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Saturday 10 October 2009

The '80's! I had the time of my life...

Posted in: Features, Living Well
By Julz Durroch - 6th June 2009

Get those leg warmers out and switch on that ghetto blaster!'s fitness guru Julz Darroch is a big fan of working out '80's style...

I'm getting all nostalgic for the 80's - the decade that not only bought us homosexual law reform but also gave us big shoulder pads and St Elmo's Fire.

I'm a big fan of fitness 80's style too. It's the one thing I can't get enough of; even if your walkman did make your cassettes do funny things when you ran too fast.

In the 80's we had spandex and shiny lycra, now everything's 100% natural and Chris Warner is shagging his PA, not Suzy Aitken.

…hangin' tough, stayin' hungry…

Diets? How boring! These days apparently anything with processed flour in it is the root of all evil and the reason we aren't a size zero (I remember when we were aiming to be a size 10!).

Muffins, cakes, fresh white bread are all off the menu.

In the 80's?

The bread diet. The grapefruit diet. The potato diet.

Choose one single food and eat all you like, so simple, so 80's.

Bring it back I say…

I'm on day 4 of this style of diet myself, with a few updates. The chocolate diet wasn't invented then, an easy oversight that I have corrected now. I'll let you know how that turns out.

What the 80's taught me: What is presented as truth in one decade can turn out to be a whole load of baloney a few years later.

…music and passion were always the fashion…

In the 80's Yoga was for hippies, shin splints were the mark of a workout well done and we all did 'exercise to music'.

Okay to be fair, there are no doubt thousands of incontinent middle aged women whose pelvic floor muscles were destroyed by Jazzercise but we felt the burn (although it did turn out Jane was referring to the melting spandex as we butt wiggled across the nylon carpet).

These days we take our exercise classes a little bit too seriously if you ask me. The instructors don't squeal anymore and there are no men in stripey tights left.

While current exercise trends mean I can walk the day after my group fitness class, in the 80's I knew that it didn't matter what I did as long as my g-string leotard matched my scrunchie.

What the 80's taught me: It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks as long as we have fun doing it, and the flashier the outfit the more fun there is to be had!

…gonna use my arms, gonna use my legs…

In the 80's I stuck with the mint green hand weights and did lashings of high speed side leg raises so I'd end up with a well toned physique.

Roll forward 20 years and every time a new fad comes along I'm there trying it out. Despite my enthusiasm I still haven't ended up with the perfect physique, which makes me wonder if I'd just kept doing those doggy leg lifts, would I now look like Cindy Crawford?

What the 80's taught me? That I was very confused!

I didn't want to BE Cindy Crawford at all…

Oh 80's exercise… I was born to love you, and I will never be free

You'll always be a part of me…


Julz Darroch is a Wellington-based Personal Trainer and Fitness Educator who uses her 15 years experience in the fitness industry as an excuse to regularly torture Steve Gray and the Good Morning team live on TVOne. Send your fitness-related questions and personal training enquiries to There's more fitness advice from Julz on the links below... and our favourite '80's music video!


Julz Durroch - 6th June 2009

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