Jack Lalanne

Since you’re the boss of me, TW, I will write a post out of respect for the two of you.

I knew a bit about Jack and had actually read a book he wrote a few years back.  My dad actually read it and forwarded it on, not because it was written all particularly well, but because it captured the man’s spirit and enthusiasm.  What I remember from the book was that he was a sickly child, and in an effort to change things up turned to exercise and nutrition in a near obsessive zeal as an escape and antidote to his situation.  Back in those days (turn of the century…the one before last for Christ’s sakes) fitness as we now identify with was very rudimentary, thus him doing what he did, and hell creating a physique like the one above is utterly remarkable.  It’s one thing to build a physique like that now with all the knowledge, so imagine pulling that off when there was hardly a blueprint.  Wrestle horses?  Gators?  Pretty nuts.

Bodybuilding today has become a total freakshow and in my opinion peaked back in the days of Arnold when the drugs they were taking were still loosely based in human chemistry.  (Of course, being a purist, one could easily argue that it peaked pre-drugs).  The shit bodybuilders pump into their systems now is simply absurd, resulting in bodies that reflect that.  All disturbing bulk with near zero fitness.  Something definitely had been lost along the way.

But before all of that, before modern day freaks like Ronnie Coleman, before the prime days of Scharzenegger, before Lou “The Hulk” Ferrigno, there were the superbly fit (on all levels) few like Jack Lalanne that would largely found and lead a movement that would expand to all forms of fitness today.  The guy not only popularized the sport alongside those like Charles Atlas, but also was an innovator creating countless new exercises and constructing prototypes of pulley machines that make up the bulk of machines in gyms today.  And beyond being “muscle-bound” the guy’s fitness was unmatched.  He constantly challenged himself by doing ridiculous feats of strength like pulling boats across the SF Bay well into the sunset years.  Dude was nails.

So there you are TW.  You were right.  The man deserved some run so thanks for pulling me out of my extended writing vacation.  I didn’t know a whole lot about the guy, because he was largely relevant well before our time.  To an impressional teen, Arnold garnered my attention with his on-screen bulging biceps.  Tough for a then, what 75 year old in a track suit to do the same.  But respect, man.  Guy could have probably done more pushups at that age than I could in the prime of my youth.  *Though I do remember TW/BN Skylake push-up-off in the dirt circa ‘96.  That was pretty legendary too.


About this entry