He did, however, make the back cover a few times, one of which of which is shown here from the November, 1970 issue.
Darden went on to write countless training articles and a few books (about fifty).
You can get your hands on one of his best books here: The New Bodybuilding for Oldschool Results.
As the story goes, Peary Rader found an old mimeograph machine in the garbage at the school where he worked as a janitor. He took it home, fixed it up, and started putting out a magazine on physical training. There were only 50 copies of “#1” ever produced, mostly just for Rader’s friends. They liked what they saw, Peary Rader edited and produced every issue of Ironman for the next 50 years!
Copies are extremely hard to come by but in case you are interested, this issue of Lifting News is posted in its entirety in THE IRON LEAGUE.
The full lineup and final placings were as follows:
The “Magic Circle” gives a freedom for deep breathing in the popular and result-producing “Breathing Squats” for the exerciser can stand erect and breathe normally with a high lift of the chest at every breath, and is not compelled to hump over forward and breathes it the abdominal area as with a bar.
In use, the “Magic Circle” is loaded up on the side pegs (unless you go over 700 lbs., in which case you have front and back pegs to load on), step in the circle (which is supported on side horses or boxes), lift shoulder straps onto shoulders, center straps, stand erect and walk away from stand and begin squats in normal manner.
When finished, walk back to stands and lower ring to supporting rack. While squatting it helps to grasp ring in front and pull slightly toward you. If you get stuck at bottom you place hands on legs and push upward to recover. No more getting stuck at bottom, will hold 1200 lbs. or more.
If you read Iron Man Magazine in the 70’s you remember Peary Rader demonstrating the Magic Circle. Peary’s using 425 pounds in this classic shot. and making it look easy.
I actually grew up with one in our basement gym — that’s right a fully functioning Magic Circle, one of the last ones left. I don’t like using it for squats — it changes the center of gravity in the bottom position too much for my taste. Though not necessarily the same concept, (but very much along the same lines), a Gerard Trap Bar will give you a much better leg workout.