Understanding Fitness through Jack LaLanne’s Quotes

Jack LaLanne

Sometimes when making a point we are more effective by leting other experts do the talking.  By now you know we are big fans of Jack LaLanne.  He introduced us to the formal concept of physical fitness.  He was the true pathfinder of physical fitness and opened the first gym in 1936.   He was also built; especially for his time!  Big chest, thin waist and biceps like softballs.  What an amazing legacy he left us.  How did he do it?

We’ll miss his insight and good humor.  But most of all we’ll miss his inspiration which was constantly communicated through both his words and actions (he led by example).  If you look at his quotes holistically, you’ll realize that he was simply establishing the framework for how to optimize a life of fitness and good health. You don’t need to read his biography to understand what made Jack tick.  Instead, read below and use his words to help form his blueprint to achieve the kind of health he knew we could all attain.  I hope you find daily inspiration in all of them:

Jack LaLanne on:

GOD food versus MAN food (my personal favorite):

“If man made it, hate it.”

Addressing your weaknesses:

“Focus on your problem zones, your strength, your energy, your flexibility and all the rest. Maybe your chest is flabby or your hips or waist need toning. Also, you should change your program every thirty days. That’s the key.”

Being spiritual:

“You don’t have to call it God or Jesus. That’s religious humbug to a lot of people, but you’ve gotta believe that nature and spiritual things surround us. That is what put us here! I thank the universe for that every day of my life.”

The evils of soft drinks:

“I’d rather see you drink a glass of wine than a glass of milk. So many people drink Coca-Cola and all these soft drinks with sugar. Some of these drinks have 8 or 9 teaspoons of sugar in them.”

Always being a student:

“We don’t know all the answers. If we knew all the answers we’d be bored, wouldn’t we? We keep looking, searching, trying to get more knowledge.”

The benefits of exercise:

“Yes, exercise is the catalyst. That’s what makes everything happen: your digestion, your elimination, your sex life, your skin, hair, everything about you depends on circulation. And how do you increase circulation?”

Defying conventional wisdom:

“They thought that athletes who worked out with my system wouldn’t be able to throw a ball because they’d be too muscle bound. Those are the misconceptions I had to go through for about 40 years. “

Dietary causes of disease in the U.S:

“Look at the average American diet: ice cream, butter, cheese, whole milk, all this fat. People don’t realize how much of this stuff you get by the end of the day. High blood pressure is from all this high-fat eating.”

Addressing the smartest guys in the room:

“I have spoken to a whole group of millionaires, head executives at Microsoft. Boy did I chew those guys out.”

The need for discipline:

“I do it as a therapy. I do it as something to keep me alive. We all need a little discipline. Exercise is my discipline.”

Integrating exercise and diet:

“If you’ve got a big gut and you start doing sit-ups, you are going to get bigger because you build up the muscle. You’ve got to get rid of that fat! How do you get rid of fat? By changing your diet.”

Inactivity while growing old:

“So many older people, they just sit around all day long and they don’t get any exercise. Their muscles atrophy, and they lose their strength, their energy and vitality by inactivity.”

The typical American:

“Probably millions of Americans got up this morning with a cup of coffee, a cigarette and a donut. No wonder they are sick and fouled up.”

and last but not least:

On his legacy:

“It is most gratifying for me to see that everything that I was preaching and advocating for over 75 years has come to fruition. Then I was a crackpot and a charlatan, today I am an authority… and believe me I can’t die, it would ruin my image.”

For more on The Godfather of Fitness’ legacy, click here.


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