|Jack LaLanne Circa 1945|
Francois Henri "Jack" LaLanne (1914---2011) was called "The Godfather of Fitness". He was born in San Francisco to French Immigrant parents.
As a boy, he said he was addicted to sugar and junk food. He said his life was a "living hell", and he suffered terrible migraine headaches and bulimia. He said his life began to turn around when, at the age of 14, he heard a talk on health and nutrition which focused on the evils of sugar and meat. He then began to change his life through nutrition and exercise.
He began working out daily, and returned to school, where he earned a Doctor of Chiropractic degree.
In 1936, he opened the nation's first health and fitness club in Oakland, California.
Physicians, however, advised their patients against attendance at his club because they said his programs would lead to heart attacks and cause "muscle-boundness". Doctors also said LaLanne was an "exercise nut". Ha. By 1980, LaLanne's European Health Spa locations numbered 200.
|Jack and His Famous Dog|
LaLanne blamed overly processed foods for much of the nation's health problems. He advocated a meatless diet (with the exception of fish). He ate two meals per day, and never snacked between meals. His advice---"If man made it, don't eat it; If it tastes good, spit it out."
|Jack Teaches Nutritition|
His daily workout regimens consisted of working muscle groups with resistance training until the muscles fatigued. This technique is ubiquitous today, but was considered radical in the early days of weight training.
He was so far ahead of his time that it is laughable today.
A few of LaLanne's unbelievable feats:
---In 1954, at the age of 40, he swam the entire length of the Golden Gate Bridge (1.7 miles) underwater, with 140 pounds of air tanks strapped to his body
---At the age of 41, he swam from Alcatraz Island to Fisherman's Wharf (1.25 miles) while handcuffed
---At the age of 42, he set a world record by doing 1,033 pushups in 23 minutes on television
---At 43 years of age, he swam the 1-mile Golden Gate channel while towing a 2,500 pound cabin cruiser
---In 1958, at age 44, he paddleboarded 30 miles non-stop from Fallon Island to San Fransisco
--In 1959, he did 1,000 jumping jacks and 1,000 chin-ups in 1 hour, 22 minutes
---In 1974, at age 60, LaLanne swam from Alcatraz Island to Fisherman's Wharf while handcuffed, shackled, and towing a 1,000 pound boat
---In 1980, at age 66, he towed 10 boats carrying 77 people over 1 mile at North Miami, Florida
---In 1984, at age 70, he towed 70 rowboats over 1 mile in Long Beach harbor
|Towing 10 Rowboats and 77 People|
In a day and age when the media glorify the silly, sappy antics of Hollywood "stars" and superficial "celebrities", it is unfathomable that this true shining star did not receive nearly the recognition for his trail-blazing accomplishments that he deserved.
|Jack LaLanne, Age 85|