Wednesday, June 24, 2009


We just put Biggest Loser “7” in the books after twelve weeks. We started with 31 participants and ended up with about half the original field.

This time around, the time change and spring season allowed us to get outside for lots of different events, including park-to park runs here in town, a 5K over at Sarah Bush Lincoln, and even a bike rally. That added some nice variety to the workouts.

Even though we always see improvements in walk/run times, pushups and sit-ups, I was really impressed with their performance on the final fitness test. Typically, we’ll see a 2-3 minute improvement in the walk/run.

At the final post-test, several people took 5 minutes off their time, which is fantastic. Pretty much everyone doubled the number of pushups they could do in 12 weeks, and greatly improved their sit-ups too.

Several people told me that they never believed they could do some of the things they were doing by the end of the twelve weeks. For many of them, it’s a new lease on life. And it’s true. When you lose the weight, you feel better all the time. When you get in shape, everything you do gets easier.

Now the key is to set some new short term goals and to keep using their new, stronger bodies. They can do more, so now they’ll be able to get more done in their workouts, burning even more calories. This will help them reach their long term goal.

This week’s winner was Nicole Richardson, who lost 2.0% of her body weight and 3.2 lbs. She won a $20 Walmart gift card from Terry Elston and State Farm Insurance, who provided all the weekly prizes to the winners each time. Thanks, Terry!

So here are the final results for the twelve weeks. Remember, losing a pound a week is good, two pounds a week is great, and three or more pounds is just fantastic. That means I’m looking to see people average around 12.0 lbs. Anything above that is gravy, as far as I’m concerned.

Now I know people like to lose it quicker, but you need to be patient. It takes a while to put it on—so what if it takes you a year to lose everything you want? What’s a year, anyway? It’s going to pass anyway, regardless of what you do.

Our overall winner was Vince Porter, who lost 18.2% of his body weight over the twelve weeks, and a total of 51.4 lbs. Vince received a free one-year membership at the gym for all his hard work. He took 4 ½ minutes off his 1 mile walk/run time.

Vince said his life is different now. He has lots of energy throughout the day, and feels great. He also said that he loves it when he goes to work and puts on his belt, and takes it up three notches from where it used to be.

Second place overall went to Brittany Cline, who lost 14.5% of her body weight and 27.2 lbs. She said her secret was that she just came in and started moving. Pretty sedentary before, now she’s very active and feels a lot better. Brittany took 5 minutes off her 1 mile walk/run time.

Third place overall went to John Crow, who lost 12.7% of his body weight and 36.4 lbs—all on bad knees. He just came in all the time and worked around the injuries, doing everything he could do. He takes a lot of people’s excuses away.

Fourth place went to Stephanie Crampton, who lost losing 12.3% of her body weight and 20.6 lbs. She said that it was easy losing weight after her first child, but not her second. She was surprised at how well she did during the 12 weeks, and also with her final run, taking 5 ½ minutes off her time.

% lbs
1. Vince Porter 18.2 51.4
2. Brittany Cline 14.5 27.2
3. John Crow 12.7 36.4
4. Stephanie Crampton 12.3 20.6
5. Nicole Richardson 11.5 20.8
6. Linda Kerekguarto 11.2 21.9
7. Bessie Rigdon 8.7 12.2
8. Jaymi Warner 8.2 13.8
9. Heather Sutton 6.4 14.8
10. Brian Bradley 5.5 11.6
11. Kara Englum 5.2 8.2
12. Shirley Fiscus 4.7 9.2
13. Tisha Watters 4.7 9.6
14. Pennie Callaway-Duzan 4.4 7.0
15. Margo Yeargon 3.4 5.4
16. John Rigdon 2.7 5.5

Don’t forget to sign-up this week for Biggest Loser “8” which starts next Saturday morning at 10:00am, on June 27th. The cost is $50 and you don’t have to be a member here, but you probably should have a gym membership somewhere so you can get all your workouts in.

It’s your chance to use the rest of your summer to take off some weight and get in shape, just like the last group did. If you need structure in your life and a little help getting there, this can do it, plus you’ll have the whole community rooting for you. See you there!

