I also found the tone towards all those excercises a little negative; working out and staying fit is clearly good, and establishing and popularizing excercising in the first generation in human history that had technology to really help with many physical tasks is a difficult and noble task.
The consequence of insufficient excercise on human health is too severe than to belittle the attempts or to focus only on the gender issues of the past.
(Even more cynically, it's the same dumb presentist instinct that shows up everywhere from film styles to foreign policy. "We've got to arm this faction because the stupid idiots before us armed that faction because the idiots before them armed the other faction...")
https://journal.crossfit.com/article/what-is-fitness <- 2002 piece (with updated pictures) that really sums everything up
http://library.crossfit.com/free/pdf/CFJ_2016_05_Pegboard-Wa... <- "Best of" index
The closest the article comes to hinting at a more interesting point of view is when it points out in relation to a "Ms. Prudden" that "the paper’s honorific [in 1982] for the author was Miss; The Times was notoriously slow to accommodate Ms., adopting it only in 1986, 15 years after the founding of Ms. magazine." The purpose of mentioning this would seem to be to point out that fitness trends are not unique in reflecting contemporary social mores. But if we're already aware of this, then I'm not sure what the article has to offer except transtemporal voyeurism, trotting out the past to serve as a freak show for the present.
The history of fitness trends could make for an interesting way to see changes in popular ideas about health in gender roles across time. But this article is not a history; it is a catalog of mockery that happens to span a few decades.