Wednesday, November 21, 2012


This week marked the end of eight weeks—two months down, and one to go. At this point, weight loss often slows down, and the people have to fight hard to get past a plateau. To help them turn it up another notch, I introduced them to what I call Level 4 workouts.

Level 1 consists of doing the basic weight and cardio machines. Level 2 workouts replace the machine circuit with basic free weight movements with dumbbells. Recently, they’ve been doing Level 3 workouts by doing High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) in the cardio room, and Supersets with their free weights.

Level 4 workouts take free weight movements and combine them with new core-training movements and short bouts of cardio, arranged in a circuit that you complete several times.

You do each station for 45-50 seconds, with 10-15 seconds to rest while moving to the next station. The Biggest Losers did 3 rounds for a total of 24 minutes. The regular evening class did a bonus 4th round for a total workout time of 32 minutes. Here’s what they did.

1. Wall Ball (10-20 lb ball) – Keeping your body erect, squat facing a wall with a ball on your shoulder. As you come up, toss the ball overhead on a wall, and then catch it on your other shoulder, repeating the squat. Repeat for 45-50 seconds.

2. Rower (Concept 2) – Get on and row for 45-50 seconds.

3. Battle Ropes (take two ends of a 50’ rope wrapped around something) – shake it up and down, side-to-side, making circles, etc… for 45-50 seconds.

4. Leg Raises (on dip, leg raise, pull-up station) – do as many as you can straight leg, and then with knees bent for 45-50 seconds.

5. Pull-ups (on dip, leg raise, pull-up station) – assisted with your leg if necessary, do as many wide grip pull-ups as you can; change grip to neutral grip, and reverse grip when needed. 45-50 seconds.

6. Kettlebell (KB) Sumo Hi-Pulls – starting with a fairly light KB hanging down in front of you with a dual grip, keeping your back straight, squat down so the KB touches the floor. Then stand up and raise the KB up with both arms until your hands are at eye level, and repeat for 45-50 seconds.

7. Exercise Bike (Schwinn AirDyne) – get on a ride, using both arms and legs with great intensity for 45-50 seconds.

8. Assorted Sit-ups with small Ball (8-10 lb ball) – Round 1: Regular sit-ups while holding ball in front of you with arms extended; Round 2: Bicycle motion with legs while holding ball in front of you with bent arms, moving ball to each side of your body; Round 3: Lay down on your back, with your legs straight, while holding the ball in arms extended overhead. Jack-knife your body up so your straight arms holding the ball touch your toes of your straight legs (good luck with this one). Bonus Round 4: Lay on your back with knees bent, holding the ball between your knees, with your arms extended straight side-to-side for balance. Bring your knees side-to-side so they touch the ground on the L, then R, etc… do each for 45-50 seconds.

This week’s Biggest Loser was Jeremy Whitaker, who lost 2.6% of his body weight and another 6.0 lbs. His 8 week total is 45.9 lbs! Second place went to Ashlee Hiatt, who lost 1.6% and 2.8 lbs. Johna Todd was third, losing a little more than half a pound.

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