The Biggest Loser!!!

Recently I watched a few episodes of the NBC show the Biggest Loser.  Watching it made me want to lose my lunch, and not in a good way.  I have a few issues with the show.  I understand that these contestants are overweight and need to lose fat as fast as possible and with that come high intensity total body exercises.  But why do we have to constantly watch these trainers completely throw biomechanically correct movements out the window, and in their place movements that make any intelligent coach cringe with pain.  Time after time we see awful technique when it comes to anything that involves bending over, squatting down, lunging, etc.  I recently watched one episode in which a contestant had to stop his workout because of intense low back pain.  Surely your joking!  You have back pain?!?!  I sure can’t see why!  And I guess neither can the trainers on the show.   Surely the fact that you’ve been continuously picking up a 75# barbell with your spine arched like a question mark can’t be it.   After the said contestant walked out the gym he was coerced back in because he was weak minded and he needed to overcome the pain, not only in his back but in his life.  Nope it wasn’t because of his s***ty technique, that any sane coach could see.  The show is extremely lucky that no one’s had to have a lumbar spine fusion yet.  Who knows, maybe they have and haven’t been sued.  They’re trying to create healthy lifestyle habits for these contestants but why aren’t they teaching healthy movement patterns for these individuals as well.  If you want to know more about properly training the back for stability and movement in general, read anything you can by Stuart McGill, especially Ultimate Back Fitness and Performance.   Yes I have several more issues that I want to rant about but those will be for another time.


  1. I completely agree with you. I am all about encouraging people to live a healthy lifestyle through proper diet and exercise. However, this show targets people who are completely uneducated in terms of healthy living. The Biggest Loser is doing these people a disfavor by portraying unrealistic weight loss and unrealistic exercise regimes that are unhealthy, unsafe, and ineffective. *side note* (I watch the show religiously every Tuesday night so Bob Harper if you somehow miraculously stumble across this post…don’t hate me I still want to marry you and Jillian I actually really wish to be your friend).

    I hope to God no one watches this show and goes and tries to mimic the exercises. For one, have fun wasting your time because you’re not even reaping the benefits of the exercise if you’re not doing it with proper form. Not to mention you’ll probably last a couple days before you throw your back out and be forced into an even more sedentary life. Secondly, the show suggests that to successfully lose weight you need to be passed out or throwing up all over gym. ummm hello you are addressing people who have probably never worked out and HATE working out….that’s why they’re fat in the first place. If I was obese and hired a personal trainer to help me lose weight and they threatened to kill me while i was puking all over the place..I would immediately quit, go back home and eat a donut, and give up forever.

    Ok I could go on, but I’ll stop. The Biggest Loser is motivational and inspirational, but it should not be used to educate America on how to live a healthy lifestyle.

    1. Haha! Good rant there Lauren. I totally agree with you. I have a couple other really good posts that tell some interesting stories from cast members. It’ll will totally change your opinion of the show. I do agree that it’s inspirational and if it gets people off the couch then good for them.

  2. Preface: I would like to preface this rant with the statement that any activity is better than sitting down on the couch especially if said sitting involves a TV and if that TV is tuned to the Biggest Loser.

    Being in health care I especially appreciate shows that inspire the general public (which is 67% overweight) to do something to improve their health. I do have a huge problem with the way the material is presented as realistic and healthy when this is the furthest from the truth. Nobody, employed or unemployed, has the money, the time, or medical insurance to support the unsustainable “lifestyle” presented on the show.

    6 hours of workouts mostly consisting of monotone cardio, hamster-like workouts where the contestants are screamed at and criticized (disguised as encouragement and tough love). The self esteem of these contestants is beyond tanked; this makes the most viable solution to scream in their face when they are maintaining a heart rate a sneeze away from a heart attack. Could you sense the sarcasm? I was laying it on pretty thick.

    There is a reason why people over 300 pounds (let alone 450) don’t run marathons. Most of these people have been overweight for many years. A result of prolonged obesity is trashed knees, shredded hips, an overworked and undernourished cardiovascular system, hormone imbalances, and oxidative stress that rivals any nuclear reactor. The old saying goes that the best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. Bob and Jillian are unhinging these peoples’ jaws like a damn anaconda and forcing them to eat the pachyderm head first by having them run a marathon. If endorphins released during exercise are not enough to mask the pain created by exercise this is an evolutionary signal to stop exercising (not to struggle through the pain and say something hinting of failure for the camera).

    When you weigh 350 pounds diet is the issue 100%. Not 80% or 75%; it is 100%. These people burn more calories sitting in 2 southwest airlines seats than the average 180 pound male could physically burn doing hill sprints in a weighted vest. I will agree that exercise creates more of a caloric gap between intake and burn in these folks, but I just have one question. Is it really worth the risk? Why not clean the gluten, processed foods, dairy, artificial sweeteners, and other dumpster-worthy toxic waste they people are consuming in livestock quantities before we force-feed them more of the processed foods because they sponsor the show and take the “fat burners” made by Jillian? If we taught people that the thing under their nose is a mouth and not a vacuum cleaner and to eat quality over quantity, I would venture to guess these people would shred weight like crazy. If they hit a plateau down the road when they have lost 50-100 pounds and have systemic inflammation under control and when their heart isn’t in v-fib every time they think of a treadmill; throw in some long slow distance walking (in good shoes) or no impact water movements to spare their already arthritic joints to get over that hump.

    Moderation is the key to sustainable living, but moderation is far from entertaining. Has anyone checked the Vegas over/under odds on when they actually kill one of these people?

    Venting accomplished,


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