In the ‘40s and
‘50s, TV and filmmakers portrayed
bodybuilders as goons.
La Lanne did everything
he could to disprove
this perception and
discredit other widely
held myths about
the block a couple of times,” La Lanne winces at
the memory. “If I went to 20 homes, I’d sign up
20 people. That’s how it began. I was helping people
just the way I’d been helped.”
La Lanne worked with a blacksmith
to develop innovative equipment for
his patrons during the 1940s and
’50s. He developed the first cable-pulley machines and the first
leg-extension machine during
this time. Unfortunately, he didn’t
patent a thing. Others got credit,
and enjoyed considerable profit, for
PHOTO COURTESY OF BEFIT ENTERPRISES
Spreading the message
Despite this, financial success steadily followed La Lanne. His fitness business expanded,
and by 1950 he had a string of gyms. In 195
he got the opportunity to reach a much larger
audience. When a San Francisco affiliate of
ABC wanted to run a health and fitness show,
the station tapped La Lanne. The Jack La Lanne
Show began airing soon after.
Unlike his gyms, the show featured aerobic
exercises that required no special equipment, but
eating right was a huge emphasis. Generations of
Americans remember the form-fitting jumpsuits
LaLanne wore on the show and his old-school sermons
about how a healthy, toned body requires discipline
and commitment. “Living is a pain in the backside. You
have to work at it. Dying is easy,” he says.
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Show was decades ahead of its time. La Lanne’s life
is a testament to how much a truly motivated person can accomplish.
“There are more gyms now than ever, and all
kinds of crackpot diets, too,” he says. “It seems like
they’re all out to make money. This stuff is so simple.
Like I’ve always said, exercise is king, diet is queen,
put them together and you’ve got a kingdom. And, if
you want to lose weight, you have to count calories.
You’ve got to take in less than 2,000 calories a day or
you will never lose weight. These are not new discoveries. And you have to exercise. Not necessarily to the
extent that I have. Twenty to 30 minutes three or four
times a week is fine when combined with a sensible
diet. But work and live vigorously.” C
Getting juiced “DOCTORS WANT to
see you eat at least
five or six pieces of
fresh fruit each day and three or four
pieces of raw vegetables. In other words,
if man makes it, don’t eat it,” says health
and fitness pioneer Jack La Lanne.
He has long advocated drinking juices extracted from raw
fruit and vegetables.
Costco features a stainless steel Jack La Lanne Power
Juicer, sold exclusively in the
warehouses and on costco.com.
It is quiet and easy to clean, with
all parts dishwasher safe and covered by a lifetime warranty.