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Halloween Costumes Inspired by Fitness Icons

The Fab Five U.S. Gymnastics Team

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Whether you're tiny and tough like gold-medalist Gabby Douglas or can just work a serious pout like famed silver-medalist malcontent McKayla Maroney, all you need to rock like one of the 2012 U.S. women's gymnastics team—"the fab five"—is a sparkly leotard (thrift stores are a gold mine for these!), a flower bouquet, and a gold medal. Slick your hair back into a tight ponytail and go crazy with the glittery eyeshadow. Bonus points for slapping some chalk dust on your hands and legs!

Jane Fonda

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Pouf your hair, shimmy into a shiny leotard and dance tights, and don't forget the legwarmers! Jane was as much a style icon as she was (and is) a fitness icon!

Arnold Schwarzenegger

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The muscle suit, mullet wig, and loin cloth are the easy part, perfecting your Austrian accent will be tough but oh so worth it!

SHAPE Magazine Cover Model

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Show SHAPE some love and give yourself a little motivational nudge by envisioning yourself as our latest super-fit cover model P!nk! Don a black bra-and-panty set with a mesh crop top. And show off your toned legs with temporarily inking her signature dragon tattoo on your left thigh. A short, pink (of course!) tousled crop finishes off your look. (And be sure to post a pic of yourself on our Facebook page!)

Jack Lalanne

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The granddaddy of all fitness was a hit in his zip-front one-piece jumpsuits. Add a headband and a glass of juice if you really want to make it authentic.

The Replacement Refs

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Sexy referees are so high school. This year it's all about the love-to-hate (hate-to-love?) replacement refs that brought NFL fans to their knees. Reference the disastrous and controversial Packers-Seahawks call by ironically wearing the blue and gray of the Seahawks... with blinders on. Or throw on a referee's black-and-white striped jersey and add a large red target to the back!

Photo credit: Costume Cauldron

Chuck Norris

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All photos so tough that every October he makes the rest of the world dress up in silly costumes, just for his entertainment. (Sorry, I had to try!) Denim, denim, and more denim is your ticket to being the toughest guy in the universe (for one night). Rip the sleeves off a denim shirt, tuck the shirt into your jeans, and top it with a jean jacket. Add a double holster and boots and no one will ever mess with you again.

Richard Simmons

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Find yourself some tiny red running shorts (you can create the stripes with electrical tape), bedazzle the heck out of a plain cotton tank, add white scrunched socks and athletic shoes, and top it all off with a giant 'fro wig. Bonus points if you remember any of the moves to Sweatin' to the Oldies!

Olivia Newton John

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Sure this cutie had lots of movie rolls that are fun to dress up as (Sandy from Grease, anyone?) but who can forget her adorable pink-and-red exercise combo from her Let's Get Physical video? She even makes the fem-mullet look sweet.

Tony Little

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Pull out your tightest cycling shorts and performance tee for this one! But it will be the blond clip-on ponytail under your baseball cap that really makes the look. Gazelle machine optional but highly encouraged. (What else are you using it for anyhow?)

Zumba Fitness Pro

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Beyond their bangin' bodies and fancy footwork, Zumba instructors are known for their sexy outfits. To get your Latin groove on this Halloween, wear a bright bikini top or cut a neon T-shirt or tank and tie it up to show just enough skin. Pair it with some bright cargo pants or leggings under a ruffly miniskirt. Neon vests, gloves, and bare midriffs are all encouraged.

Michelle Kwan

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You would be amazed at how many spangly ice skating dresses you can find at thrift stores. Hang a pair of skates over your shoulder (bonus: they double as weapons in case you have to take the subway home alone) and practice your best winning smile in the mirror.

Bruce Lee

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Channel your inner Kung-Fu warrior with a 70's Adidas tracksuit and runners. To really sell the look, insist on roundhouse kicking over everyone's heads at the party.


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Three words: black lace unitard. Don't think. Just do it. Add a long curly black wig and by the end of the evening you'll have your own entourage of fans. (Didn't know Cher is also a fitness icon? She didn't get that body by sitting around. She even has a whole line of workout DVDs to prove it.)

