Looking Back On The Muscle Media 2000 days of Bodybuilding

Talk about a blast from the past! I was digging through some old boxes of office stuff, and found this Muscle Media 2000 audio tape interview I had done back in the mid 90s. I recall I had done a two or three part series, but I forget exactly which. Unless you were part of all that “back in the day,”  it’s hard to convey to the reader how much things have changed since then. At that time, Muscle Media 2000 (MM2K) was THE magazine of the time, and by far the most influential. Bill Phillips and crew – which included yours truly – set the standard with MM2k with solid info people could really use to transform their body. They also had an audio tape series of interviews with various people on all manner of topics. These audio tapes were a separate subscription from the magazine and were very popular I recall.

MM2K  was a total departure from all the other mags at the time, and writers like Dan Duchaine, Charles Poliquin, Mike Mooney, Dr. X, Bill Phillips and many others broke new ground where other publications feared to tread. This was truly the height of bodybuilding, which shortly after, took a nose dive due to various factors, both social/political and financial.

To this day, I still have people mention the article called the  “Anabolic round-table” discussion myself, Dan Duchaine, and Bruce Kneller published. We discussed all sorts of stuff that would never get published today as PC trend took over…Christ on a stick, I hate the PC nonsense that permeates the media – and general society – these days, but that’s another rant for another day….Finding these tapes really brings back some memories! I bet some readers here subscribed to the MM2K audio series and remember them fondly. Oh, the stories I could tell…

I’m a bit of a pack rat: I still have every MM2K, MMI, and the many other publications I have been featured in, in boxes in my basement. I found the Anabolic Round-table issue and took a quick pick..I got a lot O boxes!  Some day I really need to go through them…

Remember, mid 90s, the ‘net existed, but was nothing like it is today. Most people had dial up connections, so streaming audio was a clunky process at best. Large scale inexpensive CD burning didn’t exist either I recall, so audio tapes were what most used. I’m sure these great interviews exist on the ‘net someplace as streaming audio, but that was new technology at the time and 56k dial up modems – with a small number using DSL – were the norm, so audio tapes were used. It’s funny, the mid 90s was not long ago, but looking at these cassettes looks like virtual stone- age technology at this point!

That’s my brief look at the golden age of Muscle Media 2000/MM2K and the small roll I played in it. Time sure goes by fast!

  1. Lance 14 years ago

    I still have em all, some great tips and as stated before PC. Just cleaned out the mags though. Good stuff and thanks for reminding me that I need to listen to them again.

  2. Heather Grace 14 years ago

    I remember this well! .. Ah, the good ‘ol days… I LOVED Muscle Media 2000!

  3. JR 14 years ago

    I loved that magazine. It literally was my bible of the day back then. I miss Dan Duchaine. He was a character with an extreme, practical wealth of knowledge.

  4. JR 14 years ago

    How about making the audio tapes available as mp3 on the site?

  5. Joe 14 years ago

    Those were great days, Will. Even though BP was full of himself, it was a great magazine with a lot of useful information. Between MM2k and misc.fitness.weights, that was pretty much all anyone needed to stay in touch with the radical underground of bodybuilding.
    Wasn’t that Bill’s brother Shawn on that casette cover? There was no Photoshop in those days so I have to assume those abs were real – right?

  6. spyro trifos 14 years ago

    Hey Will……Would there be any problems with BP if you did make them into mp3 files for nostalgia purposes?

  7. Ken Jensen 14 years ago

    I remember when I moved from NY to CO. My apartment ended up being on the other side of the hill from MM HQ! I applied for a job there (no luck) but felt like I was inside Mecca roaming the lobby! I was in my late 20’s and at my most athletic. I felt blessed to be so close to the place I loved so much. It was almost surreal to me then!

  8. Andy Laird 14 years ago

    Will, how about an article review with updates as you see things today? How well does that article hold up today? Was the Anabolic Round Table information so good to wax nostalgic? Let’s hear about the content. Many thanks.

