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I Exercised to Retro Workout Videos Every Day for a Week — Here’s What Happened

Maybe it’s just me, but I always associate the term “workout video” with things that are super old school. It makes me think of the Jane Fonda cassette tape my mom worked out to when I was a kid. Or, I think of having to do Tae Bo during gym class when it was too rainy to go outside. (And then I think of high-cut leotards being worn over bike shorts — whoever decided to make that a fashion statement was taking crazy pills.) Even with current workouts on YouTube and whatnot, workout videos seem undeniably retro.

With everything being a throwback these days, I started thinking about some of the most popular workout vids from back in the day. Then, being in need of shaking up my own workout regimen, I decided to resurrect five nostalgic workout videos to try for the week. I have to admit, I had a preconceived idea about how it would all shake out — thinking that this would be an easy feat to undertake. And dang, was I in for a surprise. Here’s what happened when I exercised to retro workout tapes for a week.

1. For starters, I picked the worst workout for my first day

For my adventure through retro workout land, I designated one video for each day that week. (One new video the first five days, then Saturday and Sunday were open so I could go back to the videos I liked.) And to kick off my fitness experiment, I went with a well-known ’80s masterpiece, The Original Buns of Steel.

Something about the cheesy music and ugly sweatbands made me think it was going to be simple. But even as someone who regularly works out five days a week, I was knocked on my butt — no pun intended — by how challenging Greg Smithey’s lower body workout was. My legs felt like gelatin about 20 minutes in, and that wasn’t even halfway through the program! The workout left me pretty sore for a couple days, in places that I didn’t even know could get sore.

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