Charles Atlas earned the immortal title, "The World's Most Perfectly Developed Man." He was chosen by a cross disciplined group of health and medical experts, educators, anthropologists, scientists and doctors who viewed Atlas as the perfect male body and placed his physical measurements on file for posterity.
Charles Atlas has been called the founding father of modern-day body building and fitness. A statue of Hercules in the BrooklynMuseum changed the life of Mr. Atlas and subsequently millions of his devoted students. Mr. Atlas credited the heroic statue he first saw as a boy for inspiring him to attain physical perfection. In 1921 and 1922, Bernarr Macfadden , an authority on fitness, health and nutrition who also published "Physical Culture" magazine, sponsored and promoted a natural bodybuilding competition entitled "The World's Most Perfectly Developed Man?" in Madison Square Garden in New York City. In both years, Charles Atlas won. After the second victory, Mr. McFadden decided to stop promoting the contest because he felt Charles Atlas would always win and there would be no competition.
Charles Atlas has been a perfect role model; a friend to millions and an American Icon and Charles Atlas, Ltd. remains one of the oldest American companies still in operation.
Dr. Paul C. Bragg, ND - 2005 NFHOF Inaugural Inductee
Nicknamed: “Father of the Health Movement in America”
Paul C. Bragg, “Father of the Health Movement in America,” had vision and dedication. This dynamic Crusader for worldwide health and fitness is responsible for more firsts in the history of the Health Movement than any other individual.
Bragg originated, named and opened the first Health Food Store in America.
Bragg was the first to introduce pineapple juice and tomato juice to America.
He introduced Juice Therapy in America by importing the first hand-juicers.
Bragg pioneered Radio Health Programs from Hollywood three times daily in the 20s.
Bragg opened the first health restaurants and the first health spas in America.
Paul was crippled by tuberculosis as a teenager so he developed his own eating, breathing and exercising program to rebuild his body into an ageless, tireless, pain-free citadel of glowing, super health. He excelled in running, swimming, biking, progressive weight training and mountain climbing. He made an early pledge to God, in return for his renewed health, to spend the rest of his life showing others the road to super health. He honored his pledge! Paul Bragg’s health pioneering made a difference worldwide.
Jack LaLanne, the original TV Fitness King says, “Bragg saved my life at age 15 when I attended the Bragg Crusade in Oakland, California.” From the earliest days, Bragg advised the greatest Hollywood Stars and giants of American Business. J C Penney, Del E. Webb, Dr. Scholl and Conrad Hilton are just a few who he inspired to long, successful, healthy, active lives!
Dr. Bragg changed the lives of millions worldwide in all walks of life with the Bragg Health Crusades, The Bragg Health Books, his Radio and TV appearances.
Dr. Kenneth Cooper, MD - 2005 NFHOF Inaugural Inductee
Dr. Cooper is recognized as the leader of the international physical fitness movement and credited with motivating more people to exercise in pursuit of good health than any other person. In 1968, only 100,000 people were jogging in America. That number is now more than 30 million strong. His book Aerobics, published in 1968, introduced a new word and a new concept to America.
Dr. Cooper completed his undergraduate and medical degrees at the University of Oklahoma. He also holds a Master of Public Health degree from the Harvard University School of Public Health. Dr. Cooper joined the military in 1957. During his 13 years of service in the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force, Dr. Cooper served as a flight surgeon and director of the Aerospace Medical Laboratory in San Antonio. He also developed the 12-minute and 1.5-mile fitness tests and the Aerobics Point System, all used today by military organizations, amateur and professional athletic teams, law enforcement agencies, and many public schools and universities all over the world.
In 1970 Dr. Cooper opened the CooperAerobicsCenter in Dallas. Nearly four decades later Dr. Cooper serves as chairman of 10 health companies, a nonprofit research and education institute, and has expanded his vision by adding a second CooperAerobicsCenter at Craig Ranch in McKinney, Texas. Dr. Cooper has authored 19 books, which have been translated into 41 languages and Braille and total more than 30 million copies sold.
From the time of his first book, Dr. Cooper has advocated revolutionizing the field of medicine away from disease treatment to disease prevention through aerobic exercise. The Cooper philosophy, “It is easier to maintain good health through proper exercise, diet, and emotional balance than to regain it once it is lost,” has been proven valid in scientific research.
