Facts About Jack Lalanne

On January 23, 2011, Jack LaLanne died of respiratory failure at the age of 96 due to pneumonia at his home in Morro Bay, California. When I first heard the news from a friend, I was speechless. Jack was the fitness icon who seemed like he would live forever, and he was even quoted as saying, “I can’t die, it will ruin my image”.

Jack Lalanne’s words in his famous “The Jack Lalanne Show” in the 1950’s hold as true today as they did back then. In fact, if you watch his videos (I have a sample video clip below), you will be struck by the quality of the information, his intense passion for fitness, and how far he was ahead of his time. He is a fitness icon who stood strong by focusing on the basics that really matter. He had an uncanny way of crystallizing what’s really important to your health, as you’ll see from the memorable quotes below.

I’ve compiled below key facts and information about Jack Lalanne as a tribute to his life and accomplishments. His legacy has left an indelible mark on fitness around the world and his spirit will endure for years to come.

Jack Lalanne Facts

  • Created the first Health Club & Spa in 1936. He built 200 health clubs and spas around the world, then licensed them in 1980 to Ballys Company, later renamed Ballys Total Fitness.
  • Created “Jumping Jacks” as a light aerobic warm up
  • Developed the first Leg Extension Machine, Cable/Pulley machines, and Calf machines
  • Authored 10 books on health & fitness and dozens of “self help” pamphlets
  • Encouraged women to lift weights in the 1930’s
  • “The Jack LaLanne Show” was the longest running television exercise program
  • Inventor of the Jack Lalanne Power Juicer, which has sold millions of units

    Jack Lalanne Strength Feats

    Facts About Jack Lalanne

    Here are just a few of the dozens of impressive strength feats he has completed in his life:

    1956 Age 42: Set a world record of 1,033 pushups in 23 minutes on You Asked for It, a TV Show with Art Baker.

    1958 Age 44: Maneuvered a paddleboard 30 miles, 9-½ hours non-stop from Farallon Islands to the San Francisco shore.

    1974 Age 60: Swam from Alcatraz Island to Fisherman’s Wharf, for a second time handcuffed, shackled and towing a 1,000-pound boat.

    1980 Age 66: Towed 10 boats in North Miami, Florida filled with 77 people for over a mile in less than 1 hour.

    1984 Age 70: Handcuffed, shackled and fighting strong winds and currents, towed 70 boats with 70 people from the Queen’s Way Bridge in the Long Beach Harbor to the Queen Mary, 1 ½ miles.

    Jack Lalanne Awards

    Here are just a few of the dozens of awards he has received:

  • Dwight D. Eisenhower Fitness Award
  • Hollywood Blvd. Walk of Fame
  • Lifetime Achievement – State of California Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness
  • Y.M.C.A. Impact Award
  • California Hall of Fame

    Jack Lalanne Inspirational Quotes

    The often quotable Jack Lalanne has tons of great quotes known as “Lalanneisms”. Here are a few:

    “Exercise is king, nutrition is queen, put them together and you have a kingdom!”

    “Better to wear out than rust out.”

    “If man makes it, don’t eat it.”

    “Ten seconds on the lips and a lifetime on the hips.”

    “It’s not what you do some of the time that counts, it’s what you do all of the time that counts.”

    The last quote is my favorite, because optimal health in my mind isn’t a workout, or eating well occasionally, it’s a lifestyle. It always will be. Jack, as I’m sure you can tell from some of the quotes above is a funny, likeable guy. When he turned 93, he said his feat of strength was going to be “towing my wife across the bathtub.”

    Jack Lalanne on Happiness

    It’s hard to choose just one of Jack Lalanne’s videos, but the following recorded in the early 1950’s embodies his positive, “can do” spirit and passion to “help people help themselves” feel better, look better, and live longer, which was his lifelong mission:

    Jack Lalanne Video on “Sugarholics”
    More Jack Lalanne Videos on Youtube

    I think it’s safe to say his legacy will live on for years and years to come.

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    1. profile avatar
      Marc Perry Jan 24, 2011 - 14:07 #

      Jack was an amazing guy. Truly an inspiration.

    2. profile avatar
      Mary Jan 25, 2011 - 01:08 #

      I loved the quotes and reading about Jack Lalanne’s many feats. Very nice tribute.

    3. profile avatar
      Alicia Jan 25, 2011 - 01:20 #

      Very sad news. He was almost a caricature of a human being, the embodiment of enthusiasm and healthy living. And I had no idea he invented Jumping Jacks! Jack Lalanne will be remembered for generations for revolutionizing fitness.

    4. profile avatar
      Rea Jan 25, 2011 - 16:16 #

      Exercise,eat healthy,be happy. Jack said it best and it’s how I intend to continue my life. Thanks Jack & Marc.

    5. profile avatar
      Anonymous Jan 26, 2011 - 15:21 #

      Jack was quite the inspiration. He makes me try to live a healthy life. I go to the gym regularly, eat healthy, and sleep regularly. The gym I go to, helps me get on that schedule, and life a happy healthy life. Before I lived in chronic pain because my muscles weren’t being stretched regularly. I’m grateful for my gym teaching me how to be healthy again!

    6. profile avatar
      Hank Jan 27, 2011 - 12:48 #

      His advice on happiness is priceless and timeless. It is even more accurate today than 60 years ago. I appreciate your tribute to him; it is well deserved that we should acknowledge his legacy. Personally, working out consistently is the key to my well being. Eating better is a goal still not achieved.

    7. profile avatar
      colleen joyce pontes Feb 23, 2011 - 16:49 #

      This is a really beautiful tribute you wrote about Jack. He truly left his mark pioneering a change to a healthier world. Thank you for making the article so heartfelt.

      1. profile avatar
        Marc Perry Feb 24, 2011 - 01:12 #

        @Colleen – Thanks for the kind words about the article. Very happy you enjoyed it! It took me a lot of time to write it.

    8. profile avatar
      Gretta Oct 31, 2011 - 02:55 #

      Oh, I just loved him. What an inspiration to the world. He made exercising an adventure. “Exercise is king, nutrition is queen, put them together and you have a kingdom!” That quote has been on my bathroom mirror since my early twenties. It’s such a no brainer now, but he really revolutionized the concept. He will be dearly missed.

      1. profile avatar
        Marc Perry Oct 31, 2011 - 20:00 #

        @Gretta – Thank you for your thoughtful comment. If more Americans had that quote in their bathrooms, I’m sure we would be facing the obesity issues we are today!

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