Godfather of Fitness
Jack LaLanne is called America’s Number 1 Physical Fitness Expert and Guru, and is known as the “Godfather of Fitness”. Jack admitted it was not always that way. “As a kid,” he flatly stated, “I was a sugarholic and a junk food junkie! It made me weak and it made me mean. It made me so sick I had boils, pimples and suffered from nearsightedness. Little girls used to beat me up. My mom prayed… the Church prayed.” It was at the age of 15, when he heard pioneer nutritionist Paul Bragg speak at the Oakland City Women’s Club in San Francisco Bay Area, Jack finally realized that he was addicted to sugar. Bragg promised Jack if he would exercise and eat a proper diet he could regain good health. Jack listened attentively and was fiercely determined to walk away from that lecture ready to build a totally new Jack LaLanne.
He discovered that the Berkeley YMCA had a set of weights and began experimenting with them and before long, Jack was able to attain the muscular, healthy body of his dreams. “I became a voracious reader and I absorbed everything that would help me to improve myself. Gray’s Anatomy was my bible. During college, I studied pre-med to become a medical doctor and I also went to Chiropractic College and graduated; however, I was more interested in helping people by convincing them to take preventative measures, before they became ill.” Resolving to help others find the secrets to health and fitness, LaLanne opened the nation’s first modern health studio in 1936 on the third floor of an old office building in Oakland, California, paying $45 per month for rent. Jack was a mere 21 years old. “I was 40 years ahead of my time,” he said, “but by then I knew more about the workings of the muscles in my body than most doctors. People thought I was a charlatan and a nut,” Jack says, “The doctors were against me – they said that working out with weights would give people heart attacks and they would lose their sex drive. Women would look like men and even varsity coaches predicted that their athletes would get muscle bound and banned them from lifting weights. I had to give these athletes keys so they could come in at night and work out in my gym. Time has proven that what I was doing was scientifically correct; starting with a healthy diet followed by systematic exercise and today everyone knows it. All world class athletes now work out with weights, as do many members of the general public, both male and female.”
Over time, Jack began to formulate a basic approach to physical fitness and nutrition. His methods would be scientifically sound as he developed the first prototypes of exercise equipment presently available in contemporary health spas. His inventions include: the first leg extension machine and the first pulley machines using cables and the first weight selectors. He was the first to have women work out with weights and he also encouraged the disabled and elderly to exercise for health. Jack explained “There are 640 muscles in the human body and I take every one of them into account as I plan each exercise routine.”
Jack’s reputation began to spread and by the early 1950's he was given the opportunity to utilize the new medium of Television, where he reached out to millions of Americans with his gospel message of get out of your seat and onto your feet. His motivational message spread across the country like wildfire and his show was an instant nationwide hit! Jack LaLanne believed in daily, vigorous, systematic exercise and proper diet. “My top priority in life is my workout each day.” To the day he died Jack LaLanne lived by what he said to others, and did so for over 75 years. Much of what Jack LaLanne advocated through his teaching and beliefs have become common knowledge today. Today’s doctors and fitness experts all acknowledge daily systematic and proper diet as the principle keys to a longer healthier life.
Jack still has millions of fans all over the world who have followed his philosophy and have benefited from his teachings. His last book, LIVE YOUNG FOREVER- is critically acclaimed as his best book! It contains an overview of his life and how he lived it! There are never before seen photos of every aspect of his career and even tips on juicing.
Jack also had a fantastic singing voice and made a record singing with Connie Haines. He is recognized around the world for his amazing Jack LaLanne Power Juicer and also has a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame commemorating his lifelong achievements. When asked about the difference between then and now, Jack laughed and replied with a gleam in his eye, “It is most gratifying for me to see that everything that I was preaching and advocating for over 75 years has come to fruition. Then I was a crackpot and a charlatan, today I am an authority… and believe me I can’t die, it would ruin my image.” Don't worry Jack your reputation could never be ruined.