Monday, December 20, 2010


This week marks the end of our thirteenth Biggest Loser. While it was certainly the smallest group we’ve worked with for quite some time, it was probably one of the most motivated.

Just about half the participants finished, which was normal. The ones who did, however, all came through quite a bit of adversity along the way. What you do when life intrudes makes all the difference, and I’m proud of them all for finding a way to stick with it.

The overall winner for Biggest Loser “13” was Nicole Shaughnessy, who lost a total of 8.2% of her body weight and 13.8 lbs. But that’s not quite the whole story.

At the start of the twelve weeks, we took measurements of everyone’s Chest, Right Arm, Waist, Hips, and Right Thigh. At the end, we took measurements again. In just twelve weeks, Nicole lost a total of 16.5 inches overall!

And she wasn’t the only one. Shay Jones, our 5th place finisher, lost a total of 17.25 inches overall! This goes to show you that weight loss isn’t the only way to look at things.

Nicole Clodfelter was second overall, losing 7.8% and 17.4 lbs. This brings Nicole up to an amazing total weight loss of 136.5 lbs! She says she’s not done yet, but she’s getting close!

Shawn Bowers was third, losing 6.6% and 20.4 lbs. Karen Brown was fourth, losing 6.1% and 13.6 lbs. Shay was fifth, losing 5.0% and 8.0 lbs. Jennifer Bell placed sixth, losing 4.8% and 9.6 lbs, and Nikki Johnson was seventh, losing 3.0% and 6.6 lbs.

Even though this was the end of the twelve weeks, it shouldn’t be an end at all. Now that they know what to do and how to do it, they should set a new goal and keep on going.

At this point, their results are pretty predictable. As long as they do what they were doing, there is no reason they can’t do it again, and then again, until they reach their ideal weight.

Once again, congratulations to everyone. If you’ve been thinking about getting started, maybe you need to start your own twelve week program. There’s never been a better time. Just think about it: “New Year—New You.” Good luck!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


This week the group did another Level IV workout. For a workout to qualify for Level IV status, it has to have several things going for it.

It should use enough different exercises that taken together will work the entire body: Upper Body—pushing; Upper Body—pulling; Lower Body; and Core. There should be at least one compound movement (uses several different body parts). It also needs to be completed non-stop, without any breaks.

This time the workout consisted of just three exercises: Running, Kettle Bell Swings, and Sit-ups. Running hit the lower body and the Sit-ups hit the core. Interestingly, the Kettle Bell Swings actually hit all three areas: Pushing, Pulling, and Lower Body, as well as the core, since it connects everything together.

Here’s how it worked. They started by jogging a quarter mile. Then they did 25 Kettle Bell Swings followed by 25 Sit-ups. That was round one. The goal was to do six rounds as fast as possible. By the end, they will have completed a mile and a half, 150 Kettle Bell Swings, and 150 Sit-ups.

• Run ¼ mile
• 25 Kettle Bell Swings
• 25 Sit-ups
(Repeat 6x)

Although this workout used only three things, sometimes we’ll have as many as 7 or 8 different exercises. It’s important to move from one exercise to the other without any breaks. Depending on how many exercises and rounds, the workouts will last between 20 and 25 minutes.

By the time you’ve finished your Level IV workout, you’ll have hit your entire body for some serious muscle training. Since it was non-stop, you’ll also have gotten a cardio workout too. Give it a try!

This week’s winner was Nicole Clodfelter (again), who lost 1.1% of her body weight and 2.2 lbs. One week to go!

Monday, December 06, 2010


This week we introduced the group to Level IV workouts. You might recall that the basic machine strength training circuit was Level I. Replacing the movements with dumbbells and exercise balls was Level II. Last week we combined cardio intervals (ran ¼ mile) with body weight exercises (pushups, body squats, sit-ups for Level III.

What makes Level IV workouts unique and difficult is the type of exercises you do, with little or no break between them. For their workout, we used five different exercises:

(1) Wall Ball—this was a new movement for them, holding a soft medicine ball on their shoulder, executing a body squat, and then tossing the ball up overhead against the wall before catching it on the opposite shoulder and then doing another body squat.

(2) Dumbbell Curls—this was a familiar traditional weight lifting exercise, curling a dumbbell in each arm, alternating right then left.

(3) Kettle Bell Swings—another new movement for them, holding a kettle bell by the hand in both hands, swinging it down between their legs, and using their hips, arms and shoulders to swing it back up overhead. Make sure you have a tight grip so you don’t hit yourself in the head!

(4) Bench Jumps—another new movement, standing on one side of a weight bench, gripping it with both hands with most of your weight on your arms, jump from one side to the other, swinging both feet together as one.

(5) Abs Routine #1 to #4
—this was familiar to them from previous workouts. Crunches with knees bent; crunches with legs straight up; crunches to each side; and leg flippers.

Here’s how it worked. Each person performed one exercise for 50 seconds. During a 10 second rest period, they moved to the next station and then did the next exercise for 50 seconds. At the end of five minutes they had rotated through all five exercises and completed one round. They did this four times for a total of four rounds and 20 minutes.

It sounds easy, but because Wall Ball, Kettle Ball swings, and Bench Jumps are compound movements using several different muscle groups at a time, it quickly gets intense. Since they did everything without any breaks—just the 10 seconds to move over and get ready—it became a cardio workout too!

Give it a try sometime, but make sure you’ve eaten something before hand. This type of workout will make you light headed and nauseous if you try to do it on an empty stomach—it’s too tough!

This week’s Biggest Loser was Nicole Shaughnessy, who lost 1.1% of her body weight and 1.8 lbs. Second place went to Nicole Clodfelter, who lost 0.7% of her body weight and 1.5 lbs.