Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Original Badass!

Jack LaLanne passed away on Sunday at the age of 96.

Many of you guys who are younger than my decrepit 49 may not be familiar with Jack LaLanne, but he was the original fitness badass. Deadspin linked to a terrific profile of LaLanne when he was 80, and here are a few excerpts:
In 1954, when Jack was half his current age[40, at the time this article was written]--not long after he won that year's Professional Mr. America contest and something called the Best Chest award--he began to attempt a series of midlife feats of Herculean strength and uncanny endurance that were designed to call attention to his cause. He did 100 handstand push-ups in under six minutes. He swam through the powerful currents between Alcatraz Island and Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco while handcuffed. He towed a 2,000-pound boat the length of the Golden Gate Bridge while swimming underwater with air tanks but no fins, and he somehow did 1,033 push-ups in 23 minutes during an appearance on TV.

In his sixties, Jack began to wear shackles on his legs as well as handcuffs for the swimming feats. He used the "flopping butterfly" stroke he developed to tow 13 boats symbolizing the original colonies across a southern California bay as a 1976 bicentennial feat, and he towed 6,500 pounds of wood pulp across a lake in Japan the year he qualified for Social Security. At the age of 70, he towed 70 friends sitting in 70 different boats across Long Beach Harbor near Los Angeles, despite heavy winds.

...he trained for the push-up feat with endless reps using 140-pound dumbbells and by climbing a 25-foot rope three times in a row with 140 pounds of extra weight strapped to his belt.

That is a large picnic basket filled with awesome.

Jack LaLanne didn't brush his own teeth. He made Chuck Norris do it for him.

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