Oh, the 1980s– that era of short shorts, big hair, and the kind of cheeseball sexiness that looked ironic even when it was happening. It’s all brought together in the classic Playgirl exercise video called Hunkercise, which a friend sent our way. And yes, we’re forever grateful.
This exercise video features a bunch of Playgirl hunks in skimpy Dolphin shorts, tight tank tops, headbands, thick socks and high-top shoes, with random big-haired women in “Let’s Get Physical” style outfits, working out to an amazing soundtrack. They bend, stretch and shove their muscles in each others faces, all the while showing you how to build the perfect beast. It stars Playgirl’s “Man of the Year” Steve Rally, Playgirl‘s “Man for August” John Johnson, Playgirl‘s “Man from Australia” Phil Harte, and Playgirl‘s “Man for February” Mike O’Grady, and all of them have no problem winking and flirting with the camera.
Needless to say, we had to do some investigating.
A Los Angeles Times article from September 1985 (thank you, Google) explained the whole story. The creation was guided by fitness expert and celebrity trainer Jim Bolden, who back then was headquartered at the Santa Monica Athletic Club and had a client list that included Joanna Cassidy and Rob Lowe.
Bolden explained that the producers originally wanted a tape that stressed sexiness and entertainment, but he wasn’t interested in that approach. “It had to be professional or I wouldn’t do it,” he told the newspaper. “Entertainment has its place in this cassette, too. That’s obvious. It’s just not the dominant factor. I didn’t want to sacrifice the quality of the workout for it.” Indeed, he explained that this tape was unusual because it’s suitable for beginners, intermediates and advanced workouts.
There are two women in the mix. Bolden says they’re to show female audiences that they can do these workouts, too. Viewing it from a 2012 perspective, it looks more like they added ladies so that the overall piece wouldn’t seem too… well… gay. Think about it–buff guys, porn star mustaches, short shorts– we can’t be reading into this, right?
That said, Bolden does admit to one thing: “I know this tape will feed women’s fantasies. Women like to look at men. But, beyond all that, this is a serious workout cassette.”
Maybe so. Watch it for yourself and see if the tape offers tips or tricks that you may want to add into your daily routine.