Saturday, June 20, 2009


We just finished week eleven and once again we’re down to about half the group. We started with 31 people, but just 15 made the weigh-in, with another two or three still involved, but missing. Of the 15-17 that were left, only 8 made the workout, and it was another tough one.

If you want to keep your body changing, you need to keep changing the workouts. By changing it up, your body never knows what to expect and it keeps trying to adapt to the new workload. Experts call it muscle confusion, but I think it’s good for your mind too, as it keeps you from getting bored with the routines.

The goal this time was to give them a Level IV workout with a bunch of new exercises so they’d have some new material to work with. We also squeezed in some High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) by running to the cardio room and jumping on the cardio equipment between rounds.

Here’s how it went, after a quick warm-up. The entire workout took about 55 minutes.

1. Walking Lunge-Curl-Press (15-20 steps)
Run 1 min

2. Single DB Cleans (10x each arm)
DB Curls (10x each arm)
Run 2 min

3. DB Deadlift-Curl-Press (10x)
Run 2 min

4. Pikes on the Ball (10x)
DB Curls (10x each arm)

5. Run 3 min

6. Wall Ball (1 min)
DB Curls (1 min)

7. Run 4 min
8. Passing Ball (on Back) from Hands to Feet (20x)
Rolling Plank on Ball (20x)
Ab Crunches on Ball with one foot up (15x each leg)

9. Run 5 min

This workout wasn’t for beginners, although beginners could do it, if they used lighter weights and didn’t push quite so hard, perhaps even taking small breaks between rounds. You also have to be sure and eat something before working out, or you’ll run out of energy, and maybe even feel sick to your stomach.

Here’s what happens during an intense workout when you don’t have enough fuel in your body. You’ll quickly use up all the free-fatty-acids in the bloodstream, as well as the glycogen that’s present in the muscle for fuel. But the workout is still going on.

Your body is trying to utilize fat for fuel, but that process takes awhile, and can’t quite keep up with the work, so you can’t quite cover all the energy demands. That’s when you start feeling sick. If you’ve eaten something though, you’ll have all the energy you need to keep on going.

When the group first started, they could never imagine doing a workout like that, but after 11 weeks, they were more than ready. In fact, they all made it look pretty easy.

This week’s winner was Nicole Richardson who lost 1.4% of her body weight and 2.4 lbs. Nicole did a great job on the 40 mile bike rally last week, and won a $20 Walmart gift card from Terry Elston and State Farm Insurance.

Second place went to Bessie Rigdon who lost 1.0%, and third place went to Linda Kerekguarto who lost 1.2 lbs. Next week we’ll have the final results for the twelve weeks. Don’t forget to sign up for Biggest Loser “8” which starts on Saturday the 27th at 10:00 am. Sign up ahead of time, so we can jump right into the workouts and get you started.

You don’t need to be a member to participate, but you should probably have a membership somewhere. The cost is $50 and if you stick it out the entire 12 weeks, you’ll definitely get into better shape this summer—and you could lose some of that weight too!

Friday, June 12, 2009


This week, the challenge for the Biggest Losers was to participate in the 2009 C.A.M.A. Teen Bike Rally. Participants were to choose 7, 25, 40, or 70 miles. If the Biggest Losers weren’t able to get a bike, or had a conflict during the rally, they’re to make up at least the 7 or 25 miles on their own.

I know for sure that three of the BL crew tackled the rally. Linda Kerekguarto and Brittany Cline did the 7 mile ride and Nicole Richardson cranked out 40 miles. There might have been a couple others, but I can’t say for sure, since I didn’t see them. There were also three other gals from the center who all did the 40 miler: Susan Arp, Michelle Vaughn, and Michelle Hall. Great job girls!

As for the C.A.M.A. turn-out, it was a record setting 110 riders, up from the previous high of 80 riders two years ago. 17 riders took on the daunting 70 miler, while 25 riders chose the 7 mile fun ride, and 68 riders were split pretty evenly between the 25 and 40 mile ride.