His recent work focuses on the health and fitness of the next generation—America’s youth—and fighting the childhood obesity problem. In Texas, Dr. Cooper was instrumental in getting physical education back in schools through the passage of a new law that requires enhanced PE activity levels and annual physical fitness testing. He created the Our Kids’ Health initiative to reverse the growing obesity epidemic in his home state and across the country.
Dr. Cooper sets an example for maintaining a healthy lifestyle by exercising at Cooper Aerobics Center on a regular basis, along with his wife Millie and their daughter, Berkley, and son, Tyler, and their families—all “coopering” for health.
Jane Fonda is an American actress, writer, political activist and fitness guru. In 1982, she released her first exercise video, Jane Fonda's Workout, which became the highest-selling video of the time. It would be the first of 22 workout videos released by her over the next 13 years which would collectively sell over 17 million copies.
In the 1980s she helped start the aerobic exercise craze with the publication of the "Jane Fonda's Workout Book." Famous for her fitness, she credited her years of ballet practice in helping her maintain a youthful and healthy figure. She began performing aerobics after an injury forced her to stop ballet.
Her early catch-phrase, "go for the burn," became something of a mantra for the leotard-and-smoothie crowd that snatched up more than 6 million of her videotapes and 2 million of her books worldwide. The unassuming aerobics studio on South Robertson Boulevard is where Fonda inadvertently got her start.
FONDA FITNESS EMPIRE Videos: Jane Fonda's Workout; Jane Fonda's Workout Challenge; Jane Fonda's Pregnancy, Birth and Recovery Workout; Jane Fonda's Prime Time Workout (later changed to Jane Fonda's Easygoing Workout); Jane Fonda's New Workout; Jane Fonda's Low Impact Aerobic Workout andStart Up With Jane Fonda; Jane Fonda's Workout With Weight.
Bob Hoffman probably did more to popularize the use of weights than any other person in the history of the Iron Game. His York Barbell Co., Strength & Health magazine and other publications introduced millions to the benefits of weight training, exercise and sound diet. Through his recruiting and coaching he took the US Weightlifting Team from relative minor leaguers in the early 1930's to legitimate contenders for the World title by the end of the decade and to winning 3 Olympic Team titles after WWII.
His tireless advocacy for weight training helped to destroy the myths about the sport and make weight training an accepted conditioning method for athletes in every sport. His marketing of protein supplements was responsible for creating a huge industry. He proclaimed himself “The Father of American Weightlifting” but it would be hard to imagine anyone who more richly deserved that title.
Hoffman was a decorated World War I veteran and an author of a number of books, including "How to be Strong, Healthy, and Happy" and "I Remember the Last War".
Arthur Allen Jones (November 22, 1926 – August 28, 2007) was the founder of Nautilus, Inc. and MedX, Inc. and the inventor of the Nautilus exercise machines, including the Nautilus pullover, which was first sold in 1970. He was a wild-animal enthusiast, filmmaker and entrepreneur whose fitness machines helped to transform the fitness industry.
Jones's ideas helped move the public's notion of bodybuilding and strength-training exercise away from the hours in the gym using free weights to high intensity machine training. This involves short, single sets with maximum intensity, to maximize muscular growth. Jones's publications included the Nautilus Bulletins, which aimed to dispel contemporary myths of exercise and training. It was the advent of Nautilus machines that made resistance training appealing to the general public, fueling the fitness boom of the 1970s and 80s and resulting in Nautilus gyms in strip malls across America.
The Nautilus machines and the company he formed to sell them made Jones a multimillionaire. He sold Nautilus Inc. in 1986 and sold MedX Corporation in 1996 and then retired. On August 28, 2007, Jones died from natural causes at his home in Ocala, Florida, at age 80.
Jack LaLanne (September 26, 1914 - January 23, 2011) is an American fitness, exercise, and nutritional expert, celebrity, lecturer, and motivational speaker who is widely referred to as "The Godfather of Fitness". Jack gained worldwide recognition for his success as a chiropractor and bodybuilder, and for his incredible and prodigious acts of strength and endurance. Through his career, he has won numerous awards including the Horatio Alger Award from the Association of Distinguished Americans, and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and was an inaugural inductee into The National Fitness Hall of Fame.
Jack was born in San Francisco, CA and admittedly, during his childhood days was addicted to sugar and junk foods. At age 15, young Jack heard Paul Bragg speak on health and nutrition which had such a powerful influence, it motivated Jack to focus on his diet and exercise habits.
