Jack La Lanne Interview
(Godfather of Fitness)
He’s been called “The
Godfather of Fitness”, “The Fitness King of America”, and “The
Guru of The Health And Fitness Industry”.
Well, no matter what title you refer to Jack La Lanne as, you have to admit he’s
in great shape for a man who’s 92 years young!!
Jack La Lanne was the first to have athletes working out with weights, the first
to have women work out with weights, and the first to have to elderly work out
with weights. He was the first to have a weight loss instant breakfast and meal
replacement drink. He was the first to have a co-ed health club and the first
to combine weight training with nutrition.
When he turned 42, he set a record of 1,033 push-ups in 23 minutes on the “You
Asked For It” T.V. Show.
He swam the length of the Golden Gate, underwater, handcuffed, shackled, and
towing a 2,000 pound boat, at age 60.
He was 66 when he towed 10 boats in North Miami, Florida filled with 77 people
for over a mile in less than one hour.
At 70, he towed 70 boats with 70 people from the Queen’s Way Bridge in
The Long Beach Harbor to the Queen Mary, one and a half miles.
He invented exercise equipment and started a gym in 1931. In 1936, he opened
the first modern Health Spa in the United States, in Oakland, California.
In 1942, he won the “Mr. America” title along with the “Best
He started his first T.V. Show in 1951 which lasted 34 years.
“Anything is possible if you believe”, Jack La Lanne says.
We believe that Jack La Lanne is onto something here.
Q – Before Jack La Lanne came along, who was telling
people to eat right and exercise regularly?
A – Nobody. I was the first one ever on television. I was on for 34 years.
Q – You would agree wouldn’t you that people were
living a long life before all this talk of healthy living came about.
A – No. It’s going up every year. It started going up when they
started taking better care of the old people, telling them they should normalize
their weight and exercise. That really adds years to a lifespan right there.
People know, but now you really have to motivate them to get them off their
big butts and do something.
Q – You said when you were a kid, your problem was sugar.
A – One hundred per cent.
Q – And when you cut out the white sugar you felt better.
A – My whole life changed in a week. I had those blinding headaches seven
days a week. I couldn’t sleep. I had an uncontrollable temper. There’s
nothing, nothing worse. There are probably more people hooked on sugar then
all drugs and alcohol put together. You talk to millions of people-----these
kids, my God, it’s the cakes, the pics, the candy, the ice-cream, the
soda pop and all the baking goods. Sugar, sugar. They put it in there for a
preservative. My mother appeased me. When I was a kid I was very irritable.
I was born a little skinny kid. My mother used to appease me by saying, “Jack,
go to the potty and I’ll give you a candy or ice-cream”. I became
hooked on it. My mother thought she was doing good. She didn’t know that
she was making me an addict. All of my little baby teeth rotted out before
the permanent ones came in. I was 30 pounds underweight. You just can’t
believe it. The damn sugar. The more you eat-----the more you want. Alcohol
and sugar are synonymous.
Q – That was you. How do you know that everyone responds
the same way?
A – They don’t have it, like I had it. I would eat food and put
my finger down my throat and heave it up. It was just exactly like an alcoholic.
An alcoholic has to have more and more until they pass out. They wake up and
they get it again.
Q – You were an extreme case then.
A – Absolutely. Everything I do is extreme. That’s my personality.
When I live, I live for keeps and tear the grass in great big heaps.
Q – You say “Keep away from sugar. It destroys
your ability to think. Takes all the vitamins and minerals from your body”.
A – It does. It destroys the B vitamins, one of the most important vitamins
we have. There’s about 15 B vitamins and about 8 of them are essential.
You find that in liver. You find it in whole grains. It’s difficult to
find in our everyday diet, because so many things have been processed and cooked.
People should take Extra B complex supplements. When you destroy the B vitamins
you’re restless. You’ve got an uncontrollable temper. Your energy
is down. You just can’t function.
Q – Has this been proven scientifically?
A – One hundred per cent. Absolutely. When you don’t get these
minerals and vitamins, so many things happen. Your liver doesn’t function
properly. Your sex life is affected. Your brain. Your ability to sleep. Your
elimination. So many things are affected. It’s like a domino effect.
Q – Is it true you haven’t had ice-cream in 73
A – I haven’t touched any white sugar since I started when I was
15 years old.
Q – You only eat non-fat frozen yogurt?
A – Well, I don’t even eat that very much. It’s been awhile.
I keep away from dairy products. That’s another big pet peeve of mine-----all
this over consumption of dairy products. You go to the average restaurant and
watch the average person. The first thing they start to do before they start
to eat or drink is-----they’ve got the bread out and they’re putting
butter on it.
Q – The fast food places are constantly advertising
on t.v. How do you compete with that? Your message is being lost, isn’t
A – I’ve said a hundred times, people in my profession with the
message I have, how does one get the message across. Advertising, right? If
the average advertiser can get to the people 6 or 7 times with that message,
they will buy that product. Well, that’s what we have to do with this
exercise and nutrition and healthy living. We’ve got to bombard the people
with it, how it’s a necessity, how beneficial it is, how you’re
gonna look better and feel better and live longer. Everything about you has
got to be better. And, it has to start in Kindergarden or first grade. That’s
where these kids have to be taught. We have to bombard these kids with the
truth. If you eat this and exercise, the women will be more beautiful. You
guys will be stronger and be better athletes. You’re gonna get better
grades. People are gonna like you. You’re gonna make more money in life ‘cause
you’re healthy. This is what we have to pound into these kids heads when
they start out in life; I know I sound like a zealot, but damn it, this is
my whole life!! This is what I believe in so strongly.
