Jumping Jack: The passing of a fitness legend

Hi guys,

Whether it be via high school gym class or your local fitness center, it’s safe to say that most of you have done a jumping jack.  Now, if you attend bootcamp, you defiantly (originally a typo from definitely – but I think it fits, so I am sticking with defiantly) have done a jumping jack before.

Now I am going to ask you what you’re all probaly thinking – why in the heck is it called the jumping jack and why is this exercise so popular?

Well, you can thank “Jumping Jack” Lalanne, a US fitness icon and tv personality, for this… Jack had a tv show for 3 decades and loves to take credit for popularizing the exercise and coining the phrase. The man is a legend in the industry, and unfortunately passed away last week from pneumonia as vibrant as any 96 year old has ever walked this earth.

Don't try this at home.

This is Jack’s stance on the matter: “I can’t die, it would ruin my image.” – Just a snippet (does anyone use snippet anymore?) of a man heralded at an age where many struggle to move.

Jack at age 70.

Here’s another quote which embodies Jack’s stance on health and fitness:

“There are so many health nuts out there who eat nothing but natural foods but they don’t exercise and look terrible. Then there are other people who exercise like a son-of-a-gun but eat a lot of junk. Exercise is king. Nutrition is queen. Put them together and you’ve got a kingdom.”

Here’s some amazing facts about “Jumping Jack:”

  • A sugar addict as a kid, he changed his life at 15 by swearing off flour, most fat, and sugar and concentrating on eating fruits and vegetables.
  • He opened the first modern health club in the US in 1936 in Oakland, CA. It was equipped with a gym, juice bar, and health food store. Think about the timing… the U.S. was still in the Great Depression… Jack LaLanne was gutsy and bold like no other.
  • He popularized resistance training among women and athletes, who were afraid of becoming too bulky.
  • In 1951, he started his own TV show. This is where he made famous his one-piece jumpsuit zipped open halfway down his chest with “Jack” stitched over his heart. His show was on air for decades.
  • At the age of 45, in 1959, he did 1,000 pushups and 1,000 chin-ups in 86 minutes.
  • At the age of 70, in 1984, LaLanne shackled and handcuffed himself to tow 70 boats with 70 people 1.5 miles in Long Beach Harbor.
  • Up until his death, he did 90 minutes of weightlifting and 30 minutes of swimming everyday. He continued to preach the gospel of exercise, raw vegetables, and clean living.

Here’s Jack at 95 in a television interview:

Thanks Jack for standing out, believing in yourself, and doing whatever the hell you wanted to do!

P.s. We won’t jumping jack you to death at The Bootcamp Effect.