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Jack LaLanne-The Legendary Fitness Icon Dies at 96

Monday, January 24, 2011

Jack LaLanne, whose modern notions about exercise and good nutrition changed the way Americans thought about health and fitness, breathed his last on Sunday. He was 96 years old at the time of his death.

Jack LaLanne

LaLanne (also known as the godfather of fitness) began his career in 1936 in an Oakland gym and revolutionized the concept of fitness. He was obsessed with weight training and encouraged his clients to keep themselves fit through weightlifting. Working out with weights was an uncommon thing during the 1930s and even doctors opined against strength training. Hardly the one to deviate from what he felt was right, LaLanne found a new way to present his ideas before the world-the television.

“The Jack LaLanne Show “debuted as a local program in San Francisco in 1951 and later made its presence felt nationwide. In fact, it is considered the longest running fitness program on television. LaLanne’s passion for fitness inspired millions of people and his life became the example of how youth can be preserved by eating right and working out regularly. He loved natural foods and strongly believed that processed foods are responsible for health problems of the people.

In his relentless pursuit for fitness, LaLanne opened many fitness studios, published several books and videos on health and exercise routines. He also marketed vitamin supplements, fitness equipments and two models of electrical juicers. LaLanne was the first person to design the pulley machines using cables, weight selectors and leg extension equipments that now form a crucial aspect of any fitness industry. In addition, he invented the original model of what later became famous as the Smith Machine

LaLanne had received numerous awards including Academy of Body Building and Fitness Award (1992), the Spirit of Muscle Beach Award (1999). In addition, he received a star on the Hollywood Boulevard Walk of Fame in the year 2002. His feats include swimming the length of Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco with 140 pound of equipment and performing 1,000 chin-ups and a star jumps in 1 hour and 22 minutes.

LaLanne will be remembered as a charismatic and optimistic person who radically changed the concept of fitness and brought hopes in the lives of many people. May his soul rest in peace.


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