By now, I'm guessing you’ve seen the various clips of the Crystal Light National Aerobic Championships of the ‘80s. The intro video from 1988 is my personal favorite, as are the brilliant hosting duties performed by Alan Thicke. The energy these jazzercize experts give off is intoxicating. They’re physically fit, quirky, and seductively thin. This flashy kind of televised fitness dominated the ‘80s, and this aerobic trend speaks to an important era in our fitness fad history: thinness and defined muscularity were definitely in.
Then, seemingly all of a sudden, aerobics just died after the 1980s, and Richard Simmons didn’t look as beautiful anymore.
Fast forward three decades to 2015 and we have a new, beefy, show-off fitness sheriff in town: CrossFit, which has spread like wildfire to a hole-in-the-wall, abandoned warehouse near you. Just like the aerobics scene of the ‘80s, CrossFit is so ubiquitous in 2015 —to date, there are more than 6,500 gyms across the U.S. up from just a few in 2005, and it’s still trending consistently, according to Google and the WorldWide Survey of Fitness Trends for 2015—that we wonder if, like aerobics, CrossFit is also on pace to crash, burn and come back only as the fitness monster.