T Nation

The Biggest Loser

Anyone watching this sorry excuse for a reality show?

My wife likes the show, so I watch it with her.

I was just wondering if it pisses anyone off as bad as it does me.

rainjack-I hate that friggin show! It would not surprise me in the least if all those people gained back every ounce and then some. fast gains go very quickly.
shows like this piss me off because they try to get people to believe that you can achieve sustainable fitness goals in short periods of time.
Over the last year I have started to change some of my personal training practices to include more of the big three lifts, along with chins and rows ala defranco’s skinny bastards program.
one of the things that I have found is that with weak people, it may take up to 6 months or a year to teach them how to really do the lifts correctly. I mean correct to the point where they can still push themselves hard and still maintain good instincts (form) while under stress. some people I have to use various pulldowns with for up to 6 months, because if I try one of those poliquin progression programs for chins, they people get broken down and hurt, every friggin time.
you guys really need to understand how untrained and weak the general population is out there, especially in a town like princeton. it literly takes months to build the ab and low back strength and leg flexiblity to allow people to squat without injuring themselves. I am doing my job correctly, it is just that some of these people haven’t worked out in any form in 20 to 30 years! they have no genetics and their gpp is non-existent, even the normal skills you would learn as a child, most of these individuals have never been exposed to.
after stating that it takes months to get people a really solid base, on comes this bullcrap show that says they can achieve every goal in weeks.
kinda pisses me off but I wish these people on these shows all the luck in the world and I hope it sticks

Never seen it. What’s so bad about it?

I don’t think that they need to be neck deep in Body building theory, but geez - the could all pull more weight than the rubber bands they have these guys usung.

Another thing that just pisses me off is they’re only measuring total weight loss. Of course they’re expressing this as a % of what they weighed when they started - but I really don’t have a clue what that number is supposed to represent.
Did they ever do a LBM measurement? Hell no. It’s all about what the scale says.

These folks might as well be on the cabbage diet for all the good the cardio/starvation dieting is doing them.

Why the hatred of the show? What’s wrong with a bunch of fatties losing a shitload of weight and learning how to properly eat in the process?
I do not think that the contestants are starving themselves. It may seem that they never eat due to the way that the show is editted. I have seen episodes where the porkers are learning how to read labels and make intelligent eating choices.
As far as their workouts go, you can’t expect these uncoordinated fatsos to start doing advanced olympic lifts within the 1st couple of months of training. Remember, they are as deconditioned as they come. Any form of physical activity is good for them.
It will be up to them individually after the show is over to continue on with their progress and hopefully seek professional assistance along the way.

I agree with The Z-Man

It’s not the contestants I have a problem with. It’s the lard-ass hostess. It’s the trainers cardio-only approach - which could be an editing thing, but nonetheless suggests that weight loss is at a premium to fat loss. There’s no body fat testing.

I hope only the best for the contestants, but the image the show projects is that resistance training is secondary to cardio - and I think that’s just dead wrong.

Just my opinion.

Hey rainjack I’ve been watching this show from day one. Every competitor in this program has issues whether it be self esteem, medical conditions, or just wanting to live long enough to enjoy a long life with their family. The only two goals every person on this show has is to win the 250 and to lose as much weight as possible. You should keep in mind that these people aren’t bodybuilders and don’t care whether they lose muscle or fat as long as they lose weight. As far as what you use to work out who gives a fuck? it doesn’t matter what you use whether it’s free weights, machines, or BANDS(which I’ve never seen them use) as long as you acheive your goal. They all had their bodyfat measured during the first episode but you’d know that if you actually seen every episode like you said. You should get the facts straight before you talk shit. Not everybody wants to be a meathead like you.

I have watched the show from the beginning, and caught most of them.

They did do a hydrostatic weighing at the beginning, at least, but I have not seen them do one since.

I have been annoyed by the show for a few reasons. But I will agree that at least these people are getting off of their asses and loosing some flab. And while they will not keep up the pace they are now, after many weeks of this, they might just keep up some training because by the time they get out, it might be habit.

But they could actually be teaching not only them how to train, but also teach people some information in the process. (Though with more knowledgeable people then the ones they have on.)

