In America, exercise shows on television are popular and have been since the days of Jack La Lanne in 1951 and continuing with people like Denise Austin today.
My question is this: Does anyone actually workout in real time with these television exercise programs?
Or, as in my experience with people I have asked, do folks just sit there and watch the person on television exercise?
Are these television aerobics shows created to train you or just entertain you?


  1. There’s a reality show called The Gym on Fit TV that follows personal trainers as they do their jobs in California.
    Here’s how Fit TV describes the show:

    When it comes to secrets, no one hears more dirt than the trainers at The Gym. Come inside this Hollywood health club and learn the funny, intimate, surprising and sometimes shocking secrets of the trainers and their clients.

    It’s a fascinating mix of fitness and reality TV.
    I have to admit that I always enjoyed watching Kiana Tom work out during the 1990s.
    I’ve never worked out in real time with any of those programs, but they have inspired me to head over to the YMCA to ride the excerise bike.

  2. Hey Chris!
    Now “The Gym” looks like an interesting show. I know several trainers — all male — who do all their dating and other physical pleasuring with the women who pay them to train. Is the male trainer the new American Gigolo?
    I do think the people watch these shows because they like to watch a beautiful body in motion. I don’t know anyone who really uses these shows to actually get a workout done.
    Are there any males who have a daily workout show on TV? I can’t think of any. I think Jack La Lanne was the first and last man to have a popular exercise series on TV.
    I remember Kiana — watching her, not working out with her — and while Denise Austin is currently on the Lifetime channel twice a morning, her voice and workout style can’t touch my memory of Kiana.

  3. The only guy I can think of is Gilad, but I don’t watch the show.
    Most of the workout guys that have been around have seemed to be “pretty boys” that most guys can’t relate to. If it’s a choice between watching Denise or some dude, I’m choosing Denise. I think it works the same way for women as well. They’d rather get work out tips from a woman, than a man.
    If there was a workout show for “real guys,” it might be successful. Maybe have ex-Marines and firefighters show people how to work out.

  4. Hi Chris —
    Yes, I remember Gilad, too, but I never watched him like I watched Kiana.
    I agree men don’t want to watch other men work out and women do prefer to work out with women. It’s the same with getting a massage, isn’t it? Most men want a woman masseuse — women tend to prefer other women.
    On Celebrity Fit Club there is an ex-Marine Drill Sergeant named Harvey who is fun to watch because he yells at people and calls them fat and out of shape. I wouldn’t want to work out with him, but I do enjoy watching him work out other people.
    I guess Billy Blanks is popular —
    — but he isn’t on TV every day.

  5. I like Denise Austin. I record her every day. I don’t work out with her as much as I record her.

  6. I guess it’s because she is always positive and non-threatening. Her body is ordinary and not super cut up and I like that. Denise does have an icky Rita Crosby voice but she’s been around a long time and she looks okay and her locations are super exotic.

  7. I’m with you on Denise. She does look and act like a “regular woman” in a non-threatening, non-Kitana sort of way.
    Would you work out with a man on TV?
    Would you date your male work out instructor?
    Would you want a massage from a man?

  8. Ummm, no I would not pay a guy to train me so I could sleep with him. That’s just so gross. I guess I “watch” Chuck Norris and Christy Brinkley on their infomercial but I don’t work out with them so I guess Chuck doesn’t count. And no I don’t want a man massaging me. I can get that for free any time I want it.

  9. Hi David,
    I’d always take the female masseuse over a male masseuse.
    There’s a beauty college in my area that has a massage program that requires students to have a certain number of hours of clinical time before they graduate. Every time I’ve been there, I’ve always been fortunate to have been assigned a female student. I’d probably decline having a male masseuse.
    As far as trainers dating clients, it seems like it could be bad for business, not to mention being unethical. Gyms are small worlds and I’m sure word gets around quickly.

  10. Chris —
    I’m with you on getting a massage from a woman. Are we discriminating against males who massage? It must be a hard field to get into for a man because it seems both genders prefer the female to the male for intensive touching.
    I agree dating clients is risky. It seems to be part of the workout sub-culture, though, at least with male trainers and their female clients.

  11. I wonder how many men are in the massage field. It doesn’t seem like there are a lot from what I’ve seen. I assume that they get into other disciplines — maybe chiropractic?

  12. The videos do provide a source of entertainment for us. We put one on and Aurianna who is 4 and her 2 year old brother Alec, like to dance and workout. They try to copy the moves and have great fun and are keeping in shape.
    We just sit on the couch laughing.

  13. Chris —
    It would be interesting to know how many men provide massages. I wonder if it is like the restaurant business where most of the wait staff at the diner level are female and the wait staff at the upper crusty end of the dining experience are all men?
    Chiropractic is an interesting wondering about the “laying on of hands” in the world of male and female preference. I do know more men in that business than women.

  14. Mik!
    That’s a sweet story! It must be fun to see the grandkids working out with the TV personalities. I’m sure your insides get a warm workout enjoying them and laughing with them, too.

  15. Love that research, Chris!
    83% is a huge number! I’m glad to know our thoughts on this matter weren’t negatively prejudicial!

Comments are closed.