Fitness on the ’gram can be more alluring than your neighbourhood gym instructor

At Paper Planes, we’re often drawn to curious facets of our urban lives. In It’s a THING, we turn our attention to contemporary objects and happenings that have stuck around.

In the early ’90s, a VHS tape hit shelves. The recording featured a muscled, tights-clad trio, perfecting their crunches and curls off the ground. This was the popular 8 Minute Abs video. It’s since racked over 26 million views on YouTube.

The thing about workout videos — as opposed to real-life instructors — is that they’re incredibly forgiving. There’s no one standing over you, pushing you to do an extra couple of push-ups. The video can’t see you skip a few rounds. The onus may be on you to be more diligent and to be your own coach, but if you did want to slack off, who’s going to judge you? Heck, you probably got off your ass to work out at home — you’ve earned that autonomy.

There’s a whole other side to this format though. In the transposition from hazy VHS recordings to shiny #fitspo feeds on Instagram, it’s become easier to plan your regime with exercise videos. By which we mean: you can bookmark videos and save them for tomorrow morning, when you’ll be a better person, roll out your yoga mat and work out for a dedicated 8 minutes.

For further inspiration, here are three ’90s celebrity exercise video exports from the USA

Shape Your Body with Cindy Crawford

Body-Sculpting Dance Workout with Paula Abdul

Step Up with Latoya Jackson