The endless supply of fitness routines available these days is a double-edged sword. Sure, the bounty of options to stream or attend in-person holds the possibility of a particular workout that’s perfect for you. However, it can also be overwhelming, which has recently made us nostalgic for a simpler time when the tried-and-true old-school workout reigned supreme. The moves — running in place, jumping jacks and scissor kicks — were straightforward, relatively easy to execute and promised results if you just kept at it.
So, cue up the synth music, pop a tape in the VCR and get ready to sweat. We’re thinking of the real classics, the precursors to Barry’s Bootcamp, the Bar Method and Tracy Anderson. There was Jane Fonda’s bouncy aerobics, Lotte Berk’s low-impact muscle sculpting and the original dance party aka Jazzercise. All you needed was a humble gym mat and a can-do attitude. There’s something soothing about exercising to a video that predates the gym selfie by about forty years: the soft-focus film, the spare studio space and the cheerfully encouraging voice-overs. And oh, the outfits! So. Many. Leotards. Leotards accessorized with a belt, over or under tights (note: tights, not leggings), and paired with leg warmers. So inspiring, it makes you want to feel the burn.