A True Fitness Icon

As I’m sure you’ve heard, Jack LaLanne the Godfather of Fitness passed away 2 days ago at age 96. Every generation has individuals within them that revolutionize an entire industry. Jack LaLanne was one such individual. Even though his presence within the fitness community was before my time, I still of course knew he was. On a plane ride to France while surfing the free television channels on board, I happened to come across an old black and white episode of Jack’s exercise program. Man was this guy ahead of his time – his energy and charisma was electric. And his message, which I loved and agree with, was basically get up, get moving, use your body, eat well and stop being lazy. Those messages are music to my ears!

Sure there are others that promoted bodybuilding, or running, or a specific sport, but Jack preached all round health and fitness. He spoke common sense without making fitness complicated or seem as if it were difficult to attain. And in essence, more than 50 years ago he was advocating cross training – a true visionary and pioneer.


Most people aren’t aware that Jack was the first person to design the leg extension and other cable machines that are now commonplace within nearly every fitness center and health club. He demonstrated ridiculous feats of strength across his life to show that anyone, at any age can be fit and strong. Whether it was setting swimming world records, performing 1000’s of pushups, or at age 70, swimming, handcuffed, shackled, and with 77 people in tow for over a mile, Jack’s dedication to leading by example was clear. And all you have to do is read the many lists of achievements and accolades he received throughout his life to know that his contributions didn’t go unnoticed.

So where would fitness be had Jack LaLanne not influenced the industry? Where would my career be, or what kind of equipment would we have? Who knows? But I can say with near certainty that Jack was put on this earth with a true gift, passion and purpose, Next time you’re in a gym, or working out, think about the man that inspired millions and made it his life’s work to help people live better, eat healthier and take life by the horns, with no fluff, silly pills or diets, just common sense. Thank you Jack – I appreciate everything you’ve done for the fitness industry and I’ll continue to help spread your powerful messages…

Here are a few of my favorite LaLanne-isms:

•    Anything in life is possible and you can make it happen.

•    Exercise is King, nutrition is Queen, put them together and you’ve got a kingdom.

•    Ten seconds on the lips and a lifetime on the hips.

•    First we inspire them, and then we perspire them.

•    You eat everyday, you sleep everyday, and your body was made to exercise everyday.

•    Work at living and you don’t have to die tomorrow.

•    If man makes it, don’t eat it.

•    If it tastes good, spit it out.

•    If one apple is good, you wouldn’t eat 100.

•    It’s not what you do some of the time that counts; it’s what you do all of the time that counts.