‘Fade,’ ‘Side To Side’ And Other Music Videos That Are Unrealistic Depictions Of Exercising


Even though we love them, Kanye West’s “Fade” and Ariana Grande’s “Side To Side” are hardly groundbreaking. Too sweaty, too sexy workout music videos have been giving us unrealistic expectations of what fitness looks like for decades.

“Side To Side,” released yesterday,  includes scenes of Grande and company spinning, showering, steaming and of course, frolicking in a locker room.

“Fade,” which dropped this past Sunday at the MTV VMAs, focuses on an oiled-up, be-thonged Teyana Taylor, who dances alone in an empty gym. Combining grace, athleticism and sensuality, Taylor’s performance in “Fade” commands attention.

But before you go running to the nearest gym to do this in hopes of getting Taylor’s [insert any body part here], take a look back at some videos that make working out look like the sexiest activity ever—instead of the gross, smelly and exhausting reality we know it as.

Nicki Minaj – “Anaconda”

You knew this one was coming. If you’re scared that, in fact, his Anaconda don’t want none because of your lack of buns, hun, hit the gym armed with the tricks learned from Minaj’s iconic video. This workout space is our dream gym because it offers aerobics classes alongside island-themed decorations and cocktails in coconuts.

Eric Prydz – “Call On Me”

The Venn diagram that compares workout-themed music videos with videos that are uncomfortable to watch at work is actually just a circle. “Call On Me,” the 2004 Euro dance track, is the best example of this phenomenon. Who knew aerobics classes had zero per cent of the crotch thrusting, dry humping and Jessica Simpson lookalikes that this video seemingly promises?  Side note: when did it stop being socially acceptable to wear a high-cut leotard to the gym?

OK Go -“Here It Goes Again”

Boasting the fanciest footwork we’ve seen on workout machines, OK Go provide wildly inaccurate representations of how easy treadmill choreography is in their video for “Here It Goes Again.”

Kanye West – “The New Workout Plan”

The workouts in this baby-faced Kanye video aren’t that outrageous, but what did give us unrealistic expectations is the notion that doing an hour of strength training would land us a basketball player boyfriend. Or at least Louis Vuitton luggage.

Madonna -“Hung Up”

It’s totally normal to work out in kitten heels, and to have perfectly feathered hair while doing so. Or at least that’s what the almost 50 year-old Madonna taught us in her “Hung Up” video. If you’re sweaty and gross while working out, it’s probably just because you’re doing it wrong.

Marianas Trench – “Decided To Break It”

Likely the most realistic representation on this list, “Decided To Break It” shows the members of Marianas Trench prepping for a big potato sack race via weird training. The regimen consists of the expected: egg yolks, blood, sweat and tears. Er, mostly just egg yolks and tears.