18.04.24 Jane Fonda Workout

April 24, 2018
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April 24, 1982

The Day the Workout World Changed Forever

“Jane Fonda’s Workout”

Best-Selling VHS – EVER.A

$50K budget: Shot with 1A camera & DIY hair and makeup.

By 1989, Fonda’s workout tapes & books were worth an estimated $35M.

At first, she had “real misgivings”

Watch Now

At 44-years-old, she was a 2-timeA Oscar-winning actress. She had a successful L.A. workout studio & book (#1 NYT’s Best Seller for 2 yrs!). But a workout video? It had never been done. Besides, no one she knew owned a VHS player.

She finally agreed, with all proceeds going to Campaign for Economic Democracy,A aA progressive group run by then-husbandA Tom Hayden.

It Changed Everything.

Exercise: Sparked aerobics craze, especially among baby boomers approaching middle age.A By mid-1980s, 20M people doing aerobics.

Fashion:A Leg warmers. Spandex. Leotards.

Tech:A Before “Workout” debuted, less than 10% of households had a VCR. By 1985, 30% had one.

Feel the Burn: By the #s

$59.95: Cost of VHS copy of Jane Fonda’s “Workout” in 1982.

$8.20:A Cost of DVD copy on Amazon today.

29: VHS & DVD workouts made by Jane Fonda.

17M:A Fonda workout videos sold.

Copycat Moves

Others tried to capitalize on the workout movement, including Richard Simmons, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and creator of Jazzercise,A Judi Missett.

Nothing topped Fonda’s innovation: In 1985, three of her tapes topped Billboard’s VHS sales chart. The original had been there for 145 weeks.

Advice For Her
30-Year-Old Self?

“I would have wanted to learn to meditate earlier…. I didn’t know how to discover and believe in my real self and not try to be what other people wanted me to be…. I can’t pretend that it’s easy to still your mind; it’s not easy…. Don’t give up; it takes time!



Jane Fonda to Shape Magazine in 2014

What about those leg warmers? For why she wore them & what the now 80-year-old thinks of "athleisure wear" like Lululemon, click here.

Shape:A You hands-down had the best workout outfits, but now fitness-fashion is totally the norm. What”s your take on this trend towards “athleisure”. Love it or hate it?
JF:A I love it! I wear my yoga pants unless I have a business lunch or something like that. You put on a nice pair of boots and they just look like dark pants. I like lululemon!

by Jenna Lee,

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