Thursday, September 23, 2010


With Biggest Loser “13” starting this Friday, Sept. 24th, it’s always a good idea to kind of run down what it takes to start and finish a 12 week program like that. Obviously, the participants have to be tired of things the way they are, and want to lose a serious amount of weight.

While we have had people participate that only wanted to lose 5-10 lbs, it’s pretty rare. Usually, people want to lose around 20-25 lbs. Often, they want to lose even more than that. It’s not uncommon to have people needing to lose 50 lbs, and several people have had goals of 100 lbs or more.

At the end of the 12 weeks, we always talk about what their original goal was, and compare it to what they actually lost. In the end, only a very few actually achieve their stated goal, but quite a few end up within 5 lbs of the goal. That’s pretty good.

It really comes down to how hard people are willing to work, how dedicated they are to making the changes, and how committed they are to seeing it through. It’s hard work taking weight off, especially if you’re trying to do it quickly.

Most people can comfortably lose 1-2 lbs a week without too much trouble, if they’re doing all the right things: exercising every day, and watching what they eat. To lose more than that requires even more discipline, and for most people, two workouts a day. That’s what we ask participants to shoot for.

The first workout is pretty simple. You just get out and walk a mile every morning. Most people can do this in 20 minutes or less. It gets the metabolism moving and sets you up well for the day. Then later in the afternoon or evening, you do the “real” workout.

In this second workout of the day, we have them alternate between doing cardio one day and weights on the other day. For example, using the weight machines on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays, and hitting the cardio machines on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturdays. Sunday can be a rest day, or a light walk day.

People that add the extra workout tend to lose more weight than those that don’t. Sometimes participants will just do extra in the gym because they can only squeeze in the one workout each day. While that will work, there seems to be a benefit to doing two different activities at each end of the day.

Like I talked about in the last article, the physical workouts start off pretty easy, but increase in intensity each week. The goal is to keep pushing the limits. Our bodies adapt pretty quickly to harder workloads, so it’s important to keep changing it up to keep those pounds coming off.

By the end of the first month, the Biggest Losers will move off the weight machines and start using dumbbells and exercise balls. They’ll feel a difference right away. Machines guide you and provide leverage and stabilization. With dumbbells, you provide all the stabilization yourself.

They’ll notice more accessory muscles kicking in, along with their core muscles. It’s an enormous difference. If they could lift a total of 50 lbs on the chest press machine, that doesn’t mean they could successfully do the same exercise with two 25 lb dumbbells. In fact, I’d probably start them off with 10 or 12 lb dumbbells. It’s that different!

Again, the goal is to keep increasing the demands on the body so it continues to try to adapt. Remember, if you can already do it, your body has no reason to change. So, we want to keep trying things that are difficult. Then your body will work to make it easier.

This has two benefits. First, that difficult work will burn more calories, meaning you’ll lose more weight. To lose a pound of fat you’ll have to burn 3,500 calories. If you want to lose a pound in a week, that means you need to burn 500 extra calories a day. It’s as simple as that. If you want to lose more, you’ve got to do more.

If your goal is to lose two pounds a week, than you’ll have to burn 7,000 calories. That means you’ll have to up your activity level by 1,000 calories a day.

There’s a reason those people on the Biggest Loser television show lose that much weight—they work out 6-8 hours a day! Most of us don’t have that kind of time, or even desire. But we’re not competing for a $250,000 prize either—there’s NO prize.

The second benefit you’ll get if you continue to change it up and try newer difficult things, is that you’ll get stronger. That means that you’ll be able to push harder in your workouts. You’ll build some muscle.

That will increase your metabolism so you can burn more calories just standing around. It will also let you burn more calories during exercise because you’ll simply be able to do more work in the same amount of time.

By the third month, our Biggest Losers will be doing compound exercises and some pretty serious circuit training workouts with the free weights. They’ll also have trained for a 5 K run/walk, and worked to improve their 1 mile time.

By the end of the twelve weeks, they’ll be amazed at how much stronger they are, and how much more stamina they have. Most women will be down a few dress sizes, and their clothing will be quite a bit looser. The guys will typically lose inches around the waist, and put on quite a bit of muscle in their upper body.

That’s the physical side of things. Next week, I’ll tell you a little about what they’re going to be looking at on the food side of things. If you want to participate, you need to get signed up before we start at 6:30 on Friday the 24th.

The cost is $50.00 and don’t forget that this time we’re doing “Friends and Family” so bring a close friend or family member to sign up with you. The goal is that if you start together, you just might stick it out together! You don’t need to be a member, but you should probably have a fitness membership somewhere so you can get all your workouts in. See you then!

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