Cris LaBossiere

Cris LaBossiere
Strength training and mountain biking. My two favorites

Sunday, December 13, 2009

On Reality Show to Lose Weight, Health Can Be Lost in Frenzy -

On Reality Show to Lose Weight, Health Can Be Lost in Frenzy -

Dehydrating to the point of urinating blood. Pushing exercise to the point of collapse and being taken away in an ambulance. Wearing extra layers of cloths to promote weight loss through sweating/ dehydration.

Sound like a healthy exercise routine?

That's exactly what some contestants on the "Biggest Loser" show do, according to this story in the New York Times. Medical and exercise experts not associated with the show are expressing doubt on whether the mega exercise and calorie cutting method used on the show is really the best idea.

When I first saw the show myself there was nothing I saw that correlated with what I have learned through my coaching certification courses in terms of healthy exercise and eating. In fact contestants appear to be trained harder and longer than even the worlds most elite Olympians and world champions.

Amongst savvy coaches and trainers it's known that about 50% of the population can't sustain an exercise routine that has more than 2 hard exercise sessions per week without burning out or developing a repetitive strain injury. For certain no athlete who has a professional team of doctors, trainers, and therapists would do the training that is depicted on the Biggest Loser show.

I'm pretty fit myself, certainly significantly more fit than any Biggest Loser contestant, and there is no possible way I could endure the constant hammering to exhaustion that is portrayed on the show. Don't misread me.. It's not that I don't have the mental drive to push myself to succeed at fitness; I've won my share of races and am sure to win more. What I mean is I know that I would become injured on the Biggest Loser program simply because the human body can't take hard core training every day.

So if a fit well trained athlete like myself scoffs at the Biggest Loser program, and even the worlds best athletes can't tolerate that kind of exertion; how is it that people who are the least fit with no base conditioning are doing this kind of program?

It's insane if you ask me.

Finally some in the medical community are raising concerns as well.

Read the New York Times article and find out about stringent non disclosure agreements that contestants sign that prohibit them from talking to anyone about their experience on the show; but some have spoken out anyway. Read about how although the show has doctors examining the contestants, the contestants sign a waver that says such an examination doesn't mean much.

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