Meet one of my Heroes—Jack LaLanne! [He’s the Godfather of Fitness!]

In the 1980’s and 1990’s, I used to work out in a gym back in Brick, NJ, called “Jack LaLanne’s.” I had no idea who Jack LaLanne was.

But I loved getting in my workouts there and even playing a bit of racquetball.

Years later and after getting into “fitness” as a career, I soon found out WHO Jack LaLanne was.

Jack LaLanne is the “Godfather of Fitness.” He’s one of the most incredible human-beings I’ve ever met.

Extraordinary passion.
He was a visionary and innovator. 
He was way ahead of his time and had a powerful plan for change in the future. 
He introduced new methods, ideas, and products into fitness. 
He was called a pioneer and trailblazer in the modern fitness movement.
He was so focused on helping people that he never got a patent for the exercise equipment he developed.

Check out SOME of the things that make Jack LaLanne one of the MOST extraordinary human-beings of the modern era.

Here are some of Jack’s most notable firsts:

  • Opened the first modern health spa (Physical Culture studio) in 1936.
  • The first to have a coed health club.
  • The first to have a combination Health Food Bar and Gym.
  •  The first to have a weight loss Instant Breakfast meal replacement drink in 1956.
  • The first to combine weight training with nutrition.
  • The first to have an edible snack nutrition bar.
  • Invented the first weight selector for cable machines.
  • Invented the first leg extension machine.
  • He had the very first and longest-standing TV fitness show that spanned from 1951-1985 (34-years).
  • and, so much more …

Check out some of his amazing physical feats he did in his lifetime:

  • At age 41, he swam handcuffed from Alcatraz to Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco.
  • At age 42, he set a world record of 1,033 pushups in 23-minutes.
  • At age 43, he swam the treacherous Golden Gate Channel towing a 2,500 pound boat. Because of strong winds and currents, it made the 1-miles swim a 6.5 mile feat of strength and endurance.
  • At age 45, he completed 1,000 pushups and 1,000 chin-ups in 1 hour and 22-minutes.
  • At age 60, he swam from Alcatraz Island to Fisherman’s Wharf, for a second time handcuffed, shackled, and towing a 1,000-pound boat.
  • At age 61, he swam the length of the Golden Gate Bridge, underwater, for a second time handcuffed, shackled and towing a 1,000 pound boat.
  • At age 62, he swam 1 mile in Long Beach Harbor, handcuffed, shackled, and towing 13 boats, containing 76-people.
  • At age 66, he towed 10 boats in Miami, FL with 77 people for over a mile in less than a 1-hour.
  • At age 70, handcuffed, shackled, and fighting strong winds and currents, towed 70 boats with 70 people for 1.5 miles.
  • In his 90’s, he exercised for 2-hours a day. He would do 90-minutes of weight-lifting and 30-minutes of swimming.

Here are some of my all-time favorite quotes from him:

  • “I can’t die. I would ruin my image.”
  • “Exercise is king. Nutrition is queen. Put them together and you have a kingdom.”
  • “By exercise, I’ll tell you one thing, you don’t always have to be on the go. I sit around a lot, I read a lot and I do watch television. But I also work out for 2-hours every day of my life, even when I’m on the road.”
  • “I do it as therapy. I do it as something to keep me alive. We all need a little discipline. Exercise is my discipline.”
  • “The only way to get that fat off is to eat less and exercise more.”
  • “Remember this: your body is your slave; it works for you.”
  • “People don’t die of old age. They die of neglect.”
  • “The food you eat today is walking and talking tomorrow.”
  • “You’ve got to exercise. Your health account, your bank account, they’re the same thing. The more you put in, the more you can take out.”
  • “Your waistline is your lifeline.”
  • “Better to wear out than to rust out.”
  • “If you’ve got a big gut and you start doing sit-ups, you are going to get bigger because you build up the muscle. You’ve got to get rid of the fat. How do you get rid of the fat? By changing your diet.”
  • “If it tastes good, spit it out.”
  • “If man made it, don’t eat it.”
  • “Everything you do in life, I don’t care, good or bad, don’t blame God, don’t blame the devil, don’t blame me, blame you. You control everything! The thoughts you think, the words you utter, the foods you eat, the exercise you do. Everything is controlled by you!”

It was once said that when Jack LaLanne died, he would carry his own casket at his funeral.

Jack LaLanne passed away at age 96 of respiratory failure due to pneumonia on January 23, 2011. There was no evidence of WHO carried his casket.

WHY do I share all this?

Because for the first-time ever, the complete biography of Jack LaLanne came out just yesterday!!!

It’s called, “PRIDE & DISCIPLINE: The Legacy of Jack LaLanne.”
It is 208-pages of absolute inspiration.

If you are a trainer, coach, or fitness pro, it should be MANDATORY READING.

If you are a fitness enthusiast, weekend warrior, or health nut who needs a bit of motivation, READ THIS BOOK.

Here is the LINK:

The Jack LaLanne Award in 2017.

In 2017, I was fortunate to receive one of the most meaningful awards in my life… it’s called the “Jack LaLanne LifeTime Achievement Award.”

When I came out to accept the award on stage in front of 5,000 people at IDEA World in Las Vegas wearing the legendary “Jack LaLanne Jumpsuit,” the place went bananas.

I hit the floor and started banging out some “Jack LaLanne fingertip pushups” in the jumpsuit and all I remember was his wife, Elaine (she’s 96-years young these days and still going strong), yelling at me “DEEPER, DEEPER…give me MORE!”

It was a surreal memory that I’ll go to my grave with someday.

Much love…and happy reading of “PRIDE & DISCIPLINE: The Legacy of Jack LaLanne.”


P.S. #1. Thank you Greg Justice & Scriptor Publishing for Creating this Masterpiece

A huge shout-out to Greg Justice, Kelli Watson, and Scriptor Publishing for doing this book with Elaine LaLanne. What a legacy project. And congratulations to Elaine LaLanne for not only being the matriarch of fitness, but for continuing the legend of Jack LaLanne and all he did to positively IMPACT so many people.

P.S. #2. Did you see this Podcast…

Jack LaLanne inspired people whether he was in his 40’s or his 90’s. Literally. And he always kept learning.

This week’s podcast is called “Never Stop Learning” and is on the same mindset that growth & learning never stops. Take a LISTEN now…

About the Author

Todd Durkin, MA, is a world-renown trainer, coach, author and motivational keynote speaker who trains dozens of elite, high-profile NFL, MLB, and MMA athletes, including two Super Bowl MVPs, one NFL League MVP, Olympic gold medalists, Heisman Trophy winners, and MMA champions. Todd is a 2-Time Trainer of the Year, the 2017 Jack LaLanne Award recipient, the 2018 Canfitpro International Presenter of the Year, a member of the Under Armour Training Team, and a Top-100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness.

Todd was a featured trainer on the popular TV show, NBC STRONG, which is now airing on Netflix. His award-winning gym, Fitness Quest 10 in San Diego, CA, is a Top-10 Gym in America, and his 3 best-selling books, Get Your Mind Right, The WOW BOOK, and The IMPACT Body Plan, have both changed thousands of people’s lives. If you would like to get motivated and inspired now, you can pick these books up at, or if you would like a signed copy, please purchase at
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