Jack LaLanne

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

Jack LaLanne
Jack LaLanne 1961 portrait.JPG
LaLanne in 1961
BornFrancois Henri LaLanne
(1914-09-26)September 26, 1914
San Francisco, California, USA
DiedJanuary 23, 2011(2011-01-23) (aged 96)
Morro Bay, California, USA
Cause of deathPneumonia
ResidenceMorro Bay, California
NationalityAmerican
EducationMarymount University
OccupationChiropractor, fitness expert, television host, inventor, entrepreneur
Years active1936–2011
Home townBakersfield, California
Height5'6"
TelevisionThe Jack LaLanne Show
Spouse(s)Irma Navarre (m. 1942–48)
Elaine Doyle (m. 1959–2011) (his death)
Website
jacklalanne.com
 
Jump to: navigation, search
Jack LaLanne
Jack LaLanne 1961 portrait.JPG
LaLanne in 1961
BornFrancois Henri LaLanne
(1914-09-26)September 26, 1914
San Francisco, California, USA
DiedJanuary 23, 2011(2011-01-23) (aged 96)
Morro Bay, California, USA
Cause of deathPneumonia
ResidenceMorro Bay, California
NationalityAmerican
EducationMarymount University
OccupationChiropractor, fitness expert, television host, inventor, entrepreneur
Years active1936–2011
Home townBakersfield, California
Height5'6"
TelevisionThe Jack LaLanne Show
Spouse(s)Irma Navarre (m. 1942–48)
Elaine Doyle (m. 1959–2011) (his death)
Website
jacklalanne.com

Francois Henri "Jack" LaLanne (September 26, 1914 - January 23, 2011) was an American fitness, exercise, and nutritional expert and motivational speaker who is sometimes called "the godfather of fitness" and the "first fitness superhero."[1] He described himself as being a "sugarholic" and a "junk food junkie" until he was 15. He also had behavioral problems, but "turned his life around" after listening to a public lecture by Paul Bragg, a well-known nutrition speaker.[2] During his career, he came to believe that the country's overall health depended on the health of its population, writing that "physical culture and nutrition — is the salvation of America."[3]

Decades before health and fitness began being promoted by celebrities like Jane Fonda and Richard Simmons, LaLanne was already widely recognized for publicly preaching the health benefits of regular exercise and a good diet. He published numerous books on fitness and hosted a fitness television show between 1953 and 1985. As early as 1936, at age 21, he opened one of the nation's first[3] fitness gyms in Oakland, California, which became a prototype for dozens of similar gyms using his name.[4] One of his 1950s television exercise programs was aimed toward women, whom he also encouraged to join his health clubs.[3][5] He invented a number of exercise machines, including leg-extension and pulley devices. Besides producing his own series of videos, he coached the elderly and disabled not to forgo exercise, believing it would enable them to enhance their strength.[3][5]

LaLanne also gained recognition for his success as a bodybuilder, as well as for his prodigious feats of strength. Arnold Schwarzenegger once exclaimed "That Jack LaLanne's an animal!" after a 54-year-old LaLanne beat then 21-year-old Schwarzenegger "badly" in an informal contest.[1] On the occasion of LaLanne's death, Schwarzenegger credited LaLanne for being "an apostle for fitness" by inspiring "billions all over the world to live healthier lives,"[6] and, as governor of California, had earlier placed him on his Governor's Council on Physical Fitness. Steve Reeves credited LaLanne as his inspiration to build his muscular physique while keeping a slim waist. Lalanne was inducted to the California Hall of Fame and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.[7]

Early life[edit]

LaLanne was born in San Francisco, California,[3] to Jennie (née Garaig) (1884–1973) and Jean/John LaLanne (1881–1939). His parents were immigrants from Oloron-Sainte-Marie in southwest France, who each entered the US as a young child via the Port of New Orleans, LA in the 1880s. LaLanne had two older brothers, Ervil, who died in childhood (1906–1911), and Norman (1908–2005), who nicknamed him "Jack."[3][8]

He grew up in Bakersfield, California and later moved to Berkeley when he was still a child. His father died at the age of 58 of a heart attack, caused in part by poor nutrition.[9] LaLanne wrote that as a boy he was addicted to sugar and junk food. He had violent episodes directed against himself and others, describing himself as "a miserable goddamn kid...it was like hell."[10] Besides having a bad temper, he also suffered from headaches and bulimia, and temporarily dropped out of high school at age 14. The following year, at age 15, he heard health food pioneer Paul Bragg give a talk on health and nutrition, focusing on the "evils of meat and sugar."[9]

