Saturday, March 29, 2008


Well with one week to go for this group, we’ve seen some pretty amazing results. It seemed like most everyone has been able to step it up in their workouts, and that’s going to go a long way to helping them get what they want.

Last week, Chris asked me if lifting weights would interfere in his weight loss, which has been outstanding. I told him that it wouldn’t. In fact, it would help, because more muscle means a faster metabolism, and that makes you a better fat burner all the time. It also helps you burn more calories during your workout.

Think about it. If you get stronger, you can push harder. If you can push harder, you can burn more calories. That’s what I call the “cycle of success.” At first, when you’re trying to lose weight, you’re really fighting your own body.

It’s like pushing a car that won’t start. It’s really hard at first because you have to overcome inertial. Once you get it rolling, though, it’s easier to keep it moving. Same thing with your body. Lose a little weight, put on some muscle, get stronger, and you’ll be able to lose more weight later. It’ll also be a lot easier to keep it off.

Well, Chris proved the concept to be true, because this week he lost 7.4 lbs, and I’d seen him and his wife hitting the free weights. He also said that he never quit moving—another important concept—while working out.

This is another key concept. If you are trying to become a body builder, or are lifting heavy, for maximum power, then you should take breaks in between sets. What I’ve found for most people, though, is that if they’ll keep moving, they’ll burn more calories, and they get better weight loss results.

We also use that concept in our Level 3 and 4 training for people wanting to take it to the next level. We raise the intensity so you never stop moving. You get more for less. Less time, but more calories burned. Sounds pretty good to me.

Ironically, even with that great 7.4 lb loss, Chris didn’t win this week—a problem that’s been plaguing him this whole time. While he’s lost the most weight by far (-54.8 lbs in 12 weeks), others have been pulling off a slightly greater percentage of weight loss.

This week it was Joe Stidham again, posting an incredible -3.21% of body weight, and a weight loss of 6.2 lbs. This is pretty hard for Joe, because he’s lost so much weight, he’s little now!

He definitely turned it up, though, running longer distances. His goal is to run a 5 K (3.1 mi) run in a couple weeks, and then to possibly run a half marathon (13.1 mi) with me in May. Joe won another $20 cash prize from Dimond Brothers Insurance for being the Biggest Loser for week 11.

Right now, he’s on track to win it all (-19.690%), followed by Bill Lewis (-17.489%), and Chris Redmon (-16.789%). Anything can happen though, and we’ve seen it before. Have a bad week (gain), and let someone else have a great week, and it can turn pretty quickly. It will be pretty interesting as we come down to the wire.

And as Biggest Loser 3 is coming to a close, we’re in the final registration process for Biggest Loser 4, which starts Friday, April 11th. We’ve got about 25 registered so far, and have room for about 15 more. If you’re interested, you better get signed up, because this time I’m capping it at 40.

Same rules as before: $25 entry fee, and you can be a member anywhere, but you’ll need to be working out somewhere. Twice a day workouts. You know the drill. This will be the last one I do for awhile. These guys are wearing me out! Whew. Good thing I workout.

Next week, the final results from Biggest Loser 3. Who’s it going to be? How much weight did they lose overall? Stay tuned!

Sunday, March 23, 2008


I stirred up the pot this week for the Friday night workout. After everyone weighed in, I told them we were going outside for a run. Since this group started in January, we hadn’t been able to get outside due to the weather. This was our chance to get outside and enjoy the fresh air and for me to make a couple points.

Two actually left before we started. I never heard why. Someone said it might have had something to do with walking/running outside.

Anyway, we walked down Wood St. for a couple blocks and then I told them to jog down to the stop sign at 5 points, over to Court St., and then come back up that really nice hill to the center.
They were to do it at their own pace. If they had to walk, that was fine, but I wanted them to try to keep jogging. Half the group had already been doing some running so they took off. For the other half, this was quite a departure from their routine, and that was exactly what I wanted.

Jogging involves your entire core—much more than walking—and it burns way more calories. Recent research has even shown that jogging won’t hurt your knees any more than any other exercise, unless you’ve already had some knee problems, so most people can do it.