I like supporting the annual C.A.M.A. event because of what they do in the community. C.A.M.A. stands for the Coalition Against Methamphetamine Abuse. As a police officer, I see close up the ruined lives that come from using and/or manufacturing meth. What C.A.M.A. does is to educate teens about the dangers of drug abuse and to give them different alternatives.

The proceeds from the Rally and other C.A.M.A. fundraisers go to C.A.M.A. teen groups in 4 school districts, including Edgar Co. According to Paula LeRoy, with C.A.M.A., this year’s Rally will bring in a record breaking $4,000.00, due to the outstanding support in the community.

But with the Bike Rally, I get a two-fer. We’re helping keep kids off drugs, and getting some great exercise, which is where I get to put my fitness hat on. In this case, helmet. This year, I chose the 40 miler, since I knew I didn’t have enough “stuff” to do the 70. That’s a goal though—maybe next year.

Since I do more running than biking, I only had a month to get ready, but a little training is better than none, and I’ve got a pretty good road bike. The hybrids are very comfortable, with their upright handlebars and “big butt” seats, but the upright position and larger tires cause quite a bit of drag, especially in the wind.

Road bikes with their drop handlebars, and narrower tires give you a much faster ride due to the lighter weight, and lower resistance, especially when riding into the wind. It especially makes a difference when you’re riding 20 miles or more.

This year I was able to get in 8, 13, 26, 13, 26, and 38 mile rides beforehand, usually on the weekends. That way I knew I had the chops to go 40, although my odometer on the bike said I actually covered 41.6 miles. Some of the other riders said they showed over 41 miles too. We want credit for that extra 1.6 miles!

When we all took off, I tried really hard to stay with the three front runners, but they were too good and kept pulling away. So I adjusted my goal to just keeping them in sight. That lasted about 8 miles. Then I was kind of out there by myself, in between the three studs and the rest of the group.

But then, at the 20 mile halfway mark at Mill Creek, I saw one of the three leaving the park as I was going in. That renewed my spirit and stirred the competitive juices so I chose not to stop for a break, and just kept on going.

It was a risk, because my legs were pretty trashed, but it paid off. After about 8 miles I finally saw the guy way up ahead in the distance. It took another 8 miles to catch him but with 3 miles left, I finally did it.

At that point, the rest of me was trashed, but so was he, so we rode and talked the rest of the way, finishing together in 2 hours and 38 minutes. He was a pharmacist from Terre Haute, but recently had been talking with one of our former Biggest Loser winners at the GNC store over there. It’s a small world.

It’s O.K. with me that I’m not in the same league as those first two guys (who actually trained the pharmacist guy). It’s just nice trying something different and trying to do your best. It was also nice catching the pharmacist guy.

This week’s Biggest Loser was one of our riders, Linda Kerekguarto who lost 3.9% of her body weight and a whopping 7.2 lbs. I’m sure the bike riding had something to do with it. Linda will get a $20 Walmart gift card from Terry Elston and State Farm Insurance as soon as I see her.

2nd Place was a tie between Bessie Rigdon and Vince Porter, both losing 1.5% of their body weight. Bessie lost 2.0 lbs, and is down 10 lbs in 10 weeks which is pretty impressive, since she was just a little thing when she started. Vince lost 3.5 lbs and is now down 47.7 lbs.

Don’t forget to get signed up for Biggest Loser “8” which will be starting the week after this one ends. The first day will be Saturday, June 27th, at 9:00 am. The cost is $50 and you don’t need to be a member here, but you should probably be a member of a gym somewhere. See you next week!

Saturday, June 06, 2009


This week the group learned how to do High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) in the cardio room. These workouts are packed with power when it comes to burning calories. Most people can’t go at a higher intensity for a long period of time, but they can do it for a short time.

They jumped on the treadmill, elliptical, or bike and warmed up for a few minutes. While they were doing that, I taught them how to rate the difficulty of the week by using “Perceived Exertion.”

