October 26, 2011 at 7:40 am , by Ladies' Lounge
It was Halloween week on the ranch! There were some treats, but there was also one big trick—all of the contestants would be working as a team to prepare for the weigh-in. If they lost 100 pounds as a group, no one would have to go home that week, so there was plenty of hard work to be done!
The twist meant that the trainers also got to work together and train everyone. I first worked with Jessica, Jennifer and Sunny. We did a lot of core and lower body exercises because I wanted to show them how to keep your heart rate up in unexpected ways. I was really tough on Jennifer because I noticed how dependent she was on Bob, but the contestants have to learn how to push themselves because eventually they’ll have to maintain a healthy lifestyle without our help.
The challenge this week looked like a lot of fun! I was super excited to see that everyone made it out of the maze on time, earning them a 10-pound advantage at the weigh-in. But even with that advantage, losing 90 pounds as a group would still be a huge challenge.
Each trainer got the chance to do their own workout with all of the contestants, and I decided to do a cardio tennis session. I wasn’t worried about teaching them proper technique—it was more about burning a lot of calories. It was really hot on the court that day, but I knew I had to keep all of them moving, no matter what!
Bob, Dolvett, and I got into the Halloween spirit by dressing up as the Three Musketeers for the last chance workout. This week we truly were “all for one and one for all!” I decided to pull Jessica aside for a little girl talk. I needed her to know that as happy as I was that she and Ramon found love on the ranch, I was concerned that the relationship might affect her weight loss journey. I wanted her to know that it’s okay for them to put their individual needs first right now.
As usual, the weigh-in was tense! My heart really went out to Sunny when she gained five pounds because she really did work hard. I was disappointed when Bonnie and Becky each lost one pound, but I wasn’t too surprised since they lost big numbers the week before. When Ramon only lost two pounds, I was worried that his head wasn’t in the right place. I know exactly what he and Jessica are going through and how much of a distraction a relationship can be. Unfortunately, the group was way off of their goal of losing 90 pounds, so they had to have an elimination. Jennifer got sent home, but I can’t wait to see how well she does in the marathon!
October 19, 2011 at 10:35 am , by Sonia Harmon
The week started off with a big twist—one of the contestants would get to go home with their trainer. Even though I knew it would mean so much to Bonnie and Becky to see their families, I didn’t want to have to leave one of them behind. I was relieved when the board chose Sunny, especially after we found out that her weight would be the only one that counted for the black team that week.
During the challenge, I was shocked to hear that Joe drank 8-10 cans of soda every day! Hopefully now that they know how much sugar is in soda, the contestants will think twice about drinking it so often. It’s important for them to understand that nutrition is a huge part of losing and maintaining weight. Earlier in the week, Bonnie complained about being in pain, so when I saw her go down in the challenge I was really scared that she might be seriously injured. It was inspiring to see her fight her way back up and finish the course!
I decided to mix things up and do a workout in the pool to help take some of the pressure off of Bonnie’s knees. The pool is a great place to do high-intensity, low-impact exercises. Becky was really pushing herself, but I was concerned that Bonnie wasn’t focused. I pulled her aside to let her know that it’s okay to let her emotions out, even if it’s anger. Exercise is a great outlet to help you work through any emotion.
At the weigh-in, I wasn’t surprised to hear that Bonnie was upset with me. We weren’t seeing eye-to-eye all week and she felt like I was pushing her past her limits, but I wouldn’t have been doing my job if I let her slack off. I really care about her and I know she’s capable of anything, so I wanted to push her past her comfort zone and help her reach her full potential. And thankfully, with Becky’s eight pound weight loss and Bonnie’s four pound weight loss, our team was safe from elimination. All of our hard work and determination paid off this week—even if it meant Bonnie was upset with me. I can’t wait to see what we accomplish next week!
October 12, 2011 at 10:18 am , by Ladies' Lounge
When I heard that the challenge involved walking through the “elements” I was really nervous for my team. Even though they didn’t win, I was so proud to see them working together to make sure everyone finished the course safely. Our team may not be able to do some things as quickly as the younger contestants, but they certainly don’t lack willpower. They really understand the importance of making the most out of every opportunity on the ranch, and they did their absolute best.
To reward my team for all of their hard work, I decided to get them out of the gym and take them to the beach for a workout with a surprise guest! I brought Marci in from Season 11 to help us work out because I knew she could relate to the struggles my team had. She shared some inspirational words with us, and she participated in every single exercise while motivating everyone else the entire way.
I also had another surprise in store for my team. I brought them to work out on my turf: the tennis court! We went through a cardio tennis workout and it felt great to be able to share the sport that has given me so much and has been such a huge part of my life. I wanted to make sure they knew that I completely understand how difficult it is to push yourself and to stay motivated and focused, but all of the hard work you put in is totally worth it when you start seeing results and begin reaching your personal goals.
This week’s weigh-in was a bit nerve-wracking. Our team put up such great numbers last week, and it can be really hard to put up two great weeks in a row. And based on the history of the show, week four is always a tough weight-loss week for all of the contestants. I really felt for Becky when she only lost two pounds but sometimes that can happen when your body starts to get used to all of the exercise. Bonnie did a great job losing seven pounds for the second week in a row, but unfortunately it still wasn’t enough to keep us above the yellow line. Coach going home was really upsetting; he was such a great leader for our team. But I have no doubt that he is going to go back and work out with the same intensity that he did on the ranch. I know he will show up to the marathon in great shape and ready to compete as hard as he possibly can!
