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Tom’s Fitness & Paris Martial Arts


Posted: January 12, 2008

It was a crazy ride the last 12 weeks with the guys and gals from Biggest Loser “2” and we’re about to do it all again! Biggest Loser “3” started last Friday night and we were all a little shocked with the response.

After opening it up to anyone regardless of gym membership, and putting a limit on it, we had 50 people register and show up to the first weigh-in and workout. By the end of the weekend, we had 2 more for a total of 52 contestants this time! Over the next couple days it grew to 57 total!

Several were participants a year ago in Biggest Loser “1” and wanted to get back on track. Another 5 or 6 were with us in Biggest Loser “2”, including Steve (38 lbs) and Shirley (30 lbs). The rest were an extremely diverse group of men and women ranging in age from 19 to 67.

We took a few minutes and talked about Steve and Shirley and their accomplishments last time, and then they shared how they did it. It says a lot that both of them are doing it again. They see it now and know it’s just a matter of time for them.

It was also a great example for the rest of them because they saw that Steve and Shirley were ordinary people just like them. What made them extraordinary is their commitment to getting it done—to making the changes.

We also talked about how to be successful. Here are the things I think you need to do, if you want to get your health and body back (it works for other things, too).

(1) You’ve got to recognize your need to change.
(2) You’ve got to make a decision to do something about it.
(3) You’ve got to find someone who’s doing it or helping people do it, and copy their success—don’t try to reinvent the wheel.
(4) You’ve got to actually start—too many people just think or talk about it. These 52 people have definitely started.
(5) You’ve got to set a goal. Have a definite end in mind, based on what you think is reasonable. Steve and Shirley lost over 30 lbs in 12 weeks. That’s a lot. The average was around 15-20 lbs. Maybe that’s more reasonable.
(6) You’ve got to be deliberate about it, doing certain things—on purpose—every day that will help you get to your goal.
(7) Finally, you’ve got to be consistent with it. Too many people start and stop when life intrudes. Last time, 16 out of 21 really stuck with it to the end. How many of these 52 will stick? Those are the ones who’ll get what they want.

Then we started the fitness tests and let them get familiar with the machines. If you want to follow along with the Losers and work out on your own, give yourself these tests:

• Walk or jog a mile as quickly as possible (4 laps around the track), and record your time.
• Do as many pushups as you can in 1 minute. (Your chest must touch the floor and you must go all the way up and all the way down. Ladies may do them with their knees on the floor.)
• Do as many setups as you can in 1 minute. (Your knees should be bent, and someone can hold your feet down. With your arms crossed in front of you, don’t count them unless your elbows touch your knees.)

The tests are really a wakeup call. Quite a few of the participants came up to me and told me they knew they were out of shape, but didn’t realize it was that bad.

What they’re going to find out, is that once they get back to an active lifestyle, it’s not uncommon for them to take 3 minutes off their 1 mile time, and double the number of pushups and setups in just 12 weeks.

Finally, everyone left for the week with their assignments. The primary goals this week are to get them moving again and to start making daily exercise a habit.

To that end, they’ll be doing two exercise sessions a day: an easy one in the morning to get their metabolism going and get a jump on calories, and another more significant workout later in the day.

M-W-F: Strength circuit on the machines (30-45 min)
T-TH-SA: Cardio exercise on a treadmill, bike, elliptical, etc… (30-45 min).
M-T-W-TH-F-SA: Walk a minimum of 1 mile each morning (20 min).
SU: Rest Day

In the past, I used to try to ease people into the exercise, and to a point I still do—especially with the older population, or with someone who is coming back from a serious illness or injury.

On the other hand, I’ve also learned that many people will quit no matter what I do, and at some point, they just need to jump in. Look, if you have a big goal, you have to take big action.

That’s the only way to really get what you want. Sure it’s going to hurt a little bit afterward. Yes, you will be sore, but you can do things about that, like stretch, and drink lots of water, and getting up and moving.

The good news is that it will never be that bad again. Your body is fearfully and wonderfully made—it will adapt and get stronger, faster than you can even imagine.

Next week, we’ll introduce a daily calorie journal, and get them thinking about the things they’re eating. Until then, I’m hoping that you will get out there and start doing something too!