Men’s Health Caught Recycling Cover: Editor Says it Was on Purpose


It's been obvious for a while that these fitness magazines just recycled the same article themes over and over, but Men's Health was just caught recycling the cover lines and layout for its cover.

The magazine's editor Dave Zinczenko claims it was intentional: "It was only newsstand copies, it was not inadvertent, and it was part
of overall branding strategies that we wouldn't share for magazines,
books, international editions, mobile applications or anything else."

It's no wonder that print media is dying.

(image via gawker)


  1. pickles says

    Proof that hideous, hyper-copy intensive design is unread by most shoppers. Simplify. Simplify design. Honestly, if they want to sell zines pop the friggin tops off these studs ( a little bird told me ‘sex sells’) and drop the visual cacophony graphic design. People like beautiful pictures on the outside and deep smarts on the inside.

  2. GregV says

    I used to read these magazines. But after a while I started realizing two thinmgs:
    1) I was rarely reading anything new
    2) They heterosexualize all the articles, in spite of the fact (confirmed to me by a friend who works for them) that they know their readership is largely gay and are not allowed to acknowledge it. (Notice the headline: What Sexy Women Love” — Why couldn’t it be “What sexy people love about men,” for example?). The “all-men-are-straight” viewpoint gets insulting, and dumbs it down even more. So I quit reading them.

  3. says

    No surprise really. I haven’t bought a muscle mag in years because it’s the same crap rearranged every other month. But the biggest mag that gets away with this every month are the womens mags like Cosmo “how to be more sexy. what do men really want? makeup is IN. 2009 hot item—lipstick. 10 tips for better nostrils, how to get revenge when he dumps you, blah blah blah” :)

  4. sparks says

    Totally agree with GREGV. Anything remotely sexual had to be expressed in hyper-hetero terms. “Give HER a six-pack for Christmas” my ass.

    I haven’t subscribed to any of those “men’s” mags in over a decade for that very reason. It IS insulting to gay people.

  5. says

    Yeah that is so true GREGV; if you are interested in the magazine get a one year subscription and place them in your library…all of the articles are recycled from year to year…I mean come on how many ways can your do a bench press. One more thing NEVER buy it off the newsstand the price is ridiculous for a single issue.

    My favorite men’s fitness magazine is Maximum Fitness. Yeah there are lots of tits and ass but the articles are really informative.

  6. Gabe R L says

    Is Dave Zinczenco out? I saw him on TV once with Oprah and Gayle, laughing with them, and he seemed like one of the girls. Has Jim Nelson over at GQ come out?

  7. D.B.. says

    It’s entirely possible — in fact, probable — that it was indeed intentional. As someone who has worked in the mag industry for many years, I can tell you many in the mag world have weird obsessions (bordering on superstition) with cover lines — they’re seen more important than actual content or design. Many in the industry absolutely believe that just the right cover lines will make or break the newsstand sales of any given issue.

    Chances are that the earlier Statham cover sold really well, and a very pressured edit staff attempted to recreate that success by simply recreating the cover with Taylor Lautner. Not exactly an original or wise choice, but with magazines folding everyday, I can see how it might have seemed like a reasonable course of action in the moment. That is until they got caught.

  8. Trevor says

    GREGV: I second what you said. Years ago I used to work in the same building as the Men’s Health staff and I’m pretty sure a lot of them are gay themselves. Which makes it even more heartbreaking that they’re willing to do what they do in terms of the content. What a bunch of pathetic sell-outs! And Dave Z.’s their commander-in-chief. I hope the mag suffers a circ drop after this. Laziness and homophobia shouldn’t = success.

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