Richard's Story


Richard Simmons is one of the world’s most revered and iconic fitness personalities. As an instructor and motivator for over 40 years, Richard’s impact on the health and well-being of millions of people is truly immeasurable. Using his unique wit, passion and enthusiasm, Richard’s ability to reach out to the masses and to encourage them to take control of their fitness destiny has been a lifelong crusade. By delivering a serious message with his trademark humor, he has helped millions of overweight men and women lose more than 3,000,000 pounds by adopting sensible, balanced eating programs and exercise regimes that are energetic, fun and motivating.
Growing up in the French quarter of New Orleans, where lard was a food group and dessert mandatory, Richard weighed 268 pounds when he graduated high school. An entrepreneur at a tender age, Simmons sold pralines on New Orleans street corners where he learned to charm and entertain his customers. After trying everything from bizarre diets to laxatives, Simmons took control of his weight by adopting a lifestyle of balance, moderate eating and exercise.

          Simmons prevailed in his own weight battle before relocating to Los Angeles in 1973. There was no significant fitness movement in the country at the time, and to no avail, Simmons attempted to find a health club that wasn’t for people who were already in shape. After traversing LA, and unable to find a facility welcoming people of all shapes and sizes, his only alternative was to create that safe haven. In 1974, after consulting with doctors and nutritionists to ensure the safety of a program tailored to the needs of everyone, from the overweight and obese, to seniors and the physically challenged, a determined Simmons established an innovative place where the overweight of the world were welcomed with open arms. He opened his studio SLIMMONS in Beverly Hills, where he continued to teach classes and host inspirational seminars until 2013.  Simmons’ success as a fitness expert and advocate led to numerous local and national television and radio appearances including a four-year run on “General Hospital”, followed by his own nationally syndicated series, “The Richard Simmons Show”. The show ran for four years and received several Emmy Awards.

        Knowing that exercise and weight loss regimes must go hand-in hand, Simmons created a series of best selling products that integrate the two components. Deal-A-Meal and the FoodMover were revolutionary in their ability to help people keep track of calories and portions. His 65 fitness videos, which have sold over 20 million copies, pair lively music with rockin’ routines and Simmons’ humorous banter and encouragement. With titles that include “Sweatin’ to the Oldies”, “Dance Your Pants Off”, “Party Off the Pounds”, “Disco Sweat”, “Blast Off the Pounds”, “Platinum Sweat”, and “Sit Tight” (a workout designed for people who cannot stand), Richard offers a routine for everyone.

         As the author of nine books, including the New York Times Best Seller, “Never Say Diet”, Richard released his autobiography, “Still Hungry After All These Years” in 1998. He is also the author of three best-selling cookbooks.