This post was inspired by Beth at I Didn’t Have My Glasses On, who earlier today wrote a post about the workout of University of Michigan football player, Ronnie Bell.
To stay in shape, the Michigan receiver would go outside … and push his family’s Chevy Tahoe around the block. “I’ve been pushing the cars with my little brothers,” Bell told MGoBlue’s Ed Kengerski. “We’ll take the car outside and put it in neutral and just push it around the neighborhood. “They push the little Lexus and I push the Chevy Tahoe.”
As soon as I read it, I was reminded of the incredible feats of strength and fitness by Jack LaLanne.
Here’s a sampling of his accomplishments:
1955 Age 41: Swam, handcuffed, from Alcatraz to Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, CA.
1956 Age 42: Set a world record of 1,033 pushups in 23 minutes on “You Asked for It, a TV Show with Art Baker. (He could also he could do one-armed fingertip pushups while in a completely stretched out position.)
1957 Age 43: Swam the treacherous Golden Gate Channel, towing a 2,500-pound cabin cruiser. This involved fighting the cold, swift ocean currents that made the 1 mile swim a 6 ½ mile test of strength and endurance.
1959 Age 45: Completed 1,000 pushups and 1,000 chin-ups in 1 hour and 22 minutes. “Happy” (Jack’s dog)is born and The Jack LaLanne Show goes nationwide
1974 Age 60: Swam from Alcatraz Island to Fisherman’s Wharf, for a second time handcuffed, shackled and towing a 1,000-pound boat.
1984 Age 70: Handcuffed, shackled and fighting strong winds and currents, towed 70 boats with 70 people from the Queen’s Way Bridge in the Long Beach Harbor to the Queen Mary, 1 ½ miles.
Jack is also known for having designed several fitness machines and a juicing machine, as well as for hosting the longest-running fitness show on TV – 34 years.
He was also a fanatic about his exercise routine. Here are a few of the habits that Jack did every single day for decades…
- Lift weights and do strength training for 90 minutes.
- Swim or run for 30 minutes (in addition to his strength training).
- Eat 10 raw vegetables and 5 fruits. He had a basic rule – do not eat anything that is man-made.
- Eat two meals: a late breakfast and an early dinner.
- No dairy, no coffee, no refined sugar, no flour.
- Wake up at 4am (in his later years, LaLanne “slept in” until 5am).
Even at age 94, LaLanne was still exercising for two hours every day. 90 minutes of strength training. 30 minutes of swimming or walking. 10 raw vegetables. Every. Single. Day. For 60 years.
That is commitment. And we can see the results of such commitment.
I vaguely remember watching his exercise show a couple of times and dismissing him because of his workout attire (shown above). Little did I know what a model of strength and fitness he was.
If only I had started following his routine 40 years ago, just think what I’d be capable of today…
*image from Hollywoodland