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Exclusive Jack Lalanne Interview on his 93rd Birthday.
Jack Lalanne was famous for his TV show in the USA which ran weekly for 34 years. In it he also did some simple exercises (trimnastics) and gave a 2-3 minute monologue on how to stay healthy and enjoy life.
His advice was years ahead of its time and if you think that the healthy food and moderate, regular exercise messages are new- think again! Jack said it all 50 years ago!
Feats of Strength
Jack was also known for his feats of strength including:
- 1,033 press ups in 23 minutes.
- 1,000 star jumps and 1,000 chin ups in 1hour 22 minutes
- He swam from Alcatraz to San Francisco whilst handcuffed and chained;
- He is famous for towing boats when swimming including towing 70 dinghies with 70 people for 1.5 miles whilst handcuffed- on his 70th birthday!
He featured in an episode of The Simpsons towing the old folks.
Jack died last year, but I was lucky enough to interview him previously on his 93rd birthday (I say interview, I hardly got a word in- he was in fine form).
JM- Happy Birthday Mr Lalanne, thanks very much for taking the time to talk to me.
JL– No problem (starts singing Happy Birthday to me) I love to help people, that’s what I do. I’m 93 years old and I’ve never been busier, I help people to help themselves. I live in the here and now, I say to people forget about what you used to do, do something now. Dying is easy, living is a pain in the backside. People who are 50 or 60 come up to me and say “Jack, what I used to do” I say this is the moment. The one thing in my mind is to help people.
JM– (only now gets a chance to ask a question!) how did you get into exercise?
JL- I was 15 years old and a sugarholic, I attended a healthy living lecture and it saved my life. I joined a YMCA gym, became a strict vegetarian for 6 years I got rid of my headaches.
JM– I like your message of exercising little and often, eating right and having a positive mind set- do you ever have a down day?
JL– No, never, you only live once, why be miserable? Fat people are miserable- you are carrying 50lb on your shoulders all day you get a disease called “pooped-out itis”. Don’t tell me that they are happy with the way they look and feel. I have to be honest, that is all I have, so I exercise and I eat healthily. Exercise is king, nutrition is queen, together you have a kingdom.
I eat out in restaurants every night, but they cook the way I want my food cooked. I have 10 vegetables a day, eat 5 portions of fruit. I only eat fish and lean cuts of meat. The only grains I eat are wholegrains- I put the right fuel into my body.
JM– I work with a lot of young athletes, have you any advice for them?
JL– I say to young kids “do you want to feel better, look better, live longer, be more attractive?” You gotta work at it. Don’t blame your parents for how you are. You inherit your skin colour, your hair colour, your bones, the rest is habit. My Dad was overweight and unhealthy and he died young. I wasn’t going to let that happened to me.
All athletes would be better if they eat better. Junk in equals Junk out.
I get letters from people asking for advice, I say “start doing something for yourselves”, “God doesn’t offer to do your workout for you.”
JM- What life experience can you share with us younger people?
JL– I treat people how I want to be treated. Without people I would be nothing. One million per cent of my time I am thinking about helping people.
My 53rd wedding anniversary was yesterday, the secret to a long and healthy marriage is to work at it and “don’t try and change each other”.
JM- What feat of strength are you going to do today?
JL– I’m going to tow my wife across the bath tub. I’ve lifted weights for an hour and a half this morning, and I’ve swum for half an hour, I got this new pool I designed where you swim against the current. I live in a beautiful house, right by the Ocean.
JM– Thanks again for your time and enjoy the rest of your birthday.
JL– You’re welcome, I love England, my parents are from France, I have been to both places a few times.
Jack’s series of talks on you tube are well worth watching. Especially when someone tells you about the latest research or fad! I use them as an example of good advice when delivering our own workshops and courses.
James has a huge breath and depth of knowledge on fitness issues. He is able to implement this knowledge into a practical course both making the task of fitness and conditioning both different and interesting from other fitness training that most are familiar with. He understands the safety issues when dealing with young adults strength and conditioning programmes. Programmes he sets are tailored to the individual needs of the group. There was a huge amount of progress made with some of these individuals in terms of their understanding of fitness and their own fitness levels.