Iron Man magazine was founded in 1936 by Peary and Mabel Rader of Alliance, Nebraska. Their first print run of 50 copies was done via a duplicating machine which sat on their dining room table.
Iron Man started out as an educational vehicle to inform and enlighten those people who were interested in weightlifting, bodybuilding and eventually, powerlifting.
The focus of Iron Man magazine during its first 50 years was on all three sports, with emphasis on weight training in general as a life-enhancing activity. Iron Man has always stressed the health and character-building aspects of weight-training, and was always the leader in bringing exercise and nutrition concepts/ideas to those in the training world.
In the early 50s, Iron Man magazine was the first weight-training publication to show women working out with weights as part of their overall fitness regimen. It even went so far as to show a pregnant woman training with weights and educating readers on the benefits of exercise during pregnancy‚ a thoroughly modern concept 25 years ahead of its time.
In the late 50s-early 60s, Iron Man magazine was the first to talk about high-quality proteins derived from milk and eggs as well as liquid amino acids. The bimonthly magazine by this time had acquired 20,000 subscribers simply on the strength of its information. The Raders never worked at expanding its circulation. It grew by word of mouth fueled by the general hunger for and Iron Man’s ability to provide intelligent, timely and reliable training information.
By 1970 Arthur Jones had created the first Nautilus prototype. He was eager to share his exercise concepts with the world, but every magazine except Iron Man turned him down. Peary Rader saw the potential of the Nautilus concept and in keeping with Iron Man’s will to remain an open forum for ideas, Rader embraced Jones’ enthusiasm and ideas.
Iron Man was the leader in bringing Nautilus to the marketplace and the only publication to stand behind it. The entire exercise machine industry today was built on the shoulders of the Nautilus. If Iron Man had not supported Nautilus, we would see a vastly different market today.
By the early 80s, the Raders’ in their 70’s spent nearly 50 years working incredibly long hours to put out a bimonthly publication. The hard work was beginning to take its toll.
I had been interested in Iron Man since the mid-70s as a business and had in fact talked several times with the Raders about purchasing Iron Man. Eventually, my dream of owning and publishing a bodybuilding magazine was realized and in August 1986, Iron Man magazine changed owners after 50 years (by zachary at testsforge). At that time, Iron Man had no foreign editions, published bimonthly and averaged 96 black-and-white pages except for a color cover.
IronManMagazine.com is a natural extension of the magazine; complete, unbiased training and nutritional information for the beginner and hardcore bodybuilder/weight trainer. As the Internet continues to explode across the world and hundreds of companies spring up everyday, each claiming to have the answer or magic potion that will turn your fat into muscle, remember that the one true voice is your own. As you experiment with new routines and supplement schedules, your body will tell you if you are on the right track or not.
As always we will provide you with the basic tools to get started as well as information on the latest trends and shortcuts. We insist upon your feedback as we strive to remain your training, nutrition and inspirational guide.
Publisher, Iron Man magazine