From wearing legwarmers while doing aerobics to bashing truck tires with a sledgehammer, fitness trends seem to change with the season. The one thing that hasn’t changed is the fact that young people from all over the world are trying to get fit by any means necessary. Here’s a look back at some of the biggest trends of the 90s and how they compare to what society is doing to stay fit today.
The “It” Product: Gazelle vs Paddle Board
There is always a product that sparks a fitness revolution. Who could forget Tony Little rocking those inappropriate spandex while using his Gazelle? For those who have chosen to block all memories of the Gazelle, it is — yes, it’s still being produced — an elliptical glider that is a cardio workout easily capable of tearing your groin. Today, we have paddleboarding. The surfboard-like device that people stand on and use a paddle to propel themselves became a sensation after paparazzi captured celebrities using it. It’s not quite as intense as the Gazelle, but falling from one can look equally embarrassing.
For the Ladies: Thighmaster vs Pole Dancing
Fitness isn’t a boy’s club; women often have products and workouts specifically designed to enhance their femininity. In the 90s, it was Suzanne Somers and the Thighmaster. This device turned your legs into vise-like weapons that could crush the human skull. Today, the human skull is still being crushed by women — who are falling while pole dancing. A craze that is equal parts sexy and dangerous, pole dancing can be done at home or in a class setting. Though it can be a strenuous workout, it seems to be best for creating great YouTube blooper reels.
At-home Videos: 8 Minute Fitness vs P90X
8 Minute Fitness
Working out at home is a great option for those who either don’t want to go to the gym or don’t have one near them. In the 90s, 8-Minute fitness was all the rage. Abs, buns, arms, and legs could all be worked out and completed in a combined half hour. Tony Horton took this to the extreme (EXTREME!) by introducing P90X, super intense home fitness workouts that make 8 Minute Fitness look like a warmup. Horton also has a workout series for those who are short on time called 10-Minute Trainer — yup, full two minutes longer than its 90s counterpart.
There is a little Bruce Lee inside all of us just waiting to be released. Billy Blanks made a fortune in the 90s by helping people think they could beat someone up after completing his Tae Bo workouts. Unfortunately, those weak jabs and kicks wouldn’t do much against people who do today’s martial arts workouts. Mixed martial arts has grown in popularity over the years and people are learning Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai and many other disciplines in order to become the next ultimate fighter — or at least to drop a couple pounds.
Fitness Cult: Boot Camp vs CrossFit
For some people, working out is not simply exercise, it’s a lifestyle. Those who attended boot camps in the 90s were considered the crazy elitists. Pushing their bodies to the limits, these people would go through hell in order to prove their mettle as a serious athlete. Today, we have CrossFitters. Though it has become more mainstream of late, CrossFit still has a cult-like following of devoted attendees. CrossFit gyms and competitions are popping up all over the world and are even broadcasted on ESPN.
Written by Brandon Smith of Fueled.