In 2012, TodaysFitnessTrainer.com released the “Evolution of Modern Fitness (as portrayed by the media)” with amazing feedback from readers and fans. In the next installment to the series, we have updated the list to include some celebrities and milestones that didn’t make the original list (2012).
The Evolution of Modern Fitness (version 2.0)
1938 – Superman
- “Faster than a speeding bullet! More powerful than a locomotive! Able to leap tall buildings at a single bound!”
- This iconic superhero gave the world a vision of what the “perfect” male specimen would look like. Men aspired to be him and women longed to be his Lois Lane!
1940 – Vic Tanny
- “Take it off. Build it up. Make it firm.”
- Victor (Vic) Tanny was a pioneer of health clubs as we know them today.
1941 – Charles Atlas
- Featured in pint advertisements predominantly found in comic books.
- Developed the Dynamic Tension system of physical exercises.
- “Hey skinny! Yer ribs are showing!”
- “Nobody picks on a strong man.”
1956 – Jack LaLanne
- “The Godfather of Fitness”
- At the age of 65, he towed 65 boats filled with 6,500 pounds while handcuffed and shackled near Tokyo, Japan.
1976 – Rocky (Sylvester Stallone)
- A small-time boxer gets a rare chance to fight the heavy-weight champion in a bout in which he strives to go the distance for his self-respect.
- This movie reminded us all what it meant to be the “underdog”.
- “Gonna Fly Now”, the theme song from the movie, is a favorite on many motivational iTunes playlists.
1977 – Pumping Iron
- In this half fact, half fiction, part-scripted, part-documentary film, five-time champion, Arnold Schwarzenegger defends his Mr. Olympia title against Serge Nubret and Lou Ferrigno.
- This movie led to the acting careers of both Arnold (“Conan the Barbarian” and “The Terminator”) and Lou Ferrigno (“The Incredible Hulk”).
1977 – Jim Fixx
- Author of the “Complete Book of Running”.
- Credited for popularizing the sport of running, starting America’s fitness revolution, and demonstrating of the health benefits of regular jogging.
1977 – Jazzercise (Judi Sheppard Missett)
- “Let the music move you.”
- “Push your body. Find your beat. Jazzercise.”
- On the 2011 Entrepreneur Franchise 500 list, Jazzercise ranks as the #1 fitness franchise (#17 in the complete franchise list).
1982 – Jane Fonda Workout
- Jane Fonda made leotards, spandex, leg warmers, head bands, and wrist bands the newest fashion trend.
- “No pain, no gain.”
- “Feel the burn.”
1982 – Let’s Get Physical (Olivia Newton-John)
- “Let’s Get Physical” was the first music video showcasing physical fitness and exercise.
- “Let me hear your body talk.”
- “I want to get animal, animal.”
1985 – Perfect (John Travolta and Jamie Lee Curtis)
- A film based on a series of articles appearing in Rolling Stone magazine in the late 1970s, chronicling the popularity of LA fitness health clubs with the single crowd.
1987 – Hans & Franz (Saturday Night Live)
- “I am Hans.” … “Und I am Franz.”
- “Und ve just vant to pump … (clap) … YOU UP!”
- “Poor little girlie man alone in his girlie house!”
1987 – The Gazelle (Tony Little)
- Successfully introduces one of the first infomercials for home fitness equipment.
- “Conceive, believe, and achieve.”
- “You can do it!”
1988 – Sweatin’ to the Oldies (Richard Simmons)
- “Dance Your Pants Off”
- “Blast Off the Pounds”
- “Never Say Diet”
1989 – Tae Bo (Billy Blanks)
- “Hollywood’s Healthy Alternative to Heroin.”
- “An amazing blend of tae kwon do, boxing, aerobics, and dance into one complete system.”
1990 – Body for Life (Bill Phillips)
- Body for Life is a 12-week nutrition and exercise program.
- “The true measure of success is revealed only by looking at the obstacles that an individual had to overcome to achieve their goals.”
