Saturday, January 25, 2014


It’s not unusual for people to pick up 5-10 lbs over the holidays. But this can happen several times over the course of a few years, until one day, you realize you’re 40 or 50 lbs overweight. Left unchecked, you can get to the point where now you’re 80 to 100 lbs in the hole.

Now your body is forced to carry all that extra load, which makes everything harder, and can lead to knee and back trouble. Your heart has to work harder too, and you become at risk for other problems like high blood pressure, diabetes, and even heart disease.

But not everyone lets it go that far. Some people catch it halfway there, and just need to lose 40 or 50 lbs. Others catch it earlier and just want to lose 15 or 20 lbs. For some, it isn’t even about the weight. They’re just sick and tired of feeling sick and tired. So after a few weeks off, and a week delay due to the big winter storm, Biggest Loser “19” started a week ago.

The first step was weighing in, which isn’t a simple undertaking with 32 people. We got their weight and body fat, which tells us how much of them is fat, and how much is lean muscle and bone. We also got their water percentage, which tells us if they’re drinking enough water.

We also recorded their Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), which tells us the minimum calories they need each day, and also their visceral (belly) fat, which helps define their risk for heart disease and other problems. They also got a homework assignment to take body measurements and pictures so they can track inches lost and other changes over the 12 weeks.

The group took a battery of physical tests, including a minute each of pushups, sit-ups, body squats, burpees, and mountain climbers. Even though it was only five total minutes of exercise, many thought it felt like a “workout” and were pretty sore over the next couple of days. They’ll be amazed at how much easier it is when we throw that test at them again in 12 weeks.

They also had some other tests to do on their own, including a 1 mile walk/run for time, and a minute on the battle rope, a minute of kettle bell swings, and a minute of medicine ball smack downs. There were just too many people to do these all at the same time.

For the first week, the goal was to get moving, twice a day if possible. They did some cardio like walking or riding the bike. Then later in the day, they went to the gym for a more vigorous workout with both the cardio and weight machines.

In times past, I’d tell everyone what to do all week, and then hope for the best. Now, with most everyone on Facebook, I can give them workouts everyday, along with other things that are good to know.

The other main goal was for them to learn how much they were eating, by starting a daily calorie log. Right now, it’s important for them to track their calories so they know if they’re eating too much or too little.

Surprisingly, 9 out of 10 women don’t eat enough (though they usually think they do). Not surprisingly, 9 out of 10 men are overeaters. Tracking it with a daily calorie log on their phone or computer (or even old fashioned paper) will show us the truth, and help them see where they are.

Our Week One Biggest Loser was Shawn Bowers who lost an astounding 12.1 lbs and 3.6 percent of his body weight. Second place went to Rhonda Arthur, who lost 6.8 lbs and 3.2%. Brooke Bishop was third, losing 7.6 lbs and 3.1%, and Sarah Mitchell placed fourth with 4.2 lbs and 2.8%. Chris Redmon finished in fifth, losing an amazing 8.8 lbs and 2.6%.

For more information, you can reach me via email at, or through Facebook at www.facebook/tomdolanfitness!

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