March 07, 2013

Game Changers- Influential Women in Fitness



March is women's history month and we thought, what better way to celebrate than to look back to the women who  kicked ass pioneered the fitness scene. Together, these women have influenced women around the world to get up and get into shape.  The gym certainly wasn't a boys only club.




Abbye Pudgy Stockton
Abbye Pudgy Stockton (should be Abbye No-Pudge Stockton) started by working out with her husband at Muscle Beach. Soon she began to gain attention as the only woman who could hang with the boys (apparently babes and barbells are hot!). By 1944 she began writing a column for women's training in Strength & Health magazine. Stockton helped organize the first weightlifting contests for women, winning the title herself once (no Lulu Lemon required), paving the way for women's fitness. You're welcome Jane Fonda.


Lilias Folan
Lilias Folan the crowned "First Lady of Yoga" debuting her groundbreaking PBS series (yes, public television, apparently it was much cooler back in the day)  Lilias, Yoga and You. Time magazine referred to her as the "Julia Child of yoga". Lilias has spent more than 40 years inspiring others drawing on all sorts of different yoga traditions. Basically, she did yoga before it became cool. She might even be the reason it's become so popular in recent years. 


Jane Fonda
Jane Fonda probably the most influential woman in fitness history. In 1982 Fonda revolutionized the fitness industry with the release of her first workout video (there was a book first, ha, who works out with a book now-a-days?). She was the first to introduce at-home workout videos, not to mention all the cool neon spandex, legwarmers and leotards. She made you want to workout (if not for the clothes alone).  Popularizing the concept of working out for women in general, she got the ladies doing leg lifts, lifting dumbbells and exercising together for fun. This fitness legend shows no signs of slowing down, still releasing DVD's at 72! Rock on Fonda! (someone should make a shirt that says that, I would totally wear it).



Tamilee Webb
Not to be missed, Tamilee Webb AKA Buns of Steel (they are real and they are hers), had one of the most all time popular video series throughout the 80's and 90's. Her down-to-earth attitude and "steel" moves have empowered many to get fit. Still 20 years later and her videos are still big sellers (I totally Netflixed Abs of Steel last year and it was killer).


Denise Austin
At first I thought she was just your average TV fitness personality, but Denise Austin has proved to be so much more putting emphasis on staying fit naturally by exercising just about 30 mins a day and using real butter and sugar instead of the artificial  junk. Austin encourages people to stay fit at all ages, and conducts research with experts in nutrition, to emphasize realistic, real-life solutions to weight control and fitness (I see a Denise Austin book on my kindle in the near future).  Including yoga, pilates, cross training and dance, her exercise programs encourage people to stay away from fad diets. After all these years she is still one to watch. (please god, let me look like that  at 50+).

Who are the women of the NEXT fitness generation?




There are, of course, many other women throughout history who have put their stamp on the fitness industry, who would you add? We'd love to hear your thoughts...

13 comments:

  1. I love this post! Very inspirational for all women..

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  2. How about Anna and Cynthia Benson who created the original FIRM workouts. Still used by die hard followers and so very tough and effective.

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    Replies
    1. This ladies were truly Game Changers, how in the world could this not be included in this article???

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    2. Great suggestion. Looks like we'll have to write a Part II to include all of these wonderful suggestions. Keep 'em coming!

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  3. Anna and Cynthia Benson. I still remember the commercial for the Firm's first workout on tv that showed back in the 1980s. And I still do those workouts to this day, almost 30 years later.

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    1. I agree. They are a must add. Great to know people are still doing those workouts!

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  4. I would add Kathy Smith.

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    Replies
    1. Cathe Friedrich. She should be on this list!

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    2. I'm actually unfamiliar with Cathe Fredrich. I see that she is a big influence within the fitness video scene. Personally I don't really use fitness videos so I have been unaware of some of these suggestions. Thank you for your suggestion!

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    3. Definitely add Kathy Smith. some of us couldn't hang with Denise or Jane and Kathy was not only knowledgeable but very thorough.

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  5. Please add Margaret Richard. She was on Body Electric on TV and showed us that it's okay for women to strength train

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  6. I do not like sports, I like to go on a diet, but I still want to lose weight, how can I do it.*(welcome to my bjd web legendbjd.com)*

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