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News 8 Throwback: Fitness fads of the 1970s, '80s & '90s

If you’re not interested in trying something new, we have old workout ideas that just might do the trick.

SAN DIEGO — New Year, new you? Many look for inspiration to get in shape every January. If you’re not interested in trying something new, we have old workout ideas from the 1970s, '80s and '90s that just might do the trick.

Racquetball gains popularity in 1976

The sport of racquetball was peaking in popularity in the 1970s when CBS 8 reporter Gene Gleeson gave it a try. He said, “in the past year, practically overnight, San Diegans have flipped for this indoor sport.” Although San Diego was and is known for its outdoor activities, racquetball found a following here - even if our reporter needed some practice.

San Diego fitness instructor shares love for her job in 1979

In 1979, News 8's Carol Kendrick interviewed a San Diegan who had made physical fitness into a career - and was loving every minute of it. Rebecca Fengler was the physical director at North Coast Family YMCA teaching exercise classes, doing fitness for seniors and even leading classes for moms and their toddlers. From a young age, Rebecca had loved PE in school and was lucky enough to turn her passion into her work. "Young, old and in between, she whips them into shape with a smile," our reporter said. 

Intense exercise class in 1985

They say no pain, no gain. At this class in Downtown San Diego, these people skipped lunch and opted for strenuous exercise. The reward came for most, when the class was over. Instructor Bill Brown told CBS 8 reporter Hal Clement, “The best part of the workout is when it’s over. I don’t think anybody likes it - I don’t like it, they don’t like it - but it’s good for the soul.”

Creator of 'Buns of Steel' exercise video interviewed in 1993

It was the world’s top-selling fitness video and the woman with buns of steel called San Diego home. Tamilee Webb told Larry Himmel that she was an exercise instructor with a Master’s degree in exercise science but she had to compete with actresses and models who didn’t have her knowledge but they were already famous at something else. Tamilee did a fitness segment on CBS 8's morning show in 1993. As of 2021, she was still helping people achieve their exercise goals 

Turbo spin cycling at Del Mar Workout in 1997

Spinning was just picking up speed in 1997 and it was “the thing” according to CBS 8 anchor and health reporter Sandra Maas. At Del Mar Workout, sweaty spinners were excited about this new low-impact workout.  

"It's not a fad, it's a trend - because it's here to stay," said the gym's owner.


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