Tag Archives: spandex for the win

Fat Blast From the Past: 1980s Exercise Videos

Hey, team!  Are you ready for some fitness?  Are you?  Bounce up and down!  Again!  Now stand on your head!  And bounce, one, two, three – keep bouncing!  That’s right, bounce on your head!  You can do it!  Don’t stop, or this giant Gila Monster will eat you!  Yay, motivation!

Last week you guys gave me a great list of exercise videos to check out.  There were scary words in the titles like “shred”, “burn”, “ripped”, “turbo fire”, and “Richard Simmons.”  Freaked me out a little bit.  I don’t want to own most of them.  Keeping people like that Jillian girl from “Biggest Loser” around would keep me up at night.  I could just see her staring at me from that box with that look on her face that says “I hate you.  Now I’m going to kill you.”

What if I don't want to be shredded?  Quit staring at me, Jillian!

What if I don’t want to be shredded? Quit staring at me, Jillian!

So I figured I’d check them out of the library, or rent them, or something.  And then I decided, meh, I’m tired.  I’ll check out youtube.  Turns out this is a great source for some real exercise gems, folks.  So I figured we’d do a “Fat Blast from the Past” with some 80s exercise videos.  First up is a 1987 clip from “Buns of Steel 2” (because the first one wasn’t steely bunned enough).

You have to love the exercise leader.  Mullet, hippy beard, headband, spandex, and . . . electric blue legwarmers.  I simply must have that fine specimen of manhood!  Also, check out the girl in the back.  They’ve got her up on some sort of platform, the better to see her pink spandex leotard and blue tights.  Watch at about 2:47 on the tape where they all bow their heads in shame.

Next up!  The Firm.  No, not the Grisham novel that was made into a sucky movie filled with endless close-ups of Tom Cruise trying to act like he’s thinking.  This one’s another 80s trip – 1988 to be exact.  This clip starts up with a chick in a white leotard (more spandex!) looking confused in front of a serene picture of some hippy woman with flowers in her hair.  But then we’re in familiar territory with multi-colored leotards and tights in all shades of hot pink, blue, purple, peach – like a human Easter basket.  She starts out the routine with pelvic thrusts that would look inappropriate, but she’s so thin I don’t think she actually has a pelvis.  She stays chipper through the entire ten minutes.

But if you really want upbeat, look no further than Richard Simmons!  He is truly a freak of nature inspiration.  This clip of  “Sweatin’ to the Oldies” begins with Richard just happening to show up on what looks like the set of Sesame Street, where some random people are just hangin’ out, playing with hula hoops.  You know, the usual street stuff.  He asks if they want to dance and they all hop up and down.  This video differs from the others in that, for some reason, these people are not already in shape.  I mean, wtf, why are they doing an exercise video then?

Richard himself resembles an undercooked, malnourished turkey, but you can’t beat him for enthusiasm.  Check out his glittery tank top and short shorts.  Then pray that they never bring back those short shorts on men.  There are some fun dance moves, like on about 0.36,  where you move two fingers back and forth over your face and splay your legs out like disco dorks.

Of course, no flashback would be complete without a Jane Fonda clip.  Back in the 80s, Jane Fonda was the Queen of Exercise (Richard Simmons was the Princess).  She still does exercise tapes today, but much, much slower and a with a lot less bouncing.  This one’s her “New” workout from 1985 and features Jane, some other chick they keep focusing on (isn’t this Jane’s video?), and a girl wearing a visor, a purple crop top, yellow shorts, and a tan to literally die for – how long was she in the tanning bed?  The best one, though, is our token guy in the back wearing a crop top and red spandex pants so tight I’m surprised he’s breathing.  I admire a guy brave enough to bear his hairy midriff.

Well, that’s all for today, folks.  Aren’t you tired from all that exercise?  I know I got tired (and slightly nauseous) just watching them!  You just can’t beat the classics.  Stay tuned next time while I check out some more exciting and not at all terrifying exercise videos.

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