These days, we’re able to find excellent fitness programs on several platforms, with some of them requiring a subscription fee, and others being offered completely for free. And while the internet has made being fit a whole lot easier, during the 70s, 80s and even the 90s, many people relied on fitness gurus to guide them through their workout sessions. In this article, we'll revisit some of the most crucial fitness figures who donned their headbands and tights, and got us down to size just in time for beach season.
1. Olivia Newton-John
Olivia Newton-John rose to fame through her music and her distinctive aerobic skills. In the 1980s, when she released her controversial song “Physical”, she broke through the fitness world in an unprecedented way. Even though "Physical’s" music video was aerobic-themed, the song wasn’t received very well by certain music stations, but ended up contributing towards her current net worth of $40 million. Most people absolutely loved the song, and started adhering to the headbands she wore in the video, while also engaging in the aerobics exercises at home.
2. Fabio Lanzoni
Fabio Lanzoni is an actor and model who had his breakout year in 1993, thanks to a combination of his muscled look, fitness insights, and the release of his workout video titled "Fabio Fitness". Along with the video, Fabio also released a book that shared some of his best fitness tips, workouts, and meals. In addition to his fitness guru status, Fabio also worked as a model and occasional actor, which contributed to his incredible net worth of $15 million.
3. Lou Ferrigno
Lou Ferrigno started as a bodybuilder and gained recognition when he starred in the documentary Pumping Iron, which gave viewers an idea of what the bodybuilding industry looked like. After training under Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ferrigno gained many titles and eventually landed his remarkable role in The Incredible Hulk. He then continued to work as a personal trainer, while also working as a voice actor for different computer-animated works. He also founded his own company called Ferrigno FIT.
4. Kathy Smith
Kathy Smith had quite a tragic life story. She lost her parents at a very young age and turned to fitness as a way of coping. She began exercising when she was only a teenager and decided to pursue a career in personal training. Slowly, she started releasing workout videos, breaking through the fitness world with her “Kathy Smith’s Fitness Makeover, Personal Trainer” video. Since then, over six million of her videotapes have been sold, with her net worth growing to a whopping $20 million today.
5. Jane Fonda
With a net worth of $200 million, Jane Fonda is more than a fitness guru, she is one of the most admired actresses and celebrities of our era. But it was her 1986 "Jane Fonda’s Workout" tape that really took her career to an entirely different level. The tape came right after the release of her diet/exercise manual which she named Jane Fonda’s Workout Book. According to Vogue, her workout video is still the best exercise class to ever exist.
6. Cindy Crawford
Cindy Crawford is a world-renown supermodel who became a fashion and pop culture icon with an unbelievable net worth of $100 million. But in addition to her unforgettable magazine covers and runway shows, Crawford also made her name as a fitness symbol, thanks to her 1992 video, “Shape Your Body”. Though simple, her workout tapes stood out thanks to the unique aesthetics that made it more of a combination of a workout and a photoshoot.
When it comes to ageless beauty, Cher is probably the person to go to. The pop culture queen joined the fitness guru club back in 1991, after already building a pretty impressive career as a pop icon. She wrote a book with Robert Haas called Cher Forever Fit: The Lifetime Plan for Health, Fitness, and Beauty, where she shared her secret to everlasting youth. The book included her personal diet, workout, and skincare tips. Today, Cher has a net worth of $305 million.
8. Jake Steinfeld
Since the beginning of his career back in the '70s and '80s, Jake Steinfeld has sold millions of fitness videos through various sources. He started as a personal trainer and gained fame after successfully getting Harrison Ford into shape for his two Indiana Jones movies. He then went on to develop several businesses and brands under his label “Body by Jake,” and also created and then sold FitTV, a fitness network that streamed for 24 hours. Over the years, he has accumulated a net worth of $15 million.
9. Raquel Welch
Raquel Welch is not only one of the most famous fitness gurus of all time, but she also became a sort of cultural icon with worldwide influence after she made a short appearance in the hit movie One Million Years B.C. Although her role in the film was small, her unforgettable doe-skin bikini became a major sex symbol and resulted in several popular posters of her in that outfit. She capitalized on her quick success and released the “Total Beauty & Fitness Program” video with her own book.
10. Heather Locklear
Heather Locklear had her breakout acting role in the 1990s when she starred in Melrose Place as Amanda. Throughout her career, she received four Golden Globe nominations for that role and continued to act in several successful movies. Locklear always gained attention for her incredible looks, which inspired her to release a series of workout videos named “Your Personal Workout”. The workout tapes introduced fans to her workout, including her classic Lycra outfit and leg warmers.
11. Chuck Norris
It’s hard to think that there is anyone who hasn't heard about Chuck Norris. The movie/TV and fitness star has authored countless books about exercise and martial arts over the years, and has even created his own type of workout named "Chun Kuk Do". He has also profited considerably well from his partnership with the Total Gym franchise, becoming one of the company’s main spokespeople. Today, Norris has a net worth of $70 million and is still fairly active.
12. Derrick Evans
Derrick Evans gained fame amongst the fitness community mostly due to his appearances on GMTV, a breakfast show that aired in the UK. The Jamaican-born fitness expert was given the nickname of “Mr. Motivator” after a couple of appearances on the show, conquering the hearts of several viewers with his colorful, witty, and energetic workout style. When he decided to leave the show, he went on to start a production company with his son, which did pretty well thanks to his popularity.
13. Mel B
Mel B is another fitness icon with several career accomplishments behind her. She is known worldwide as a former member of the Spice Girls but has also gained fame for her fitness video “Mel B: Totally Fit”, which was an instant hit. Mel B narrated her weight-loss journey throughout the 2-hour video, which included a combination of individual exercises and full workouts. Throughout her career, she has also hosted several shows and is very present on social media, which has resulted in her $33 million net worth.