Jane Fonda’s Workout Book

Katherine Hepburn

We remembered Jane Fonda's 1981 fitness classic Jane Fonda's Workout Book primarily for the insanely good leotards and leg warmers, but recently we unearthed a copy and found it also had more motivating quotes than a high-school cheerleader's Pinterest fitness-inspo board. Whether you need workout advice (get sweaty or else!), diet tips (all wheat bran, all the time!), or real talk about being your best self (fuck the patriarchy!), Jane has a quip for you. Plus, her relentless positivity will make you at least want to get up and do something, even if it's not the Advanced Buttocks workout. All the wellness enthusiasm you could ever need—from the hottest 75 year-old around—below...

On Working Out:
"Go for the burn! Sweat!"

"When you think you can't do any more repetitions, do two more."

"Exercise teaches you the pleasure of discipline."

"No distractions. Center yourself. This is your time."

"The harder you work out, the more you should stretch."

"Namby-pamby little routines that don't speed up your heartbeat and make you sweat aren't worth your while."

"The absolute minimum for effective exercise is three times a week on alternate days for at least half an hour."

"A big mirror to exercise in front of is essential."

"Whatever kind of workout you settle on, it should include the Big Three of exercise for health and fitness—aerobics, resistance exercises, and stretching."

"Your goal should be to take your body and make it as healthy, strong, flexible and well-proportioned as you can."

"An exercise outfit helps because it sets this time apart from the rest of your day and makes it matter more."

On Weight Loss:
"Find the balance between the calories you take in and the ones you burn up."

"Pay more attention to losing inches than losing pounds."

"The secret of losing weight is patience."

"There are no shortcuts and no sweatless quickies."

"You must decrease the amount of food you eat and increase the amount of exercise you get. That is all there is to it."

On Diet:
"Food is more than a matter of taste—it is the fuel for our bodies."

"Eat only when you are hungry—not because it is one o'clock or seven o'clock or whatever."

"When food becomes the enemy, every time we lose the fight we not only gain weight, but lose our self-esteem as well."

"Declare a truce and accept food as a life-giving friend."

"The woman who respects the needs of her body will junk the junk food."

"I always carry yeast flakes and bran with me when I travel."

"You cannot expect your children to be happy eating esoteric beige-colored foods when their friends get soda pop, Snickers, and Twinkies."

"Drink water between meals instead of with them so that the digestive juices will not be diluted."

"Seven Guidelines For a Healthy Diet
1. Substitute low-fat foods for high-fat foods
2. Cut down on meat—eat low on the food chain
3. Avoid salty and sugary foods
4. Cut down on sugar
5. Emphasize whole grains
6. Beware of alcohol
7. Emphasize the Healthy Five:
Raw unsalted nuts and sesame seeds
Sprouted seeds such as soybeans
Fresh raw wheat bran and wheat germ
Yogurt and kefir
Fresh fruits and vegetables"

On Self-Actualization:
"I am convinced that we become what we do."

"The more you treat yourself positively, the less you'll want or need to be negative."

"It is never too late to master your weaknesses."

"Enjoyable does not necessarily mean easy."

"Everyone should know that feeling of overcoming fear and mastering something. People who aren't taught that become soggy."

"If our work is stimulating and rewarding, if it pushes us to grow...we become more valuable human beings."

"Good physical condition is protection. Our strength comes from our body."

"Most of us want to be strong, but we are not."

On Beauty Ideals:
"Refuse to be afraid that we will no longer be considered attractive and acceptable when we are strong."

"The most incredible beauty and the most satisfying way of life come from affirming your own uniqueness."

"The glow and energy of the healthy woman is the ultimate beauty, the only beauty that will last."

"During my first few weeks in Hollywood, I was told that Jack Warner, the head of the studio, did not believe that a small-breasted woman could become a star."

"I was shocked into the realization that I myself had played an unwitting role as a movie star and sex symbol in perpetrating the stereotypes that affected women all over the world."

Photos by Mathea Millman. 

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  • http://lipglossandabackpack.wordpress.com/ LGandaB

    This just makes me want to re-re-re-watch "Perfect".

  • heatheradair

    Really resisting the urge to link to myself -- because I just went on a "beauty-ideal/objectification" rant that fits really well with all of these quotes. But I like the "It's never too late to master your weaknesses" bit. Dig some Friday Fonda. Hits the spot.

  • Bella

    Lawd, if I recall myself, as a teen in the 80's, doing the cover pose in the mirror and checking whether I looked like Fonda, am I too old to read ITG? Just theoretically, of course ;).

  • Dov

    I just realized where American Apparel found the inspiration for the entirety of their branding/art direction...

  • http://thiskittenhasklaws.wordpress.com/ Catherine Dream

    These quotes are BRILLIANT.

  • babs

    I love that she included playlists!

  • V

    ... But who is this amazing woman wearing an eye patch??

  • http://www.vibrantbeautyblog.com/ Jennifer Monforton

    I used to do a Jane Fonda workout video with my Mom when I was a little kid. Classic '80s! I remember thinking the women in the video looked so glamorous in their leotards ;) And I can definitely remember "Feel the burn!"