In 1936 Jack opened his own health spa in Oakland, CA and dedicated his life to encouraging people to better themselves through exercise and fitness. He designed the world's first leg extension machines, pulley machines using cables, and weight selectors, now a standard in the fitness industry.
Jack believed in daily, vigorous, systematic exercise and proper diet. He once said, “My top priority in life is my workout each day.” He and his wife Elaine would speak all over the world, inspiring people to help themselves to a better life, physically, mentally, and morally. Arnold Schwarzenegger said of LaLanne, “Jack is the foundation of fitness in America and the world. He is a great role model.”
Bernarr Macfadden was the most influential American proponent of Physical Culture in the 1st half of the 20th Century. He founded Macfadden Publications and wrote over 150 books.
Macfadden founded Physical Culture magazine in 1899, and was editor up to the August 1912 issue. Aided by long-time Supervising Editor Fulton Oursler, Macfadden eventually grew a publishing Empire, including Liberty, True Detective, True Story, True Romances, Dream World, Ghost Stories, the once-familiar movie magazine Photoplay and the tabloid newspaper, The New York Graphic.
Macfadden established many "healthatoriums" in the eastern and Midwestern states. These institutions offered educational programs such as "The Physical Culture Training School.” His Macfadden Foundation established two boarding schools for young boys and girls in Westchester County, New York, the MacfaddenSchool in Briarcliff Manor (Scarborough) and the school in Tarrytown.
At the peak of his career, Macfadden owned several hotels and a major building in Dansville, New York. He also opened a restaurant in New York City in 1902 called Physical Culture, which was one of the city's first vegetarian venues. Physical Culture vegetarian restaurants were established in other cities such as Philadelphia and Chicago. By 1911, there were twenty such restaurants.
Arnold Schwarzenegger - 2005 NFHOF Inaugural Inductee
2011 "Fitness Spokesperson of the Century" Recipient
Arnold Schwarzenegger was born in Austria and at 20 became the youngest person to win the Mr. Universe title. He won an unprecedented 12 more world bodybuilding titles. Schwarzenegger earned a college degree from the University of Wisconsin and became a U.S. citizen in 1983.
Former President George H.W. Bush appointed him Chair of the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports in 1990. He also served as Chair of the California Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports under California Governor Pete Wilson.
Arnold has been involved with the Special Olympics for many years and was the official spokesperson for the Special Olympics which were held in Shanghai, China. Arnold believes that quality school opportunities should be made available to children who might not normally be able to access them. In 1995, he founded the Inner City Games Foundation (ICG) which provides cultural, educational and community enrichment programming to youth. ICG is active in 15 cities around the country and serves over 250,000 children in over 400 schools countrywide. He has also been involved with After-School All-Stars, and founded the Los Angeles branch in 2002. ASAS is an after school program provider, educating youth about health, fitness and nutrition.
Judi Sheppard Missett (Founder & CEO, Jazzercise, Inc.) started the fitness revolution that became Jazzercise. Today—more than 45 years later—Jazzercise is one of the world’s leading dance fitness companies. A seriously inspiring, award-winning, find-your-passion-and-live-it CEO, Judi runs Jazzercise, teaches classes, continually evolves the Jazzercise method, travels extensively as a guest presenter, writes as a featured blogger for Huffington Post, manages a 260-person corporate team and oversees more than 8,300+ franchisees teaching 32,000+ classes weekly worldwide.
Together with her Jazzercise instructors, she has helped raise over $28 million for a wide range of charitable organizations. Judi’s honors include Lifetime Achievement Awards from the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, induction into the Enterprising Women Hall of Fame, the President's Award from the Women Presidents' Organization and the Committee of 200's Entrepreneurial Champion Luminary Award.
Vic Tanny - 2005 NFHOF Inductee
Nicknamed: "The King of the Health Clubs"
Born: February 18, 1912 – Died: June 11, 1985
Hometown: Rochester, New York
Back in 1961, The Wisdom Society called Vic Tanny, “America’s Most Famous Physical Educator and Greatest Crusader for Better Health and a more Physically Fit Nation.” They devoted more than 40 pages in their special “Physical Fitness Edition Book” in tribute to Tanny’s 25th Anniversary of Record-Breaking - Outstanding Achievement in Physical Education.
