Jack LaLanne story that deserves mentioning

Just an addition to the Jack LaLanne story that deserves mentioning. Jack LaLanne had a lot of firsts in the fitness and health industry. This might explain my lifelong fascination of Jack. Here are some of the most noteworthy!

  • Opened the first modern health spa in 1968 (My Father opened this first one!)
  • Invented the first Leg extension machine
  • Invented the first weight selector for cable machines
  • Conceived the design for the squat machine (now known as the Smith Machine because Rudy Smith, owner of Holiday Health Spas put them in all his clubs. Rudy was a dear friend of my parents and Cindy Burns worked for them as a Manager for many years before we opened up Shape-Up in 1982)
  • One of the original network television personalities and an original television pioneer
  • The first to have a nationally syndicated exercise show on television
  • The first to have athletes working out with weights
  • The first to have women working out with weights
  • The first to have the elderly working out with weights
  • The first to have a combination Health Food Bar and Gym. (I owned one in Mountain View CA.)
  • The first to have a weight loss Instant Breakfast meal replacement drink (protein powder)
  • The first to have a Coed health club
  • The first to combine weight training with nutrition
  • The first to have an edible snack nutrition bar
  • The first to sell vitamins and exercise equipment on television
  • The first to teach scientific body building by changing the program every 2 to 3 weeks (One of my important fitness principles I have taught for decades, because of Jack)
  • The first to encourage the physically challenged to exercise… to work around their disabilities
  • 1954 Age 40: Swam the length of the San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge underwater with 140 pounds of equipment, including two air tanks… an undisputed world record.
  • 1955 Age 41: Swam, handcuffed, from Alcatraz to Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, CA.
  • 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.
  • 1957 Age 43: Swam the treacherous Golden Gate Channel, towing a 2,500-pound cabin cruiser. This involved fighting the cold, swift ocean currents that made the 1 mile swim a 6 ½ mile test of strength and endurance.
  • 1958 Age 44: Maneuvered a paddleboard 30 miles, 9-½ hours non-stop from Farallon Islands to the San Francisco shore.
  • 1959 Age 45: Completed 1,000 pushups and 1,000 chin-ups in 1 hours and 22
  • minutes. “Happy” is born and The Jack LaLanne Show goes nationwide
  • 1974 Age 60: Swam from Alcatraz Island to Fisherman’s Wharf, for a second time handcuffed, shackled and towing a 1,000-pound boat.
  • 1975 Age 61: Swam the length of the Golden Gate Bridge, underwater, for a second time handcuffed, shackled and towing a 1,000-pound boat.
  • 1976 Age 62: Commemorating the “Spirit of ‘76”, swam 1 mile in Long Beach Harbor, handcuffed, shackled and towing 13 boats (representing the 13 original colonies) containing 76 people.
  • 1979 Age 65: Towed 65 boats filled with 6,500-pounds of Lousiana Pacific wood pulp while handcuffed and shackled in Lake Ashinoko, near Tokyo, Japan.
  • 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.
  • 1992 Age 78: Academy of Body Building and Fitness Award
  • 1994 Age 80: State of California Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness Lifetime Achievement Award
  • 1996 Age 82: Dwight D. Eisenhower Fitness Award
  • 1999 Age 85: Spirit of Muscle Beach Award
  • 2002 Age 88: Jack receives his very own star on the Hollywood Blvd. Walk of Fame
  •  2004 Age 90: Jack celebrates his birthday with a major media blitz in

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