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HomeCultureThe Inspiration

Jane Fonda

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Shortly after its 1982 release, the original jane fonda workout tape became the top-selling vhs of all time.

Before 1981, actress Jane Fonda was mostly known for her performances in movies like Barbarella, Klute and Fun with Dick and Jane. Then, after the release of her illustrious, “Jane Fonda’s Workout Book,” she saw immediate and unexpected success in the realm of health and fitness, quickly becoming an icon in the field.

Based on her own approaches to health and wellness, the book was filled with 254 pages of exercises, workout programs and health-related lifestyle tips geared towards women. Offering holistic advice on dealing with stress and taking care of the body, the book promised newfound feelings of energy and strength to its readers. People gravitated to its wisdom en masse. The title sold over 1,350,000 copies worldwide and sat within the top five spots on the New York Times’ nonficiton bestseller’s list for 16 months.

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Following its wide acclaim, the book was later adapted into the full-length exercise video, Jane Fonda’s Workout, which featured both beginner and advanced sessions. According to Vogue, Fonda started the workout series in order to offer women the opportunity to exercise on their own terms in completely safe and judgment-free spaces. Like the book, it saw immediate success and became the top-selling VHS up to that point. Its popularity propelled 21 additional productions within the Jane Fonda exercise video catalog: making it both one of the largest exercise collections ever and the highest-selling of all time, with over $17 million in sales.

One of the most celebrated, impactful and sustained exercise phenomenons to date, Jane Fonda’s Workout collection seems more like a cultural movement than a mere home workout video series. With upbeat soundtracks, positive affirmations and a diverse range of routines, Fonda’s deserve a vaunted place in fitness history.

In 2016, Fonda’s entire workout catalog was remastered and re-released on DVD and digital download. The disc set, available for purchase here, includes favorites like Jane Fonda’s Easy Going Workout, Jane Fonda’s Low Impact Workout and of course, Jane Fonda’s Original Workout.

If DVD’s aren’t your thing, see Fonda’s full beginner’s workout below.

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