The Biggest Loser: Plyometrics for Fat Loss!!! Really?

Posted on 15. Oct, 2009 by in Fat loss

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If you have tuned in to the Biggest Loser this season, you have probably witnessed a lot of insanity going on with the contestants and the trainers. And no, I am not talking about the “drama” that goes on outside of the gym.

This past week’s episode focused on a very large, over-weight women being forced to jump onto a plyometric box. It was obvious to anyone with a clue, that she not only could not make the jump, but that she has zero confidence to do so.

Therefore, the question that I asked was “Why the hell would you ask an over-weight, non-trained person…with no confidence to jump on a box anyway?” The casual viewer might think “wow, that must be a great exercise for losing fat!” The answer however is; ‘There is NO good reason for anyone that is obese, untrained and more so, trying to burn fat, to be jumping on a box!’ None!!

First off, this is extremely dangerous to anyone that is untrained, and the danger only goes up when you are over-weight, or obese with no confidence.

Let me back track for a moment….The contestants are on the show to lose the greatest amount of weight, in the shortest period of time. That alone would disqualify these people from doing “jump training.” There are 100s of better exercises for people trying to burn fat fast, than jumping on a box. Its not a big calorie or fat burner.

Second, and probably most important is when you have someone that is obese, and untrained, (untrained – meaning they have limited or no background in doing dynamic exercise, sports and especially plyometrics, like jumping)…jumping on a box, the potential for serious pain and injury is incredible. I won’t bore you with the gory details of what could happen, but just know that even well trained athletes have had injuries related to these types of exercises.

This is only one example of the insanity that goes on during these “training” regiments on that show…other examples are things like ‘Carrying a 400-plus pound person on your back while running,’ and ‘sprinting full-speed on a treadmill, when most of the contestants cannot even walk at a normal speed without hurting themselves!’ I could go on and on….

The important thing is not to be fooled by the “crazy, hyped-up, cutting-edge training modalities” that these “trainers” have the contestants doing each week. Most are not only extremely dangerous, but also very ineffective for true fat loss.

I am still waiting to hear about a serious injury or worse come from that show. In the meantime, if you are a watcher or fan, enjoy the “circus” that the show has achieved and just remember that most of it would never fly in “real life!” I will keep holding my breath waiting, but also hoping that no one is carted off on a gurney anytime soon.

4 Responses to “The Biggest Loser: Plyometrics for Fat Loss!!! Really?”

  1. Rick

    15. Oct, 2009

    How about all the stress fractures and health issues during the last season and very early in this one.

    In this season 2 people had to be taken to the hospital in an ambulance, 1 person has a stress fracture and another person who was recently eliminated had multiple joint injuries.

    I getting ridiculous, What’s next?

  2. billy

    15. Oct, 2009

    Keith,
    GREAT article…as always! I agree with you 100% period!
    So i’ll keep this short….you know what gets me or makes it even more frustrating is that like you said: I am still waiting to hear about a serious injury or worse come from that show….My question is why hasn’t it happened yet? I mean the show has been going on for several years now.
    Very frustrating…because those that believe the “hype” will argue against us!
    Keep up the good work,
    BK

  3. Michael Boyle

    16. Oct, 2009

    BK- they did have a hip fracture last year that both Dos and I noted in our blogs. I guess in some ways we should be relieved. Even some of the worst training and trainers ever seen are having trouble hurting people. Sort a backward view of exercise safety. Maybe the next headline will be “Crappy Training is Actually Safe”.

  4. Frank

    06. Dec, 2010

    I think the’re going for the ‘Rocky’ effect, after all exercising safely and effectively would hardly make for good TV would it?
    It’s no wonder Joe average is totally clueless with regards to appropriate exercise.
    Disregarding the damage done to the contestants, imagine the collateral damage to the viewing public who may actually believe this is the way to exercise for weight loss.

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