomplished!

  • I love them! I know they often all say the same things, but I'm always on the look out for the next good and healthy food and some new motivation for working out. Now, if I could only find time to apply their advice instead of just reading it....

    said Christy on July 24, 2009 at 10:08 AM
  • Well, I like how they do offer a lot of mini work out routines or things to do, but I dislike how everything is like 5 steps to great butt, 10 min to perfect abs. No, It's more like 33 years and it's still a process!! :) Thanks, this rocks!!

  • Since I typically don't read fitness mags, I don't know what I do/do not like, but I'd like to learn! Maybe if I started reading Fitness magazine, I could find ideas for something other than my elliptical to work out with!

  • I love fitness magazines - I like the variety of new ideas and they provide motivation for me when I work out!

  • What an awesome Fitness inspired giveaway! Thank you! I am addicted to reading fitness magazines but get so irate with all the fake teasers like "get a new body in 10 days..." - they really lose their credibility with these ridiculous statements.

  • I love fitness magazines, though I don't like when they have ads for 'sketchy' supplements whose use has been linked to the development of health problems.

  • Yes, please!!

  • I like fitness magazines when they are really cheap or free, lol. ;) In fact, I think my subscription just ran out on this one (free with purchase of some workout dvd) - so the timing is perfect.

    Please enter me in to win! :D

  • Even thought I am up in the Great White North I will give it a go.

    The thing I don't like about fitness magazines is ads for amazing fat 46 cheeseburgers a day and STILL lose weight.

    What I do like about fitness magazines are articles about "real" people who have embraced fitness.

    said Anonymous on July 24, 2009 at 11:10 AM
  • What I do like is the extra motivation to work out, and new work out tips. What I don't like is all the extra "fluff," like what high heels are pretty, what color to paint your nails, how to bond with your man, etc. Basically, I don't like it when parts of Cosmo make it into Health and Fitness magazines. Wow, that was long, but please count me in for the giveaway!

  • I like the new workouts, but I don't like the emphasis on being skinny rather than healthy

  • I don't like that sometimes they make things sound too quick and easy, when it is HARD.

  • I can usually manage to find at least one good healthy living tip in each issue! I'd love to win!

  • Count me in! I Love fitness magazines (little addicted actually) especially when I'm slogging through another work-out on the treadmill or stationary bike. Thanks for the give away Crabby!

    said AttaGirl on July 24, 2009 at 11:35 AM
  • My peeve with fitness magazines is they will have an article claiming to be new exciting exercises and information...and it basic stuff.

    This looks like it has practical thigns in it tho...I'll have a go!

  • Hey Cranky! Thx so much for mentioning me today! Coming from you guys, that is a real compliment! YES, The Fitness Mag site has lots of good info!

    I also get Shape & Oxygen Women's Fitness, all with good info & I like them all for different reasons. There is something for me in each one so. I just skip the things I don't want to read BUT I like to see all the different ways to do exercises, new info on food & recipes, success stories and more so.... I keep coming back for more!

    Thx again!

  • I have a love/hate relationship with fitness magazines. I will go through a phase where I read them cover to cover soaking up endless amounts of fitness knowledge ... then I will get completely overwhelmed with all of that endless knowledge and not read any at all for a few months. All in all, they help me keep my fitness routine fresh but I would be better off reading in moderation :-)

  • Oh I LOVE magazines, I'm such a magazine junkie. I like fitness magazines, because of the articles, the tips and I like when they do product reviews and I find new things I've never tried before!

  • I hate the covers that promise quick results with no work, simple solutions to the toughest problems and did we mention, no work for you! What a crock! I'd rather see a magazine that offered real plans, something I could sink my teeth into and yes, it might mean work for me, but it would at least work!

  • I always like the recipes. I'm such a foodie.

  • Oh pick me ye ole random number generator.

    I used to get runners world after a friend got me a gift subscription for a year... alas I am too cheap to pay for it on my own and now only muck up the pages while in the grocery store.

    I love reading them to get inspiration, but mostly ignore any real advice....

