The 1980’s had a whole lot to do with getting physical. It was the decade in which legwarmers ruled the world and sweatbands were the coolest accessories around brought an exercise craze in the format of VHS tapes. Where are these fitness favorites now?
Richard Simmons – Then
Known for his extravagant outfits and exquisite personality, Simmons sparked a craze by sharing his personal weight loss journey with the rest of America.
Richard Simmons – Now
Simmons stays true to his unique self by embracing sparkling outfits and sequins all over. His shorts have not gotten any longer over the years. His Slimmons Studio in Beverly Hills, California is a thriving business doing better than ever. He can be recognized in Geico commercials along many other endorsements.
Jane Fonda – Then
The highest selling home video of the 1980’s was The Jane Fonda Workout. It sold more than a million copies worldwide! There was growing demand for more routines, which is why she ended up releasing an astounding total of 23 videos. 17 million copies of the series were sold in total, which is more than any other workout series ever sold. Fonda was the undeniable fitness queen.
Jane Fonda – Now
Taking 15 years off from the industry to focus on other aspects of her life, Jane Fonda returned to the business she built from the ground up and released two brand new fitness videos. This time they were released on DVD rather than VHS. Fonda still acts to this day and is an ongoing political activist.
Kathy Smith – Then
Smith became well-known for her fitness videos and was tremendously successful. She sold more than 16 million workout videos. Smith even had her very own nutrition and exercise program created, which she titled Project: You! Type 2. The program was meant to cope with diabetes and partnered with the American Diabetes Association.
Kathy Smith – Now
Smith grossed $500 million only through her personal fitness apparel, books, equipment, and videos brand. Her book, Moving Through Menopause, assisted in landing her the role of being the Internation Council on Active Aging’s spokesperson. She has a website, kathysmith.com, that is a vibrant, colorful one that offers fitness tips, health rules to live by, relationship advice and a personal blog asserting her much-repeated slogan – “progress, not perfection.”
Cher – Then
Her 1991 book titled Forever Fit: The Lifetime Plan for Health, Fitness and Beauty presented a cover photo of the diva in a knotted t-shirt and black boot placed on a barbell. She vowed to be fit forever and declared it a life choice she was fully dedicated to. Cher was a fitness master, flawless singer and performer, and an 80’s icon.
Cher – Now
Cher’s performance at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards was everything fans could have hoped for. In addition to her mesmerizing glow and dazzling bodysuit, it was her great shape that left many in awe. The 71-year-old phenomenon looked out at the audience and announced proudly – “I can do a 5-minute plank, okay?”
Jake Steinfeld – Then
It is hard to mention Jake Steinfeld without discussing the embedded nickname he was granted by successful marketing strategies for his brand – “Body by Jake.” As one of the fitness industry’s reigning icons, Jake is said to be held accountable for creating the personal fitness training industry. Steinfeld himself created FitTV, which is a 24-hour fitness lifestyle network. He spent alot of time focusing on a new project: founding the Major League Lacrosse (MLL) – the first professional outdoor lacrosse league.
Jake Steinfeld – Now
Steinfeld realized he had a soft spot for new businesses, so he became an entrepreneur. He developed an eye for brands and products. His latest goal set was to revolutionize the training industry for the digital age. He planned to do so by creating FitOrbit 2.0, which is an online personal training platform that offers services of trainers and nutritionists at a more affordable rate and in a way that is accessible to all.
Denise Austin – Then
They did not call her “America’s Fitness Sweetheart” for nothing – Richards’ big blue eyes and captivating smile has been associated with healthy living since the 80’s. She was a fitness instructor, columnist, author, and former member of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, among many others.
Heather Locklear – Then
Locklear was not only known for being a kind individual and talented actress – her flawless physique had many women green with envy, and countless men fantasize about being with her. She has graced both television screens and magazine covers since before we can remember, but her workout videos, which she titled Personal Training Sessions, gave people hope that they too could rock leotards like one of the most famous, fit and fantastic blonde bombshells to grace our TVs.
Heather Locklear – Now
At 56, the woman looks amazing! Although she left the home workout videos in the past and moved on to things more silver screen-related, we are just glad we can still catch a glimpse of her elsewhere.
Olivia Newton John – Then
Although more frequently remembered for her much-celebrated role as the nerdy-turned-cool gal on Grease, the “Let’s Get Physical” video was placed on a training pedestal for breaking musical grounds and setting high standards for those who stuck to strictly cranking up moves before.
Olivia Newton John – Now
Olivia Newton-John is no longer known for her 80’s sweat sessions but is regarded to as a four-time Grammy Award-winning singer who mastered five number-one Billboard Hot 100 singles. Not only has she sold around 100 million records worldwide, but the Grease soundtrack “You’re The One That I Want” landed her the unofficial title of singing one of the most successful soundtracks in history. To this very day, Olivia still tours, mostly in Australia and the United States.
Jamie Lee Curtis – Then
John Travolta played alongside Lee Curtis in the ’85 film Perfect, which was based on some pieces that were printed in Rolling Stone magazine during the 70’s. This movie put Lee Curtis on the map. Despite the fact the athletic community felt the movie assisted in bringing awareness to their existence in society, the movie was, according to Quentin Tarantino, “greatly underappreciated.”
