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Tom’s Fitness & Paris Martial Arts

BIGGEST LOSER “4” — WEEK 8

Posted: June 15, 2008

It’s been eight weeks and it’s time for another update on everyone’s progress. We started with 68 people and 36 people made the weigh-in last Friday.

As usual, the contestants have divided themselves into three groups. The first group is made up of people who have quit for one reason or another. They’re not around anymore.

The second group is made up of people that are still involved, but I don’t see them much. Quite a few of them have been on vacation this summer. Some make a Friday workout and weigh-in, and then miss another. Some have been sick. At least one had knee surgery.

Finally, we have a core group of people left who are really pushing hard. I see them in the gym all the time, doing more and more. Around 20 to 25 of them make the regular Friday night workouts to learn how to turn it up.

This time, after the weigh-in and announcements, I spent about 10 minutes explaining the new exercises. In the first four weeks, they did Level I exercises on the machines. In weeks 5 to 8, they did Level II exercises on the free weights.

If you’ll remember, free weights cause you to use more stabilizer muscles and engage your core more—burning more calories and giving you a better workout.

This week, they’ll be starting on Level III. Instead of simple one-movement exercises that primarily focus on a single muscle group, this time, they’ll be doing compound movements that combine different exercises.

The Clean-Jerk and Press is a good example. You bend down and pick up the bar, jerk it up to shoulder level, move yourself slightly so you’re underneath the bar, and then press it overhead.

Another example is the Walking, Lunge, Curl & Press. Holding 2 dumbbells just light enough for you to be able to shoulder press them, take a walking step forward (lunge). While maintaining that position, curl both dumbbells up to your shoulders, and then turn your hands and press the dumbbells up over head. Lower the weights, take another long lunging step and repeat.

These exercises are demanding because you’re using so many different muscle groups all at the same time. They have a huge influence on your metabolism and are awesome calorie burners. They also engage your core the whole time.

I gave them four weeks of workouts to finish out the 12 weeks. Each workout is different, causing your body to respond more dramatically. In case you’d like to try them on for size, here’s their Level III workout for Week Nine:

Start with a 5-10 minute Cardio Warmup.
Do each primary exercise 10-12 reps (guys) or 12-15 reps (gals) in a circuit 4 times!
Finish with a single burnout exercise* with maximum reps!

Monday
Clean Jerk & Press
Standing EZ Bar Curl
Pilates Crunches
*Single Arm Cable Curl

Wednesday
Walking Lunge, Curl & Press
Ab Routine #1-4: (Crunches, Legs Up, Crossing, Leg Lifts)
*Dumbbell Lateral Raises

Friday
Box Step Ups with Curls
Single Arm Dumbbell Press on Ball
Hanging Knee Raises
*Tricep Overhead Press

While half the people tried out the exercises, I took the other half of the group into the cardio room and showed them how to do high intensity interval training (HIIT).

Basically, HIIT is a way to pack 40-45 minutes worth of work into 20-24 minutes. It doesn’t matter what equipment you use. They used the treadmills, ellipticals, and exercise bikes, rotating on each after 7-8 minutes.

What you do is take a perceived exertion scale of 1-10, where 1-4 would be about like lying on the couch. Level 5 and 6 is pretty easy and you could do it indefinitely. Level 7 is where we started—not too hard, but you can definitely feel it. That was their 2 minute warmup—at what felt like a “7.”

Then they cranked it up to what felt like an “8” on their perceived exertion scale. This meant they were jogging on the treadmill, or walking up a very steep grade. On the bikes and ellipticals, they cranked up the levels until it was pretty hard, but they could still do it.

After a minute of working at what felt like an “8”, they backed it down to a 6 or 7 to recover for a minute. Then, they took it back up to what felt like an “8” for another minute, and so on.

After 8 minutes, they switched to a different piece of cardio equipment so they could see how it felt while doing other things.

When they’d done several intervals at an “8”, they did one at what felt like a “9.” A nine is very difficult. You can do it for a while, but only for a little while (a “10” would be too difficult to continue). They were all watching the clock, cause it was killer—but they did it!

Finally, after about 20-22 minutes, they did one final interval at a “9”, but for two minutes! This one was brutal. I could really hear them breathing hard, grunting and groaning, with focused intensity—exactly what it takes to get what you want. One of them told me “I thought I was about ready to die, at the end of those two minutes.”

They stayed on for a couple minutes, and backed it down around what felt like a “5” to cool down a little bit. One other important note: make sure you have your water bottle with you, and every time you are on a resting interval, take a sip or two of water. By the time you’ve finished your workout, you should have finished the bottle. This will keep you hydrated.

Well there’s their workout strategy for the next four weeks to finish out the contest: HIIT training on cardio days, and Level III workouts (compound exercises) in the weight room. Of course they’ve got to keep watching what they eat.

The winner this week was Theresa Finley, who lost 1.4% of her body weight and 3.0 lbs. Theresa won a $20 Kroger gift card from Dimond Brothers Insurance for her hard work.

Remember, for most people, losing a pound a week is pretty predictable. Two pounds a week is doable if you’re walking a mile in the morning and then getting your real workout in later in the day. Anything over two pounds a week is outstanding. Here’s the breakdown after Week 8:

1. Josh Rigdon 14.3 % 38.8 lbs
2. Tracy Rush 11.4 % 27.2 lbs
3. Rodney Rodrick 11.1 % 27.2 lbs
4. Judy Rush 10.3 % 19.6 lbs
5. Julie Reed 10.1 % 17.3 lbs
6. Kelly Reed 10.0 % 19.8 lbs
7. Darren German 8.3 % 25.0 lbs
8. Mike Elledge 8.1 % 24.4 lbs
9. Steve Jones 7.0 % 17.8 lbs
10. Shawn Bowers 7.0% 21.4 lbs
11. Kellie Gates 6.9 % 15.4 lbs
12. Jeannie Kaufman 6.8 % 11.0 lbs
13. Janet Tyler 5.7 % 10.0 lbs
14. John Kaufman 5.5 % 11.6 lbs
15. Kelli Stidham 5.2 % 14.0 lbs
16. Alta Cary 5.1 % 12.3 lbs
17. Karen Kerrick 4.3 % 6.6 lbs
18. Lynn Anderson 4.2 % 8.2 lbs
19. Lisa Eskew 4.2 % 7.6 lbs
20. Julie Wieland 3.9 % 7.6 lbs
21. Pam Kelly 3.6 % 9.6 lbs
22. Laura Whitaker 3.5 % 10.2 lbs
23. Samantha Wombles 3.4 % 10.0 lbs
24. Denise Cravens 3.4 % 5.4 lbs
25. Sheri Hackett 3.3 % 7.4 lbs
26. Theresa Finley 3.0 % 6.6 lbs
27. Gary Lane 2.9 % 8.0 lbs
28. Tina Cooper 2.8 % 5.0 lbs
29. Jasmine Camp 2.8 % 6.0 lbs
30. Rosa Wolfe 2.7 % 6.2 lbs
31. Bridgett Trover 2.2 % 4.0 lbs
32. Mandy Neal 2.1 % 4.8 lbs
33. Shirley Fiscus 1.2 % 2.4 lbs
34. Penny Spinner 1.1 % 1.8 lbs
35. Loretta Morgan 0.1 % 1.4 lbs
36. Kathy Rhoads 0.1 % 0.8 lbs