Bodybuilders Through the Ages
Over the past 150 years, bodybuilders have gone from circus sideshows to celebrities, imparting fitness lessons along the way
- By Jesse Rhodes
- Smithsonian.com, July 20, 2009
(Bettmann / Corbis)
LaLanne opened his first health club in 1936 and went on to invent several staples of the modern-day gym, including the leg extension, weight selector and cable/pulley machines. Aside from performing amazing physical feats—such as completing 1,033 pushups in 23 minutes, 50 seconds at age 42 and swimming 1.3 miles from Alcatraz Island to Fisherman’s Wharf, handcuffed and towing a 1,000–pound boat at age 60—LaLanne is also known for his television show, which ran from 1951-1985 and emphasized healthy living through diet and regular exercise. Editor's note: Jack Lalanne died on January 23, 2011.