The Godfather of Fitness talks health & wellness

Jack LaLanne: More incredible & inspiring than ever!

Jack LaLanne: More incredible & inspiring than ever!He is a speaker, author, inventor and, indisputably, American’s premier physical fitness expert. Born in 1914, Jack LaLanne has been spreading his important message of health & fitness and inspiring people of all ages and backgrounds, around the world, for almost a century. Today, at nearly 94 years of age, LaLanne shows no sign of slowing down, but is more active and passionate then ever. In addition to working out every day, both he and his wife, Elaine – whom he adores, are running a successful company (BeFit Enterprises), speaking publicly, authoring new books and much more. All those concerned with health & fitness seek Jack’s expertise and input, but, according to this incredibly energetic and innovative icon, often called the “Godfather of Fitness,” this wasn’t always the case.

Hilton Head Monthly: Did you always care about health and fitness? Who inspired you?

Jack Lalanne: No way. When I was a kid, I was small and little girls used to beat me up. I was addicted to sugar and not healthy at all. Then I heard Paul Bragg (a pioneer nutritionist) speak at the Oakland City Women’s Club, in San Francisco, and it inspired me. I started reading everything I could, absorbing and learning everything I could about the body and howt works. Gray’s Anatomy was my bible. I studied pre-med to become a medical doctor and also graduated from chiropractic college.Jack LaLanne: More incredible & inspiring than ever!

HHM: What made you decide not to become a doctor?

JL: I became more interested in prevention. I decided that I wanted to help people before they became ill.

HHM: I read that you opened a health club when you were very young.

JL: Yes, in 1936. I was only 21 years old and I rented out a floor of this old office building for about $45 a month. It was really the first modern health studio in our country.

HHM: What did you to get in and stay in shape?

JL: I started working with weights (he found at the Berkeley YMCA) and wanted to see what they could do. Studying the body like I did, I knew more about how the body and its muscles worked than most doctors. But they thought I was crazy. Many of them said that working out with weights would give people heart attacks and make them lose their sex drive.

HHM: Boy, times have certainly changed, in terms of how doctors and those in the health and fitness business view working out and using weights.

JL: I was the first to get athletes working out with weights, and the first to have women working out with weights. I developed the first leg extension machines, cable and pulley machines and a lot of other equipment, which is all pretty common today.

Jack LaLanne and his wife ElaineHHM: Tell me about your wife.

JL: I would be nothing without her. Elaine is an expert water skier, golfer, author and just an all around amazing lady.

Editor’s Note:

While preparing for Monthly’s summer health & fitness section, I happened to catch a glimpse of Jack LaLanne in a TV commercial. I was marveling at how great he looked and recalled seeing Jack LaLanne’s exercise show – on my family’s black & white television – when I was still in elementary school. Thinking his story would make an ideal intro, I boldly contacted his organization in hopes of securing an interview. Much to my amazement and delight, I was not only able to speak with Jack, but also his equally incredible wife, Elaine. They were even more charismatic and interesting than I could’ve imagined and we are so proud to feature them among our pages. To see Monthly’s extended interview, please visit To learn more about the amazing LaLannes, please visit

Wealth & Health

Matt J. Rettick & Jack LaLanne talk fitness and finance
What do you get when the Godfather of itness and a financial wizard decide write book about physical and financial wellbeing? You get Fiscal Fitness: 8 Steps to Wealth & Stealth, From America’s Leaders of Fitness and Finance, or a highly acclaimed must-read! Here is what two reputable industry leaders have said regarding this indispensable guide:

  • “In a climate of uncertainty about the future of Social Security and Medicare, Jack LaLanne and Matthew Rettick have written a welcome how-to guide on taking control of your health and finances no matter what the future brings.” – Newt Gingrich, Former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives
  • “Jack LaLanne is an icon in the field of fitness, living proof that, if you follow his advice, you’ll live a rich, fulfilling life in the years to come. By the same standard, Matthew J. Rettick is the ‘man with the plan’ when it comes to finance. This unique combination of experts has produced a most interesting book.” – Arnold Palmer, World-Renown Golfing Legend Learn more at, or visit