Survival of the Fittest

Planet Muscle publisher Jeff Everson isn't afraid to tackle the truth about bodybuilding supplements. Sort of.

The ruse sounds awfully similar to Connelly's earlier description of a typical muscle-magazine ploy to generate artificial demand for a product.

Deeper in the magazine, there's a full-page ad for Doctor's Liquid Libido, complete with a P.O. Box for orders. The address is in Highlands Ranch.

Jeff Everson
Denise Truscello
Jeff Everson
Planet Muscle publisher Jeff Everson is admired by some for his tougher standards.
Denise Truscello
Planet Muscle publisher Jeff Everson is admired by some for his tougher standards.

In February, Everson plans to debut Planet Muscle on the newsstands to compete alongside M&F, Ironman, Flex, Pump and the rest of the bigtime muscle mags. He will gradually phase out his free distribution. He says it was a decision that he made reluctantly.

"The reality with the cost of printing and postage is that it's price-prohibitive. You almost have to be on the stands," he says, though he declines to discuss specific finances. "Not to mention, I want the message to reach as many people as I can."

Everson says he wants more writers and better photos in the magazine; he also wants to set up a laboratory to analyze supplements so that his readers will know exactly what they're buying. He wants to be the honest man in the dishonest business.

But what about the Liquid Libido article?

Everson says he gives Smith, his partner, a few pages to help supplement his salary. The reader doesn't know this, of course, but that's what makes the pages valuable. Still, Liquid Libido is an Everfit product, and Everfit is wholly owned by Everson.

"My personal opinion is that Doctor's Liquid Libido is one of these fifty-fifty products: Half of it will help, and half of it will do shit," Everson admits. "So yes, you may consider that I went a bit overboard on that promotion."

Everson tries to describe the awkwardness of his editorial stance.

"I gotta find a midway position," he says. "I certainly support my advertisers. The ones that are legitimate, I give them plugs here and there. It's a little sickening; it's almost incestual. I don't want to allow advertorials in my magazine at all. They really make the reading of the magazine bad. They give the magazine a really bad feel. They're not a journal anymore of solid, reliable training information. It's just a big advertisement."

Writing in Planet Muscle, Everson once defended himself against a letter writer who accused him of being a whore for a line of products.

"I thought the letter was extremely accurate," Everson wrote, then added, "At least I am an honest and consistent whore."

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