Posted March 11, 2011
in News, Blog
Welcome to our annual Pro Fitness Program awards edition issue of the PFP Newsletter. Our organization would like to congratulate our 4 winners for an outstanding performance in 2010. Please click on the PDF below to read about our Trainer, Fitness Consultant and Clubs of the Year.
Find out more about our newest PFP Members the DeSoto Athletic Clubs and check out which Trainer has taken an early lead in this year's totals. Read the challenge that has been laid down for this year's competition and comment below and get in on all the action.
Click here to get on our conference call training webinar list as well as future newlsetter updates and PFP events.
Feb 2011 PFP News (.pdf, 708.8 KB)
Posted March 02, 2011
in News, Blog
On January 23rd, 2011 the fitness industry lost one of its greatest icons, Jack LaLanne. I was fortunate enough to be in attendance at the IHRSA conference in San Fransisco in 2003 when Jack was presented with the lifetime achievement award. At the time he was 88 years old and still working out 2 hours a day and following his strict nutritional regiment. Jack often said, "if it's man made don't eat it, and if it tastes good, spit it out."
I grew up watching and learning the majority of my body weight resistance and conditioning circuits from television exercise gurus like Ed Allen and Jack. In fact, LaLanne had the longest running television fitness show in history from 1951-1985. With simple equipment like books and chairs, North America was introduced to training and nutritional tips that not only work today but are back in fashion. I can still remember the excitement when I received my Ed Allen workout course books via mail.
In my family the passion and interest in natural bodybuilding goes back to the 1940's when my father ordered the Charles Atlas course in his home country of Malta. Like Jack, Atlas promoted body weight training and developed the first mass marketed workout manual. I still teach some of these exercise to Trainers when I consult in the clubs and they are blown away by how effective and how unique some of these programs are. When my dad arrived in New York City in December of 1951, he realized a childhood dream of coming to the Americas, the place that he read about in the comics and fitness magazines. Here is a picture of my dad, Reg Russo, in December 1954 with his first set of Weider expanders and sporting a physique that was a product of the body weight training style of the day.
My Dad, Reg Russo 1954
In around 1936, at the age of 21, Jack opened up what is considered the first physical culture emporium (health club) in North America in Oakland California. At the time Doctors recommended that their patients stay away from his clubs and that working out there would promote heart attacks, make them bulky and lead to a loss of sex drive. When you're struggling with sales just imagine being up against those kinds of odds and lack of education. We are so blessed because of pioneers like LaLanne overcoming the ignorance and prejudice and staying the course. Not only was Jack instrumental in inventing several exercise machines but he was one of the first to promote weight training for women and for the elderly and disabled.
I will endeavor to continue to recognize the contributions of the founding fathers of our industry. In 2005 my organization presented a lifetime achievement award to Canada's version of LaLanne, Mack Miya, who opened our country's first club in the late 1940's. Mack was still working, selling memberships and training people when he retired from his facility at the age of 83. I took many individuals to Mack's Gym over the years to hear his amazing stories and to take in a little of the old school ambiance of his hard core heaven on Dundas Street in Toronto. Please take the time to read the PDF article below on this amazing fitness legend and strongman that I wrote for Fitness Business Canada in 2007, two years prior to Mack's passing. With heart felt gratitude I thank Jack, Mack, Charles, my father and all those who came before for making my business and my profession possible.
Mack Miya Article (.pdf, 369.5 KB)