In the 1980s, fitness hit the mainstream. With the help of stars like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jane Fonda, and of course, Richard Simmons, everyone wanted to work their way to a better body during the ’80s. Now it’s been a few decades since those fitness stars inspired us to be our better selves. What are they up to today? Have they stayed in shape after all these years? Read on to find out!
If the name Jake Seinfeld doesn’t ring a bell, perhaps you would remember the “Body By Jake” brand name instead? Jake was one of the fitness stars in the 1980s who promised out of this world results with an approachable strategy that wasn’t too intimidating for beginners. Who knows how many people actually ever reached their goals because of Jake, but he did launch FitTV, so he was certainly successful in that regard!
Jake Seinfeld Today
Jake Seinfeld has done a very good job of evolving from the days of VHS fitness tapes to on-demand digital content through the internet. He has his own fitness brand called Jake Global, which of course he is the CEO and chairman of. He has also created FitOrbit 2.0, a training platform that uses the technology of today to help people get motivated to get (or even stay) in shape.
Heather Locklear was a bona fide superstar in the 1980s and 90s. As an actress and model, she captivated the men and connected well with the women. Many women really admired her appearance and wanted to know how she stayed in shape, so she decided to make her own fitness videos. The videos were intended to have Locklear serve as the viewer’s personal trainer, and of course, she wore all kinds of colorful leotards in typical 80s fashion!
Heather Locklear Today
Like other stars who have prioritized health and fitness, Heather Locklear continues to look great to this day. She is now in her 50s but still has a great physique. In interviews, she has readily spoken about her commitment to fitness and nutrition, as she spends several hours each week working out and staying fit. Doing so has definitely added to her career longevity and kept her in top health!
When Alyssa Milano first found fame, it was as the TV daughter of Tony Danza on the hit sitcom Who’s the Boss? However, there was much more in the works for the young star. Long before she starred in Charmed, the actress was asked to do her own workout, which was appropriately named “Teen Steam.” The marketers behind the video believed that Milano’s appeal to teenagers would help them access a new audience beyond the stay-at-home moms that usually liked workout videos.
Alyssa Milano Today
Although it may seem like “Teen Steam” was a rather obvious marketing ploy, Alyssa Milano really does make an effort to stay fit, as you can tell by how in shape she continues to be to this day. She has had a very successful career and is now very popular on social media as well, where she likes to share her tips in areas such as healthy eating and exercise.
Many people first got their introduction to Olivia Newton-John through her unforgettable performance in the classic film Grease. It is easy to forget that Oliva also had quite a music career. For one of her biggest songs, she played off the 80s fitness craze with “Let’s Get Physical.” For the video, she wore the colorful tights and leg warmers that epitomized women’s workout fashion in the decade.
Olivia Newton-John Today
Olivia has gone on to have an extremely successful career in music. She has won an astounding four Grammy Awards, which tells you right away what a hit her music has been with audiences and critics. Although Olivia is no longer doing songs about fitness, we will never forget that the song that really launched her music career was an ode to the 80s fitness craze! Oliva still stays very healthy, although she is currently battling breast cancer.
Cher was another actress and singer that became a fashion icon during the 1980s. Although she didn’t seem like an obvious choice for becoming a fitness star, with one look at the audacious outfits she had to wear on stage and the shape she’s stayed in throughout her life, you can tell that fitness is important to her. She even released a book about fitness at one point!
Cher is now in her early 70s but is still going strong. As she has gotten older, it seems that she has simply gotten even more dedicated to staying fit and in shape. Unlike some fitness stars that did not practice what they preach in the long run, Cher definitely lived by the words of her book “Forever Fit,” as she has been just that. She can even do a five-minute plank to this day!
John Travolta’s acting skills have always been very good, as evidenced in his many film performances over the years. However, he received just as much attention for his physique during his early roles, especially in Saturday Night Fever and Staying Alive, when he had to have the physique and skills of a professional dancer. In Perfect, working out was a central part of the film, and he had several scenes in a fitness studio.
John Travolta Today
Like many of us, John Travolta is not in the kind of shape today that he was in his 20s. However, as he is 63 years old, you have to admit that he’s still looking pretty good for his age! While John Travolta doesn’t openly discuss fitness very much, you can tell that he has taken care of his body and health over the years even as he has continued the hectic schedule of a popular actor.
Raquel Welch had already been a big star for a couple of decades before she jumped into the home fitness craze. However, as she still looked fantastic in her middle-aged years, she was able to appeal to women in their 30s, 40s and beyond that wanted to stay in shape or get fit again. She also released a book that detailed her beauty and fitness program for fans that wanted to follow her example.
Raquel Welch Today
Raquel Welch, like many people that are driven to succeed, was eager to move on after she spent some time in the fitness world. She went on to other challenges, appearing in films such as Legally Blonde and The Three Musketeers. To this day, Welch continues to take acting roles and has certainly taken good care of her body over the years. She is now one of the more successful actresses ever.
Suzanne Somers was another actress who had success on screens everywhere and decided to spread out into the world of fitness. Somers had many admirers who wanted to know how she stayed in shape, which allowed her to advertise a product called the Thighmaster. The Thighmaster would go on to become one of the iconic fitness gadgets of all time, regardless of how well it actually worked.