  9. David 14 years ago

    Back in the day, I bought the MM cd-rom that had all issues from 92-02. I broke one of the CDs and now they’re out of print. Does anyone have any ideas on how to find one of these?

  10. Author
    Will Brink 14 years ago

    Joe, yes that’s a well known picture of Shawn that was also a cover for the mag on one issue. Not knowing exactly who owns the copyrights these days, and it would take a lot of tracking down to find them and get permission, probably wont get it up as an mp3, but you never know.
    Andy, an article to review an article? Interesting idea. Will five that some thought.
    Brings back some fun memories!

  11. David 14 years ago

    I remember either Bruce or Will calling Dan one “funky-ass weird dude!”. Hilarious!

  12. Chris Johnson 14 years ago

    Great find! I have ALL of my MM2K issues and pick them up once in a while to give them a read. Some of that info was so cutting-edge it’s only now hitting mainstream consciousness – and by “mainstream”, I mean bodybuilders – bodybuilders “in the know” – y’know what? I guess it’s still pretty darn cutting-edge info even 20 years later!
    I didn’t get the tapes (except for the “Body For Life” ones – which marked the beginning of the end). It would be awesome to give them a listen some time.
    Keep up the great work, Will!

  13. Patrick Arnold 14 years ago

    the phillips newsletters and then later mm2k and the tapes and all that other stuff were a big deal to me in the early 90s. It definitely accelerated my knowledge and interest in performance enhancement and probably changed the direction my life ultimately went. although i hate the turn the mag eventually took, i can never deny the impact it had in its earlier years

  14. John Koenig 14 years ago

    Cannot agree more that MM2K was so influential. No other mag in this field has ever generated that “waiting for the new issue to arrive” anxiety. Frankly, I’ve never re-read so many articles as I did in that publication; sometimes over and over. Each new issue was a window into a fascinating world. Even with the resources at our disposal today,I look back at MM2K with great fondness. I had the cassettes, too…. wonder what happened to them? Yes, those are Shawn’s abs.

  15. Author
    Will Brink 14 years ago

    Pat, the news letter was great too. And then it got a glossy look, and then I recall articles about this “techno functional” protein he had found, and poof, MetRX, Muscle Media got started. I guess the motivation you found from MM2K work: You ended up listed at one of the 100 most influential people in sports by ESPN!
    Keep the comments coming!

  16. Brad Rogers 14 years ago

    Will,…you are so right! MM2k was revolutionary. I was one of their original subscribers. I was offered a lifetime subscription for about $100 or so. There was no guarantee the publication would even make it at the time, thus the great offer. I confess, I had my doubts to and went with a shorter, cheaper subscription.
    Whatever happened to……Danny Hester? Shawn Phillips? Charles Polquin? Ami Cusack? Amy Fadali?
    I had the tape your referenced and still retain a few MM2K magazines.
    To me, MM2k “sold out” and I didn’t renew years ago. But Will, you are straight forward and I really enjoy reading your work.

  17. Author
    Will Brink 14 years ago

    Brad, No idea on Danny Hester. Shawn is alive and well and owns Phillips Performance. Charles is a very busy guy, has a big web site, and wrote the training chapter of my ebook Bodybuilding Revealed. Don’t know what Cusack is up to. Amy is now Amy Fadhli-Raymond. She has a facebook account and such, but I don’t know what she’s up to these days.

  18. Chris Johnson 14 years ago

    I saw Danny Hester at the Arnold’s last year. He was endorsing his own line of fitness equipment. He looks exactly like he did on that orange-colored cover MM2K!
    I forgot about that lifetime subscription, Brad. I had one of those too. And they honored it when I cancelled after the mag went soft.
    Like Patrick, MM2K certainly influenced me in the direction my life has taken. For that, to Bill and his team, I say, “thank you.”

  19. philipj 14 years ago

    It seems that every single publisher, and manufactures has forgotten that many men & women got into weights because of Muscle Media. I spent a lot of money with them because I was paying for the information and help that I received. They held real contests for non monster regular citizens. Plus the prizes all the way down were considerable compared to the phony prize of three months of supplements.
    Some people make fun of the demise of MM2K, but most of us, and the finger pointers,l would not be here today if not for Bill. I know I would like to read an unbiased article on where he is now and what is is doing.

