Jack was truly a pioneer, as he studied Henry Gray's Anatomy of the Human Body and concentrated on bodybuilding, chiropractic medicine, and weightlifting, something virtually unheard of in the 1930s.
In 1936 LaLanne opened his own health spa in Oakland, CA, and dedicated his life to encouraging people to better themselves through exercise and fitness. LaLanne designed the world's first leg extension machines, pulley machines using cables, and weight selectors, now a standard in the fitness industry. LaLanne also invented the widely used Smith Machine. Breaking the gender barrier, LaLanne was the first fitness expert to encourage women to lift weights, contrary to the popular belief of the time, which was that weights made women masculine and unattractive. By the 1980s there were more than 200 Jack LaLanne health clubs that were eventually sold to the Bally Company, which later became Bally Total Fitness.
The Jack LaLanne Show is the longest running health and fitness show in history, airing from 1951 to 1985. The show began as a local program on San Francisco’s ABC television station KGO-TV and was eventually syndicated on the ABC network throughout the U.S.A. and Canada, and worldwide on the Armed Forces Network. Critics said the show would be off the air in six weeks, but it lasted just a bit longer at 34 years.
Jack LaLanne continues to work out every morning for two hours, spending 1 ½ hours in the weight room and ½ hour swimming. Jack LaLanne lives with his wife Elaine in Morro Bay, CA.
To Quote Jack LaLanne, "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".