September 9, 2012

Is The Biggest Loser Bad For Personal Training?

Whether you are inspired or repelled by the The Biggest Loser and other weight loss “reality” shows, I can tell you that most in the fitness industry are horrified. Contestants perform high-risk exercises in poor form, they are shouted at and humiliated.  Trainers yell and belittle the clients while showing no regard for progression or form.
The concern of many in the fitness industry is that consumers will believe this to be normal behavior for personal trainers.  There is also the worry that many will believe losing hundreds of pounds is achievable with the “right” trainer.  Remember that the producers of these shows decide exactly what we do and do not see. The shows are edited for dramatic effect, and you can be sure that the mundane and tedious are left in the digital equivalent of a cutting room floor.
Despite the tactics, one cannot argue with the results, in fact they are life changing.  However, while it is never easy to lose weight, results are practically guaranteed when you are removed from your home environment and monitored by nutritionists, personal trainers, psychiatrists and medical personnel.  Were we all to have those resources available (and free) there would be no obesity crisis.  On the positive side, the shows do emphasize personal responsibility, making it harder to blame obesity on McDonald's or soda, but their extreme training methods make them hard for me to watch.  I do not agree that these shows are “ruining personal training”, but we should all remember when watching these “reality” shows, that it is just TV.

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