Fitness pioneer Jack LaLanne dies at 96

FRESNO, California

Jack LaLanne and the late Harold Zinkin of Fresno posed for a famous human pyramid picture at muscle beach in the forties in Santa Monica.

It was the birthplace of America's fitness movement. On Monday fans left flowers at Jack LaLanne's star on Hollywood Boulevard.

The Jack LaLanne show introduced us to a healthier lifestyle. Jack practiced what he preached and so did the late Harold Zinkin.

The old picture taken at muscle beach showed Harold bending over backwards at the base of the pyramid. LaLanne was the second person from the top.

Zinkin's son Dewayne Sr. said the two pioneers shared the same fitness beliefs. Zinkin said, "Jack was probably considered one of my dad's best friends and my dad was considered one of Jack's best and closest friends."

In 1999, LaLanne and Zinkin talked to Action News about the early years at muscle beach. LaLanne explained, "It became a part of your life. We all had something in common. We all believed in the same thing."

Zinkin invented the universal weight machine. He said, "There used to be an argument about should you work out. Now it's how should you work out."

The fitness industry is now a multi-billion dollar business. Individual workouts often change but the regimens all started with Jack LaLanne. We caught up with Mark Mayor as he worked out at Ft. Washington fitness club. Mayor said of LaLanne, "He was a pioneer in weight-lifting, physical fitness. He kind of started the whole idea of fitness clubs like this back in the day."

Club assistant manager Kelly Gibson said LaLanne, "kind of put everything out there as far as diet and fitness and promoted it."

Former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said of LaLanne's passing, "Jack was literally an apostle for fitness, and his gospel inspired billions all over the world to live healthier lives."

Jack LaLanne was the most energetic person you'd ever meet. Even in his nineties he would work out for two hours a day.

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