Also I don’t think voting people off is really a good idea in this situation. They should just compete with each other the entire time, and leave the political crap out of it. Also just using weight is crap. The biggest weight loss each week has nothing to do with fat loss, and how do you compare people properly anyway?

Right now there is one person who is on the show that is not still fat. (Not to T-man specs though.) I don’t know if they are changing things, but how exactly can he compete? His weight loss is about to slow to a crawl, while the guy still over 300 has the best potential of large amounts of fat loss.

Also comparing people is always a problem. And when one person looses a lot of weight, and another looses nothing, nobody every tells them it is possible the person who lost no weight may potentially have lost more fat then the “big looser” did. Body comp is not simple weight after all.

Then the idea of comparing men, who can loose fat more steadily, against women who can retain water weight created from the burning of fat for as long as two weeks.

Unfortunately I keep watching, so maybe there is something to that car wreck kind of thing. They obviously looked for the people with the mental problems, like most reality shows.

I’l agree with rainjack, this show pisses me off. Now, it’s not that I don’t understand that these peoples physique and health golas are no doubt different than mine, I do. I also understand that there are different modalities out there to get the same job done. That being said, I think the way this show is presented, and presentation is perception is reality here, is setting the contestents and unknowledgeable viewers up for failure. My biggest issue here is the fact that they use total weight lost instead of bodyfat percentages. They are no doubt losing whatever lean body mass they have. The very big dude no doubt has an incredibly low metabolism with the small amounts of food he’s eating and all the cardio. Just as bad as this ignorance of the idea of bodyfat vs. weight is the general ignorance of the trainers. The female one especially. I remember an epeisode where one of the females on her team was upset about not losing very much and the trainer spewed some idiotic pseudosentences about plateauing. No substantive information whatsoever.

All that being said, I also agree with an early post that anything they do to lose “weight” is going to help these people, and I sincerely wish them the best. I would add that I would rather see them get their GPP under control, then adjust their diet away from trash food and I bet their health and vitality would return and their bodyfat would change at a steady, slow, healthful rate. I guess a show about “mundane” lifestyle changes and realistic goals isn’t all that exciting. Even I would probably skip it.

Okay, that’s all I have, I’m done with this rambling post.

[quote]thrasher wrote:
The only two goals every person on this show has is to win the 250 and to lose as much weight as possible. [/quote]

That right there is the problem I have with the show. They want the money, and they want to lose as much weight as can to get the money. Never mind the fact that they came in weighing 330 @ 50% BF and they now weigh 250 @ 50% bodyfat - by god they lost 80 pounds. This is where the trainers should have enough sense to step in and do something about their diet, or training methods to try and at least maintain the muscle these folks have.

They’re no different than most folks in this area - ignorant. I’m not trying to slam the competitors, at least they’re off their asses and doing SOMETHING. But the trainers - shouldn’t they have a freakin clue as to how to lose weight sensibly?

I guess ‘good’ TV doesn’t always jive with healthy weight loss programs.

[quote]thrasher wrote:
Not everybody wants to be a meathead like you.[/quote]

You have to be a meathead to understand that losing muscle will decrease your metabolism and make it easier to gain all of that fat back later? Your mentality goes right along with what many actually believe, that lifting and building/maintaining muscle is something left to “meatheads” or any other ridiculous name you can think of for people that actually care about strength and the way they look. From what I can gather, if they are judging people by WEIGHT loss, they are giving the wrong impression…period. I can lose 10lbs of fat, gain five pounds of muscle…but lose to the lard ass who lost 7 total pounds of body weight? It would seem as if the meathead is the idiot who can’t see how wrong that is or the damage that may cause long term if that person ever goes any length of time eating like they used to. A problem many “non-serious” gym goers have is thinking that muscle isn’t important. That is what causes the huge rebound effect after they stop dieting. I agree that it would help if more honest facts about body composition were given during the show.

Its actually one of the better reality shows, I think the contestants work hard ( but hey, that’s their job) and are probably doing some pretty healthy things. I think a lot of people will be inspired to get in shape from watching this show. I concur about the bands and the 2.2lb dumbells, but you have to start somewhere.

