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5 Things We Learned From Jack Lalanne

5 Things We Learned From Jack LaLanne

We are pumped to share one of our fave stories from Self here on FitSugar!

The "Godfather of Fitness," the adorable and inspiring Jack LaLanne, passed away on Sunday at the age of 96.

Check out this video of LaLanne talking about his book, "Live Young Forever." Our favorite quote: "I can't afford to die, I'd wreck my image." It's impossible to wreck your image, Jack. You are an American icon and will be missed!

Here are 5 things we learned from the man who started a fitness revolution:

  1. Strength Training Is Essential: Jack came onto the fitness scene when lifting weights was reserved for body builders, like the Governator. But through his fitness clubs and TV show, he helped Americans realize that strength training isn't just about baby oil and bulging biceps. It's about stabilizing joints, jacking up our metabolisms, burning more fat and allowing us to live more active, longer lives.
  2. Eat a High-Fiber Diet: And make it mostly fruits and veggies. As LaLanne once said: "How do you build your your bank account? By putting something in it every day. Your health account is no different. What I do today, I am wearing tomorrow. If I put inferior foods in my body today, I'm going to be inferior tomorrow, it's that simple." Inspired? Order his juicer! We're big fans.

Learn what Jack had to say about scales and more!

  1. Fitness Is for Everyone — Including Women: Back when most health clubs catered to men, LaLanne welcomed and encouraged women. And not just because he wanted to flirt with them (though our guess is he didn't mind the eye candy). He paved the way for leotards, leg-warmers, and female fitness icons like Jane Fonda.
  2. Challenge Yourself: How can you not be inspired by a man who, at age 42, did a record 1,033 pushups in 23 minutes? Or who at age 66 swam over a mile in the waters of Miami, shackled and towing 10 boats carrying 77 people? Can we get our bums to the gym in the morning? Yes we can! Can we finish a marathon? Why not! In Jack's honor, go to and find a race near you.
  3. Scales are not an accurate measure of fitness: "One thing you have to remember is SCALES LIE!," LaLanne once said. "The biggest liars we have are the scales. You figure about every inch is five pounds approximately. That guy has gained about 30 pounds of fat and lost 30 pounds of of muscles and the scale says he weighs the same." Though we still think it's helpful to weigh ourselves from time to time to get a general idea of where we stand, we take the number will a grain of salt. The better gauge: How our clothes fit, whether we're getting stronger and faster and how we feel.

More from Self:

Join The Conversation
onlysourcherry onlysourcherry 6 years
After the rash of deaths of celebrities of various levels of talent and contributions, there is something weirdly refreshing about mourning a celebrity who lived a good life and did so many great things during his time here. I'd say rest in peace but I'm sure he'd take a run or a round of push-ups over peace any day!
bosworthfan bosworthfan 6 years
I LOVE his quote about your body being a bank account. It is so true though--if you eat junk one day, you will feel like junk the next...
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