Super Strength

Jack LaLanne – Pioneer of Health & Fitness Industry

Last Updated on April 28, 2020 by Darshan Modi

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Long before Jane Fonda and the plethora of diet and health fanatics, Jack LaLanne was advocating to the word the advantages of healthy eating and exercise. This is the story of a man who realised from a young age the value of living well and performed feats of great strength and endurance that people half his age could not achieve.

Jack LaLanne
Jack LaLanne

Jack LaLanne Superhuman Superpower

Through super-fitness and health, Jack completeness activities that few could manage.


Born Francois Henri LaLanne 26 September 1914 in Bakersfield, California

Early Life of Jack LaLanne

Jack’s parents were both French immigrants who had settled in San Francisco when they were children. Jack had two older brothers, Ervil and Norman. Ervil died at the age of five before Jack was born. As a child, Jack had very bad eating habits, indulging in large amounts of sugar and junk food. In addition to bad eating habits, Jack had a bad temper and was regularly at war with himself and those around him. His brother Norman gave him the name Jack. By the age of 14, Jack had developed Bulimia and dropped out of school due to bad headaches and migraines. A year later, Jack attended a seminar delivered by Paul Bragg, an expert in health and nutrition on the negative effect of sugar and meat on health and wellbeing. The young Jack was greatly affected by the talk and changed his eating. By the end of the year Jack was exercising regularly and partaking in body building and was back at school where he made the football team. After graduating school he went to where he did a degree in Chiropractic’s.

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About Jack LaLanne

After graduating college, Jacks interest in body building and health and fitness remained and in 1936 at the age of 22 he opened the nations first private health and fitness gym in Oakland California. Incredibly at the time, doctors advised their patients to avoid the gym as such focus on exercise could cause severe medical conditions and would give people heart attacks and diminish their sex drive. In 1938 he was briefly involved in professional bodybuilding and as this was the one profession where there was allot of weight lifting most of Jacks Patrons were bodybuilders. Jack LaLanne designed the first leg extension machines that were the prototype for the ones we see in Health Clubs across the world today. By the 1980’s Jack had more than 200 gyms across the country, which he sold to the Bally Company. In addition to opening gyms and health cubs, Jack’s fitness and exercise program was the longest running fitness program on television ever. Started on 28 September 1953, The Jack LaLanne Show aired for 32 years until 1985. The program focused on using what you had at home , such as chairs to exercise with him. During the filming of the television series, Jack met his second wife Elaine who worked at one of the local stations. Jack included Elaine in the workouts to show that exercise would not create an unfeminine shape and dog to attract children to watch and partake in the show. The dog was called Walter, which stood for We All Love To Exercise Regularly. In 1959, Jack recorded an album that instructed listeners on working out with an elastic band called “ Glamour Stretch Time”. Jack published several books and videos on health and fitness and introduces the “Power of the Juice” to the world. His range of juicers, know as Tiger Juicers, are still sold today under the brand of The Power Juicer. Jack and Elaine were married for more than 50 years and had three children, one from his first marriage, one from hers and one together. Jack also tried his hand at acting, appearing in ten movies and TV shows. When Jack turned 95, he released a book on how his healthy eating and exercise contributed to his longevity. Jack died on 23 January 2011 at the age of 96 from respiratory failure due to Pneumonia. Some of Jacks Achievements in his lifetime include: In 1954 at the age of 40, Jack Swam the length of the San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge underwater and in 1955 he swam, handcuffed, from Alcatraz to Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco. Jack swam the Golden Gate Channel, towing a 2,500-pound cabin cruiser in 1957 and in 1974, at the age of again from Alcatraz to Fisherman’s Wharf, handcuffed and carrying a 1000-pound boat. In 1984, at an incredible 70 years of age, Jack towed 70 boats with 70 people from the Queen’s Way Bridge in the Long Beach Harbour to the Queen Mary, 1-½ miles. In 1992 he received the Academy of Body Building and Fitness Award and in 1994 the State of California Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness Lifetime Achievement Award. Jack was also the recipient of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Fitness Award and the Spirit of Muscle Beach Award. In 2002 Jack received his own star on Hollywood Boulevard. In 2008 he was inducted into the California Hall of Fame and received the Parker Seminars Award. In the same year he received an honorary Doctorate in Humanities from the Southern California University of Health Science and the People of Vision Award from the RP International. Jack was also inducted into the Gallery of Legends hosted by the World Acrobatics Society.

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Genetic Or Learned

Jack’s superpower was learned, after being inspired at a young age, he spent his life dedicated to the learning and studying of health and fitness.

Names Known By

  • Godfather of fitness

Official Website

Jack LaLanne Youtube Videos

Featured In

  • The year without Santa Claus – 2006
  • The Infinite Power Workout – 1997
  • The Wilton North Report – 1987
  • More Wild Wild West – 1980
  • Bridget Loves Bernie – 1973
  • Here’s Lucy – 1969
  • The Addams Family – 1966
  • Mister Ed – 1961 – 1963
  • The Ladies Man – 1961
  • Peter Gunn – 1960
  • Muscle Beach – then and now – 2011
  • When the World Breaks – 2010
  • How to Live forever – 2009
  • The Early Show – 2009
  • The Jay Leno Show – 2009
  • Where Muscles were born – 2009
  • The Bonnie Hunt Show – 2008
  • Today – 2008
  • Jimmy Kimmel live -2007
  • Real Sports with Byrant Gumbel – 2006
  • The Tony Danza Show – 2004 – 2005
  • Howard Stern – 1995 – 2004
  • McEnroe – 2004
  • Penn & Teller : Bullshit – 2004
  • The Wayne Brady Show – 2004
  • Life with Bonny – 2003
  • The Man Show – 2003
  • The Simpsons – 1999
  • Beefcake – 1998
  • Crook & Chase – 1996
  • Repossessed – 1990
  • Batman The Movie – 1966
  • The happy Ending – 1969
  • The David Frost Show – 1970
  • The David Letterman Show – 1980

Books Published by Jack LaLanne

  • Revitalise your life: Improve your looks, Your Health and your Sex Life – 2003
  • Life Young Forever – 2009
  • Foods for Glamour – 2013
  • Jack LaLanne’s Slim and Trim Diet and exercise Guide – 1969
  • Abundant Health and Vitality after Forty – 2013
  • Fiscal Fitness – 2008
  • Your Diet does it – 1954
  • Total Juicing – 1992 ( with Elaine LaLanne and Richard Benyo)
  • Your Health Cookbook – 1954
  • Glamour Stretcher Instruction chart – 1950
  • Celebrating 90 plus years of Healthy Living – 2005
  • Jack LaLanne’s Power Juicer: Recipes for Healthy living – 2000