Wisdom wrote, “A man who holds deep reverence of the pioneer spirit that produced the great nation, Vic Tanny is appalled at the slough of indolence, indifference and ease into which the average American has permitted himself to slide. They appear unaware that overindulgence in the good things they have created, combined with lack of physical activity, brings on a poisonous, degenerative process which is attaching the moral fiber of their country.”
His answer is simple, “Exercise in some form is a daily necessity. The underlying principle is simply the proper use of every part of your body. The path of physical well-being takes you towards good health and long life.”
Tanny later opened a professional gym in Rochester. The family moved to California in the mid-1930s, some of them later changing the name to “Ianni” during the anti-Italian sentiment that accompanied World War II. Tanny evolved his professional name from that abbreviated surname.
By 1960 the Santa Monica gym had grown into a nationwide chain of Vic Tanny’s, and the broomsticks and sandbags were replaced by state-of-the-art equipment on which weights could be adjusted in seconds rather than minutes.
He offered to both men and women not just strength programs but also conditioning exercises for those who wanted to rearrange their physiques rather than add inches to their biceps. He added spas to soak out soreness and pools, tennis courts and even ice-skating rinks for those bored with moving metal up and down.
Joe Weider - 2005 NFHOF Inductee
Nickname: “The Master Blaster”
Born: November 29, 1920 - Died: March 23, 2013
Hometown: Montreal, Quebec - Canada
A true pioneer in his efforts to bring strength and fitness to the public’s collective consciousness, Joe Weider continues to use his expertise to help people the world over lead healthier, happier lives. Since 1936, Joe’s message has prompted athletes, coaches and sports scientists the world over to alter forever their approach to training, nutrition and recuperation in accordance with the guidelines established in his training principles.
For years, Joe oversaw a publishing empire that included the “bible” of bodybuilding, Muscle & Fitness, Muscle & Fitness Hers, Flex for the hard-core bodybuilder, Men’s Fitness for the active man, Shape for the active woman, and Fit Pregnancy and Natural Health.
Born in 1920, Joe Weider grew up in a tough neighborhood in Montreal, Canada during the hard times of the Great Depression. When young Joe left public school at age 12 to pull a small wagon 10 hours a day delivering fruit and groceries for a market, it was an act of survival for both him and his family.
Joe’s competitive success and his ongoing physical transformation inspired him to enlighten others. That would be a challenge, because the late 1930’s were indeed a dark age for the iron sport, with gyms deliberately hidden from mainstream society. Weightlifters communicated primarily through correspondence and magazines, which young Joe felt published incomplete and often erroneous information. By 1939, Joe had been working full time for five years. He had traded in his wagon to bus tables and wash dishes at a local restaurant, which had quickly promoted him to sandwich maker and then to short-order cook.
His dream, however, was to publish a magazine committed to sharing accurate, complete training advise with routines with its readers. So, with $7 in his pocket, he began to work on what would become the first issue of Your Physique, to be published in August 1940. Orders poured in, and within 18 months Joe had made a $10,000 profit—a small fortune at a time when a loaf of bread cost 4 cents and a gallon of gas 11 cents. Remembering his own difficulties in tracking down equipment, Joe started the mail-order Weider Barbell Co. in 1942; his magazine now offered weight sets and other equipment as well as some rudimentary vitamin and mineral supplements.
The Grand Opening of the National Fitness Hall of Fame's Museum
and the Inaugural Induction Ceremony - 2005
March 6, 2005 - Sycamore, Illinois
The National Fitness Hall of Fame & Museum was established on December 4th, 2004 for the express purposes of “preserving the history of fitness while recognizing and promoting those responsible for helping to create it.” The idea was conceived by John Figarelli who felt that the fitness industry and educational institutions were not doing enough to recognize the efforts of those who “paved the path” towards “fitness” as we know it today.
The museum opened to the public on March 6th, 2005 in Sycamore, Illinois with a modest Grand Opening Celebration and the Inaugural National Fitness Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony honored the following legendary fitness professionals.The thirty or so individuals in attendance were treated to refreshments and a free tour of the museum and had the opportunity try out some of the antique and modern fitness equipment which is on display.
Class of 2005 - Charles Atlas * Dr. Paul Bragg, ND * Dr. Kenneth Cooper, MD * Jane Fonda * Bob Hoffman * Arthur Jones * Jack LaLanne * Bernarr Macfadden * Judi Sheppard Missett * Arnold Schwarzenegger * Vic Tanny * Joe Weider
(Click to enlarge)
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