Do you feel shows like the Biggest Loser make our job easier or harder?
I feel shows like this have unrealistic results compared to most individuals. This then can make clients expect similar, yet unrealistic results. Still shows like this tend to motivate people and get them interested in losing weight/fat. Do shows like this help or hurt our industry? Your thoughts?
Shows like the Biggest Loser bring what we do to a wider populace and sheds light to people on what they can achieve if they are willing to put in the work and effort. Combine that with a trainer who is passionate about what they are doing, and any goal that they put their mind to can be achieved.
If anything, the show demonstrates that it takes a superhuman effort to lose weight that quickly. And they all have to go home afterwards to their normal environment where they have to prove themselves all over again.
to me, that show has made no difference whatsoever. I have never had anybody come to me expecting even remotely similar results. In fact, it is hardly ever mentioned.
I think it's a shame that some of the trainers on the show are not certified but are making a ton of dough, I think it's a show. Period.
These shows...allow the contestants involved in them to simply take away every other distraction in life...to focus all their energies on losing weight.
As for the ideas we can glean from this show...yes, they may have cool new ideas for training clients...but often times I have seen some of the worst motivation skills ever...by trainers yelling at their clients, screaming at them...that may work for a tv show...however it does not work for society in general...many people want training to be fun...they do not want to be scared and intimated, dreading their next session with a trainer...or they will not come back...they will get discouraged...and they will drop out of a program altogether.
Piggy backing off of Stephen Landrum...the other factor is nutrition...most people do not have a nutritionist preparing a menu for their eating patterns...nor do they have a cook who prepares it in the most healthy way possible either.
People can also view these shows...and start to envision that this is what a personal trainer does...and they see the contestants going through hell...it may actually de-motivate them by the sheer intimidation factor that they view with some of the motivation techniques as trainers on these shows shouting and yelling at the contestants.
Does it make the job harder? Well... It makes it harder to motivate a client. It's harder to get a "biggest loser" client to understand the reality of what has to happen for successful and long-term weight loss in the real world with limited resources and time.
The down side of the show is just that, it's a TV show. This means that although it tries to promote a positive message, it does so through unrealistic means and most people do not understand that the things they do on TBL are sensationalized and meant for entertainment purposes and has very little to do with real life.
So all in all, it's a double edged sword for me. TBL brings people to the gym but leaves them disappointment and discouraged with real trainers who have them losing 1-2lbs a week safely instead of 12 lbs like the see on TV.
The problem these shows bring is that they give people unrealistic expectations of what a trainers job is and what attainable goals are. Its also easy to forget that the 1 hour show can cram in as much as a YEAR of training.
Thats much more time that most people put into the gym. They're also taking into account the persons nutritional needs and meeting the trainer as many as 7 or more times a week.
I remember one episode where a trainer had a client do a "Flight or Flight" workout. First workout was to "set the standard" and get a 450lb man running. He hadnt run in as much as 30 years. That was a lawsuit waiting to happen but the trainer pretty much had ABC on his side.
We dont have the luxury of taking on a client 24/7 a year with the financial backing of a corporation.
Best thing to do is educate who you're working with and hope they take it to heart