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Tom’s Fitness & Paris Martial Arts


Posted: October 21, 2007

It was another good week for the contestants in this year’s “Biggest Loser 2” here in Paris. They gave it their all, especially in the Friday night “Fun House” workout, including a little jog around the block. Many of them had never run that far before. I checked later—it was exactly 0.2 mi. Next week, we’ll go the longer way around!

When we got back, we stretched, and went right into our boot camp: 75 jumping jacks; pushups, situps, partner squats, crabwalks, and the dreaded “suicides” which I call “running the dots” (twice).

I was extremely proud of them—everyone kept trying, even when they felt like quitting. For most of them, this was more then they ever dreamed they could do, and just wait. What was hard today will be easy in a few weeks!

Before the workout, last week’s biggest loser, Tony Peel, received a $25 Kroger gift certificate from First Baptist Church of Paris. At this time, quite a few people at FBC are thinking about weight loss, led by their pastor, Jon Lobos, who’s lost around 70 pounds. For more information, go to .

We also awarded this week’s biggest loser, Karl Degenhardt, with another $25 Kroger gift certificate from FBC of Paris. Karl posted a 4.8 lb loss, followed closely by Steve Johnson (4.6 lbs), Shirley Fiscus (4.4 lbs), and Roger Hopper (4.2 lbs).

Karl told me he was here was to “get back in shape, be more active, and find the motivation and drive (he) seemed to have lost over the years.”

As I told you before, the focus in the first week was to get everyone moving, and I think we accomplished that goal. The focus this week was to get them thinking about how much they were eating.

When they turned in their calorie logs (if you don’t write it down, you’re just guessing, and guessing makes you fat), it was pretty clear that many of the women, and a few of the guys weren’t eating enough. Anticipating this, we gave everyone a personal assessment, based on their lean body weight, height, and age that told them their minimum, and also a suggested daily calorie goal.

Over the years, we’ve found that 9 out of 10 women don’t hit their minimum, and it was no different this time. If you don’t hit your minimum, your body will slow it’s metabolism down, making it really hard to burn fat.

According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), the most respected governing body for exercise and nutrition, women should never eat less than 1,200 calories, and men should always eat at least 1,800 calories.

Over the next week, everyone will focus on trying to hit their minimum, and I’ll think we’ll see even better results, especially in the women. They’re also going to add some intensity to their strength workouts by doing opposing exercises like the bench press and seated row machines back-to-back. First one then the other, back to back, three times. Then, they’ll switch to the next two machines, and so on.

For those of you trying this on your own, these supersets are a great way to add intensity to your exercise routine. By eliminating the break, you’ll raise the amount of calories burned during the workout. I call this active rest—while one muscle group is recovering, you’re working the other muscle group.

The focus will also turn to the quality of what they eat. Many of the contestants are already eating better after just two weeks, and have said how much more energy they now have. Several who lost weight actually ate more food, but lost weight. More on this next week—stay tuned!