Social media is positively lousy with wannabe fitness and health gurus or “gymfluencers” as they’re perhaps better known and pretty much all of their advice is bullshit because fitness is pretty much a solved issue at this point. Something that can be attributed to, in part, Jack LaLanne, a man so buff even products bearing his name could kick the fuck out of you.
Widely considered the progenitor of fitness culture as we know it today, LaLanne is credited with popularising and in some cases outright inventing things that are firmly established aspects of fitness today. Examples of the latter include the health club and the idea of working out with weights, which is something only professional bodybuilders really did prior to LaLanne. Like, seriously, before LaLanne athletes would just endlessly practice their given sport rather than work out the individual muscles that would allow them to bean their opponents with balls thrown at half the speed of sound.
Examples of things he popularised on the other hand include pretty much everything people today would consider to be the basics of fitness like good nutrition, cardio and the fucking Jumping Jack which is, we shit you not, named after LaLanne due to how often he’d do it.
If any of this sounds ridiculous due to how obvious it sounds, spare a thought for LaLanne who would have totally agreed with you. In fact, LaLanne’s advice, as basic as it might sound today, was considered controversial amongst doctors who went out of their way to criticise him in open letters and on the news. Telling people that the things LaLanne espoused the benefits of – which remember included things like eating right, exercising and maybe fucking your spouse more than once a month – were “dangerous“. For perspective, this is what LaLanne looked like at the time.
Perhaps the most amusing thing about the panic LaLanne’s advice caused is that some doctors genuinely tried to argue that if you listened to him you’d get hemorrhoids. You know, the things usually caused by doing the opposite of exercise.
Thankfully, with time, LaLanne’s advice became less controversial and he himself would eventually become a beloved public figure and popular celebrity which he of course capitalised on, slapping his name on a bunch of shit to sell to people not as buff as him. We weren’t kidding when we say every roided out dude bro on Instagram is just following in LaLanne’s oily footsteps.
Anyway, one of the products LaLanne was reportedly most proud to lend his name, likeness and reputation to was the Juice Tiger. A juicer boasting in excess of a single horsepower, which doesn’t sound like a lot until you consider how hard it’d be to cram a horse inside a blender.
A fan and pioneer of the power of juice (a favourite saying of LaLanne’s by the way) the Juice Tiger was sold on the aforementioned amount of horses it contained, with much of the marketing centering around how it could juice almost anything through sheer, raw horsepower. And for the most part, the ads were pretty accurate with customer feedback from the time suggesting that there was pretty much nothing one could find in their kitchen that the Juice Tiger couldn’t turn to pulp. The issue was though that the list of things the Juice Tiger could rip to shreds included the Juice Tiger itself, with the device reportedly being so powerful it would sometimes just up and detonate.
To be clear, this wasn’t a one off caused by someone trying to blend a brick or something, every Juice Tiger sold packed enough of a punch to literally tear itself apart and turn its base components into shards of pulp-covered shrapnel. Thankfully only a handful of injuries were reported and the Juice Tiger was recalled as soon as the manufacturer was made aware of them. But just for a second can we appreciate that the only juicer Jack LaLanne felt comfortable lending his name and likeness to was one so powerful it could fucking kill you.
Which, more than anything, just feels fitting.