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?
From a training perspective, I don’t think the show makes our jobs more difficult, because we can glean ideas from the trainers there, in both motivation and program design. Also, a lot of the challenges on the show deal with nutrition (like calorie counts in various foods), which can be very informative for us and clients. But like Andrew stated above, it can be difficult for the trainer depending on what type of client you have…one that wants quick, spectacular results, or one that sees the value of hard work over a long period of time. I have often referenced excerpts from the show to my clients to help them see that what applies to the contestants on the show applies to them as well in “real life.”
Definitely! These shows give unrealistic results for the average adult who puts in 8 hour days of work, 5 days a week.
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.
Honestly, I don’t think that any trainer who is regularly active on IDEA Answers couldn’t come up with a better program for these individuals. For me, the issue would be money. How much are you going to pay me? If I’m helping you make arrangements for prepared meals, a small army of staff including a medical doctor and a nutritionist at the very least, not to mention the time that goes into coordinating workouts and making sure that your programs are sound, then… I need compensation that is reflective of those services offered. I think for clients in the top 10% income bracket might be the only ones who could live the lives of biggest loser contestants. As it happens, it usually is the case that we see people with issues like obesity and being unfit are usually in the lower income brackets or at most upper middle class.
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.
Can shows like the Biggest Loser make our job harder, definitely. But, it can do no more damage than those trainers out there who are only doing this for the money. Personally, I think that they do far more harm than the Biggest Loser ever could.
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.
I don’t watch these shows, but i’d say they create unrealistic and unhealthy goals. One of our jobs as trainers, is to help people create realistic and healthy goals, so I think these shows are VERY counter productive to our field, as most overweight people are impatient about dropping the weight and aren’t concerned with how healthy their approach is.