Douglas D. Grant is the Co-Owner and former Publisher of Iron Man Magazine. Here is the text form of his 2019 Summer Issue’s PUBLISHER’S LETTER.
It has been said to never doubt even a few passionate, caring people on a mission because they are usually the ones that change the world.
Iron Man Magazine, America’s oldest fitness magazine in circulation, was founded in 1936 by Peary and Mabel Rader, a passionate couple from a small town in Nebraska. In the early 1950s, Iron Man Magazine was the first fitness publication to show women working out with weights as part of their overall fitness regimen. Iron Man Magazine took heat for this bold move, but they stood for something bigger, even though it was against the norm. Now, women everywhere are empowered to lift weights and better their physique and health.
Many other bold moves have been made by Iron Man Magazine over the decades that forever changed the landscape of bodybuilding and fitness. Since the latest purchase of Iron Man Magazine in 2018, by myself and my partner Denny Kakos, the industry is already making moves towards Olympic-tested sports, including bodybuilding, supplements, diets, etc. Health and longevity are becoming the main focus of fitness-minded individuals and the fitness industry in general. Organizations, like the IFBB, have decided to recognize (at least a little) the importance of celebrating and promoting drug-tested athletes for the first time in history. This year, they are doing a pro-drug-tested show.
Six months before this first revolutionizing issue hit newsstands, myself and my partner, Denny Kakos, committed passionately in front of thousands of Olympic-tested athletes in person and watching worldwide.
What commitment did we make? Eliminate the poorly-veiled dark secret of bodybuilding for the benefit of anyone involved in fitness and sports. We are already seeing ripples that will lead to a wave of change.
It isn’t much of a secret that the bodybuilding industry and non-tested sports use steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs). The real secret is if you see an athlete in pretty much any division–man or woman–in the IFBB, Strongman competitions or the like, the HIGH majority of these athletes are taking steroids. Even until recent years, sports like CrossFit, MMA, and more were flooded with athletes taking performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs). These great organizations took on the challenge and recently started testing. In 2018, CrossFit corporate alone reported 19 athletes caught using PEDs.
Believe it or not, Iron Man Magazine isn’t on a mission to hate or hurt people using steroids. I have close friends who openly take steroids. It’s similar to being friends with people who have different religious or political beliefs. Steroid use is a personal choice. If you’re open and honest about it, we can accept that. We simply don’t support it because of the health dangers they pose. However, if you hide the use of PEDs, thus creating public deception in regards to your physique, we no longer stand on the same moral ground. We will not help further deceive the public. There is no doubt we might be deceived by athletes from time to time, just as the Olympics have, but when you read Iron Man Magazine, we ensure that you will at least know that we stand for this new vision and are doing all we can to change the industry for the better.
In addition to this new mission, Iron Man Magazine is now committed to helping the people who look at these bodybuilding and fitness magazines by helping them achieve the physique of the people they see on the cover and the pages within. They will be able to follow the workouts and nutrition plans discussed in the articles and start getting shapelier muscles. They will learn about the nutrition, supplements, and training programs the athletes have been following religiously to build their physique. And now, they will no longer learn the hard truth that steroids were involved to build that physique. Steroids and/or other PEDs are no longer a tempting choice or depressing realization. Their fitness dreams can be a safe and healthy reality without drugs.
We have witnessed too many cases of physique athletes being pressured into drug use. They’ve been told, “Look, you are almost there. Just go ahead and take this so you can get the physique you want” or “Take this to get an extra edge on stage.” The fact is that steroids–especially taken during your youth–can cause depression, body shaming, disease and shorter life spans (at least joint spans). I’ve personally seen the harmful side effects of steroid use from people who have come to me seeking help.
Iron Man Magazine has once again decided to make a bold move and take a stand with our publication. We wish to show that big changes can happen when people are passionately committed to a good cause.
