The Gulf War or Operation Desert Storm as it is called lasted approximately one month but it was one of the most stressful eras that Americans had ever seen. With Iraqi President Saddam Hussein’s threat of chemical warfare and more than 500,000 Iraqi soldiers to back him up, Saddam invaded and occupied their neighboring country, Kuwait infuriating the West. President George H.W. Bush deployed US forces into Saudi Arabia and urged other countries to send their own forces to the scene. Several nations joined the coalition, forming the largest military alliance since World War-2. Operation Desert Shield, the build-up of troops in Saudi Arabia, was conducted from August 1990 to February 1991 and followed immediately by the combat phase, Operation Desert Storm conducted January 1991 to February 1991. This war was waged by coalition forces from 35 nations led by the United States against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait.
The Formal Formation of the Personal Training Industry
During the 90’s there was an explosion of jobs for fitness professionals. Not only did the number of fitness job positions increase, but newly created career opportunities become available to those in the field. The financial success that health clubs experienced in the 80’s sparked the interest of hospitals, universities and park districts as they explored the possibility of operating their own fitness centers. Each sought to create their own unique brand of specialty fitness; hospitals used a wellness platform, universities preferred the exercise science avenue and the park district centers included fitness activities for seniors and kids.
Universities not only built huge, state-of-the-art recreation complexes for students, many schools started to redesign their physical education curriculums to meet the changing environment. Colleges of Physical Education became the College of Kinesiology as the “Gym Teacher” became “Exercise Scientist.”
In the era of the ‘90s Personal Training Services expanded “Beyond the Celebrity” to the general public. In the 1980’s (and before) personal training was typically reserved for executives, VIPs and other celebrities. In a 1984 article published in Muscle & Fitness magazine, author Armand Tanny proclaimed a New Profession and introduced, Brad Harris - Trainer of VIPs! Brad Harris (1933–2017) was an American actor, stuntman and bodybuilder. He appeared in a variety of roles in over 50 films and as a trainer, helped many Hollywood VIPs get fit and look great.
Vince Gironda was an early trainer of celebrities and in his book, “How I Train the Movie Stars” he introduces circuit training to “The Stars.” For a few instructors, “Training the Stars” was exciting and profitable however it wasn’t until Tony Little entered the scene that personal training came “to the Masses.”
2006 NFHOF Inductee, Tony Little became an international fitness superstar in the 1990’s and is one of the most recognizable fitness celebrities today. Rather than choosing to train clients one-on-one, Tony chose the “One-on-Millions” philosophy. He did this by creating his Target Training Video/DVD Series which provided expert personal training to be performed in the convenience of the home. It was the first of its kind and helped the public appreciate the benefits of having a personal trainer and the affordability to do so. After Tony’s explosion on the scene, “Everyday People” got to experience the benefits that could be had from hiring a Personal Trainer!