28 Sep 2015
With #fitspo, acai smoothie bowls and personal training course options dominating mainstream culture, it’s easy to believe we’re in the golden age of fitness, but here’s some #realtalk for you, kids – you know nothing.
Before yoga pants, activated almonds and paleo bliss balls, there were g-string leotards, coloured tights, leg warmers and scrunchies. That time was the 80s and the teased fringes alone make your #gymselfies look amateur.
Pull up your tube socks and tighten your sweatbands. It’s time to relive the fitness era that put the jazz in jazzercise.
Aerobics Oz Style
There is no better place to start. A staple in every Australian family home throughout the 80s and 90s (it was eventually shelved by channel 10 in 2005); as far as in-home personal training goes, Aerobics Oz Style was as quintessentially Australian as vegemite on toast. Note the matching floral workout gear and tres expensive Grecian statues. So fancy!
Line Dancing Fusions
You thought straight up line dancing was about as wild as it gets? You clearly haven’t heard of Diane Horner. Diane’s signature red boot and denim cut-off combo fears NO dance fusion. From Country Hip Hop (it’s as great as it sounds) to Country Line Dancing Aerobics and Big Band Line Dancing, Diane’s done it all. There’s nowhere near enough footage on the internet, but the snippets will tempt even the most cynical among us to dig out our old VHS and video store membership card for a boot-scootin’ in-home personal training course.
Shape Up With Arnold Schwarzenegger
Bro, you want to talk gains? Forget your current personal training option – Arnie videos are like protein shakes for your eyes. Bigger was better in the 80s, as is evident by the hair styles and the bulging biceps. Surprisingly, Arnie’s motivational style is tender, yet firm. Think less Terminator and more Kindergarten Cop (when he realises he has a soft spot for the kids). Also, check out Pumping Iron. It’s a must-see classic in all its awkward, bulky glory.
Perhaps the most 80s of all 80s workouts, jazz ballet is all about the leg warmers and the big hair. The iconic dance moves are virtually a character in themselves in Flash Dance, Fame and Footloose. Only good things can come from combining traditional ballet with the sexy chaos of jazz, topped off with a truckload of really bright lycra (which leaves very little to the imagination).
Hip hop Dancing
What is life without the running man, the Roger Rabbit, the moonwalk and the MC Hammer typewriter? You’re right, it’s NOTHING!
If we owe the 80s for anything, it’s the timeless hip hop dance moves it has afforded us. With a couple of these under your belt, you too can be the master of any dance floor.
This video really speaks for itself. All you need to know is the face of Body Flex, Greer Childers, got into a little trouble about the claims she made about the deep breathing exercise’s promised results (someone didn’t pay attention in their personal training course!). There are still some very dedicated pockets of the internet who continue to worship Greer, her golden mane and not-so-subtle facial expressions.
Trip hazards and tightly choreographed aerobics moves makes step seem like a law suit waiting to happen, but if there were three things the personal training experts of the 80s loved, it was Jane Fonda, feeling the burn and living on the edge. Some of the high impact moves may make current health experts cringe, but just check out Queen Fonda’s matching baby blue tracksuit and the sea of high-cut leotards. No matter how many times you watch this you will always find something new to love.
Freestyle ballet skiing
The only thing wrong with freestyle ballet skiing is that it’s no longer a thing. If you’re not into skiing or ballet, there are an array of amazing retro ski suits and some pretty sweet 80s beats that will more than make up for it. If this clip doesn’t impress you, nothing will. And you have no soul.
Imagine this in a personal training course!
As if we could bust out an 80s listicle without throwing in the equivalent of bonus steak knives.
Technically, this wasn’t a form of exercise because hover boards didn’t actually exist. But all that aside, much like skateboarding, it would offer a pretty sweet cardio workout as well as working your hammies, glutes, quads and core. Plus you’d get to wear high-tops with self-tying laces and a puffer jacket. I’m sold.
What 80s exercises would you like to see revived?