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No Sweat : Jane Fonda Closes Her Beverly Hills Aerobics Studio

TIMES STAFF WRITER

An era in exercise has ended. Jane Fonda’s Workout, the Beverly Hills aerobics studio that launched a multimillion-dollar fitness empire, took a permanent breather on Tuesday.

The studio, which reportedly remained profitable despite a recent drop-off in hard-bodied patrons, is a victim of changing times and Fonda’s desire to streamline her operations.

A spokesman said the studio was unable to compete with health clubs offering everything from juice bars to racquetball. Fonda also wants to concentrate her attention on her core businesses, which include a string of successful fitness videos, books and audiotapes.

“It won’t have any impact on the videos and books,” said Sidney Galanty, a longtime friend of Fonda’s who has produced and directed 12 of her 14 workout videos.

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Fonda, 53, is credited with creating the market for specialty videos in the early ‘80s and with contributing to the fitness fad that accompanied it. Her early catch-phrase, “go for the burn,” became something of a mantra for the leotard-and-smoothie crowd that snatched up more than 6 million of her videotapes and 2 million of her books worldwide.

The unassuming aerobics studio on South Robertson Boulevard is where Fonda inadvertantly got her start. The Academy Award-winning actress opened the studio in 1979 as a fund-raising vehicle for the Campaign for Economic Democracy, a liberal political group, now defunct, founded by Fonda and her former husband, Assemblyman Tom Hayden (D-Santa Monica). Years later, Fonda assumed control of studio profits.

Fonda often taught morning classes in the early years. She also opened branches in Encino and San Francisco. But as the other Workout ventures prospered, the studios became less vital, and Fonda closed the other two locations in the 1980s.

A Workout spokesman said refunds will be given to Workout members. Severance pay will also go out to studio employees, the spokesman said. There was no word on where Workout patrons, who may be burned up over losing their aerobics temple, will go for their next burn.

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A FONDA FITNESS EMPIRE Videos: Jane Fonda’s Workout; Jane Fonda’s Workout Challenge; Jane Fonda’s Pregnancy, Birth and Recovery Workout; Jane Fonda’s Prime Time Workout (later changed to Jane Fonda’s Easygoing Workout); Jane Fonda’s New Workout; Jane Fonda’s Low Impact Aerobic Workout; Start Up With Jane Fonda; Jane Fonda’s Workout With Weights; Jane Fonda Presents Sports-Aid; Jane Fonda’s Complete Workout; Jane Fonda’s Lean Routine Workout; Jane Fonda’s Light Aerobics and Stress Reduction Workout, and Jane Fonda Presents Fun House (for children and young adults).

Books: Jane Fonda’s Workout Book; Jane Fonda’s Workout for Pregnancy, Birth and Recovery; Women Coming of Age and Jane Fonda’s New Workout and Weight Loss Program; Jane Fonda’s New Pregnancy Workout and Total Birth Program. (Both pregnancy books were written by Femmy Delyser in conjunction with Fonda.)

Audiotapes: Jane Fonda’s Walkout and audio companions to the videotapes.


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