Every year on his birthday, Jack LaLanne tried to do something no one had done before. As if paddling on a surfboard for nine hours in rough water wasn’t tough enough, at 41 and 60 the godfather of fitness swam from Alcatraz Island to Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco while handcuffed and shackled. At the ripe old age of 70, he towed 70 boats with 70 people for 1.5 miles.
Life of LaLanne
In this intimate 1994 Dateline interview, we get an inside look at LaLanne’s life in his retreat by the sea. Was he lounging on the couch and watching television? Not a chance. Listen as LaLanne blames Americans for putting the wrong fuel in the human machine: “Would you get your dog up in the morning, give him a cup of coffee, a cigarette, and a doughnut?”
How to Be a Champion
If there were a prototype for quintessential pep talk, then this would be it. On The Jack LaLanne Show, which spanned more than three decades and was the longest running exercise show on television, the fitness guru always flipped around his chair and offered some advice. In this vintage video, he lays out how to be a champion, in classic Jack fashion.
‘That’s the Power of the Juice!’
While many contemporary athletic icons are infamous for “juicing,” LaLanne was the original fruits and veggies juicer. In this infomercial for his “Power Juicer,” he sings his show’s theme song with an unexpected guest—a younger version of himself.
What’s the Point of Everything?
A 44-year-old Jack LaLanne traded barbs with Groucho Marx on this episode of You Bet Your Life. In a telling moment, Marx asks why LaLanne performs his feats. His answer: to show others that there’s hope out there. You know, like those prisoners stuck in Alcatraz.
Face-nastics With Jack LaLanne
LaLanne was well-known for his many workouts, including the Jumping Jack (named after him) and the fingertip push-up. But did he ever go under the knife for a face lift? Watch as an 88-year-old LaLanne works the 55 muscles in his face. Remember, change comes from within, and not surgery or that bottle of “goop.”
Born-Again Fitness Guru
In this chat with another, younger fitness expert named Gilad, LaLanne explains how, when it comes to fitness, he was essentially “born again” after going to a health lecture at 14. This all happens after an impromptu chair workout, of course.