Jack LaLanne dies at 96

Jack LaLanne, (September 26, 1914 – January 23, 2011) was an American fitness, exercise, and nutritional Icon and motivational speaker who many referred to as “the godfather of fitness” and the “first fitness guru.”

“The crusade is never off my mind — the exercise I do, the food I eat, the thought I think — all this and how I can help make my profession better-respected. To me, this one thing — physical culture and nutrition — is the salvation of America.”

“Well it is. It is a religion with me,” he told What Is Enlightenment, a magazine dedicated to awareness, in 1999. “It’s a way of life. A religion is a way of life, isn’t it?”

(Jack LaLanne’s accomplishments as reported by his website)

* 1954 (age 40): swam the entire length (8,981 ft/1.7 mi) of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, under water, with 140 pounds (64 kg; 10 st) of equipment strapped to his body; a world record.
* 1955 (age 41): swam from Alcatraz Island to Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco while handcuffed. When interviewed afterwards he was quoted as saying that the worst thing about the ordeal was being handcuffed, which significantly reduced his chance to do a jumping jack.
* 1956 (age 42): set a world record of 1,033 push-ups in 23 minutes on You Asked For It,[22] a television program hosted by Art Baker.
* 1957 (age 43): swam the Golden Gate channel while towing a 2,500-pound (1,100 kg; 180 st) cabin cruiser. The swift ocean currents turned this one-mile (1.6 km) swim into a swimming distance of 6.5 miles (10.5 km).
* 1958 (age 44): maneuvered a paddleboard nonstop from Farallon Islands to the San Francisco shore. The 30-mile (48 km) trip took 9.5 hours.
* 1959 (age 45): did 1,000 star jumps and 1,000 chin-ups in 1 hour, 22 minutes and The Jack LaLanne Show went nationwide.
* 1974 (age 60): For the second time, he swam from Alcatraz Island to Fisherman’s Wharf. Again, he was handcuffed, but this time he was also shackled and towed a 1,000-pound (450 kg; 71 st) boat.
* 1975 (age 61): Repeating his performance of 21 years earlier, he again swam the entire length of the Golden Gate Bridge, underwater and handcuffed, but this time he was shackled and towed a 1,000-pound (450 kg; 71 st) boat.
* 1976 (age 62): To commemorate the “Spirit of ’76″, United States Bicentennial, he swam one mile (1.6 km) in Long Beach Harbor. He was handcuffed and shackled, and he towed 13 boats (representing the 13 original colonies) containing 76 people.[23]
* 1979 (age 65): towed 65 boats in Lake Ashinoko, near Tokyo, Japan. He was handcuffed and shackled, and the boats were filled with 6,500 pounds (2,900 kg; 460 st) of Louisiana Pacific wood pulp.[24]
* 1980 (age 66): towed 10 boats in North Miami, Florida. The boats carried 77 people, and he towed them for over one mile (1.6 km) in less than one hour.
* 1984 (age 70): handcuffed, shackled, and fighting strong winds and currents, towed 70 rowboats, one with several guests, from the Queen’s Way Bridge in the Long Beach Harbor to the Queen Mary, 1 mile.[25]

Watch this vid and get off your butt

Feeling a little tired to go to the gym? Feeling like you had a rough day, and just don’t feel like going for your every other day run? Or, are you just feeling plain lazy, like most, and need some inspiration? Watch the following video.

Carbohydrate loading

When most think of carbohydrate loading, the classic method of low carb consumption coupled with bouts high intensity exercise followed by a high intake of carbs a few days before competition comes to mind. The result, according to the theory, is super-compensation of glycogen storage in the muscle cells and liver. The theory holds that one must deplete their glycogen stores prior to consuming or loading carbs in order to facilitate super-compensation.

The average person’s total amount of muscle glycogen is approximately 300 – 500g depending on their gender, size, and level of training. The liver stores between 60 and 120g. A linear relationship exists between the depletion of muscle glycogen and fatigue during exercise. With less glycogen to produce glucose, hypoglycemia begins to affect the athlete. Typically, a person with a blood glucose level below 70 will start to feel light headed, lethargy, and have cold clammy skin. A highly trained athlete, on the other hand, can train at much lower levels than 70 for long periods of time.

