Not everyone on this list is gay, but that’s not the point. A gay icon is a celebrity or public figure who is embraced by the gay community. Without a doubt, everyone on this list has been as LGBTQ ally and has a faithful fan following among the gays. To reach icon status, one has to be able to relate to their gay fans through glamor, strength, attitude, overcoming adversity, and sometime androgyny. Some of the icons on this list have songs now considered gay anthems, powerhouse voices, or have larger-than-life personalities and an unapologetic approach to being unique in fashion and style.
We have been making these lists of the Top 10 Fittest for several years now and continue our legacy with this new list. The HFR institute first compiled a list of the most popular 50 iconic (and living) gay icons and did research on all of them. We narrowed down the list to 35, 25, and finally to the fittest 10. We used interviews and social media accounts to find information, and took into account age, publicly known health issues, and lifestyle.
Here are the Top 10 Fittest Gay Icons 2017:
Richard Simmons, 68
- The fitness legend has been helping people get healthy and fit for almost 5 decades.
- Has starred in over 50 fitness videos.
- Told Men’s Health in 2012 that his personal workout involves waking up at 4 a.m. and counting his blessings and praying, and working out immediately afterwards.
- He varies muscle groups each day.
- Does 45 min cardio daily before he even leaves the house.
- Grew up chubby and weighed 200 pounds by eighth grade, his heaviest was 168 lbs. Simmons even said in his book Never-Say-Diet “The only time I wasn’t fat was the day I was born.” He then reformed his life and became a fitness guru.
- Eats between 1,500 and 1,600 calories a day.
- He has touched countless people’s lives and has been referred to as one of the most sincere and friendly people in Hollywood.
- His workout techniques have been the same since their inception, outliving countless workout fads that have come and gone.
A true hero, he made working out accessible to everyone, no matter what they looked like in a leotard. And that sense of inclusivity is a cornerstone of his appeal and popularity.
- HFR founder Samir Becic says of the fitness legend “Richard is an exceptional human being and a true fitness pioneer who understands the correlation between the mental and physical aspects of healthy lifestyle. He created a powerful way to motivate millions through comedy and at the same time, sincerity.”
- She is self-proclaimed fitness freak.
- Runs for 30 minutes a day to keep active, says it keeps her agile and flexible and keeps her metabolic rate up.
- Does Bikram yoga (hot, 90 minute yoga).
- Cher is brutally honest and realistic, admitting it takes a strict diet and rigorous exercise. She recently adopted a vegetarian diet, doesn’t eat meat or drink alcohol, and makes working out a top priority.
- Does Pilates.
- ‘I don’t smoke, I don’t drink, I eat really good food,” said Cher. “You have to work twice as hard [as you get older]. You have to be in the gym all the time, but I like it. When I was young I was a tomboy. I played sports. And I’m learning to surf right now. I like that kind of stuff, thank God. Fitness: If it came in a bottle, everybody would have a great body.”
- Cher said exercise and a plant-based, vegetarian diet are critical for looking and feeling her best. “I don’t eat meat and I exercise around five times a week,” she said. “Getting your endorphins up is a great way to start your day and I’ve got loads of energy. If I ever try to play the age card with my trainer, she doesn’t go for it!”
- Still, aging does take its toll. “It’s harder to do things,” said Cher. “I’ve beat my body up so badly, it’s amazing it’s still talking to me and listening to what I say. But I’ve got aches and pains everywhere.” Cher added: “I’ve been screaming at the top of my lungs at my family, ‘Work out! Work out! Old age is coming!’ At some point you will need the strength. Who would have ever thought you would get this old?”
- This legendary singer-songwriter is well-known for her high upkeep, in maintaining a body of steel.
- The Queen of Pop follows a strict macrobiotic diet, consisting of 6 small meals a day.
- The macrobiotic diet restricts the consumption of wheat, eggs, meats, and dairy, and promotes the consumption of ‘sea vegetables.’
- While her dietary restrictions might be hard to follow, this globally popular star has an exercise regime that’s surprisingly doable for all.
- Has a line of boutique gym called Hard Candy Fitness.
- Besides dancing her butt off on stage, Madonna partakes in Ashtanga yoga for up to 2 hours a day, 6 days a week.
- While in the past, this pop singer had an intense exercise regime, she now makes yoga the focal point of her fitness.
- “No more pumping iron, no more Stairmaster, no more treadmill’ she says, ‘I’m gym-free. I’m liberated!”
Celine Dion, 48
- Is not a huge workout fan but watches portion sizes and leads an active lifestyle.
- Does the stationary bike.
- Gets regular massages to loosen up body tension.
- Stretches before she works out to maintain flexibility.
- Has a Las Vegas show that keeps her fit with dancing and running around on stage.
- Eats controlled portions.