It’s the ultimate in interval training, too. After walking a few minutes to warmup, pick up the pace and jog a minute, then walk two, before jogging another minute, walking two more, and so on.

As you get in better shape, start jogging two minutes, walking two, jogging three minutes, walking one, or whatever. Soon, you’ll be able to jog an entire mile, or two or three, and controlling your weight will get a lot easier.

Our bodies are designed to propel us forward, jogging, efficiently. We’ve just quit doing it. What do kids do, instinctively? Run. Somewhere along the way, most of us have left that behind, and we’ve gotten fatter as a result.

Give it a try. Start slowly and work your way into it. It will get easier each time. The guys and gals that found that first one tough will see a quick improvement, if they’ll just get out there and do it again.

If it’s nice next week, we’ll do it again, only farther. Hopefully, it won’t be the next time they get out there to practice.

This week our winner was Joe Stidham who regained the overall lead. He said he worked really hard this week and it showed, with a percentage weight loss of 2.92% and -5.8 lbs. He won $20 as this week’s prize from Dimond Brothers Insurance.

With two weeks left, it’s a pretty tight race. Astoundingly, we have two people at over 40 pounds lost, and another one almost there. Another two are over 30 pounds, and quite a few have lost around 15 lbs.

After the run, we went back in the weight room and I showed them a bunch of new exercises that take simple movements and combine them into compound movements: Walking Lunge, Curl, Press; Split DB Cleans; Power Cleans; Thrusters; Floor Wipers; Clean, Jerk & Press; and Tractor Tire Flips. These new movements will get them even better results because they’ll be using more muscles at the same time. This means they’ll be burning more calories, helping them stay on track to their goal.

As always, the key is turning it up a notch, and these compound movements will do the trick. Anyone can do them—it just takes a little help getting started—and just like running, you start out easy and work your way up. See you next week!

Saturday, March 15, 2008


We just started our last month with this group. So far the results have been the best ever. While we’ve lost over half of the original 57 that started, the ones who are left seem to be doing really well.

Many of the remaining contestants have asked me about doing another group, so I guess we’ll do one more (Biggest Loser 4) starting Friday, April 11th. The 57 we started with was a little much to handle, so I’m going to limit this group to the 1st 40 that come in and sign up as soon as possible.

We’ll have the same deal. You can work out anywhere: at the Y, Curves, Tom’s, or even at home. $25.00 entry fee and a $500 prize for the Biggest Loser based on greatest percentage of weight loss. This will be the last one we do until next fall, so if you’re interested, you better get in and sign up!

During the Friday night workout, we talked about interval training in the weight room and divided up into three groups. Group One started on the exercise ball with the DB Chest Press with dumbbells. While they were doing this, Group Two performed “Burpees” an evil exercise where you squat down, thrust your legs out behind you, and then do a pushup before quickly getting back to your feet and jumping in the air.

At the same time, Group Three performed “Woodchoppers” with a medicine ball, a weighted ball that looks like the basketball but is heavier (8-25 lbs). For this exercise, they bent over with legs shoulder-width apart, holding the ball on the floor between their legs with two hands. They then straighten up their body, lifting the ball over their shoulder to one side, before bending back over and touching the ball to the floor again. Then they straighten up and lift the ball over their shoulder to the other side.

Once they were finished, they each rotated until each group had performed all the exercises. After several sets of each, we switched up the exercises on the ball for Group One to DB Pullovers, DB Squat Thrusters, and DB Curls. We also kept switching up the core exercises for Groups Two & Three with “Mountain Climbers”, a variety of “Planks”, and other Ball Twisting exercises.

In this fashion, they went through their workout with very little breaks for an hour. The goal was to keep them moving in a more intense fashion, without taking any rest time. I call it active rest. While one muscle group is resting, you’re hitting another. This type of workout is tough, but it burns the greatest amount of calories.

Their goal is to start putting those core exercises in between sets of their primary free weight exercises in their workouts during the week. If they do, they’ll keep things moving and burn more calories. This will help them stay on track to their goal.