HERE IS WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT FROM THE NEW FACES OF IRON MAN MAGAZINE:
1. Any feature article showing an athlete’s nutrition, exercise or supplementation program will only be an athlete that competes in a fully W.A.D.A. (World Anti-Doping Agency) tested sport or organization. If the athlete doesn’t compete in a tested sport but is featured, Iron Man Magazine will have the INBA PNBA (the World’s Largest Natural Bodybuilding Organization) perform a full Olympic-Level W.A.D.A. drug test before the issue goes to print.
2. You will occasionally see iconic pictures of some of the great athletes of the past that were showcased in Iron Man Magazine, like Arnold, Zane, and Everson, because there are photos that only we have access to of these historic icons. However, you will not see any workouts, nutrition plans or supplements promoted by them. A motivational quote by Arnold or great pose by Zane may appear, but that’s it. If a workout or nutrition plan is shown, it will be from a tested athlete.
3. Most importantly, when you see a physique in Iron Man Magazine, you will know it is legally attainable through hard work in the gym, proper W.A.D.A compliant supplementation, and nutrition. We are confident that we have done everything we can to ensure featured athletes sculpted their bodies naturally and legally. You can be confident that the featured programs were used by that athlete (and is the ONLY thing they did) to achieve their fitness level.
One of the icons in the sport and previous owners of Iron Man Magazine asked me if this change meant that you would never see the big-muscled bodybuilders or chiseled, extremely shapely women featured in our magazine.
NO. We will scour the world, finding those genuine, loveable, genetic freaks of nature that truly exist. We will show them to you to celebrate the upper limits of genetic potential. Check out the two-time Natural Olympia Champion Rob Terry.
For those of us that were not 6’2” and 225 lbs at age 15 like Rob Terry, there are a plethora of body types that match your own. You can follow these athletes and be confident their physiques are achievable with enough consistent, disciplined fire for your goals. For example, in this issue, we have a weeks worth of workouts from Jon Tsui, three-time PNBA Physique World Champion, and Natural Universe Champion, who comes in at 5’7 170 lbs.
Because my partner, Denny Kakos, is also the president and founder of the Natural Bodybuilding Organization INBA PNBA, I was also asked if only tested bodybuilders from the INBA PNBA will be featured. The answer is no. If an athlete is natural and willing to prove it anytime, anyplace through W.A.D.A drug-testing, we are interested in featuring them. We personally invite all great drug-free athletes, bodybuilders, and influencers to go to ironmanmagazine.com, click on the Athlete Submission Form, and show us why you should be featured. For example, in this issue, we have a great article from Breena Martinez demonstrating how to build your own meal plan. Breena is an IFBB Pro Bikini champion, with her most recent win at the Japan Pro Show in November of 2018. And yes, she passed the Olympic level WADA drug testing.
You will also see athletes from other tested sports not normally featured in bodybuilding magazines, like UFC phenom Justin “The Highlight” Gaethje, and the dedicated fitness schedule of two of the world’s best eSport gamers, the Swole Brothers. NCAA and Olympic athletes will be featured in upcoming issues. We sincerely hope that this bold, and perhaps risky, move by the most legendary bodybuilding magazine resonates with you. Hopefully, even to a point that inspires you to share these truths. It is only through the continued movement with the passion that we can change the world and ourselves.
Welcome to the next groundbreaking stand made by Iron Man Magazine that will, once again, change the industry as we know it.
Please, let us know your thoughts on what you would like to see as we showcase the greatest Olympic-Level Tested physique athletes on the planet. The bottom line is, we are all fitness enthusiasts involved in the same great industry, and we love all of you.
Yours in health,
Douglas D. Grant
Douglas is the publisher and co-owner of Iron Man Magazine.
His background is extensive within the nutrition and training world, working for NBA teams, with Olympic, collegiate, and high school athletes, along with bodybuilders for over two decades. He is extensively involved in research, formulations, training, and fitness businesses. Much of Douglas D. Grant’s experience involves helping Olympic-Level Tested athletes and even those who have previously taken PEDs and are wanting to normalize their body and regain optimal health.