  • I subscribe to Shape and Self. I love learning new workout tips and new healthy recipes. Hate the focus on looking hot and skinny instead of being healthy.

    said AlaskaJoey on July 24, 2009 at 4:26 PM
  • I actually love the workouts in some of the magazines. They help cut the boredom and I was surprised to learn that some of them are so tough!!!!!
    What I'm not a huge fan of is that they tend to get really repetitive and they all almost every month claim that you can spot-reduce by doing toning only. But some of those toning exercises are really good...just need to combine with cardio
    Count me in for this giveaway though---I would love to get a subscription!!!! Thanks :)

  • Though I haven't read this magazine in any real way, I like fitness magazines in general for their (mostly) practical and (generally) easy to digest tips and information. I view the 'quick fix' promises for what they are: sales techniques. I'm pretty good at filtering that out and focusing on the goods. Thanks for the chance to win!

  • Sadly, my budget doesn't allow fitness magazines. I would love to receive a subscription.

  • What I dont like about fitness magazines is how like you said most of them just focus on losing weight or looking pretty. I have yet to find a magazine about maintaing or building strength. Thats what I would like to see. I do love this magazine though :)


    said Anonymous on July 24, 2009 at 7:08 PM
  • I love magazines and maybe if I were to have a free subscription to a health mag, I might actually start to get in shape!

    I know I'm posting at my own risk here, being in Canada, but with a word ver of "inces", how can I lose ;)

  • I love the food!!!

    Pick me, oh how I would love some free recipes. :]

    said Anonymous on July 25, 2009 at 12:51 AM
  • Fitness is my favorite health magazine, along with Natural Health also being high up there. I love fitness magazines, but I like ones that are informative, ones that are about you being healthy and not just about being skinny, and ones that don't have so much advertising in them that you wonder if they are just trying to sell you their products or really help people.

  • Like you - I don't like the covers of fitness magazines, but I do like the healthy foods and easier exercises.

  • Hi,

    Honestly, I love fitness magazines. They offer me some ideas to incorporate in *some* way into my life, even if I am not ready or able to do the total overhaul that they recommend.

    Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!


    amylou9903 at hotmail dot com

    said AmyLou on July 25, 2009 at 5:09 PM
  • I love fitness magazines-they are the perfect width to wedge under my exercise bike-I wouldn't want my clothes to slide off the handle bars now, would I?

  • I am frustrated by the number of incredibly fit people pictured in the magazines. They tend to make me depressed =P

  • I need to win this!!

    I love learning about health & fitness! I need to learn about health & fitness. I really dislike all the super skinny "perfect & pretty" people. arent there pretty people with some meat on them??

  • I love the healthy recipes!

  • What I love about fitness magazines is that they help me get and stay motivated, open my mind to new workout routines, and give me hope. What I don't like about them is that from month to month they contradict themselves. One month an exercise is the best or a food plan is great, the next the exercise doesn't work or your missing your nutrients.

  • I like to read success stories of people who can lose weight through sensible diet and exercise plans. Also like the fitness magazines that feature more healthy looking women as opposed to stick-thin women who appear to not have any muscle tone at all....

  • I'm a magazine junkie, too- I love fitness magazines for the same reason I love fitness blogs: motivation!

  • I haven't read many fitness magazines since I am just getting back into working out regularly, but I would like them to have motivational stories, workout routines that you can do at home, and healthy recipes that still taste good!

  • I love fitness magazines because I get great information about exercise and food.

    said Anonymous on July 28, 2009 at 12:49 PM
  • I LOVE my fitness magazines, but I don't like that Shape has started to try to do "High Fashion" spreads that have nothing to do with Fitness.

  • I love the exercise routines, the recipes and the articles about all things fitness related. I don't like the skinny or touched-up models seen in some.

  • Sweet blog!

    What I love about ANY fitness magazine are the success stories and pictures. Very motivating! :)

    What I dislike are how many magazines tell me to "go green" and "save the planet" and yet they publish millions of magazines a year. Seems hypocritical to me.

    I hope I win, but if not, thanks for having such a cool contest!

  • What I love about fitness magazines is that they offer new and cutting-edge tips on getting in shape or healthy. What I don't like it is not a quick fix- you have to normally try things for months at a time before it works.

  • I love fitness mags cause reading about 6-pack abs makes me want to work for some myself :)

  • im in... i hate the little thingies that fall out of the mag n onto ur lap!

    said Anonymous on August 5, 2009 at 5:26 PM


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