Jamie Lee Curtis – Now
Curtis’s film career skyrocketed when she understood horror films were her forte. Subsequently to her appearance in Halloween, she starred in the films Halloween II, The Fog, Prom Night, Terror Train, and Roadgames. Curtis became the undefeated “scream queen” to the mainstream audience. In addition to making a name for herself in the film industry, Curtis appeared on television and even wrote a number of children’s books. Her humanitarian side is particularly seen through her support and advocacy of children’s hospitals.
John Travolta – Then
It is hard to list our favorite and classiest 80’s fitness fanatics and A-listers without name-dropping the Travolta name, so here it is. Let us just pretend that it is easy to look past the crotch thrusting scene in Perfect or ignore the sleeked back hair and bad boy attitude in Grease.
John Travolta – Now
His athletically built body may have loosened slightly over the years, but some things simply never change. He still has his irresistible charm and undeniable talent. It seems everything Travolta touches turns into gold, which could explain why despite the slight decline in job offerings he had in the 80’s, the man bounced back and returned stronger than ever, landing roles on timeless films like Pulp Fiction, Swordfish, and Hairspray. Travolta was also nominated for an Academy Award and won a Golden Globe.
Tony Little – Then
His famous (or is it infamous?) ponytail precedes the man otherwise known as “America’s Personal Trainer,” but whether you agree with his uncommon hairstyle choice or not, you cannot stand in the way of the fact that this fitness guru sold more than $4 billion of fitness products via infomercials. His trademark smile and chained necklace photographed well on TV, which were highlighted by his selection of sleeveless shirts as a repeated item clothing. The most memorable product sold by Little is the Gazelle elliptical glider.
Tony Little – Now
Little had a rough childhood – his father left him and his mother, which is something he carries with him to this day. Despite the success he achieved in the field of athleticism, Little was not cut any slack by those who envied his accomplishments. He was often bullied and the target of parody. He was ridiculed by other TV personalities from his field, like Fabio, Richard Simmons, and Susan Powter. However, Little didn’t let others get the best of him, and he has since made several appearances on TV.
Suzanne Somers – Then
Complex.com put it best by stating that “As the spokeswoman for the Thighmaster, she is largely responsible for the invention of the infomercial … we would never have had the joys of ShamWow, Shake Weight, and Miss Cleo’s Psychic Friend’s Network if she hadn’t blazed that trail.” However, Somers did not want to be known for her ability to squeeze exercise equipment between her thighs, which is why she used the platform provided by her title as a spokeswoman to land roles in films.
Suzanne Somers – Now
If you ask someone random walking down the street who Suzanne Somers is, the first thing that would probably come to mind is her role as Chrissy Snow on Three’s Company, or as Carol Foster Lambert on Step by Step. The truth is, Suzanne made a name for herself in many different industries, on account of branching out to being an author, singer, actress, businesswoman and health spokesperson. Although she has been publicly criticized for views on certain medical subjects, she remains an admired individuals to this day.
Lou Ferrigno – Then
Many titles appear on Lou’s resume, including fitness trainer and consultant, actor and professional bodybuilder. Although he is retired as the latter, it is still worth mentioning the man won an IFBB Mr. America title and appeared in Pumping Iron, which is a raved-about bodybuilding documentary. Lou did not have an easy start at this life, having booked his first paying job as a sheet metal worker for $10-an-hour, but he thankfully soon realized leading a dangerous life was not on his agenda and left to pursue other paths.
Lou Ferrigno – Now
Lou attempted at playing football for the Toronto Argonauts for a while, but after he broke the legs of another player during a scrimmage, he realized this wasn’t for him either. Ferrigno also tried acting – he was cast as the Hulk in notable film, The Incredible Hulk. In the beginning of 2000, Lou was offered to play himself during occasional guest appearances on The King of Queens. The show was a CBS sitcom that was well received by critics everywhere.
Tonya Harding – Then
Originally from Portland, Oregon, Harding was not born into a life that put great emphasis on athleticism. Her parents were blue-collar employees who pushed Tonya to be whoever she wanted to be, regardless of her background. That is why when she announced figure skating was the one thing on her mind, there was no stopping Tonya from pushing through, right up until she competed in the 1994 Winter Olympics Figure Skating Competition and Exhibition. However, scandal was quick to follow Tonya wherever she went.
Tonya Harding – Now
A month before the Winter Olympics, champion skater Nancy Kerrigan was brutally beaten in the knee. The assault made her incapable of competing and so Harding stepped in. It didn’t take long for rumors to spark about Tonya and her ex-husband being the ones who hired someone to attack Kerrigan. Harding was convicted in a court of law and, having a hard time dealing with the claims, Harding went on a bad streak: she was arrested twice and attempted suicide. Since then, Harding shied away from the spotlight.
Nancy Kerrigan – Then
Although her family was short of means and were constantly in a financial quicksand state, her dad would pull all the stops to make his baby girl’s dream come true – including working in three jobs to fund her skating. Daniel Kerrigan would also drive the ice resurfacer at a local rink in Stoneham, Massachusetts to have a bargaining chip to exchange for Nancy’s lessons. In ’87, she placed fourth at the junior level at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships and made an early impression as a solid jumper.
Nancy Kerrigan – Now
Nancy fell in love with figure skating from the young age of 6, which is what enabled her to get very skilled very quickly. Right up before the attack that changed her life for good, Kerrigan already had an Olympic medal to her name – she took the bronze medal in ’92’s Games in Albertville, France. After the scandal, Kerrigan went to compete in the ’94 Games in Norway. Her latest appearance was on Dancing With The Stars, as she returned to the spotlight for season 24 of the show.
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