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How has Fitness Instruction and Personal Training Evolved Since The 80s?

Women doing a push-up.

Fresh off the success of our recently sponsored 80s theme Bournemouth Bay Run , here at The Training Room we started to feel a bit nostalgic about personal training through the ages.

Ultimately this got us thinking...how has personal training and fitness instruction evolved since the 80s?

Rewind Back To The 80s

The 80s gave birth to a number of things, from Miami Vice themed fashion to cult classics such as E.T. When it comes to personal training the 80s is no different as this iconic period gave birth to the Green Goddess, otherwise known as Diana Moran.

Long before Instagram workouts and fitness hashtags such as #FitnessAddict the Green Goddess graced our daytime TV screens in 1983, with a resemblance to the American fitness guru Jane Fonda. Dressed in her iconic green leotard the Green Goddess rose to fame through her morning workouts delivered straight to the living rooms of millions!

Famous for workout moves such as the ‘The Monkey’, the Green Goddess appeared on morning TV in a number of locations such as Waterloo station to primary schools practising the mantra of fitness through a largely aerobic method of exercise.

Amidst the growing fame of the Green Goddess, the 80s also gave birth to another icon, Mad Lizzie. Introduced as a competitor to the Green Goddess, Mad Lizzie became renowned for her curly blond hair, funky workout gear and 80s dance routines.The eccentric fitness instructor, who amassed an army of fans went onto release fitness videos full of dangling arms, swinging legs and rigorous punching of the air.

Both, Mad Lizzie and the Green Goddess placed emphasis on stimulating the heart and breathing rate through the use of your own body, no weights needed. This can be considered quite a contrast to modern day workout routines which require the use of gym based equipment such as free-hand weights.

Welcome to the 90s & Hello Mr.Motivator!

The 90s experienced a great change in comparison to the 80s, for instance, the 90s saw the introduction of the internet.

However, when it came to the world of fitness not much changed, in-fact things only became more eccentric with the introduction of Derrick ‘Mr.Motivator’ Evans.

Styled in Lycra, Mr.Motivator made his debut on TV in 1993 and made everyone say ‘Yeah!’. With his endless enthusiasm, quirky workouts and of course eccentric outfits Mr.Motivator became an instant hit and a cult icon of the 90s.

Mr.Motivator’s easy-to-follow workout routines, although cardio focused, also delved into core exercises such as crunches and squats. More importantly, Mr.Motivator’s workouts also resorted to the use of free-weights for exercises such as bicep curls.

It’s Time for Insanity

With the development of science in sports and a growing focus on nutrition, the world of fitness instructing was fast changing by 2009. It was in this year that we were introduced to Shaun T and his ‘Insanity’ workout.

Although Shaun T was much like his predecessors from the 80s and 90s in that the audience were instructed through a screen, the major change with Shaun T was the intensity of his workouts and the complexity in exercises. The self-proclaimed ‘hardest workout ever to be put on DVD’ introduced complex exercises such as ‘Double Diamonds’, ‘Power Jump’ and ‘Stance Jacks’ in a high-intensity setting to new audiences.

A total body workout, Insanity quickly became renowned as one of the best home workouts for a variety of fitness goals such as burning fat to general weight loss.

Personal Training Today

Personal training and fitness instruction has come a long way since the 80s. Gone are the days when you would wake up to sporadic movements being practiced on your TV screen.

Instead, personal training and fitness instruction in the present day is a diverse entity where the individual fitness goals of the client come first, starting from their nutrition down to their sleeping habits.

Personal Trainers today tend to have a wider view on subjects such as nutrition, sleeping and even mental training, all of which are made use of in helping the client achieve their fitness goals.

Similarly, due to the growing demand for a tailored approach, Personal Trainers now tend to create plans that are designed to meet client goals after evaluating their capabilities.

However, the one thing that has not changed in personal training and fitness instruction since the 80s is that ‘personality matters’. As people have gotten accustomed to warm and enthusiastic personalities in the fitness world since the 80s, it can be said that this ‘trend’ has continued through to today with the likes of Shaun T.

Want to learn more about Personal Training?

If you would like to be an inspirational figure like Mr.Motivator and help people achieve their fitness goals then why not check out our personal training courses . Likewise, why not give us a give us a call or fill out an enquiry form on our website to speak to us. With The Training Room, you can start your journey to become a Personal Trainer and help motivate people to achieve their fitness goals!


Global Administrator | 20/04/2017 12:28:18

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