Bragg's message had a powerful influence on LaLanne, who then changed his life and started focusing on his diet and exercise.[11] In his own words, he was "born again," and besides his new focus on nutrition, he began working out daily. He went back to school, where he made the high school football team, and later went on to college in San Francisco where he earned a Doctor of Chiropractic degree. He studied Henry Gray's Anatomy of the Human Body and concentrated on bodybuilding and weightlifting.[9]

Fitness career[edit]

Health clubs[edit]

In 1936, he opened what is considered the nation's first health and fitness club in Oakland, California,[9] where he offered supervised weight and exercise training and gave nutritional advice. His primary goal was to encourage and motivate his clients to improve their overall health. Doctors, however, advised their patients to stay away from his health club, a business totally unheard of at the time, and warned their patients that "LaLanne was an exercise 'nut,' whose programs would make them muscle-bound" and cause severe medical problems.[9] LaLanne recalls the initial reaction of doctors to his promotion of weight-lifting:

People thought I was a charlatan and a nut. The doctors were against me—they said that working out with weights would give people heart attacks and they would lose their sex drive.[5]

LaLanne designed the first leg extension machines, pulley machines using cables, and the weight selectors that are now standard in the fitness industry. He invented the original model of what became the Smith machine.[12] LaLanne encouraged women to lift weights (though at the time it was thought this would make women look masculine and unattractive). By the 1980s, Jack LaLanne's European Health Spas numbered more than 200. He eventually licensed all his health clubs to the Bally company, now known as Bally Total Fitness. Though not associated with any gym, LaLanne continued to lift weights until his death.

LaLanne's gym ownership led to a brief professional wrestling career in 1938. Wrestlers were among the few athletes who embraced weight training, and they frequented his health club. LaLanne wrestled in the Bay Area for only a few months. He was well respected enough that he was booked to wrestle to a draw against some big name opponents rather than lose, despite his lack of experience. LaLanne was friendly with such performers as Lou Thesz and Strangler Lewis.

Books, television and other media[edit]

Jack LaLanne in 1961
Edgar L. McCoubrey and Jack LaLanne, ca 1960

LaLanne presented fitness and exercise advice on television for 34 years. The Jack LaLanne Show was the longest-running television exercise program. According to the SF Chronicle TV program archives, it first began on September 28, 1953 as a 15 minute local morning program (sandwiched between the morning news and a cooking show) on San Francisco's ABC television station, KGO-TV, with LaLanne paying for the airtime himself as a way to promote his gym and related health products. LaLanne also met his wife Elaine while she was working for the local station. In 1959, the ABC network picked up the show for nationwide broadcast, which continued until 1985.

The show was noted for its minimalist set, where LaLanne inspired his viewers to use basic home objects, such as a chair, to perform their exercises along with him. Wearing his standard jumpsuit, he urged his audience "with the enthusiasm of an evangelist," to get off their couch and copy his basic movements, a manner considered the forerunner of today's fitness videos.[9][13]:watch In 1959, LaLanne recorded Glamour Stretcher Time, a workout album which provided phonograph-based instruction for exercising with an elastic cord called the Glamour Stretcher.[14] As a daytime show, much of LaLanne's audience were stay-at-home mothers. Wife Elaine LaLanne was part of the show to demonstrate the exercises, as well as the fact that doing them would not ruin their figures or musculature. LaLanne also included his dog Happy as a way to attract children to the show. Later in the run, another dog named Walter was used, with LaLanne claiming "Walter" stood for "We All Love To Exercise Regularly."

LaLanne published several books and videos on fitness and nutrition, appeared in movies, and recorded a song with Connie Haines. He marketed exercise equipment, a range of vitamin supplements, and two models of electric juicers.[15] These include the "Juice Tiger", as seen on Amazing Discoveries with Mike Levey, and "Jack LaLanne's Power Juicer".[16] It was on the show that LaLanne introduced the phrase "That's the power of the juice!" However, In March 1996, 70,000 Juice Tiger juicers, 9% of its models, were recalled after 14 injury incidents were reported.[16] The Power Juicer is still sold in five models.[17]

LaLanne celebrated his 95th birthday with the release of a new book titled, Live Young Forever.[18] In the book, he discussed how he maintained his health and activeness well into his advanced age.

