Jack LaLanne is known as the Godfather of Fitness. “It was not always this way; I was a junk food junky” he said. It was at the age of 15 when he changed his life after hearing a lecture on nutrition. He was so inspired he bought “Gray’s Anatomy”, read it cover to cover, joined local Berkeley YMCA, began experimenting with a set of weights and set up a gym in his backyard.
During college his goal was to become a medical doctor but decided to go to Chiropractic College and graduated. However, he was more interested in helping people to take preventative measures before they became ill.
Resolving to help others, in 1936 Jack opened the first modern health studio in Oakland, CA. paying $45 a month rent. Jack often said “People thought I was a charlatan and a nut. Doctors said weight lifting would give people heart attacks, women would look like men and sports coaches predicted that athletes would get muscle bound and banned them from lifting weights.” Jack gave the athletes the keys to his gym so they could come in at night and work out.
Science has proven that Jack’s philosophy starting with a healthy diet followed by systematic exercise was correct. He developed the first prototypes of modern exercise equipment. They include the first leg extension machine, the Smith Machine, the first weight selectors, and the first pulley machines using cables.
By the early 1950’s in San Francisco he was given the opportunity to utilize the new medium of television on a show that lasted nationwide 34 years. There on the set of her show on KGOTV, he met his wife Elaine “LaLa” to whom he was married for 51 years and who is now carrying on his legacy.
He was often asked by the press why he did goofball stunts like swimming handcuffed and feet shackled and towing 70 boats with 70 people in them on his 70th birthday. His answer: “To draw attention to my profession and prove to people that regardless of your age, anything is possible and that the old assumptions about being over the hill just aren’t true.”
He always ended his interviews and lectures with “Anything in Life is Possible, and YOU Can Make it Happen!”