4 Signs You Worked Out in the 90s

by Tom Phillips

June 26, 2014 // Category: Fun Side of Fitness

WalkmanCassettePlayer.jpgPop culture – you can’t escape it when it’s here, and the minute you try to hold on, something new is in vogue. Yet many moments are defined by fads that surround it, and few more so than a trip to the gym. Today, we’ll look at four telling signs that you worked out in the 1990s, and examine the pop culture snapshots that emerge from the sweat-drenched ether.

1) If you’re a guy who worked out in the 90s, your gym wardrobe probably included…

  • Shirts: Basketball jerseys, oversized cutoff t-shirts or No Fear/Big Dog/Stüssy/Billabong/FUBU t-shirts.
  • Legwear: Extra-baggy, no-pocket Champion mesh shorts, tear-away Adidas pants (three stripes, snap buttons) or Zubaz (zebra print workout pants).
  • Socks: Classic knee-highs for the cool, long socks awkwardly scrunched-up around the ankles for the not-so-cool.
  • Footwear: Nike Air Jordans, Reebok Pumps or LA Lights.
  • Accessories: Backwards hat, Walkman with headphones and belt carry case.
  • If it’s Cold Out: You were going home in your Starter jacket.

2) If you’re a girl who worked out in the 90s, your gym wardrobe probably included…

  • Shirts: Tie-dye t-shirts, Neon t-shirts, Hypercolor t-shirts – cross-pollinating colors are good, understand?
  • Legwear: Kappa pants, leggings (leotard combo), Umbro mesh shorts.
  • Socks: Three layers of multi-colored socks.
  • Footwear: Converse sneakers or Keds.
  • Accessories: Scrunchies – lots and lots of scrunchies. Scrunchies that wear their own scrunchies.
  • If it’s Cold Out: Fleece sweatshirts, vests or jackets.

3) On the Gym’s Television Set Was…

  • Michael Jordan – 6 championships in 8 years, the NBA on NBC, the tongue wag, the “spectacular move,” and the arsenal of commercials led by Nike and Gatorade. Who did you want to be like? This guy. At least until he showed up on the Wizards.
  • MTV music videos and shows (Total Request Live with Carson Daly)
  • Seinfeld, Friends, The X-Files, or my personal favorite, Home Improvement – anyone who experienced the 90s remembers Wilson’s slightly obscured face peering over the picket fence, offering sage kernels of advice to Tim “the Tool Man” Taylor. Simpler times.

4)Your Decade-Spanning, Top 15 Playlist Likely Included…

  • “Baby Got Back” – Sir Mix A Lot
  • “Jump” – Kris Kross
  • “Smells Like Teen Spirit” – Nirvana 
  • “Under the Bridge” – Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • “Nuthin’ But a G Thang” – Dr. Dre ft. Snoop Dog
  • “Gangsta’s Paradise” – Coolio
  • “Ants Marching” – Dave Matthews Band
  • “Kissed by a Rose” – Seal 
  • “1979” – Smashing Pumpkins
  • “Tha Crossroads” – Bone Thugs N’ Harmony
  • “The Freshmen” – Verve Pipe
  • “Mo Money Mo Problems” – The Notorious B.I.G.
  • “Semi-Charmed Kind of Life” – Third Eye Blind
  • “I Want it That Way” – Backstreet Boys
  • “… One More Time” – Brittany Spears

Those 90s workouts may not have been fashionable, but they sure were fun. To all those who hit the gym and indulged in Zubaz, Umbros, Walkmans and Coolio – we salute you!

 
Tom Phillips
 

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