This week, we recognized two winners: One for the gals, and one for the guys. Both received a $20 cash prize from Dimond Brothers Insurance. Once again Cheryl Redmon took top honors for the women with a percentage weight loss of 1.81% and 3.6 lbs lost. Cheryl has lost 29.2 lbs in nine weeks!

When I asked her how she did it, she said she just kept doing what she’d been doing. Previously, she’d been adding jogging to her cardio workouts, but this week, she wasn’t able to run, having pulled a muscle the previous week. She said she just focused on doing the elliptical instead, with more intensity than before. It goes to show you that sometimes you just have to work around things.

For the guys, and Biggest Loser overall, Bill Lewis took top honors with a percentage weight loss of an incredible 3.05%, which works out to a weight loss of 7.4 lbs. He’s lost 40.2 lbs overall in just nine weeks. He says he stepped it up this week. I guess he did.

He also pulled into 1st place in the contest with a total weight loss of 14.586%, just ahead of Joe Stidham, who has a total percentage weight loss of 14.531% with the Redmon family right on their heels. Folks, this might go down to the wire. Stay tuned!


We’ve just finished 8 of the 12 weeks so it’s time for our monthly summary. We started out with 57 people. There are about 30 left, and 23 made the last weigh-in. Of those 23, all have lost at least a half a pound a week.

Remember, if you can lose a pound a week, that’s great. A half a pound a week still works—it just takes you a little longer to get there. Two pounds a week is fantastic, and anything over that is just amazing.

The other thing to remember is that it’s the long haul that matters. Some of the folks who lost a lot of weight early have slowed down a bit. Some of the others who struggled early on have found their stride, and are doing better now.

Most everyone’s eating pretty well. At this point, it’s going to be about turning it up in the gym, at home, or wherever.

A great example is Janet, who lost 3.0 lbs this week. When I asked her what she did differently, she said she realized she needed to turn it up, so she dusted off some old Richard Simmons tapes. You’ve got to do different things, and that sure was different!

The main thing I’m seeing is that those who lose the most weight are doing two workouts a day (most days). That gives them a calorie burning edge—in the end, it’s just math. Add up enough calories burned and your end gets smaller.

The other thing is that most of the Biggest Losers are running. You don’t have to be like Joe, who’s running several miles a day. It can be as simple as jogging a minute and walking two, then jogging another minute and walking two more, and so on. As you get stronger, jog a little longer and walk a little less.

I still walk when I run. Today I ran 9 miles, but walked a minute at the end of each mile. I couldn’t do those longer distances without that little walk break. It gives me a chance to get a drink, towel off, and mentally gear up for another 9-10 minutes of running. And knowing that break is coming up helps me keep going a little longer when it’s getting hard.

We also had another visit from our resident nutritionist, Camilla Whitkanack, MS RD from Terre Haute Regional. Camilla talked about the differences between good and bad choices when eating out at fast food restaurants.

One thing we learned was to watch out for the high sodium content in many fast foods—even the healthier ones. Each of the main fast food places had a couple choices that were O.K., although they all had a bunch of things to avoid. Check the menus and product facts to be sure you know what you’re getting.
Here’s the monthly summary of where everyone is (of those who weighed in).
Name % Loss Lbs
1. Joe Stidham 14.015 32.6
2. Bill Lewis 11.901 32.8
3. Chris Redmon 11.458 37.4
4. Cheryl Redmon 11.418 25.6
5. Tony Haupt 9.008 23.6
6. Cody Redmon 8.862 29.6
7. Donnie Bartos 8.235 16.7
8. Penny Spinner 8.021 13.9
9. Stacey Reed 7.636 16.8
10. Tiffany Gann 6.868 15.0
11. Janet Tyler 6.559 13.0
12. Robert Sanders 6.470 18.0
13. Jasmine Camp 6.443 15.0
14. Mike Slaven 5.990 16.4
15. Becky Slaven 5.978 9.6
16. Rita Haupt 5.327 8.8
17. Angel Lumpp 4.163 6.5
18. Denise Cravens 3.979 6.2
19. Shirley Fiscus 3.526 7.2
20. Carrie Witmer 3.365 7.0
21. Pam Kelly 2.842 7.9
22. Mary McFatridge 2.475 5.0
23. Dawn Hopper 2.222 4.0

Our weekly winner for week eight was Angel Lumpp, who lost 2.29% of her body weight, and 3.5 lbs. Angel won a Subway gift card from Dimond Brothers Insurance.

