Jack LaLanne was a pioneer in the Fitness and Health Industry. In 1936, Jack opened the first ever Fitness and Health Club, in California. By the time the 1980s arrived he had opened 200 more. He invented the Cable Pulley Machine, Pin-Loaded machines like the Leg Extension Machine and also the first version of the Smith Machine. He advocated weight lifting and exercise as the key to health and longevity, fighting the common belief of Doctors at the time that weight lifting would do the opposite; make you 'muscle bound' and cause heart attacks. He was also a believer in strict nutrition, promoting a low-carb high-protein and natural animal based diet with plenty of vegetables. Telling his TV audience that man made treats and foodstuffs were the cause of most of the nation's (USA) chronic illnesses and that getting rid of them was vital for optimal health. He was truly ahead of his time.
If his contribution to the Fitness Industry alone wasn't inspiring enough, then we can take a look at his personal physical ability. He trained for two hours every day, right up until his death at the impressive age of 96 (Jan 2011), but on top of that he occasionally embarked on truly crazy feats of strength and endurance:
Here are just a few examples:
1. 1956 (age 42) – set what was claimed as a world record of 1,033 push-ups in 23 minutes.
2. 1959 (age 45) – did 1,000 jumping jacks and 1,000 chin-ups in 1hr 22 minutes, to promote The Jack LaLanne Show going nationwide. LaLanne said this was the most difficult of his stunts, but only because the skin on his hands started ripping off during the chin-ups. He felt he couldn't stop because it would be seen as a public failure.
3. 1979 (age 65) – towed 65 boats in Lake Ashinoko, near Tokyo, Japan. He was handcuffed and shackled, and the boats were filled with 6,500 lb (2,950 kg; 460 st) of Louisiana Pacific wood pulp.
4. 1980 (age 66) – towed 10 boats in North Miami, Florida. The boats carried 77 people, and he towed them for over one mile (1.6 km) in less than one hour.
5. 1984 (age 70) – handcuffed, shackled, and fighting strong winds and currents, he towed 70 rowboats, one with several guests, from the Queen's Way Bridge in the Long Beach Harbor to the Queen Mary, 1 mile. Source, Wikipedia.
As you may have guessed, Jack LaLanne became a millionaire many times over with all his inventions, gyms and business ventures. One way that Jack helped promote not only himself but also a healthy lifestyle, was his Power Juicing exploits. Juicing was Jack's way of getting Health to the masses. Making healthy eating fun, delicious and exciting, Jack's pioneering 'juicing drive' continues to be very successful today with his 'Power Juicers' still proving popular in the market.
Take a look at this YouTube snippet of The Jack LaLanne Show. The information is timeless, and as far back as the 50's this information was being broadcast to the masses! I for one think more can be done today to educate modern societies on the power of good nutrition. There are plenty more videos of this great man online - watching him speak so passionately and charismatically is truly Inspiring. Enjoy!