Surreal muscle magazine cover

muscle-mag.jpgWhen I saw this magazine on the newsstand, I thought it was a gaming magazine with a photo of a character in a video game. But I think it's a photo of a real human being. (Click on thumbnail for enlargement)


  1. >When I saw this magazine on the newsstand, I thought it was a gaming magazine with a photo of a character in a video game. But I think it’s a photo of a real human being.

    What are you talking about? Alien Leg Training is a spectacular video game.

    Really — you’re missing out if you haven’t tried playing it.

  2. Followup thought…

    The voices in my head are trying to promote Weight Room for the Nintendo Wii.

  3. “Alien Leg Training” ?

    This is the stuff I want the archaeologists of 9000 A.D. to dig up. Yeah, figure this out you egg heads!

  4. The guy referenced in the link in comment number four actually had his massive bicep EXPLODE from overtraining.


  5. The guy in the pictures linked by LSK reminded me of someone or something. It was bugging, and then it came to me! He looks just like one of those pickled frogs you have to dissect in high school.

  6. I’ve known people who were into body building (including using steroids, of course) and I don’t think they were under any illusions that it was either healthy or beautiful. I think the needs it satisfies are similar to that of any competitive sport – self-control, a challenge, having a goal, having a sense of meaning in life. It’s extremely hard on their bodies, but they might be even more miserable without it. Who knows.

  7. So I guess all these muscle mags these aren’t all just soft-core porn for closet cases. Nice to see they have the freakshow angle going on, too. :)

  8. I’m glad that I’m not the only one who had this reaction when encountering this magazine cover. I saw it yesterday at my local Barnes & Noble and thought the same thing.

  9. Is it wrong that the first thing I thought was: The Incredible Hulk could have been produced without a CGI budget?

  10. The dude with big arms didn’t have his arms ‘literally explode’. He regularly injected steroids into his biceps, which evidently didn’t cause him any problems out of the ordinary for ‘roid users.

    The ‘exploding arms’ bit was that he was extremely careless about using clean needles (he was feeling invincible for some reason) and as a result got a really nasty infection that he didn’t bother getting treated for a while. Eventually the doctor had to cut out a huge chunk of bicep (he probably lost more bicep mass than most of us have…in both arms).

    He still has enormous arms, but one is misshapen because of the scaring.

  11. @ #18: I saw this Good Housekeeping issue while in the checkout line at the grocery store. The eyes FOLLOW you. o_o

  12. Skramble, we here at BoingBoing respect your choice and request pictures. You know, to support you. We laugh with you. Not at you.

    Da, impotence?!

  13. @28. Okay, now there’s no sedative on Earth that will get me through the night without a really bad dream.

  14. @30

    I can’t stop thinking about how much he looks like one of the Controller mutants from the game S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl. Especially the fact that there’s almost no visible neck on that guy, like he has a headneck or something. Of course the Controllers don’t wear little spandex shorts, which I’m now eternally grateful for.

  15. @21: Good call. Just because you have CGI, doesn’t mean you have to use it.

  16. There’s a kid with pretty hardcore juicer muscles at my school. I used to like to watch Skinny Brandon rip him apart in any sort of fight because, despite the fact that Brandon probably weighs less than -me-, and whose wrists you can encircle with a hand and have space left over, Brandon would have him tapping out in moments.

    What is the -reason- for muscling up like this? It doesn’t make you more capable of anything, except for having to hire a hygenist to wipe your ass when you finally can’t reach anymore.

    Also- steroids. Injections. IMPOTENCE? Testosterone issues? Does this not matter to these men? Well… beings.

  17. Also- steroids. Injections. IMPOTENCE? Testosterone issues? Does this not matter to these men? Well… beings.

    Think about it. Sticking your finger down your throat. Bulimia. No breasts. Estrogen issues. It’s just the flip side of anorexia.

  18. Sigh. I don’t understand bulimia either. It might be because I have no gag reflex and can barely retch even when I’m ill. (No insinuations!)

  19. And when all is said and done, daddy still doesn’t give him the attention he needs.

  20. I was poised to copy and paste when I saw your wise preemptive warning. You know me too well.

  21. You’re predictable, Antinous. It spares both of us the juvenile innuendo war though.

  22. For the love of God! Think of the Polar Bears! That boy could feed a bear and her cubs for weeks!

  23. I like my version of the story better. His arm exploded, and I’m sticking to it, even if it isn’t true.

  24. He’s not built much more outrageously than other pro bodybuilders. It’s the pose and facial expression that send the photo into video game territory.

  25. Oh my gosh, Alek, my little brother had those Hulk Hands. Endless entertainment. And bruises.

  26. The stripy muscles on his thighs…I don’t think I’ve ever seen those before.
    Is that what “alien leg training” gives you?
    I am seriously disturbed by them, yet I can’t look away…

  27. note – this magazine has been moved down one shelf and placed to obscure another magazine behind it. you can just make out along the top, it says, “how the pentagon lost track of $x trillion”

  28. That is just so very wrong, don’t they realise how bad it is for their bdies to go through this!?

  29. not to say said being isn’t a tad freakazoidian, i’m willing to bet that photoshop played a hand in the making of this ‘photo’.

  30. Wot, a person on a magazine cover touched up a bit? Unthinkable! Actually, once you realise that a few people have crazy amounts of muscle, the guy doesn’t really look more surreal than the people on about every other magazine cover.

  31. This guy must have been in so much pain when that picture was being taken. To get that kind of muscle (and vein, eugh) definition you need to be seriously dehydrated. If you’re doing it right you collapse just after you leave the stage. They do it by not drinking (obviously) then drinking hard alcohol a little while before to get the diuretic effect. Health is not exactly their watchword…

  32. “Click on thumbnail for enlargement”

    Gosh, how many times did that guy click the thumbnail? He’s HUGE!

  33. Buncha geeks never heard of MD. It’s actually quite excellent. Chock-full of articles with the latest research in sports nutrition and training.

    Oh, and huge guys on the cover.

  34. “He still has enormous arms, but one is misshapen because of the scaring.”

    Actually both of his arms are misshapen. Only now they don’t match.

  35. Having just left the gym industry, I can tell you I do not miss juice-head body builders, at all! What a strange sub-culture.

  36. I bet he’s screaming because those little shorts fit really tight.

    Seriously though, I agree with Mark on this. Stuff like that magazine cover is quite surreal. Artifacts from the marketing industry’s culture, I guess. Surreal and disquieting.

  37. I read *every* issue of MD and that cover scared even me.

    Still – despite all the steroid freaks and the fact that most of the magazine is supplement ads there is good content in that mag. The research digest sections of MD are a huge help – they give synopses of various medical studies pertinent to body building.

    And I was pretty happy when they added a monthly drug-free training column. Now it they’d just do a vegetarian body builder section I’d be all set…

  38. My first thought on seeing that cover was “Looks like some of Richard Corben’s art.” Although even Corben doesn’t exaggerate his musculature that drastically.

  39. i wonder if he’s screaming about the loss of his testicles due to over use of steriods. i would scream too. poor guy.

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