- Enjoys juicing.
- Admits she is genetically thin.
- “You get busy with twins and you feed them so they help you to recover very fast. So I helped them help me.” – Celine Dion
Lady Gaga, 30
I heard my body is a topic of conversation so I wanted to say, I’m proud of my body and you should be proud of yours too. No matter who you are or what you do. I could give you a million reasons why you don’t need to cater to anyone or anything to succeed. Be you, and be relentlessly you. That’s the stuff of champions. thank you so much everyone for supporting me. I love you guys. Xoxo, gaga
- She maintains a regular regimented fitness routine, even on tour, she works out 5 days a week, for at least 25 minutes.
- She works out with her trainer Harley Pasternak, who says the secret to her abs is lots and lots of crunches.
- She eats 5 times a day, two meals and three snacks.
- Her meals consist of lean protein, low-glycemic carbs, healthy fats, fiber, and a sugar-free beverage.
- She allows herself one cheat day a week.
- Has been a longtime practicing yogi and visits local studios when on tour.
- Loves bikram and hot power yoga.
- Gaga has said, “Yoga makes me feel like I can do anything”
Ricky Martin, 45
- Regularly goes to the gym and does a traditional gym workout.
- Enjoys zumba so much that TMZ.com reported that he bought 200 DVDs of the workout to gift to friends and family.
- Yoda is one of his favorite fitness activities, both physically and mentally beneficial.
- Enjoys Kriya Yoga and Hatha Yoga; practices at least 20 minutes a day.
- Switched to a vegetarian diet in 2013 and felt much better from it.
- Has said his children keep him on his toes and active.
- “I feel great. I go to the gym. I do yoga. I’m a father to two toddlers, and lifting them is a workout — this is biceps, this is triceps. I also try to make love. That helps” he has said.
- In his 40s and 50s, the drag performer embarked on a new fitness regimen that involved hiking Los Angeles, a regimen which he says changed his life physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
- Quit smoking when he was 40 and really started focusing on health and fitness.
- Aims on doing 3 physical things a day.
- Usually runs on the treadmill at 5 a.m, and then still goes hiking.
- Meditates almost daily.
- Bikes all over L.A.
- Enjoys taking long beach walks in Malibu as the sun comes up.
- “It’s also good to experience what a body feels like when it’s working at its full capacity. Your lungs are actually doing what they’re supposed to do. This is also my time to meditate and to clear my head, work out issues and listen to music and actually get a good workout also. The hike is so spiritual — once you get your heart rate up there, you find that place where you understand that you are an amazing body, an amazing machine that can do so much.” RuPaul has said of his love of hiking.
- “Last night I went roller-skating. I swim, I dance — you name it. I just like to keep it moving. I think the key to getting older is being flexible, and that’s both literally and figuratively.” – RuPaul
George Takei, 79
- George Takei is obsessed with fitness according to him in his documentary To Be Takei
- Every morning, he powerwalks around his Los Angeles neighborhood like a man on fire.
- After that come sets of push-ups and sit-ups.
- His daily fitness regimen includes 100 push-ups.
- He stretches every morning to maintain flexibility.
- He used to run marathons, which is how he met his husband, Brad. Trekkies are well aware of his physique.
- “It’s about being your best self,” he says.
- Is an articulate activist for gay rights and a huge proponent of healthy living by example.
Boy George, 55
- In 2013, the singer lost a lot of weight and got healthy.
- To lose the weight, he said he focused on portion control, 5 hour gaps in between meals, and no tea or coffee, except at mealtime.
- Does not eat simple carbohydrates, sugars, or dairy.
- Works out 5 times a week.
- Drinks a lot of water and sparkling water in between meals.
- He said his new diet has given him on a new lease on life after doing so many drugs and alcohol over the years (which he has now given up for good).
- To lose the weight, he went to a nutritionist, who took a blood test on him and prescribed a balanced diet that would suit his particular body and chemistry.
- “If you are eating rubbish food the last thing you want to do is get out of bed in the morning. The modern diet is glycaemic heavy. We’re all verging on diabetics the way that we eat.” – Boy George
Britney Spears, 35
- Britney has recently found stability and a peace of mind in her health and fitness regimen.
- Britney’s trainers have raved about her exceptional work both during workouts and during rehearsals.
- Daily workouts are an important part of Britney’s newly stable lifestyle.
- She exercises with a trainer by performing high-impact 20-minute cardio sessions.
- Her workouts include various and fun activities such as boxing or climbing a fence.
- Her eating habits have also improved over the years, she now eats several well-balanced meals throughout the day to keep her energy levels up for her concert appearances.
- “I start with 20 minutes of intense cardio- usually running- move on to free weights, body-weight exercises such as pushups, squats, and situps, then finish it off with a stretch.” – Britney Spears