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CrossFit might be the biggest fitness craze of the 2010s, but it has a distinct absence of two things: leotards and B-list celebrities. The 90s brought us some of the most memorable workout regimens, and workout outfits. And while your old VHS tapes may be starting to wear out, some of the top fitness celebrities of the 1990s have digitized their work, so that you can continue enjoying a solid workout long after they stop making VCRs. Find your leg warmers and your brightest sneakers as we count down the top fitness celebrities of the 1990s.
Arnold Schwarzenegger is one of the most prominent body builders in the world. Born in Austria, Schwarzenegger’s enthusiasm for weightlifting began in 1960 when he picked up his first barbell. After five years of training, he the Junior Mr. Europe challenge. He went on to win his first Mr. Universe competition in 1967. In 1970, he won the title of Mr. Olympia at age twenty-three. He won the Mr. Olympia title six more times before he gave up bodybuilding to begin his acting career. He would later move from acting into politics, but his later careers don't detract from his definitive spot as one of the top fitness celebrities of the 1990s.
Denise Austin is known as America’s Fitness Sweetheart, making it no surprise that she's considered one of the top fitness celebrities of the 1990s. She has led a healthy life and shared many a fitness secret with her fans. Throughout the years, Austin has sold more than 24 million recordings and been featured on a few wellness-related TV shows, most notably The Jack LaLanne Show. Denise Austin continues to keep moving in the fitness industry, constantly releasing workout videos. She also served as a member of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.
Richard Simmons' enthusiasm and wardrobe made him one of the country's most watched fitness celebrities. He caught America's attention in the late 90s with his series Sweatin' to the Oldies. To this day he continues to educate others in best fitness practices at his Slimmons Studio in Beverly Hills, California.
Chuck Norris is an American martial artist, actor, filmmaker, and screenwriter. After serving in the United States Air Force, he began his ascent to notoriety as a martial artist. He has a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and has started his own martial arts school. In 2010 he began a weekly segment for Creators Syndicate, titled "C-Force," which concentrates on individual fitness. Norris is also a representative for the Total Gym exercise machine.
Body by Jake was one of the fitness business’ biggest symbols in its prime, and is said to have been the most successful individual fitness regimen during the 90s. Steinfeld continues to help individuals work towards a healthy lifestyle as Chairman and CEO of Body by Jake. He is targeting his efforts towards the digital age with the creation of Fit Orbit 2.0 and an online personal training system. Jake Steinfeld is presently the administrator for the National Foundation for Governors’ Fitness Councils.
Jane Fonda was born in New York City to star Henry Fonda and New York socialite Frances Seymour Brokaw. Shortly after becoming a fitness celebrity, she found herself spearheading a national health craze. Her aerobic exercise videos became instant hits, selling over 17 million copies over the years. She's also made five of her tapes available for digital download, for those that have worn out their VHS tapes over the years.
Kathy Smith is a New York Times bestselling author, and she has remained one of the top fitness celebrities of the 1990s over the decades. She has sold 20 million exercise DVDs, and been featured on The Today Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, The View, and Good Morning America. Kathy built up a 90-day weight reduction program, ReShape, which offers downloadable workouts, diet plans, shopping lists, and BrainTap, a brain-based exercise to help with relaxation and focus. She is a mother of girls, Kate and Perrie, and is an avid skier.
Tony Little is dedicated to helping people accomplish their fitness and health goals. He has been featured on both daytime and late night television, most notable The Tonight Show. His personality made him a fan favorite, especially his catch phrase “Imagine, Believe, and Achieve.” He became known as “America’s Personal Trainer,” making him hands down one of the top fitness celebrities of the 1990s.
Billy Blanks' fitness regimens focused around Tae Bo, offering hand to hand fighting blended with high-power cardio. Blanks rose in popularity as Tae Bo did in the late 90s. Tae Bo provides a calorie burning regimen that has helped many lose weight and embrace a healthy lifestyle.
Fabio Lanzoni, widely known as just Fabio, is an Italian-American model and performing artist. He is best known for these professions, but he also wrote a fitness book and created a fitness video titled Fabio Fitness. In the 2000s he went on to launch the brand Healthy Planet Vitamins.
Suzanne Somers is an American performer who gained popularity and pin-up status for her part as a bubbly blonde in the TV hit Three’s Company in 1977. While her fame came first from acting, she went on to promote the Thigh Master. In 2001 she revealed that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer. Today, she continues to write books and sell clothing, jewelry, and fitness equipment.
Charles Glass has helped both body builders and non-athletes who sought personal training. Glass is best known for his specialized training and his proven results in creating personalized programs for his customers.