Tag: Jack Lalanne

David Rensin, ’20 Questions with Jack Lalanne’, Playboy Magazine (October, 1984).

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“When the interview began in La Lanne’s living room at 8:30 A.M., he had already been awake for five hours. He’d exercised, had breakfast and donned a red jump suit.”Most people know La Lanne only from his TV show. It’s the least of his achievements. On each birthday, La Lanne performs a muscle-numbing feat. At 45, he did 1000 push-ups and 1000 chin-ups in an hour and 22 minutes. At 60, he swam from Alcatraz to Fisherman’s Wharf–handcuffed, shackled and towing a 1000-pound boat. At 66, La Lanne swam more than a mile–handcuffed, feet shackled, towing ten boats carrying 77 people. In 48 minutes.”Most of us have trouble just turning on a tape recorder. Happy birthday, Jack.”

Q1 Playboy: What incredible feat are you planning to do to celebrate turning 70?

Jack La Lanne: I’m planning to swim underwater from Catalina Island to Los Angeles. That’s 26 miles. I’ll do it in less than 24 hours. But what I really wanted to do was carry a 350-pound bar bell on my shoulders down Hollywood Boulevard to protest all the male and female prostitution, all the dope and crap. I wanted to show people that there are better things in life, that you can be fit at any age. Can you imagine 350 pounds on your back for half an hour? All your muscles contract simultaneously. That’s plain pain. And I would challenge anyone in the world to do that and give him $10,000 if he did. But I can’t do it now. Some kid hit my new Porsche 924 head on. About $15,000 damage. I had to have surgery on my knee to take cartilage out, and that took care of that. But I got a new Porsche 944 recently. It’s a pistol. I had it up to 130 the other day.

Guest Post: Jack LaLanne’s “My Daily Dozen” (1962, 1968)

Fitness guru Jack Lalanne’s “My Daily Dozen” pamphlet offers a short glimpse into the broad appeal of LaLanne’s early productions. 

LaLanne’s popular television show is often thought of as being aimed at mid-twentieth century American suburban housewives who wanted to lose weight.  But the charismatic LaLanne had a way of reaching out to a broad audience, including children. Published first in 1962 and revised in 1968, “My Daily Dozen” was an attempt to interest kids in exercise and healthy living. The simple booklet contains cartoon images and rhymes meant to make fitness fun and to encourage youth to move, eat well, and get rest.  The back of “My Daily Dozen” contained a chart that allowed users to mark their fitness and hygienic activities on a daily basis.

Forgotten Exercises: The LaLanne push up

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This website’s love for Jack LaLanne is perhaps firmly established through our previous posts. Well with that in mind, today’s post discusses the LaLanne push up, a fingertip push up now synonymous with one of twentieth-century’s most vibrant fitness personalities. So in today’s short post we’re going to examine the exercise, its history, and most importantly, its application.

The History of Protein Shakers

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Before beginning, I have to thank a series of individuals for their help in devising this article. The good folks at DavidGentle.com and Ironhistory.com helped point me in the right direction for the earlier history of the shaker. Likewise Ron Campbell’s Bodybuilding Books and Magazines group on Facebook which provided several leads which helped sharpen out the later history of today’s post. Finally Dr. Ben Pollack and Paul Becker from the Rheo H. Blair website were incredibly giving in their time and knowledge.

With that in mind, I’m now going to undoubtedly bastardise and misinterpret all the information garnered from the above individuals but hey, such is life! Today’s post is possibly the most innocuous but to my mind fascinating one yet. It is the history of the protein shaker, that plastic bottle currently fermenting your last whey protein shake in the bottom of your gym bag. Now the reasons for this are simple. Protein shakers have become increasingly popular over the last decade in particular. When I began working out drinking from a protein shaker was a universal announcement that you were a dumb meathead. Nowadays on my morning commute I see office workers, mothers, children and everyone else in between sipping water and a cacophony of drinks from their shakers. So shakers have become cool, and as is our nature on the site, we want to know more about the pre-history.

So with that in mind we’re going to trace the history of the protein shaker, from the early iterations to the modern day bottle. In doing so, it’ll become clear that the shaker is a fascinating symbol of the fitness industry’s acceptance within mainstream culture over the past several decades. It is the Trojan Horse for meatheads seeking acceptability.

David Rensin, ’20 Questions with Jack Lalanne’, Playboy Magazine (October, 1984).

s-l1600.jpg

“When the interview began in La Lanne’s living room at 8:30 A.M., he had already been awake for five hours. He’d exercised, had breakfast and donned a red jump suit.”Most people know La Lanne only from his TV show. It’s the least of his achievements. On each birthday, La Lanne performs a muscle-numbing feat. At 45, he did 1000 push-ups and 1000 chin-ups in an hour and 22 minutes. At 60, he swam from Alcatraz to Fisherman’s Wharf–handcuffed, shackled and towing a 1000-pound boat. At 66, La Lanne swam more than a mile–handcuffed, feet shackled, towing ten boats carrying 77 people. In 48 minutes.”Most of us have trouble just turning on a tape recorder. Happy birthday, Jack.”

Q1 Playboy: What incredible feat are you planning to do to celebrate turning 70?

Jack La Lanne: I’m planning to swim underwater from Catalina Island to Los Angeles. That’s 26 miles. I’ll do it in less than 24 hours. But what I really wanted to do was carry a 350-pound bar bell on my shoulders down Hollywood Boulevard to protest all the male and female prostitution, all the dope and crap. I wanted to show people that there are better things in life, that you can be fit at any age. Can you imagine 350 pounds on your back for half an hour? All your muscles contract simultaneously. That’s plain pain. And I would challenge anyone in the world to do that and give him $10,000 if he did. But I can’t do it now. Some kid hit my new Porsche 924 head on. About $15,000 damage. I had to have surgery on my knee to take cartilage out, and that took care of that. But I got a new Porsche 944 recently. It’s a pistol. I had it up to 130 the other day.

Changing Household Cooking: Jack Lalanne and the 1950s

“Most housewives have no idea what to serve in place of meat, potatoes, gravy, pie and coffee.”

-Jack LaLanne, “Your Health Cookbook,” 1954

A New Decade in American Kitchens

The 1950s were a turbulent period for America. Emerging from the refuge of WW2, the growing Superpower was faced with new economic, social and political demands. For the average citizen, this meant new pressures but also new innovations. In the culinary world, Americans were gaining their first exposure of ‘ethnic’ restaurants, TV dinners and new forms of sugary treats.

Cookbooks and magazines from the era were laden with recipes using pre-packaged meals. Advertisements aimed at the housewife convincingly argued that new appliances and convenience foods would help save her time and money and meal plans were adhered to the three square meals a day rule. The food of choice soon became prepackaged foods, fatty cuts of meat, canned fruit and vegetables and of course refined sugar. Whilst brands such as Betty Crocker presented this way of eating as nutritious, others had different ideas, notably a physical culturist by the name of Jack Lalanne.