Originally published in the August 2004 issue
I’m going to be ninety in September. Everybody else can have a piece of the birthday cake, but not me. I have rules, and I follow 'em. No cake, no pie, no candy, no ice cream! Haven’t had any in seventy-five years. It makes me feel great not eating birthday cake. That’s the gift I give myself.
Forget about what you used to do. This is the moment you’ve been waiting for.
Don’t ask me about politics. I don’t like to get into Barbra Streisand-ism. Let’s stick to what’s important.
When I was younger, I drank a quart of blood a day for about six weeks. I’d get it at the slaughterhouse. I’d heard about those Masais, you know, those seven-foot African guys; they’d drink cattle blood for strength. Then one day a little clot got stuck in my throat and that was it for me.
As long as the emphasis is on winning, you’re gonna have steroids.
If man makes it, don’t eat it.
Of course I have fears. But what good is thinking or talking about them? Billy Graham is about the hereafter. I’m for the here and now.
You’ve got to satisfy you. If you can’t satisfy you, you’re a failure.
I work out for two hours every morning, seven days a week – even when I’m traveling. I hate it. But I love the result! That’s the key, baby!
The only way you can hurt your body is if you don’t use it.
Look, are you a suckling calf? Name one creature on earth that uses milk after it’s weaned. Man’s the only one. And man’s the only one who lives out only half his life span. A cow has four stomachs. You don’t. You can’t handle whole milk.
I’d like to talk to Jesus about those twelve disciples. They were a great public-relations team.
If you want to change somebody, don’t preach to him. Set an example and shut up.
Scales lie! You lose thirty pounds of muscle and you gain thirty pounds of fat and you weigh the same, right? Take that tape measure out. That won’t lie. Your waistline is your lifeline. It should be the same as it was when you were a young person.
If you lose a couple of inches off your stomach, your business down there will look an inch longer.
Sex is giving, giving, giving. The more energy you have, the more you’re going to please.
Now, I’m not as sexually active as I was when I was younger. But look at my wife – she’s still smiling!
The guy who’s most impressed me is Paul C. Bragg. He completely saved my life. When I was a kid, I was addicted to sugar. I was a skinny kid with pimples and boils. Used to eat ice cream by the quart. I had blinding headaches. I tried to commit suicide. And then one day, my life changed. Bragg was a nutritionist. My mother and I were a little late getting to his lecture. The place was packed, and so we started to leave. But Bragg said, “We don’t turn anybody away here. Ushers, bring two seats. Put those two up on the stage.” It was the most humiliating moment. There I was, up on stage. I was so ashamed of the way I looked; I didn’t want people to see me. Little did I know they had problems, too. And Bragg said, “It doesn’t matter what your age is, what your physical condition is. If you obey nature’s laws, you can be born again.” From that moment on, I completely changed my diet, began to exercise, and went on to become captain of the football team. And do you know something? Every time I get ready to lecture, I think, If I can just help one person like I was helped…
Show me the guy who doesn’t get nervous in front of a crowd and I’ll show you a lousy speaker.
Would you get your dog up every day, give him a cup of coffee, a doughnut, and a cigarette? Hell, no. You’d kill the damn dog.
You learn as you go. When I first went on television in 1951, I pulled out a loaf of Langendorf’s white bread, squeezed it into a ball, and threw it down – boom. “That’s what it does when it hits your stomach!” I said. Only problem was that Langendorf’s was one of the network’s sponsors! Oh, jeez, the phone calls. That’s the last time I ever showed a label.
Go on, have a glass of wine with dinner. What is wine, anyway? Pure grapes. A glass of wine is much better for you than a Coke.
If I don’t know what I’m doing by now, I must be pretty stupid.
What I do isn’t about money. Can you put a price on a human life?
Any stupid person can die. Dying’s easy. Living’s a pain in the butt.
I can’t afford to die. It’ll wreck my image.
and a game changer in the fitness industry. He was looked at as a quack because he was about 20 years in front of the fitness revolution. God bless him and may he rest in peace.
Awesome article find there John. I love the way he puts a Spin on things. Great
It’s really hard to believe. You just sort of assumed the guy was going to live for 300 years.
Jack Lalanne was a great inspiration and role model of mine. I use one of his quotes from years ago a lot.
“Nutrition is the king, exercise is the queen. You put them together and your have a great, healthy kingdom.”
and now I add “recovery and regeneration” to the equation that I learned from the great Charlie Francis as well.
I also just realized he was living less than 30 minutes from me in Morro Bay in Central California… I would have loved to have met him.
He was larger than life. RIP Jack.