Personal health routine[edit]

Diet[edit]

LaLanne blamed overly processed foods for many health problems. For most of his life, he advocated primarily a meat and vegetable diet; eating meat three times per day with eggs and fruit in the morning and many servings of vegetables in the afternoon and evening. [19] In his later years, he appeared to advocate a mostly meatless diet but which included fish (see Pescetarianism),[20][21] and took vitamin supplements.[22][23][24]

In his television programs, he recommended the following meal plan; Breakfast: fruit, eggs and/or meat, whole wheat toast and coffee/skim milk. Lunch: Big salad, and meat/fish/cottage cheese. Dinner: Big salad, two vegetables, meat/fowl, fruit, and yogurt.

He ate two meals a day and avoided snacks. His breakfast, after working out for two hours, consisted of hard-boiled egg whites, a cup of broth, oatmeal with soy milk and seasonal fruit. For dinner, he and his wife typically ate raw vegetables and egg whites along with fish. He did not drink coffee.[5]

LaLanne said his two simple rules of nutrition are: "if man made it, don't eat it", and "if it tastes good, spit it out."[25] He offered his opinion of the average person's diet:

Look at the average American diet: ice cream, butter, cheese, whole milk, all this fat. People don't realize how much of this stuff you get by the end of the day. High blood pressure is from all this high-fat eating. Do you know how many calories are in butter and cheese and ice cream? Would you get your dog up in the morning for a cup of coffee and a donut? Probably millions of Americans got up this morning with a cup of coffee, a cigarette and a donut. No wonder they are sick and fouled up.[1]

Exercise[edit]

LaLanne receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007 at Muscle Beach in Venice Beach, California.

When exercising, he worked out repetitively with weights until he experienced "muscle fatigue" in whatever muscle groups he was exercising, or when it became impossible for him to go on with a particular routine. "Training to failure" is now commonplace. LaLanne moved from exercise to exercise without stopping. To contradict critics who thought this would leave him tightly musclebound and uncoordinated, LaLanne liked to demonstrate one-handed balancing. His home contained two gyms and a pool which he used daily.[5] He also dismissed warmups, calling them "shtick" and "something else to sell": "15 minutes to warm up? Does a lion warm up when he's hungry? 'Uh oh, here comes an antelope. Better warm up.' No! He just goes out there and eats the sucker."

He continued with his two-hour workouts into his 90s, which also included walking.[26]

He often said, "I'd hate to die; it would ruin my image." Similarly, he stated, "If I died, people would say 'Oh look, Jack LaLanne died. He didn't practice what he preached.'"[5] When asked about sex, LaLanne had a standard joke, saying that despite their advanced age, he and his wife still made love almost every night: "Almost on Monday, almost on Tuesday, almost on Wednesday..." He explained his reasons for exercising:

I train like I'm training for the Olympics or for a Mr. America contest, the way I've always trained my whole life. You see, life is a battlefield. Life is survival of the fittest. How many healthy people do you know? How many happy people do you know? Think about it. People work at dying, they don't work at living. My workout is my obligation to life. It's my tranquilizer. It's part of the way I tell the truth — and telling the truth is what's kept me going all these years.[1]

He also added "I know so many people in their 80s who have Alzheimer's or are in a wheelchair or whatever. And I say to myself 'I don't want to live like that. I don't want to be a burden on my family. I need to live life. And I'd hate dying; it would ruin my image.'"

LaLanne summed up his philosophy about good nutrition and exercise:

Living is a pain in the butt. Dying is easy. It's like an athletic event. You've got to train for it. You've got to eat right. You've got to exercise. Your health account, your bank account, they're the same thing. The more you put in, the more you can take out. Exercise is king and nutrition is queen: together, you have a kingdom.[27]

Opinion about food additives and drugs[edit]

LaLanne often stressed that artificial food additives, drugs, and processed foods contributed to making people mentally and physically ill. As a result, he writes, many people turn to alcohol and drugs to deal with symptoms of ailments, noting that "a stream of aches and pains seems to encompass us as we get older."[28]:114 He refers to the human bloodstream as a "River of Life", which is "polluted" by "junk foods" loaded with "preservatives, salt, sugar, and artificial flavorings".[28]:167