Angel had struggled a little bit early on, but she’s been very determined to continue, and very consistent in getting to the gym. I think she’s figured out what works for her, and she’ll continue to see pretty good results from here on out. See you next week!

Sunday, March 02, 2008


Week seven left another group of people who dropped out for one reason or another. Most of them simply just stopped coming and I never heard from them. I think they’re embarrassed and just want to avoid an awkward moment.

But it isn’t me that makes it awkward. I mean, I’m not accusing or confrontational. Actually, I just smile and ask how things are going—normal behavior. But in reality, I’m like a mirror.

When they see me, they’re forced to remember that they quit. At least in that moment, they have to face it. And most people feel bad about that.

I’ve even had people move to the other side of the street, go down the next aisle, or just pretend they don’t see me. It’s a little comical, but it’s also quite sad. I was never against them, and only wish them well.

Once in awhile, folks will go to the other extreme, and when they see me, they’ll start complaining about one thing or another. The best one I’ve heard is that “I’m not sensitive to women’s needs.”

That might be true to some extent, but you’d have to talk to my wife to get the real scoop on that one, and we have had plenty of women do really well. In the end, I think it’s another good example of how we fall victim to self-deception.

It’s in our nature to make excuses. It’s been happening since the very beginning when Adam tried to cover things up. “It was Eve over there who made me eat that apple. I didn’t want to do it…” And they both covered themselves when they felt naked and ashamed.

I’ve done it myself at times. It’s tough facing the truth. And the truth is that sometimes we don’t want to do what it takes to fix things. We’d rather cover things up. We’d rather drape a sheet over that gigantic elephant in the room instead of trying to make it leave.

This program is difficult. It’s tough working out twice a day. But if you want to make the biggest changes in the shortest period of time, that’s what you do.

But it’s O.K. to take it slower. You can still lose a half a pound or even a pound a week. That’s fine by any standards, and certainly fine by me.

The problem is that people want it quicker than that. But it’s tough stuff making it happen that way. Like my long-time martial arts master always tells me, “people want to be champions but they don’t want to train like a champion.”

Myself, I never really cared about being a champion. I never thought I could be one anyway, but figured that I could at least train like a champion. So, that makes me feel like a champion anyway, and that’s always been good enough for me.

Another good friend of mine calls it BS 101. How you talk to yourself and others. Perhaps that’s what I do. I’ve learned that how you talk to yourself has a lot to do with how successful you’ll be—especially with new challenges.

When it doesn’t go your way next time, you might try this. “It’s alright if I fail this time, because I’m going to keep trying. One of these times, I’m going to get it.”

Or, “I didn’t make it this time. I dropped the ball. That’s O.K., because I’m not giving up. I just have to try harder.”

You’ve got to take your head out of the sand or you’ll never even see it coming. If you’re feeling a mass inside your abdomen, ignoring it won’t make it go away. You need to get it checked out by an expert.

Likewise, if you tend to quit things—never finishing what you started, ignoring it won’t get you anywhere. Instead, it will keep you exactly where you are, and that’s no good either, right?

Find someone who won’t let you quit. Or learn how to talk yourself into starting again. Get back on the wagon. Get back with the program. Or try something different—but keep trying.

Don’t worry about being embarrassed. Remember, we’ve all been quitters at something. We’ll understand. Heck, we’ll just be happy to see you again.

This week’s winner was Jane Graham, who lost -2.85% of her body weight and -4.4 lbs. Another good week for her, and she won a $25 gift Casey’s gift certificate from Dimond Brothers Insurance.

She was followed by Tony Haupt in 2nd Place who lost -2.04% of his body weight and 5.0 lbs. Tony picked up the pace this week by adding some running to his cardio work. Great job guys. Next week, we’ll give you the 2nd month totals—I think you’ll be pretty impressed. See you then.