Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Boring Online Personal Training and Awesome Retro Workout Wear

April’s Great Fitness Experiment was testing out the online personal training service from Women’s Health Magazine. I did it for a month. It was lame. But not so bad that it would make an interesting post. Confession time: it’s 10 o’clock at night and I’ve been dreading writing this post all day. And everyone knows that there is no point in dreading something all day that a) you’re not getting paid to do and b) you have no contractual obligation to do. So I’m invoking blogger privilege and giving you the short version of April’s Experiment results.

Does online personal training work? Sure, sorta. It works about as well as tearing workouts & food plans out of a magazine. Which is pretty much what I think Women’s Health did for their program. It was boring. My workout NEVER changed except to add weight or intensity. The food plan was trendy and didn’t allow for reuse of groceries and/or leftovers and that irked me. By the end I got punchy and started inputing all kinds of ridiculousness into their program. It didn’t bat an eyelash when I typed in that I only ate 600 calories and exercised for 8 hours one day. That’s a problem my friends. I cancelled my subscription and didn’t look back. Don’t waste your money.

But besides spotting potentially problematic behavior, there’s another reason why an in-the-flesh trainer would be better than a computer. Behold:

I have a soft spot for anything with vintage fashion and this 1972 ad for “Sear’s Beauty Spa” (yes, Sears, as in the department store) made my whole darn day. They’re exercising while reclining! And getting jiggled! And all while wearing polyester ADULT FOOTIE PAJAMAS! This is why I blog at 10 o’clock at night, folks. I would pay good money to see this kind of personal training in action.

Again invoking blogger privilege, I will now hijack the rest of this post to show you other hilarious examples of vintage workouts and/or workout wear. Why? Because it amuses me in a way that only people who have bought a snuggie off TV can truly understand.

The 30’s brought us this marvelous contraption that I believe is supposed to shake the fat off you - a practice still in vogue forty years later as evidenced by picture above and the fact that my grandma actually wrote about doing this in her journal. Plus - KNICKERS. And swim caps. And collars on swim suits. Love.

Heading back to the 40’s, we get not only awesome beachwear but girl fights! Don’t you love how “scared” the girl in the middle is? I love their not-a-hair-out-of-place rolled coif.

Nothing says fitness competitor like this shot of Marilyn Monroe in the ’50s. Not only is she pressing like 20 whole pounds but she also has her sexyface going on. Don’t forget, all you lady lifters - the tip toes make this a compound exercise! Bonus: high waisted shorts + pointy bra = best lifting outfit evah!

Nothing says “A-Train to Harlem” like this vintage 60’s tracksuit, complete with Jackie Chan tee that probably eBays for $500 now. (Edited to add: apparently I don’t know my 70’s kung-fu stars. As musajen pointed out in the comments, this is Bruce Lee. Who knew??) Actually, now that I think about it, this whole outfit seems to be pretty trendy right now. Or maybe it just never went out of style. Darn men and their practicality! Although the stirrup pants might be just a wee bit over the top. But don’t let that hold you back.

Ah, Olivia Newton John (shout-out to my peeps Jennie, Sunny & Wilson!) - how do I love thee? Only you can work Valentine’s day spandex and a fem-mullet with such class! Plus the posing! I will practice every night in the mirror until I have perfected hamstring stretch/salute to Fame pose.

The 70’s & 80’s were pretty much dominated by one shiny, thong-wearing, how-on-earth-did-they-pee-with-tights-on woman: Jane Fonda. Look at all the awesomeness going on in this picture - belts! suspenders! purple leopard print! mock turtlenecks! halfsie zippers! scrunched matchy-matchy socks! baby dumbbells! And the fizz in this bag of pop rocks? THE HAIR.

This shot from the 80’s demonstrates perfectly all the problems with leggings for men (meggings?). But when said leggings come as part of a suspendered unitard with stirrup bottoms (not to mention the sewn-in shirt)? Bring on the hotness! Please, please, please let someone wear this to my Y someday.

Which brings me to this unfortunate picture. There are no words except that some designer somewhere must have really hated this team.