Relying on evidence from The President's Council on Physical Fitness, he also agrees that "many of our aches and pains come from lack of physical activity." As an immediate remedy for symptoms such as constipation, insomnia, tiredness, anxiety, shortness of breath, or high blood pressure, LaLanne states that people will resort to various drugs: "We look for crutches such as sleeping pills, pep pills, alcohol, cigarettes, and so on."[28]

Family[edit]

LaLanne was married to Elaine Doyle LaLanne for over 50 years. They had three children: one from his first marriage (Yvonne LaLanne), one from Elaine's first marriage (Dan Doyle), and one together (Jon LaLanne). Yvonne is a chiropractor in California; Dan and Jon are involved in the family business, BeFit Enterprises, which they and their mother and sister plan to continue.[3][10][29] Another daughter from Elaine's first marriage, Janet Doyle, died in 1974 at age 21 in a car accident.[30]

Death[edit]

LaLanne died of respiratory failure due to pneumonia at his home on January 23, 2011. He was 96. According to his family, he had been sick for a week, but refused to see a doctor. They added that he had been performing his daily workout routine the day before his death.[31][32]

Timeline: LaLanne's feats[edit]

(As reported on Jack LaLanne's website) These accounts are not necessarily entirely accurate descriptions of what LaLanne actually did. See the 1974 Alcatraz Island to Fisherman's Wharf swim (below) for an illustration of the difference between the website account and objective reporting of the same event.[citation needed]

Awards and honors[edit]

On June 10, 2005, then governor Arnold Schwarzenegger launched the California Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Sport. In his address, Schwarzenegger paid special tribute to LaLanne, who he credited with demonstrating the benefits of fitness and a healthy lifestyle for 75 years.[38] In 2008, he inducted LaLanne into the California Hall of Fame and personally gave him an inscribed plaque at a special ceremony.

In 2007, LaLanne was awarded The President's Council's Lifetime Achievement Award. The award is given to "individuals whose careers have greatly contributed to the advancement or promotion of physical activity, fitness, or sports nationwide." Winners are chosen based on the "individual's career, the estimated number of lives the individual has touched through his or her work, the legacy of the individual's work, and additional awards or honors received over the course of his or her career."[39]

Other honors

Filmography[edit]

LaLanne appeared as himself in the following films and television shows:

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d d'Estries, Michael (24 January 2011). "Jack LaLanne: The first fitness superhero". Mother Nature Network. Retrieved 25 January 2011. 
  2. ^ Tuttle, Dave (August 2006). "Report: Jack LaLanne: "Godfather of Fitness" Still Going Strong at 91". Life Extension. Retrieved 25 January 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Luther, Claudia (23 January 2011). "Jack LaLanne obituary: Jack LaLanne dies at 96; spiritual father of U.S. fitness movement". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 24 January 2011. 
  4. ^ "Still Going Strong". Newsweek. 20 February 2006. Retrieved 25 January 2011. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f Goldstein, Richard (24 January 2011). "Jack LaLanne, Father of Fitness Movement, Dies at 96". The New York Times. Retrieved 24 January 2011. 
  6. ^ "Schwarzenegger calls LaLanne 'most energetic man in the room'", KSBY.com, Jan. 24, 2011
  7. ^ Andrew Dalton (January 23, 2011). "Fitness guru Jack LaLanne, 96, dies at Calif. home". U-T San Diego. 
  8. ^ Reitwiesner, William Addams (date unknown). Ancestry of Jack LaLanne. Retrieved from http://www.wargs.com/other/lalanne.html.
  9. ^ a b c d e f St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture vol. 3, St. James Press (2000) pp. 81-83
  10. ^ a b Kuruvila, Matthai; Demian Bulwa (24 January 2011). "Jack LaLanne, fitness pioneer, dies at 96". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 24 January 2011. 
  11. ^ "Paul C. Bragg". The Natural Health Perspective. 2009-01-29. Retrieved 2009-09-13. 
  12. ^ Fitness guru Jack LaLanne has passed away
  13. ^ Jack LaLanne Show video
  14. ^ Jack LaLanne's Glamour Stretcher, NYTimes Exercise Product History
  15. ^ Jack LaLanne, Media Fitness Guru, Dies at 96 - Wall Street Journal Published 24 January 2011. Retrieved 28 January 2011.
  16. ^ a b U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission CPSC, National Media Corporation Announced Juice Tiger Recall Program
  17. ^ Power Juicer
  18. ^ LaLanne, Jack (2009). "Live Young Forever". Robert Kennedy Publishing. Retrieved 28 January 2011. 
  19. ^ [www.youtube.com/watch?v=VuW3RfWJ1H0]
  20. ^ McManis, Sam (2003-01-19). "Raising the bar / At 88, fitness guru Jack LaLanne can run circles around those half his age". The San Francisco Chronicle. 
  21. ^ Hughes, Dennis. "Interview with Jack LaLanne / Legendary Fitness Expert, Health Pioneer, Diet and Nutrition Innovator". Share Guide. 
  22. ^ Jack LaLanne's 10 Health Habits. The Daily Beast. Published January 24, 2011. Accessed January 31, 2011.
  23. ^ Jack Lalanne: 81 Going On 60. The Sun Sentinel. Published March 14, 1996. Accessed January 31, 2011.
  24. ^ CNN Transcript - Larry King Live: Jack La Lanne Discusses a Life of Health and Fitness. Aired July 17, 2000, 9:00 p.m. ET. Accessed January 31, 2011.
  25. ^ "Jack LaLanne -LaLanneisms". JackLaLanne.com. Retrieved 24 January 2011. 
  26. ^ "Fitness guru Jack LaLanne still going strong at 89". CNN.com. 2004-01-19. Archived from the original on 2007-09-04. Retrieved 2011-01-23. 
  27. ^ Siegel M.D., Andrew. Finding Your Own Fountain of Youth: The Essential Guide to Maximizing Health, Paul Mould Publ. (2008) p. 191
  28. ^ a b c LaLanne, Jack. Revitalize Your Life: Improve Your Looks, Your Health & Your Sex Life, Hastings House (2003)
  29. ^ Weise, Elizabeth; Nanci Hellmich (25 January 2011). "Fitness guru Jack LaLanne dies at 96". USA Today. Retrieved 26 January 2011. 
  30. ^ Goldman, Stuart (1 October 2009). "Jack LaLanne Receives Lifetime Achievement Award". ClubIndustry.com. Retrieved 26 January 2011. 
  31. ^ "Fitness Guru Jack LaLanne Dies at Age 96". KTLA. 23 January 2011. Retrieved 24 January 2011. 
  32. ^ "Fitness guru Jack LaLanne, 96, dies at Calif. home". Associated Press via MSNBC. 24 January 2011. Retrieved 24 January 2011. 
  33. ^ a b c "A Fitting Life for Jack LaLanne" Orange Coast Magazine, August 1986
  34. ^ Grace, Francie (14 January 2004). "LaLanne: Pushing 90, Pumping Iron". CBS. Retrieved 24 January 2011. 
  35. ^ "Bicentennial Swim". Modesto Bee. 21 October 1976. Retrieved 24 January 2011. 
  36. ^ Squires, Sally (2007-06-12). "A Fitness Icon Keeps His Juices Flowing". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2010-05-05. 
  37. ^ "Jack LaLanne Fit As Ever At 70". Lodi News-Sentinel. UPI. 19 November 1984. Retrieved 24 January 2011. 
  38. ^ "Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger Announces California Council on Physical Fitness and Sports"Lauphing Place, June 14, 2005
  39. ^ Press Release President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, May 3, 2007
  40. ^ "Famous Fitness Fads" AARP, Dec. 10, 2010
  41. ^ a b Everyone's Guide to Cancer Therapy, Andrews McMeel Publishing (2008) p. xxxi
  42. ^ Behar, Joy. When You Need a Lift, Random House (2007) p. 171
  43. ^ "Jack LaLanne Shall Shame Us With His Old-Man Energy No Longer". New York Magazine. Retrieved 2010-01-24. 
  44. ^ National Fitness Hall of Fame Class of 2005. Retrieved on 2008-11-23.[dead link]
  45. ^ "Jack LaLanne - 2008 Inductee of the California Hall of Fame". Retrieved 2009-04-18. 
  46. ^ "2008 California Hall of Fame Ceremony Information". Retrieved 2008-11-23. 
  47. ^ "The California Hall of Fame 2008 Exhibits". The California Museum. Retrieved 2009-04-19. 
  48. ^ Jack LaLanne - Filmography by year
  49. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJFYkuumI28

External links[edit]

Official

Media and publications

Interviews

Miscellaneous

Memorials and retrospectives