Suzanne Somers Today
Suzanne Somers has actually had a more successful career in fitness than she has in acting. While women find it difficult to continue getting acting roles later in their lives, the fitness world has been very good to Somers, who continues to advertise a variety of fitness products on TV. Suzanne has also written a number of books about health and other subjects.
You couldn’t possibly discuss fitness in the 1980s without bringing up Arnold Schwarzenegger. Arnold parlayed his success in the Mr. Olympia contests of the 1970s to film roles in Conan The Barbarian and other movies. In the 80s, he became a bona fide star, and suddenly every male between the ages of 5 and 55 wanted to have huge muscles just like Arnold. He frequently guest-wrote articles in fitness magazines such as Muscle & Fitness.
Arnold Schwarzenegger Today
Arnold took a break from acting to become the governor of California, but he never took a break from health and fitness. Nowadays, he spends a lot of time working on charity initiatives intended to help Americans get in shape. He continues to work out regularly in the gym and still hosts an annual fitness convention that includes bodybuilding and powerlifting contests as well as other events.
Judi Sheppard Missett
The first thing you think about when it comes to fitness in the 1980s might be tights and leg warmers, but it’s a sure bet that “Jazzercise” isn’t far behind. A lot of Americans realized that working out could be kind of boring, and concepts like Jazzercise were created to make working out more fun. Jazzercize poster girl Judi Sheppard Missett really helped launch a lot of the aerobics craze that continues to this day.
Judi Sheppard Missett Today
A lot of time has passed since the 80s, but Judi Sheppard Missett is still helping people get in shape after all these years. She continues to teach Jazzercise classes and has updated the program over the decades to incorporate new movements and keep things fresh. The fun approach still connects with those who want to stay in shape, and Judi said that she feels like she’s a 30-year-old!
Superman may be the Man of Steel, but Tamilee Webb is certainly the Woman of Steel. This fitness phenom was tied to the megahit video series Buns of Steel and Abs of Steel in the 1980s. The two franchises would end up earning over $10 million in sales, with accompanying TV series that got huge ratings. She also appeared on the FitTV channel regularly in the 80s and 90s.
Tamilee Webb Today
A lot of time has passed since Tamilee Webb debuted on our TV screens, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at her! If you want a compelling argument in favor of living a healthy lifestyle and prioritizing fitness, you don’t have to look much further than Tamilee’s results over the years. Unlike many TV personalities, Tamilee has the education to back up her claims, with a master’s degree in exercise science.
By the time the 1980s came around, Jack LaLanne had already been preaching the benefits of exercise for decades. LaLanne was the first bodybuilder to really become a well-known name in the U.S., and he continued his efforts in the 1980s. He was tied to several popular fitness magazines and offered nutrition and motivational advice in speaking appearances all over the world.
Jack LaLanne Today
Jack LaLanne didn’t stop talking about health and wellness when the 1980s ended. In fact, he continued his mission of helping others get motivated and stay fit up until he passed away in 2011. Even in his later years, Jack worked out regularly and stayed extremely fit. It’s safe to say that for Jack LaLanne, fitness was not just a fad, but his entire life’s mission.
If you were to create a Mount Rushmore of 1980s fitness icons, Richard Simmons would have to be on it. Simmons’ contribution to the fitness world was making exercise more approachable through his Sweatin’ to the Oldies videos. He also included men and women of all body types and fitness levels in his videos to motivate all kinds of viewers and show that anybody could do his workouts.
Richard Simmons Today
If you knew Richard Simmons in the 1980s, you’d recognize him now. He still likes to wear bedazzled tank tops and his signature short shorts. He even has the same fluffy hairdo, albeit with a bit more gray than before. He now runs his own gym in Los Angeles and also makes frequent media appearances. You have to wonder how many people Richard has helped to get in shape over the years!
Before VCRs came out in the 1980s, there was no easy way for people to watch something whenever they wanted at home. However, with VCRs came the home video revolution, and Jane Fonda used it to get her workout tapes into seemingly every home in America. The Jane Fonda Workout sold over one million copies. She would eventually release another 22 installments and is now known as much for her workouts as for her acting.
Jane Fonda Today
By the time the 90s were in full swing, Jane Fonda had apparently had her fill of the fitness industry and decided to focus more on her acting again. She did eventually release another workout video in 2010, but by then the world had moved on to DVD, of course. She’s now 79 years old, but you can tell that keeping fit over the years has really helped her stay young and healthy.
Fabio Lanzoni was a huge star in the 1980s. His extremely fit physique and long hair made him the model of thousands of romance novels and the subject of many women’s fantasies. It wasn’t long before men started asking about how Fabio stayed so fit, which allowed him a platform to discuss his health and nutrition routines in magazines. He even released his own fitness video and exercise book to help others get on his level.
Fabio Lanzoni Today
The years have been very kind to Fabio! Not only has he showed in films like Zoolander that he is able to make fun of himself, but he still promotes healthy living whenever possible. He has clearly stayed in shape over the years and regularly talks about making healthy choices in interviews and on the internet. These days, Fabio spends a lot of time marketing products by Versace and other companies.
Denise Austin has been a fitness star for over 25 years. Her workout videos have been blockbusters since the 90’s and she hosts the hit show Getting Fit with Denise Austin, on ESPN2. She continues to be involved in the fitness industry, making yearly videos focusing on exercise and nutrition, and was even named to the President’s Council On Physical Fitness and Sports.