1990 – Body by Jake (Jake Steinfeld)
- “There is only one BODY BY JAKE!”
- “Stick to the fight when you are hardest hit, it’s when things seem worst that you must not quit!”
- “Don’t quit on you!”
1991 – Thighmaster (Suzanne Somers)
- Suzanne Somers started the “Somersizing” phenomenon.
- “It’s easy to squeeze, squeeze your way to shapely hips and thighs.”
- “We may not have been born with great legs but now we can look like we were.”
1992 – Shape Your Body Workout (Cindy Crawford)
- Also known as the “supermodel workout”.
- This “toning” video is an example of what NOT to do in a workout (because you could really get hurt).
1992 – Curves for Women
- A fitness franchise targeted to the needs of women, Curves opened 7,000 locations in under a decade (it took McDonald’s and Subway more than 25 years).
- “No makeup, no men, and no mirrors.”
1993 – Susan Powter
- “Stop the Insanity!”
- “The Lenny Bruce of Wellness” (by Shape Magazine)
- She described herself to Curve magazine as a “radical feminist lesbian woman.”
1996 – G.I. Jane (Demi Moore)
- A female Senator succeeds in enrolling a woman into Combined Reconnaissance Team training where everyone expects her to fail.
- Chin ups, pull ups and one-arm push ups soon became fitness goals for more women and arm workouts became more popular.
1997 – Total Gym (Chuck Norris & Christie Brinkley)
- “Once you try it, you’ll be hooked for life.”
- “Lean, mean exercise machine”
1999 – Fight Club (Brad Pitt & Edward Norton)
- An insomniac office worker crosses paths with a devil-may-care soap maker and they form an underground fight club that evolves into something much, much more …
- This movie inspired websites and workouts specifically geared towards Brad Pitt’s physique (The “Fight Club Workout”).
2001 – Zumba (Alberto Perez)
- “Ditch the Workout. Join the Party”
- “When the music starts pumping, people forget they’re exercising. And that just may be the secret to Zumba’s success.”
2004 – Biggest Loser (Bob Harper and Jillian Michaels)
- “You need to find your OWN purpose. I cannot BUILD desire.”
- “Believe in yourself, trust the process, change forever.”
- “I know it hurts but I’m saving your life right now.”
2004 – P90X (Tony Horton)
- “Extreme Home Fitness” using the advanced science of “Muscle Confusion”
- “Bring it!”
- “I hate it … but I LOVE IT!”
2006 – Wii Fit (Nintendo)
- The first commercial retail “active gaming” system available
- Wii Fit combines fitness with fun and is designed for everyone, young and old.
- “How will it move you?”
2009 – The Shake Weight
- “Get strong, sexy, sculpted arms and shoulders.”
- “Get toned, defined, and stronger … fast!”
2009 – Insanity Workout (Shaun T.)
- This Beachbody workout “improves fitness in 60 days through strenuous stamina training”.
- “The Insanity Workout might just be the hardest fitness program ever put on DVD.”
2010 – Xbox Kinect (Microsoft)
- “Games are more amazing when you are the controller.”
- “You already know how to play. All you have to do now is get off the couch.”
2012 – Brazil Butt Lift (Leandro Carvahlo)
- “Gives you that higher, tighter, rounder butt in just 60 days.”
- “Works the TRIANGLE which includes the three main muscles of the buttocks: medius, minimus and the gluteus maximus.”
2013 – Spartacus Workout (Men’s Health and Starz)
- Based on the Starz original series, Men’s Health created the original Spartacus Workout in 2011. Because of overwhelming popularity, the sequel to the workout was produced in a workout DVD set.
- “It will make you sweat. It will make your muscles burn. And it will kick your butt.”
Celebrities and media (print, television and technology) will continue to play an important role in how the world perceives physical fitness and exercise. If you have suggestions for future additions to “The Evolution of Modern Fitness (as portrayed by the media)”, please contact us.