A personal training course in the 80s – imagine the crazy

Can't remember a time before #fitspo, paleo bliss balls, and The Biggest Loser? Take yourself back to a time of leotards, coloured tights, and leg warmers to see what a personal training course would have taught you in the 80s.

28 Sep 2015

With #fitspo, chia seeds and acai smoothie bowls dominating mainstream culture, it’s easy to believe we’re in the golden age of fitness and personal training. But here’s some #realtalk for you, kids – you know nothing.

Before yoga pants, activated almonds and paleo bliss balls, there were 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), Aerobics Oz Style was as quintessentially Australian as vegemite on toast. Note the matching floral workout gear and très 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.

Shape up with Arnold Schwarzenegger


Bro, you want to talk gains? 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.

Jazz ballet


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..

Body flex


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. There are still some very dedicated pockets of the internet who continue to worship Greer, her golden mane, and not-so-subtle facial expressions.

Step aerobics


Trip hazards and tightly choreographed aerobics moves makes step seem like a lawsuit waiting to happen, but if there were three things the fitsperts 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.

But wait, there’s more!

As if we could bust out an 80s listicle without throwing in the equivalent of bonus steak knives.

Hover boarding


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. We’re sold.

What 80s exercises would you like to see revived?

If exercise and helping people get fit is your thing, dive into a modern personal training course at TAFE Queensland today.

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