T Nation

Jack L


This isn?t that important, but I?ve been curious about something. I remember seeing a picture of Jack LaLanne a few years ago in his mid 80?s. Unless the photo was doctored, which I doubt, it looked like he still had 20 inch arms. I always wondered how someone in their 80?s could possibly have arms that size!?!

Does anyone happen to know if he did it the old fashioned way? Or was he supplementing/doping? Again, just curious how the guy did it.

I wouldn?t mind having his build and I?m forty years younger!


I'm pretty sure (make that "positive")Jack never dabled in anabolics. If you have seen him lately on those commercials about his juicer, he looks really old, although part of the problem is those powder-blue jumpsuits. If he wore different clothing, he probably would still look halfway decent.


I'm a huge Jack LaLaine fan. I've quite a bit about him. I strongly contend he did it the old fashoned way. I'm 48 years old and I remember him the wonderful Elaine LaLaine and their German Shepard "Happy" in the TV in my house. My mother worked out to Jack. I think he is simply to old to have been caught in the steriod bullsh*t. On his 80th birthday special he was doing exercises I've never been strong enough to do and talking to the camera while doing them.
Further, to this day I remember his advice to "make haste slowly", or as Dan John says "a little and often over the long haul," or others say "...inch by inch it's a cinch, yard by yard it's hard."
Jack is a trail blazer and a great American. We are all indebted to him and I am personally humbled by his awesome abilities in his mid eighties.
God Bless Jack & Elaine LaLaine and may Happy rest in peace.


Lol! Keep in mind that Jack looks old cuzz he is old - he's in his 90's now!


And, yeah, I never understood the jumpsuit thing...


Couldn't agree more. Btw, here's a picture of the guy (I assume) in his 80's and a great inverview with him (when he was 91):



Wow! I can't think of a guy that better exemplifies what can be done by someone over 35:

"In 1954, when Jack was half his current age--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."

Here's the link if anyone is interested:



I am proud to say that I bought that Jack L. autographed and framed picture of him and Happy the dog and it hangs on the wall in my house. I have always loved the guy.


Jack LaLane will be 91 this month. And if you look at him he could easily pass for a guy in his 70's.

The LaLane way:

  1. A little exercise every day.

  2. Natural foods: "If man makes it I don't eat it" he claims.

  3. The proper supplements-Steroids were never part of his diet!

  4. A positive attitude.

  5. Belief in God, he once stated: "You have to be pretty stupid to think there isn't a Supreme Being to put all this together." I agree :slight_smile:


  1. His "little" exercise sessions would have killed most of us. :slight_smile:


Great stuff...a lot of wisdom packed in there.


20 inch arms? No way. But he is in incredible shape for his age and extremely inspiring as well.


Elaine LaLaine.

What a cool name.


Most definitely!


I'm tellin' ya that I saw a photo in a local 'zine here and his arms had to have been dang close to 20".

But, anyway, I have a question for somebody. Here are some photos of Jack in the 40's:


Now isn't it true that this was twenty years before steroids? Pretty incredible...


Are you stating that it is incredible that LaLane could achieve such a build without the use of roids?

Frankly, I think your remark is incredible!

Long before roids showed up to muddy the waters guys were getting big and strong and lifting incredible amounts of weight.

No steroids, just good food and plenty of it. And lots of hard work.

LaLanes stunts are incredible however!


Jack developed his amazing physique the old fashioned way with lots of hard work. He developed his upper arms by doing lots of heavy dips and hundreds of pushups. Just check out some of the other old timers like John Grimek (first Mr. America)http://www.schwarzenegger.it/mro/grimek.html or Reg (the ledge) Park http://www.schwarzenegger.it/mro/park.html or the Classic Steve Reeves http://www.schwarzenegger.it/mro/reeves.html All these pre-steroid body builders used heavy weights, lots of reps and basic exercises such as the squat to build their physiques.
Jack used to have a standing bet of $5,000 for anyone who could follow him through one of his daily workouts. No one could keep up with his exhausting routine. At age 90 he still works out with weights everyday for one hour and than swims for one hour. He can do Chinese pushups with his arms fully extended out in front of him (which took me years of practice before I could finally do them) http://www.JACKLALANNE.com/ .
Yes he may look older now, but he stands tall and speaks with enthusiasm. His chest still measures 45" and his waist 29". An amazing accomplishment for any man. I've seen him lecture twice and he does put on a great show for his audience. Everyone is simply amazed by his vitality. He still has "enthusiasm and super energy for helping the world to be healthy, happy and at peace!"


I think that Lalanne is a mixture of an absolutely ridiculous amount of work and amazing genes. They say he was a sickly little kid, I think, and that was his inspiration for working out.

I hope that I can be like that in my 90's!


No, I'm saying that it's incredible he could achieve the build that he did into his 80's w/o a little juice. But if anybody could do it, it would be him...


I am 48 also and am a big fan of Jack. I remember bringing in a kitchen chair to the living room to exercise with Jack. That had to be the early 60?s.