If you’ve ever done jumping jacks in gym class… or used the term ‘jacked’ you have Jack LaLanne to thank (or to curse).
LaLanne went from a ‘sugarholic’ and sickly child to one of the greatest fitness icons of all-time — he even started America’s first modern gym in Oakland, California (which was ridiculed for the idea that people would actually pay to exercise).
But people flooded to it, and the rest is history.
Thanks to his TV programs, motivational speeches and coaching — the fitness movement gained significant steam.
And LaLanne was not just fit while he was in his 20’s and 30’s but continued to be an inspiration in his later years. In fact, on his 70th birthday he swam 1 mile off across Long Beach Harbor while towing 70 boats! (breaking his previous record of 65 boats).
While you might not have a bone in your body that wants to do that, if you tap into just a fraction of the wisdom (and enthusiasm) LaLanne left behind you may surprise yourself with what’s possible.
5 Fitness Lessons of Jack LaLanne:
#1: Don’t Spoil Healthy Foods
Jack shared how his own dad fell into ‘typical middle-aged habits.’ He ate some healthy foods like salads but spoiled them by dumping calorie-filled dressing. He would have French bread but cover it with butter and cheese. Or he pounded cups of coffee during the day but doused them with cream and sugar.
‘Because of his habit of eating only foods that tasted good to him in combination with his negligence over exercise… at an age when he could have been a dynamic, virile man, he had let it all go by neglect.’
#2: When Gentle Persuasion Fails
Jack is known for stirring up the hurt as a way of knocking people out of their complacency and motivating them to take charge of their life.
‘I needed to spell out that their drinking problem was damaging their organs: that their daily pack of cigarettes would one day turn their lungs black with cancer; that their obesity and high cholesterol would close off their arteries one by one… When gentle persuasion fails, tough love may be the only answer.’
#3: Redefine Old Age
Jack believes that we can feel decades younger if we decide to eat nutrition foods, exercise on a regular basis and change our beliefs around physical potential:
'What is old age, anyway? I’ll tell you. Old age is someone 20 years older than you are. For me that is someone around 115. For a 60-year-old it is 80. For an 80-year-old it’s 100.'
#4: Progressive Degrees of Effort
During his last year of High School, Jack hurt his right knee during football which required surgery. So he hobbled on crutches for months and needed assistance from others. This went on for months and finally his doctor told him that he probably not walk on his own again.
“I decided that even though I couldn’t put one foot in front of the other I would master the art of walking by progressive degrees of effort. I finally managed and a few steps and then with enormous optimism I found the steepest hill in Berkeley… and made up my mind that one day I would make it to the top. Each day I would walk a little further than I had the day before and after several months I finally made it to the top.”
#5: The Greatest Motivator of All
Jack describes when he first started lifting all he experienced was sore muscles. He could hardly walk after squatting. And his arms hurt for days after doing bench press. And doubt crept into his mind as to whether it was working.
“Then after three weeks I looked in the bathroom mirror and I saw bigger pectorals, triceps and an improved V-taper in my back. My passion for, and belief in weight training soared! Seeing your own progress is the greatest motivator of all.”
Each one of these lessons could be expanded on in a big way (which may the topic of a future MBB Newsletter). In the meantime, take a good hard at each of these because this list can liberate you to a greater level of health and vitality.
“Exercise is king. Nutrition is queen. Put them together and you’ve got a kingdom.”- Jack LaLanne
For more tips on getting your mind right about nutrition and exercise, check out a free issue of my monthly transformation letter.
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