Monday, 25 July 2016
Raquel: The Raquel Welch Total Beauty and Fitness Program
"Are you in great shape and want to stay that way, but you're looking for a method to maintain your high standards? Then I made this video for you. Are you almost in great shape, but not quite, and looking for the extra something that allows you to make the grade? Then I made this video for you. Or have you gotten to the point where you're just fed up? You've never been in great shape and you wish this whole fitness craze would dry up and blow away? Then I made this video especially for you!"
That's how Raquel Welch starts her beyond fabulous 1984 exercise VHS Raquel: The Raquel Welch Total Beauty and Fitness Program. The narration plays over scenes of her having a great time driving a dune buggy, lounging on an actual yacht, and dressed up like a drill sergeant leading a pack of runners.
If you're anything like me when it comes to exercise, the drill sergeant thing and the looming threat of maybe having to run will make you back away from this program, but don't! First of all, and most importantly, there is no running involved. None. I'll explain more in a minute, after I've gotten some history out of the way.
Last year, Jane Fonda's famous aerobics videos were released on DVD. Just in time for DVD to become obsolete. (I'm kidding! Kind of!) But here's the thing, however you may feel about Jane Fonda, her workouts leave something to be desired by modern standards. Wearing legwarmers and doing jumping jacks is not what it used to be, and I think we can all blame high fructose corn syrup for that.
Meanwhile, Raquel Welch's totally boss and bananas workout routine has not been released on anything but its original VHS format, and that is a travesty.
During the 80's, celebrity tutorials really took off. The most famous was the aforementioned Jane Fonda workout, but there was also the Donna Mills makeup guide The Eyes Have It! (which is seriously so good, because it too is from 1984 and recommends navy blue eyeliner and swears diagonal blush looks good on everyone as long as they blend it into their foundation), as well as countless other diet and routine based cardboard-wrapped boxes of secrets.
In Raquel, Raquel explains to us that there are three things that can make you look like Raquel Welch: genetics, eating a strictly monitored diet, and exercising intensely at least twice a week. She can't help us with the first part, and the second part is 90% psychological, but she's going to show us her favourite approach to the third one. That approach is a yoga routine that's totally adaptable to where you are on the fitness spectrum.
It's pretty timeless.
Granted, she teaches you all of this while wearing a zebra print bathing suit in front of a class of people with feathered blonde hair and neon leotards, but that just makes it all the more awesome.
None of the things she does in the opening montage have any bearing on the actual content of the video, which is comprised of twenty-seven poses that she encourages you to learn gradually and at your own pace. They range from things as simple as bending at the side with a specific breathing technique, to grabbing your own ankles from behind. Which might not sound hard, but takes some practice.
I think you should watch it. If you don't like the actual exercises, there's enough 80's cheese to cover a jumbo tray of nachos, and if you do like the actual exercise it's really useful.
The best part? It's not on DVD, but it is available on YouTube in its entirety, right here!