Jack LaLanne – The Father Of Mainstream Exercise
by Joe Pietaro
The passing of Jack LaLanne at age 96 is something that should not be overlooked by any form of media, exercise driven or not. He was a man that brought a healthy lifestyle to the forefront for everyone in a period that did not accept it and continued to be the epitome of what the human body could – and should – look like through an entire lifetime.
Called “The Godfather of Fitness,” LaLanne literally hit home with this writer a long time ago. As a young child, foggy memories cause a smile from mornings spent in front of the television set mimicking him leading the way in a precursor of the fitness class. “The Jack LaLanne Show” became the longest running exercise program and was a staple of society for generations.
In a day where doctors and pregnant women found nothing wrong with smoking cigarettes, LaLanne taught the world how to not only exercise, but eat properly. A big proponent of fruits and vegetables, he was frequently seen plugging his inventions on TV commercials and a good amount of households had items such as his Power Juicer.
The next time you’re in the gym and using a Smith machine, leg extension or anything using a cable pulley system, be sure to quietly thank LaLanne for them. He was an innovator and opened his first ‘health spa’ in Oakland, California back in 1936. Jack LaLanne’s eventually became what is now known as Bally Total Fitness, the most popular of it’s kind throughout the world.
Not accepting medical advice against weight training, LaLanne proved that this ridiculous diagnosis not only did not cause heart attacks and loss of sex drive, but actually improved them. He set the standard of everything we have today in the sport of bodybuilding, fitness, figure and even bikini. Athletes in every category train and diet in a fashion that LaLanne scratched out and we all should be grateful.
LaLanne brought all forms of exercise and introduced it to housewives, the sick and elderly. These people became healthier with his programs and it proved that it wasn’t just for muscleheads.
We will never have another one like Jack LaLanne and his memory will live forever.