Men’s Health Magazine was originally founded in 1987 and focused primarily on men’s health. Today, it focuses on all aspects of men’s lives, including nutrition, relationships, sexuality, fitness, and lifestyle, as well as other areas. It’s published by Rodale, Inc., in Emmaus, Pennsylvania. It is the largest and best selling men’s magazine “brand,” with 38 editions that publish globally and 12 million monthly readers. Its monthly circulation is 1.85 million; its website also boasts about 40 million hits a month.
Originally meant as a health magazine, today, the magazine focuses on every aspect of men’s lives, including the financial, fashion, and even travel aspects, as well as, of course, relationships. It has also been nominated for eight national magazine awards, and is a major source of information for men who just want to “be in the know” about the latest trends in men’s lives and solutions to problems.
Editor in chief David Zinczenko has been at the helm of the magazine since 2000, with the magazine seeing circulation growth of 30% in that time. Ad page volume has grown as well, from 700 pages to 1150 pages. Under Zinczenko’s leadership, it changed its look somewhat as well, in that it began focusing on celebrities and athletes exclusively as its cover “models.” Zinczenko was named Editor of the Year by Adweek in 2008.
Men’s Health has gotten involved in combating childhood obesity too, with its launch of the FitSchools initiative, in 2007. With this initiative, health, fitness and nutrition experts go to selected schools and overhaul the school lunch and fitness programs within the school itself. Its now-established The FitSchools Foundation is a nonprofit organization that seeks to end childhood obesity and get kids interested in an active, fit lifestyle.
In November 2008, Men’s Magazine scored a major coup when it put then President Elect Barack Obama on its cover. As one executive said, “He is the prototypical Men’s Health guy: successful, a good dad, a good husband.” This is one focus, in fact, that sets Men’s Health apart from so many other “guy magazines on the market. The focus is on the complete man, not just on building big muscles, or on the superficial. Fitness and health are there of course as well, but they comprise only a part of the picture, not all of it.
However, it has garnered some criticism because the magazine does focus quite a lot on the so-called “perfect body.” This has led some critics to surmise that it will make men worry about their physical appearance more, such that they workout harder to the point of injury, develop eating disorders, and overly obsess about their physiques in general.
Be that as it may, this strong performer, which won Best Magazine Performer of the Decade from Cappell’s Circulation Report in 2007 and continues to be named to “best of” lists on a yearly basis, is clearly not going anywhere. With its focus on the “whole man,” not just one aspect such as fitness or sexuality, it continues to be a dominant and well-thought-out choice on the newsstand for men everywhere.