winniePoohExercise

What do you wear when you work out? It’s probably some combination of a t-shirt and tank top, running shorts or leggings, and sneakers, right? I mean, that seems reasonable. You want to be comfortable, you want to wear the right shoes to prevent injury, and even though you’re probably sweating your figurative balls off, you still want to look cute. It’d probably shock you to learn that people once wore full-length skirts, finger waves, and button down shirts to work out, wouldn’t it? Well, consider yourselves shocked, because that happened.

(Related: Above Average: I Worked Out in Resistance-Band Fitness Leggings and Lived to Tell the Tale)

Mode‘s latest “100 Years of Style” covers the surprisingly fascinating subject of workout styles, but that’s not even the best part. Instead of just using one of their standard models, they chose YouTube fitness guru, and the founder of BlogilatesCassey Ho to show off the different styles and the different workout trends that were popular through the decades. If you think the styles are weird, just wait until you see what women in the ’40s thought was a viable form of exercise. Take a look:
[youtube_iframe id="OTQdOT5HS5o"]

In today’s intense world of hot yoga, barre, spin, CrossFit, and so much more, it seems strange to see such low-intensity (and, quite frankly, bizarre) forms of workout. Personally, I can’t imagine that anyone back in the day was even remotely physically fit—I mean, how was the weird roller ball bar good for anything other than a decent back scratch? Also, it’s always fun to see that the decision to have Bryce Dallas Howard run in heels in Jurassic World was based in age-old fitness trends of working out in kitten heels. Take that, haters.

Seriously though, as fun as it’s been to watch this Mode series, this is probably my favorite one. It gives insight into the past beyond just what the people wore. It actually shows us how we, as people, have evolved and adapted to our world over time, and it has nothing to do without how much hairspray we use, because, surprise, women are more than how we dress.

(GIF: Tumblr)