Jillian Michaels

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Pick your favorite workout capris and sports bra, hang a whistle around your neck, and carry a clipboard to impersonate America's favorite tough-love trainer. Practice yelling at people until they cry for at least a week before Halloween.

Crossfit Athlete

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CrossFit devotees are known for their hardcore mentality and shredded bodies but they also have a very distinctive style. Show your devotion (or fake your affinity for the workout craze) by sporting a tank top or sports bra that says "WOD gear" or "beast mode," tiny track shorts, and loud printed knee-high socks. Neon is a must.

Kim Kardashian

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This glamour girl brings the fashion into her fitness. She's on the cover of her DVD working out in a black push-up bra, leggings and, naturally, a corset belt. Add some Reebok toning shoes for authenticity.

Dancing With the Stars Contestant

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Feathers and fringe and foil, oh my! The combo of crazy celebs and flashy dresses on Dancing With the Stars is costume gold. Start with a deep spray tan, add on the loudest dress you can find at the thrift store (the more cutouts, feathers, and bling, the better!), and finish with some gold strappy heels. To take it from Simply Ballroom to Dancing With the Stars, top off your look with a Marie Osmond wig, Kirstie Alley lashes, or a Bristol Palin baby.

Suzanne Somers

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Who can resist the tender-but-tough combination of a thong leotard and a metal contraption you hold between your legs? A blond wig and shiny pink lipstick finish off this look. Bonus: If you don't have thighs of steel now, you will by the end of the night!

Mary Lou Retton

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Can't find four friends to complete your Fab Five group costume? You can still channel your inner Olympian! You don't even have to run around town searching for an American flag leo. Take a solid, long-sleeved leotard and use electrical tape to make a similar pattern. Pull your hair up and add a gold medal for the win!


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She's a maniac! Maniac! On the fl-oo-r! Admit it, you've already practiced dancing in a large sweatshirt with the neck cut out to hang off one shoulder. All you need now are legwarmers, a headband and a beat to be the star of this party.

Billy Blanks

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Basketball shorts, a tight tank top and hand wraps are a great Halloween idea. Giving someone your best uppercut to their jaw, however, is not. And if you can find a head mic, even better!

Anna Kournikova

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Copy The Biggest Loser cutie and pull on your best tennis dress and visor. Accessorize with a racket and a long blond braided wig. Enrique Iglesias sold separately.

Michael Phelps

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It takes guts to pull this one off, but how much simpler does it get than a Speedo, swim cap, goggles, and a slew of medals around your neck? This does not mean you can eat 12,000 calories in Halloween candy, however.

Sun Drop Girl

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If group fitness classes had cheerleaders they'd look just like the super cheery Sun Drop girl, getting her dance workout on in any public place. (In a canoe! On skates! In the middle of beach yoga!) Start with a green ringer tee, print out the yellow Sun Drop logo, and spray glue it to the front (or use fabric markers if you're feeling crafty). Add black leggings, cuffed jean short-shorts, red leg warmers, and a thin red headband. All that's left is to practice your "drop it like it's hot" moves!

Brandi Chastain

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It was the sports bra seen around the world, and you can rock her same look with soccer shorts, jersey, cleats, and socks. And don't forget the black Nike sports bra—although it's up to you if you decide to rip your shirt off in a moment of victory.

Paula Radcliffe or Kara Goucher

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Depending on whether you are naturally brunette or blond, impersonate an elite marathon runner with running shorts, a singlet, a pinned-on bib number and running shoes. Besides, you always wanted an excuse to wear those compression sleeves you bought because they seemed like a good idea at the time but then felt too pretentious to ever run in.

Greek Yogurt

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It might not be a "fitness icon," but Greek yogurt reigns as the No. 1 food fit people love, which means it deserves some love this Halloween. Show your fervor for the creamy, tangy, protein-packed snack by either going literal (a circular white laundry hamper imprinted with "Fage pronounced fah-yeh" and a white swirl on top of your head) or as an homage (wear a Greek goddess toga and a laurel crown made out of silver yogurt lids). Finish the look with a large plastic spoon. Optional: Drizzling honey and slices almonds all over yourself.


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