Sunday, 19 July 2009

Monday, 13 July 2009

Exercises for the fit and lively

Some boy/girl and girl-on-girl action from another Marshall Cavendish collection, with copyright dates from 1978 to 1985. I think this particular sequence is from the earlier end of that range because: NO LEG WARMERS! However did they get away with reprinting exercise photos without leg warmers in 1985? They might as well have published pictures of ladies in bloomers swinging clubs.

Saturday, 11 July 2009


Let's invent a new word! Maybe it will catch on... From the "She Book of Slimming" by Sally Ann Voak, 1982.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

The Shape Of You To Come

A seriously gaudy spread from the 1984 Jackie Annual. The accesories are typical "golden age of aerobics" fashion - leg warmers (natch), pumps, headband... if only she was wearing a stripy leotard too.

Monday, 6 July 2009

Figure Control

Exercises for "Poise and postural re-education" from this 1963 book. The model's name is Vicky Bygrave.

Saturday, 4 July 2009

So You Want To Lose A Stone?

A more-or-less random sampling of exercises from a Silhouette Slimmer publication circa 1983. (For those in countries where they don't use stones, one stone is 14 pounds.)

Monday, 29 June 2009

Complete Workout Book: Aerobics Warm Up Part 1

A two-parter this week! "The Complete Workout Book" by Ann Carpenter was another one that reappeared in a number of versions under a number of titles in a number of covers for a number of reasons (of which the main one was milking the content for all it was worth). And it's a real feast of 1980s fitness fashions, so I'll definitely be returning to it in the future. This week, though, I'm posting the complete warm-up from the Aerobics section. One star is easy, two stars medium, three stars advanced.

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Isometrics 1967

From "Sixteen", a 1967 book full of advice for 16-year-old girls. Like, to keep in shape, stand in a doorway for six seconds a day.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Exercises To Improve Posture, 1975

From a Marshall Cavendish collection published in various permutations under various titles from the mid-70s to the mid-80s (I think it started life as a partwork called "Come Alive" in 1973) - the edition I scanned this series from is titled "The Complete Head To Toe Exercise Book" and is a 1985 reprint of a 1975 collection. Very summery...

Monday, 22 June 2009

Woman Book Of Successful Slimming, 1966

From the Woman Book of Successful Slimming, 1965. Simple and stylish.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Hello world!

Welcome to RetroFitness blog, the blog that looks back at 20th century fitness fads, fashions, failures, fancies and freaks. Since I'm British and British stuff is mostly what I have access to, it'll be somewhat British-biased, but other stuff may creep in.

I just want to stress at this point that if you attempt any of the exercises or routines posted here, you do so entirely at your own risk. Old books often include exercises which would be deemed inadvisable today. You probably won't come to any harm if you're sensible but if you do, don't come running to me for sympathy. If you CAN still run, that is.

OK... stand by your beds and await further posts. Or go away and come back later. I'm not going to know what you get up to, am I?

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Test post

Test post, it's a test post. With an image. On a test post.