October 5, 2011 at 10:13 am , by Ladies' Lounge
What a week! I hope everyone had as much fun with NFL Week as I did! It was so cool to hear the NFL players say they were fans of the show and have some of the greatest players in the league training with our Biggest Loser family.
With two tickets to the Super Bowl on the line, I knew my team—especially Coach Mike—was going to be extra motivated. After losing the first two weigh-ins, our team came into NFL week very focused and determined.
Having been a professional athlete, I know how important it is to start out as strong as you can so you can build upon that positive momentum. My strategy was to push my team extra hard in the first quarter of the challenge to boost their confidence so they could keep it up. The red and black teams put up higher numbers quarter after quarter, and our team’s bodies were aching. I know that it’s hard to keep going, but I just wanted them to push through the pain so they could realize what their bodies and minds are truly capable of.
There is no doubt in my mind that the blue team gave it their all, so it was frustrating when we came in third place. With three players over 50 years old, these timed challenges can be especially difficult because their bodies may not burn calories as quickly as the younger players. The blue team can burn just as many calories as the red and black teams; it just may take them a little bit longer to do it. Read more
September 28, 2011 at 1:22 pm , by Ladies' Lounge
This week’s episode was intense to say the least. Our team definitely wanted to do well after the loss of Debbie and we needed to work even harder than we did last week. I think we got the right timeslot for our workout. Since my team is older, they have the flexibility to workout during the day, so I think it was a good start for us. We were able to focus on our workouts, get a good night’s sleep, and keep our normal workout routine going.
When I was watching the episode, of course I had to laugh at the noises made during the temptation. It was classic Johnny! And watching Bob with his early morning workouts was also a lot of fun. You can tell from that workout that he is definitely a morning person, so his team was lucky (or maybe not!).
We definitely had some challenges this week. Bonnie was limited in what she could do and didn’t have a big loss in week one, and Johnny didn’t believe he could push himself to the level I knew he could handle. One thing everyone took away from the workouts was to keep pushing and not to give up, and that’s something I really try to impart on all of them. It’s hard work trying to give everyone a great workout in a very limited amount of time, but I’m always up for a challenge. Read more
September 21, 2011 at 9:46 am , by Ladies' Lounge
The 12th season of The Biggest Loser kicked off last night, and we’re excited to announce that new trainer (and tennis pro!) Anna Kournikova will be recapping each episode exclusively for LHJ.com! Check back here every Wednesday for Anna’s take on the new “battle of the ages” season, which breaks up contestants into three groups: under age 30 with new celebrity trainer Dolvett Quince, age 50 and older with Anna, and between ages 30 and 50 with old favorite, Bob Harper. If you haven’t seen the episode yet, spoilers are ahead!
The Biggest Loser premiered last night and I’m so excited that it’s here and that we can finally start seeing the results from everyone’s hard work! For me, there was nothing like when I landed in the military helicopter and stood beside Dolvett and Bob. This was really happening! I’d appeared on an earlier season and wanted to join the show as a full-time trainer—now I’m finally able to share all of the knowledge I’ve acquired over the years as a professional athlete and apply it to the contestants on the show.
As soon as I saw that this year’s teams were divided by age, I knew it was going to be interesting. As the teams started running towards us, I wasn’t surprised to see the winning team head for Bob. He’s a known entity and obviously a fan favorite. Then the youngsters headed to Dolvett and I knew I had to run out to meet my team and encourage them to finish what they started. It also meant a lot on that first day when the other teams joined us in running to the finish line. It showed the power of the show and its contestants.
Once the pleasantries and introductions were over, it was time to get these contestants to the gym and start working with them to change their lives. Obviously I had to adjust my workout plans given the ages and physical ailments of my contestants. It was important to make sure that my team didn’t get any injuries early on in the season, so my strategy was slow and steady. We worked long hours but we didn’t dive into any crazy workouts that could potentially injure them and keep them out of the gym for any length of time. I needed them to burn calories and sweat, period. Read more
May 26, 2011 at 10:09 am , by Sonia Harmon
And the confetti falls again.
When I saw Olivia and Hannah at the live Biggest Loser finale, I think my jaw practically hit the floor! I even saw a picture of them the day before and was still amazed at what they were able to accomplish. I think it’s so important for everyone at home to know that the finale is a stepping-stone into a lifetime of wellness, but it is still an event that contestants specifically train for. I weighed my finale weight of 122 pounds for about 2.2 seconds! I was healthy when I left the Biggest Loser campus five weeks before our finale date, but I made a conscious choice to train for the competition. I gave it my all so that no matter what the results ended up being, I knew I’d given it everything I had.
For those five weeks I was in the gym every day from 7 a.m to 2 a.m., wearing a 40-pound weight vest the majority of the time. My diet was very bland with frequent small portions of proteins and green vegetables, and I only drank water. With all of that, I only lost 13 additional pounds, but that’s because I didn’t have anything left to lose—I was 11% body fat. I finally understood how all those women complaining about having to lose 10-15 pounds must have felt. I couldn’t relate because before that period of my life losing 10-15 pounds was like sand off the dunes. With all that said, this was not a lifestyle change, it was training for the win of my life! I was training for my Olympic gold medal, my Tour de France, my history making moment, my confetti. When the moment was over and the confetti was being swept off the floor, so was the training. Read more