Thursday, August 5, 2010

Why I’m Reconsidering my SHAPE Subscription (plus an awesome new workout)

Hola Bloggies:

SHAPE was my very first introduction to the world of fitness magazines. Even before I started working out I would treat SHAPE as my gateway into a life I dreamed of having. One filled with runs, weight training, healthy eats, and a positive body image. I will always be grateful to SHAPE for the role it played in my journey towards wellness but right about now I find myself seriously reconsidering my SHAPE subscription.

Those of you who are frequent readers know that the Fiancé and I, will be tying the knot in San Jose del Cabo, Mexico this November 10th. Like any bride-to-be I’m hoping to look my best on my wedding day. So when I came across a SHAPE Bride app (for my iPhone) I downloaded it without hesitation. 

Included in the app is a section that SHAPE calls countdown to gorgeous. The whole point of that section is to give brides a countdown of what they should be doing in advance of their wedding day. I can understand telling me to work on clearing my complexion, get a haircut, or even consider brightening my smile . . . but then they crossed the line. Big time.

The Two Month screen suggested that I banish wrinkles: “A Botox injection can temporarily relax the facial muscles that can cause crow’s feet, frown lines, and forehead furrows. But since your muscles take two to three weeks to soften after the needle pokes, it’s best to see your dermatologist for injections no less than six weeks before the wedding.” (Taken directly from the SHAPE Bride app)

Seriously!?!? Who comes up with this stuff!?!? I’m willing to bet the majority of readers of SHAPE magazine range from 18-35 years old. Women that are in the prime of their life. And SHAPE’s advice to their readers that are getting married is to inject botox into their bodies!?!?

For those of you that are unaware, botox is derived from botulism; a rare disease that causes paralysis. Paralysis in children = bad. So why in the word would we consider partial and temporary facial paralysis to be good.

Frankly, I am appalled that SHAPE magazine would suggest I inject botox to prepare for my wedding day.


Test-Driving Women’s Health

Given that I may be forgoing my SHAPE subscription, I’ve decided to test run other fitness magazines. First up was Women’s Health Magazine. This was my first time purchasing WH and I’m still working my way through its pages. Thus far its content is looking good. But the part that has most impressed me has been its workout section.

Earlier this week I decided to do their feature workout for this month. I tore out the flash cards from my magazine and set about tackling the eight moves in their “The Best Workout for You!” I have to confess I seldom hold out much hope for workouts from magazines but this one was ah-mazing.

Not only was I dripping in sweat by the time I was done but I was sore the next day. Not a little sore – a lot of sore! My butt and my inner thighs hurt oh so good.

You can refer to the Women’s Health Magazine website here for the instructions to this workout but here are the moves:

shuffle with reach

Move #1 – Shuffle with Reach

Extra Tip: Use resistance bands or weights to make this harder – I used 7.5 lb weights.



Move #2 – Squat with High Pull

Extra Tip: If you don’t have resistance bands you can use weights one again. I recommend 7.5 lb weights.



Move #3 – Single Arm Chest Press with Rotation

Extra Tip: Remember to concentrate on your abs during this move. Contract your muscles and really think about what you’re doing. Again I suggest using 7.5 lb weights.



Move #4 – Side Lunge to Shoulder Press (I loved this one!)

Extra Tip: I once again recommend 7.5 lb weights but if you don’t have any feel free to use bottles of waters or a heavy can.



Move # 5 – Reverse Lunge with Row

Extra Tip: Make sure that you maintain tight abs throughout this exercise sequence. It would be easy to allow the bands to pull your body forward. Fight that urge with a strong core.



Move #6 – Step with Rear Leg Lift

Extra Tip: Make sure the movement forward on this exercise doesn’t come from momentum. Contract your muscles and really use your glutes.



Move #7 – Plank Sweet (another awesome move)

Extra Tip: These can be very tough. Feel free to take a break if you need to but make sure you don’t rest for too long. You want to keep your heart rate up.



Move #8 – Kayaker

Extra Tip: If you don’t have a body bar you can always use a broom or mop handle.


I did all of these moves as a circuit three times. It was a fantastic workout and I highly recommend it!

Not bad Women’s Health . . . not bad at all!

Disclaimer: All pictures courtesy of Women’s Health. All Tips courtesy of moi.


Question: Do you subscribe to any magazines? If so, which ones?


Marianne (frenchfriestoflaxseeds) said...

The only magazine I subscribe to is Rolling Stone. I've had a subscription since I was 16. I've considered other magazines before, but I barely keep up with my reading as it is!

And this may be shocking - but I've never even opened a fitness magazine, and have little desire to do so. Is that weird?

Jocelyn said...

Whoa, that is pretty surprising that a fitness magazine would suggest Botox. Shouldn't the tell you natural remedies? I've read woman's heath (not regularly) and I really like it.

A Toronto girl out West said...


Not weird at all :o)

A Toronto girl out West said...


I know, eh!?!? So not Kosher for SHAPE to suggest such a thing! If it were Cosmo I wouldn't bring but I expect better from a health mag!

ChilkootChubby said...

I was just going to say that I would expect that comment in Cosmo but not Shape and I see that I'm not the only one who feels that way :)

I don't have a subscription but for online content, I'm a WH junkie so when I feel like buying a magazine for health/fitness topics, that's the one I go to. I've yet to be disappoint.

文王廷 said...


CarolynM said...

The Economist...& my dad gets Runner's World so I read that. I'm not keen on mainstream fitness mags...too much advertising! I did enjoy Shape but lately I've found it becoming more & more like Cosmo (airbrushing & ads not included with the maintenance of healthy body image in mind!). Not a big magazine reader in general.

Nancy@CookbookFixation said...

I like Fitness Magazine :
It really is focused on food and fitness. As far I know you can only subscribe through to it in Canada.
Women's Health is more like a general interest women's magazine with a bit of fitness in there. Also try Oxygen it's very hard core on the fitness. Don't be scared by the super muscley women on the cover, there is some solid advice in there.

Susan said...

I love this workout!! Starring for a rainy day ;)

I really like Women's Health (although, I must admit, their model in that workout is a smidge too thin for me) Men's Health is even better, has a ton more info, and of course Oxygen is my fave :)

I didn't know botox was botulism!

Kelly said...

Um WOW. I can't BELIEVE they suggested BOTOX before your wedding. 1st of all- ridiculous. Second of all like you said most people getting married wouldn't even NEED botox (though personally I don't feel someone 60 needs it either, but thats just me) and third of all- you are trying to look your BEST on your wedding day, with all the problems with that its about the LAST thing I would suggest to someone!!!!

Anyway, I am a crazy magazine reader. Fortunately Eric's school does a drive and teachers get them for like $5. I get Self, Fitness and Body and Soul. Love all 3 of them. I think Self is my favorite though. Been reading it since the days of YM and Teen Magazine haha.