The show is not a documentary on weight loss. It is a reality show for entertainment purposes. If they made a show where overweight people only lost 1-2 pounds a week, nobody would watch. Anyone with a brain would not take this show to heart when deciding their own path to getting in better shape. These people were extremely overweight(75-200 lbs). As lame as their training may be, any training for them is a positive.

[quote]eastierock wrote:
Anyone with a brain would not take this show to heart when deciding their own path to getting in better shape. [/quote]

I work in a hospital and you would be amazed how many random people (who clearly don’t lift) actually do take some of that to heart and believe exactly what they see on tv. Remember, these same people in the general public fell for the ephedrine scare.

at least its better and less distrubing than THE SWAN! fat people doing typical cardio weight loss with a fat tv hostess is nothing compared to the sheer terror that is THE SWAN! what the fuck does that say about our culture? talk about self esteem problems! (I’m getting chills thinking about the hideous evil of THE SWAN!)

I would like to see BF% on the show instead of just total weight lost. According to the “where are they now” kind of thing that they do before each episode, the people voted off have continued to lose weight. Of course, we’ll never know if that will hold up for years or not. I’ve seen them do some weight lifting, but not really anythig too heavy. Many times I’m wondering WTF they’re doing with 5lb dumbbells! As for lean muscle gain, it’s hard to say. Pretty much the only one you can see muscle on is Gary (the older guy) and I don’t know if he’s gained any or not since you couldn’t see before.
I will say that something is better than nothing. If people see it and decide to go out and do nothing but cardio, it’ll be better than what they’re doing now (i.e. nothing!) I do like the fact that the show tempts them constantly with tasty goodies, I think it’ll make it easier when they get out in the real world. I don’t like the voting off, but hey, reality TV always has someone getting voted/kicked off. And rapid weight loss is much more exciting, even I’d rather see a guy lose 80lbs in two months than like 15lbs.

After watching this show and the Swan (shut the fuck up, you know you watch it too) I think we need to have a show called “The Beast” (or something like that). Take maybe 15 average guys and transform them. No surgery or anything, just CT, Waterbury, Staley and Davies busting your ass with Berardi and Lowery showing you what and when to eat. Cressey and Robertson will correct your posture and keep you safe. Supplements provided by Biotest, of course. Progress would be shown by % of LBM gained, increases on various lifts, improvement on sprint times, things like that. Whoever improves the most wins (ta da!) a brand new body! And Biotest products for life would be nice. Maybe film it over 6 months to a year. I know I’d watch this show, come guys, what do you say?

To-Shin Do

I have to agree with rainjack on this, I have only seen maybe ten minutes of this program so I really dont know all of what they have shown, but my problem with shows like this are that they perpetuate the idea that its all about losing weight quickly and not about cultivating a healthy lifestyle.

I somehow doubt that the contestants are concerned with that aspect, and the producers of the show really dont give a shit as long as people watch the show, besides discipline, commitment, patience and the truth dont draw a crowd like pain, suffering, humiliation, debasement, and empty promises does.

I realize this show is about entertainment and not education and no matter what the contestants actually get out of this, the real tragedy is that a majorety of the people watching this are still being duped into beleiving these bullshit ideas.

While we’re ranting about reality tv shows…what about “The Real Gilliagan’s Island”! Let’s debate the validity of 2 groups of people stranded on an island dressed up as characters of an old tv show. This show clearly doesn’t represent what it is like to be stranded on a deserted island!
Relax people…it’s reality (trash) tv…take it for what it’s worth…Cheap entertainment.

Professor X,
I know people take this to heart. Americans today generally gather all their information from the television set. My point is that the network does not care about how these people lose weight and what they actually look like 6 months after the show has aired. It is all about ratings and money. The show is not meant to be educational, and if people do see it that way, shame on them. Why should people get angry at a television show? I guess all I am saying is ITS JUST A BULLSHIT REALITY SHOW. Look at supplement industry, it’s on the same level of bullshit as this show: HMB, sugar/creatine combos, NO2, the list goes on and on. Bullshit is everywhere. It’s in the school systems, newspapers, televisions and radio. But God gave us a brain and this country, for the most part, gives us free will. It is the individual’s duty to sift through the bullshit and find out the truth.