10 of the Weirdest Vintage Workout Videos

It’s the dawn of a new year, which for many people signals a time to restructure their routines, reorganize their lives, and lose the weight they vowed to get rid of last year. With New Year’s resolutions on the brain, we’ve been spotting some unusual workout regimens taking advantage of this moment, like the 50 Shades of Grey-inspired routine we told you about yesterday. We felt compelled to dig up weird workout videos from the past — surreal, awkward, and disturbing moments in fitness history. Delight in VHS glitches, questionable wardrobes, and complete confusion after the jump. If you have a favorite video, drop it in the comments section.

In 2004, Panasonic sponsored Ten Short Movies — Capture the Motion for the Summer Olympics. Japanese artist Nagi Noda created the surreal film Mariko Takahashi’s Fitness Video for Being Appraised as an “Ex-fat Girl starring Funky Forest actress Takahashi as a poodle-ized woman leading a workout routine à la early Susan Powter. The video isn’t true vintage, but the style is a definite throwback. In the background, bizarre poodle people follow along with her. Noda believed that the round shapes of a poodle’s traditional haircut looked like exaggerated muscles. Film fans can confirm that the appearance of Takashi should signal immediate weirdness. Here’s a clip from Funky Forest that is beyond description.