  20. Chris Johnson 14 years ago

    It’s not to say that Muscle Media was “worse” than MM2k – it just catered to a different crowd. The MM2K readers already knew the basics on how to eat and train – we wanted cutting-edge info!
    Muscle Media catered to the masses – people who didn’t know the difference between macronutrients, what supplements were, or how to curl a bar correctly. This was awesome for you, but for us it was redundant and boring. We felt betrayed – we spent lots of money with them first! (That’s why we seem bitter.)
    I already thanked Bill and, like him, believe that all of us, whether hardcore or softcore, are bodybuilders – we hardcore guys just liked having a magazine all to ourselves.

  21. stephen gates 14 years ago

    hi will brink, its stephen sorry ive not got back to you its just that my doc hasnt put me through for an operation cus the hientus hernia is not in strangulation, im gettin depressd cus i cant do weight training, kung fu, kickboxing nor even go back to work, ive been on the sick for about a year now through weight training, i was training slowly uping the weight and bangd up the weight a little bit higher then ripp- what have i done wrong ime so pissed off n upset, could you give me some advise on what i can do or what to expect in the future. love your network…………. just feelin so down in myself……….

  22. Bert Neibergall 14 years ago

    MM2K was and always will be, the epitomy of what a true bodybuilding magazine, that catered to the guy (or girl) dreaming of being either a pro bodybuilder or at the very least a bodybuilder with 20 inch arms, should be! I would get so pissed off when I saw it on the 7-11 shelf before my subscription got to my house but I would buy it anyway because I couldnt wait another minute to learn something new. It fueled my intensity every workout and I remember trying every different training style that was offered from Wave training to GVT and beyond. I remember getting shredded on Dan’s IsoCubed diet and getting vascular with glycerol and red wine lol!! To this day I still flip through some of my old issues and get ideas for workouts, diets and even some ads and ad layouts used in MM2K. Without a doubt, MM2K lit my fire and made me want to become an industry insider, ultimately laying the path for what would eventually become my career. Thank you to everyone involved with MM2K in the 90’s, what an era that was!

  23. Author
    Will Brink 14 years ago

    Bert, MM2K was responsible – for better or worse truth be told – for the life/career directions many took. In it’s short life in it’s “had core” form, it developed many a career.

  24. Greek Bodybuilding 14 years ago

    MMI was hands down the best fitness/muscle magazine during the 90s. They were definately pioneers in the industry despite the heavy push for supplements and BFL.

  25. Good Forex 13 years ago

    HA! Nice post…Thank you for sharing some good things!! 😀

  26. Marty 13 years ago

    Hey Will,
    At one time there was a cd rom that existed that had all issues of MM on it. Do you happen to know where someone can obtain a copy?

    • Author
      willbrink 13 years ago

      No idea, sorry. Copies float around here and there. Some times you can find big collections Ebay and places like that.

  27. Melbournite 13 years ago

    i am in the middle of packing for a move, and I just came across my MM2K collection. I can't believe that it has been well over a decade since that era. I bought as many as I could from about 1993 onwards, up until the last issue. Man, I used to read and reread those like they were holy scripture!
    I had a nice nostalgic flip through a few issues, looking at all of the articles by TC, Dan Duchaine, Charles Poliquin and yourself, of course. Thank you for being part of something that was a great positive influence on me. A fantastic magazine, and something I remember with great fondness. The collection will go with me to the new house.

  28. Jon B 11 years ago

    This was a great “blast from the past” Will! Thank you for posting it. Yes the bodybuilding world was a a lot different back then. I think I met you Will at the big Muscle Media Media convention in Vegas that one year.
    It was great meeting all the guys from the Mag in person and going to all the events that weekend.
    Yes the Golden good old days….

    • Author
      Will Brink 10 years ago

      Yup, the golden age of BBing I’d say,

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