As with all training topics there is conflicting evidence on what is the best method to achieve super-compensation of glycogen stores. studies are reporting similar results to the classic method, which so many athletes swear by, without carb depletion, while tapering their training (1,2,3). One thing is for sure, carbohydrate levels play a key role in training and competition success.

In order to figure out what works best for you, try different methods and keep a detailed journal. We all process carbs the same way, but we metabolize them at different rates. Keep mind, studies on training are by no means the end all be all. There are too many variables in most training studies to be reliable. Athletes, especially endurance athletes are over-trained. It is my opinion that athletes who are achieving super-compensation without depletion coupled with bouts of intense training, are doing so because they are over-trained and under-fed before starting the process.

The body is constantly working to stay in homeostasis. Physiology shows us glycogen storage is finite; the body needs a reason to super-compensate. Achieving a glycogen depleted state over a period of time produces an insulin sensitive environment, which is essential for more than normal levels of glycogen storage.

1. Eur J Appl Physiol 2002;87:290-295
2. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 2003;285:E1304-E1311
3. Int J Sports Med 1981;2:114-118

Training Frequency

How often can, or more importantly, should I train per week? Optimum recovery time between training sessions is essential if one is going to continue to make progress. Training frequency, which is determined by ones recovery ability, is often a forgotten part of most training protocols. It never ceases to amaze me how many people train for months and years experiencing little or no success, and never consider the fact they may be doing too much.

Don’t be so concerned with how many training sessions you can handle per week. Be more concerned about the optimal amount. More is not always better. In fact, when somebody comes to me for advice because they’ve stopped making progress, usually I either reduce the workout volume or add days off. There is no reason in going to the gym if you’re not going to make progress. In every workout, if you have fully recovered, and you come ready to work, you should make progress, which is gauged by your strength.

How can anyone get stronger every workout? One can only bench press so much. Eventually, you have to hit a plateau. This is true. If one stays with the same exercises, the same number of reps and the same number of sets, progress may eventually stop. If the proper changes aren’t made at the right time, eventually the body adapts to the stimulus. And this is where the “art” of program design comes to play.

It’s easy to follow a workout. The real challenge is assuring the stimulus is sufficient and more importantly, you recovery from workout to workout so that progress continues over a long period of time. Sometimes this entails having the discipline to deviate from something that is not working. If you’re not making progrss, and you’re training with all out intensity, try taking an extra day off.

Want Lance Armstrong’s endurance? Just sleep in a bubble…

A correspondent from Men’s Journal recently experimented with a high-altitude simulator to gage its effectiveness. For those unaware, a high-altitude simulator is a tent that engulfs your bed to help increase red blood cell production while you sleep. Why the hell would you want to do that? Well, red blood cells fuel endurance for when we run, swim, bike or do any other fast-paced exercise. Athletes like cyclist Lance Armstrong use it while training for a race because it helps simulate the altitude at which your red blood cells need to increase. Coupled with regular training, it’s like gaining all the benefits from weekly cardio…but while you sleep.

The product is intriguing, because according to the Men’s Journal correspondent, the tent works:

After three weeks, I felt as if I had a third lung. I blazed through a three-mile time trial 5 percent faster than I ever had, and I finished top-15 in my category in a hill climb. During the race I quickly caught my breath on the flat spots, then felt ready to pound away again. The tent worked — but I still had to train hard.

Two questions:

1) Is it worth $1,000-plus and sleeping in a bubble nightly to improve endurance?

For millionaire athletes, a thousand dollars for one of these puppies seems like a bargain, but what about for the common triathlon athlete or endurance enthusiast? Before dismissing the theory, how much do you spend yearly on food, supplements and training equipment to enhance your physique?

2) Are athletes like Armstrong cheating?

We as a society hate the fact that Barry Bonds could break a home run record he unfairly achieved, but are we being hypocritical? If these tents do work, did Armstrong have an unfair advantage? Steroids help testosterone growth, which therefore aids strength and muscle development through exercise. These tents are designed to increase red blood cell production, which therefore aids in endurance through exercise. The connection between these simulators and steroids might be on a different level, but it does raise an interesting debate.

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