What year did Jane Fonda's first workout video come out?
Updated: Apr 26
Welcome to another Daily Doodle courtesy of this day in history! I don't know about you, but I totally dig legwarmers! They are some of my favorite accessories, especially in colder climates, but I also have lighter weight legwarmers for those warmer days. So of course when Jane Fonda's workout video release comes up in "this day in History" I'm going to chose it!
In 1979, Fonda opened her first workout studio, breaking into a gym industry previously dominated by male boxers and bodybuilders. As a former ballet enthusiast, Fonda had practiced aerobics with her future business partner, Leni Cazden, to keep fit. In 1981, Fonda published Jane Fonda’s Workout Book, which remained at No. 1 on the nonfiction bestseller’s list for more than six months and in the top five for more than 16 months. The cover showed a grinning Fonda striking a pose in black tights and... you guessed it, legwarmers. Jane Fonda's first workout video was released April 24, 1982 in glorious VHS form. It was simply titled Workout and was the first of many bestselling aerobics tapes by Fonda.
With the success of her exercise studios, books and videos, Fonda not only sparked the aerobics trend of the late 1970s and 1980s–she also popularized the concept of working out for women in general. Other instructors soon capitalized on the workout movement, including Richard Simmons and Judi Missett, creator of Jazzercise. For the first time, millions of women (and men) were exercising together in groups, doing leg lifts, side bends and lifting dumbbells to the beat of peppy music. Aerobics also launched a fashion craze, with neon spandex, legwarmers and leotards (think of it as the yoga pants of the 80's). Fonda’s videos remained top sellers into the latter half of the 1980s, including Jane Fonda’s New Workout in 1986 and Jane Fonda’s Low-Impact Aerobic Workout in 1987.
Though the neon colors, leotards and legwarmers go in and out of fashion, Vogue calls Jane Fonda's Workout the best workout video to date.