Q – You recommend that people eat chicken and turkey.
Is that correct?
A – Well, for the average person. See, if people would stick to fish,
chicken and turkey-----those are the least fat and they’re all good protein.
You’re not gonna take all these meats away from people. If I can keep’em
away from the pork and all the real high fat meat-----every nutritionist will
tell you that. Then, if you’re gonna eat grains, why not eat the whole
Q – How about the additives found in chicken? People
are getting sick from contaminated chicken.
A – Of course! That’s another subject altogether. Right now the
air you’re breathing has been screwed around with. The water you drink.
Every fruit. Every vegetable without exception has been screwed around with
to make it last longer, to make it grow faster. That’s why we have to
take extra vitamins and minerals and enzymes. We have to supplement our diet
with good natural supplements. But, the main big key is vigorous exercise.
When you exercise vigorously you build up your immune system, so you can damn
near eat fecal matter and get by!! Look at these football players-----they
eat 10,000 calories a day. They eat junk. They’re human garbage cans.
But, they exercise so vigorously they become a combustion engine and burn up
that stuff. But, the minute they quit exercising, they’re in big, big
trouble. You gotta do the best you can. It’s better to eat these foods,
the chicken and turkey, And, if you’re gonna get grains, make sure that
they’re natural whole grains, brown rice, and wheat and barley and corn.
All these grains are terrific. Baked potatoes with the skin. If we just keep
away from all the damn dairy products. Try to get at least 5 raw vegetables
a day. I get 10. You stick to that diet, you’re not gonna be fat unless
you overeat the whole thing. You can get fat on anything if you eat enough
of it. You gotta count calories depending on your age and your physical activity.
If you want to gain weight, you eat more. If you want to lose weight-----you
eat less. It’s all arithmetic, period.
Q – You work-out everyday for…..
A – 2 hours.
Q – Starting at 5am?
A – I try to hit the gym between 5-6 am.
Q – That’s your own gym?
A – I have two gyms at home.
Q – So, you work-out everyday?
A – Yeah. See, I travel so much. Every hotel has a gym and a pool-----the
good ones. Even if there’s no gym in the hotel, I chin on the door. I
do push-ups on chairs. I have a whole series I do in my hotel room. See, I
don’t expect people to do what Jack La Lanne does. I’ve been doing
this since I was a kid. I just want to see how long I can keep this up using
me as a guinea pig. If the average person would work out a half hour 3 times
a week vigorously and change that program every 30 days completely-----When
it gets boring, you’re not getting the results and you’re going
to be miserable. When you change that program-----it’s like starting
Q – What do you do after your work-outs?
A – I have interviews. I do lectures. I have personal appearances. I
love to watch television. I’m a voracious reader. I have leisure time
too. I’m a good relaxer. I can sit on my butt and do nothing. The better
shape you’re in, the faster you can relax. Too many people can’t
relax. I can sit down and thank God for living in this country and the wonderful
things I have and the things I’m going to do. See, my brain never stops
really, about my future. I want to help people. I want to get this message
out, more and more. That’s why I’ve been part of this earth. I
Q – What do you say to people who say they’re
too busy to exercise?
A – I say, you know what? I may look like a stupid ass but, I’m
not that stupid. You’ve got 24 hours a day. If you can’t take a
half an hour taking care of the most priceless possession you have on this
earth, your body-----you are psycho! Take a half hour less sleep.
Q – You say, “The restaurants keep my special
pita bread in stock or will get it for me”.
A – Oh, yeah. A lot of the restaurants, I bring my own salad, my own
pita bread. A lot of them keep it there for me. I call them and they fix the
rice for me.
Q – Is that because you’re a celebrity or would
they do that for anybody?
A – They’d do it for anybody. If you bring the stuff there, what
do they care what they cook? They’re saving money. They’re not
using their product. They’re using yours. They want to please you. Most
people don’t know what to ask for. When I go into a restaurant, I got
to have at least 10 raw vegetables in the salad. I don’t care what it
costs. I’ve never told my stomach I’m a poor man. I want the Best!
I want no butter. I want no cream in my soup. A lot of the restaurants have
no soup, so, I bring my own soup. My wife and I if we’re home, we eat
out every night. I don’t care what restaurant you go to, even the fast
food restaurant, there’s something there you can eat. They’ll have
tuna. They have hard-boiled eggs. You can just eat the white of the eggs. Every
restaurant has whole wheat bread. Every restaurant has some kind of fruit for
dessert. They’ll have melon or banana or something.
Q – With all of this talk we’ve done in this interview
about health and fitness, how do you explain a guy like Frank Sinatra? He
smoked. He drank. He stayed up all night, and he lived to be 82.
A – There are exceptions to every rule. He had good genes too.
Q – I know. His mother lived a long life.
A – That’s what I’m saying. If he had lived like I advocate,
he could’ve lived to be 100 plus!! I tell people most Americans die at
60 and they bury them at 75. I want to be active. I want to be sexually active.
I want to be productive. I want to help people. I want to be a happy person.
You gotta work at living!! It’s the easiest thing to die. Living is tough.
It’s survival. If you use these two words I’m gonna give you, you
can’t fail in any profession-----pride and discipline. You just think
Official Website: JackLaLanne.com
© Gary James All Rights Reserved