On a scale of 1-10, with 1 being super easy and 10 being impossible to continue, what does the level of exertion feel like? Invented by a doctor named Borg, “Perceived Exertion” is a useful alternative if you don’t have a way of monitoring heart rate. In fact, I think it’s more valuable, because two people could have the same heart rate, but feel completely different about how hard it is.

0 This is like doing nothing.
1 This is almost like doing nothing.
2 This still feels pretty light.
3 This finally feels like light exercise.
4 This feels like moderate exercise—no big deal.
5 This is getting a little harder but still pretty easy.
6 This is getting harder but still pretty doable.
7 This is harder and I’m breathing harder, too.
8 This feels very hard and talking is tough.
9 This is EXTREMELY hard—I can’t talk!
10 This is MAXIMAL—I have to stop!!!

They warmed up at what should have felt a “4-5.” Remember, it has nothing to do with speed or level of resistance—it’s about how you feel on a scale of 1 to 10. Then they increased the speed or resistance to what felt like a “7.” After a minute, they backed off down to a “5 or 6” to rest. Then they did it again.

When you’re doing intervals, it’s important to give yourself some time to warm up. Don’t just jump in at the higher levels of intensity. After it’s over, take a little time to cool down, too.

Then they bumped it up to what felt like an “8” for a minute. After a minute rest, they did another interval at “8” and then a minute at “6.” Finally, they did a couple intervals at what felt like a “9.” That got them huffing and puffing, and by then, everyone was watching the clock.

But that’s the beauty of it. You can’t do it for a long time, but you can do it for a minute. After two intervals at “9,” they rotated to a different type of equipment. If they were on the treadmill, they moved to the bike. If they were on the bike, they moved to the elliptical.

Since they were already warmed up, we started right out with an interval at what felt like a “7.” After resting a minute, they went right to “8” for a couple intervals, and then two intervals at “9.” Then they rotated a final time, doing the same thing: an interval at “7,” a couple at “8,” and then a couple at “9.”

Then I gave them a challenge. The goal was to try to do a “10.” I told them they probably wouldn’t be able to keep going at that speed or resistance for the full minute, but to crank it up faster or harder and give it a try.

You could tell it was amazingly difficult for them, but you know what? Every single person made it for the full minute! I was giving them the times: “45 seconds left, 40, 35 seconds, 30, 25 seconds, 20 seconds left, you’re doing it, don’t quit. 15 seconds. Just 10 seconds, hang on, you’re almost done! 5 seconds, 4, 3, 2, 1, you’re done!”

They all said that hearing the count down helped them decide to keep going. Then I told them that what they really did was a true “9.” What they had done before wasn’t really a “9.” This was a “9.” You can always do a little more than you thought you could do.

The goal is to work in a HIIT workout into your cardio workouts, once a week. I tend to do them on Tuesdays. Once in awhile, we’ll do it twice, but since we’re doing the workouts with the weights in a similar fashion, one HIIT workout a week is just fine.

Next week, their challenge is to do the CAMA Teen Bike Rally “Tour de Park” Edgar to Clark. If they can’t make it there for some reason, they have to make it up in the gym. There’s still time to get registered, and there’s a distance for all skill levels: 7 miles, 25 miles, 40 miles, and 70 (expert).

The winner this week was Jaymi Warner who lost 2.5% of her body weight and 4.0 lbs. She attributed it to really hitting the workouts harder this week. She won a $20 Wal-Mart gift card from our friends at Terry Elston State Farm Insurance.

Second place went to Vince Porter who lost 2.1% of his body weight and 5.2 lbs. He’s up to 44.2 lbs in nine weeks. Third place went to Stephanie Crampton who lost 1.9% of her body weight and 3.0 lbs this week.

With three weeks left, it’s time to start thinking about our next Biggest Loser “8.” Last year we took a break during the summer, but this year I think we’re going to keep it going. We’ll meet on Saturday mornings at 9:00 am, starting on Saturday, June 27th. So come in and get registered now!

The fee is still $50.00 and you don’t have to be a member to participate, although you should probably be a member somewhere, to take advantage of all the equipment and air conditioning, especially during the warmer summer months. Let’s see what we can accomplish together this summer!