Skip Nav
Healthy Eating Tips
Do This at Every Meal to Start Losing Weight Immediately
Healthy Living
I Took CBD Oil For 7 Days For Anxiety — Here's What Happened
Healthy Eating Tips
Gaining Weight? Your Healthy Breakfast May Be to Blame

Fitness Pros Complain About NBC's Biggest Loser

Fitness Pros Weigh In on The Biggest Loser

Fall TV is back, and with it comes the return of The Biggest Loser. Now in its eighth season, the weight loss reality show has inspired many viewers to get off the couch and get to the gym.

Although it cannot be denied that the show has brought health and weight loss, or at least the notion of it, into millions of households across America, there are some fitness professionals who disagree with the tactics used. IDEA, an international organization of fitness and wellness professionals, published a long article discussing the fitness regimen used on the ranch. In the article, personal trainers weigh in on the show. Here are two similar complaints, voiced in the article by fitness professionals:

“There seems to be little concern for biomechanics, and many contestants who clearly have been avoiding even the simplest forms of activity for years are now doing explosive, full-body plyometric exercises. There is simply no sound reason for doing this."

"Speed is only appropriate when you’ve mastered the basics of movement. Many of the contestants on that show have no business jumping or doing explosive exercise."

Learn how Bob Harper, Biggest Loser trainer, responds when you


Harper defends the show's workout regimen, explaining that there is a logical progression. But watching contestants while they learn the ropes doesn't make for exciting TV. The heavily edited two-hour show comes from hundreds of hours of footage. Harper also explains, in response to criticism for yelling at the contestants, that he and Jillian might care too much. Most paying clients do want to be motivated, but most likely won't stand for yelling.

While the ultimate message of the show is health and personal accountability, some trainers feel the message of extreme exercise might cause more harm than good.


What do you think? Are you a fan of the show? Will you be watching this season? Do you think the workouts are too over the top?

Photo courtesy of NBC

Join The Conversation
katyharper katyharper 7 years
Can I ask maybe a dumb question about the show? Aside from the long workouts, what are they doing during the rest of their time on the ranch? I mean, obviously they have hundreds of hours of just workout/challenge/weigh in footage to sift through, but during the rest of the time, are they learning about how to eat? Are they trying to do their jobs remotely? That's always interested me about I guess all reality shows. I just wonder what they're doing the other, say, 12 hours of the day.
traciepwns traciepwns 7 years
In response to Anonymous: Last season, Nicole & Damien were sent home the first week but when Nicole came back a few weeks later, she was 2nd to Tara in overall weight loss. And then when she came back for the finale, she was thisclose to winning the 'at home' prize. The guy who actually won the 'at home' prize (lost the most weight and not on the ranch) had been eliminated the second week of the season and was 63 years old. If that's not motivation enough for people to realize that they CAN do it on their own, I don't know what is...
smart-blonde smart-blonde 7 years
I've had to retrain my brain to think of this show as entertainment, not inspiration. I do get some good ideas from the trainers and I like the challenges, but asking people with zero prior training to up and run a mile? Learning to run a mile is hard enough when you're in shape but not used to running. I'm more inclined to agree with IDEA. They're right about the risk of injury.
snapperdoodle snapperdoodle 7 years
I think it's good that they show the contestants doing the really hard part of the workouts, or struggling because it shows that it takes a lot of hard work to achieve the results they do. If they mostly showed them doing the moderate parts, or near the beginning before they're tired, people might get the wrong idea.
Camarogirl67 Camarogirl67 7 years
I love Jillian and could only hope to train with her. The show of course is going to show the more exciting moments of the months they spend on the ranch, and not focus on learning the moves. Of course, it would be nice to see this, as I myself often wonder if I'm doing my plyometric exercises right, eek.
Zulkey Zulkey 7 years
definitely--that's the most compelling part of ruby to me--having her flip on the camera, say "I want to do this thing that I know is bad for me...this is SO hard...ARGH" and then rooting for her to do the right thing. She's way more of a role model, doing it slow and steady.
deanna024 deanna024 7 years
I agree, Zulkey. Unfortunate, but "real life" exercise and weight loss isn't as quickly gratifying as the results are on Biggest Loser. For a more sane approach, I've liked watching the thing about Ruby on WE or O!, I think. She's definitely taking it slow, but it's just as interesting to me.
Zulkey Zulkey 7 years
this is why I can't get into this show--people in real life don't exercise the way the people on the show do so to me it's not very realistic.
sarah430 sarah430 7 years
I read somewhere that they actually spend a lot of their workouts doing slow/moderate walking on the treadmill. The really intense workouts we see on the show are probably pretty minimal.
MsTwirlySkirts MsTwirlySkirts 7 years
I absolutely looov ethis show and what it stands for. I truly believe it is one of the biggest steps toward helping America overcome or at least recognize it's obesity problem. Go Jillian!
runningesq runningesq 7 years
Can you really argue with their results? You can when people get injured. I watch the show for entertainment... I don't watch it and think "wow, I should do what they do." (although I DO have some 6-7 hour training days :P)
darc5204 darc5204 7 years
I don't have any problems with the methods used on show, and I assumed there is a lot of less intense training also happening in the background. I can understand how some people might not realize that, though. Perhaps they should state more explicitly that there are precautions that need to be taken and certain ways to treat your body after strenuous activity.
Modus-Vivendi Modus-Vivendi 7 years
I am very excited to watch tonight! I don't think anyone who watches this show then goes out and thinks, "I should work out for six hours a day." And even if they do, that's their own responsibility.
hausfrau hausfrau 7 years
This is one of the few reality shows that doesn't encourage people to make an ass of themselves. So I'm all for it.
kia kia 7 years
I was hoping there was some biomechanics training because that is one thing I have noticed about the show, that seriously obese people are racing around obstacle courses etc. My big concern is for the biggest loser clubs that form when the show starts and co-workers challenge each other and emulate the 2 hours they see on TV. It takes some training not to hurt yourself. Even college linebackers can hurt themselves when running the 40 during combine time, and they are supposedly trained athletes.
Shannon Purser at Stranger Things Comic-Con Panel 2017
How To Compete in Roller Derby
The Walking Dead Season 8 Trailer Music
Will Sabrina Be on Riverdale?
From Our Partners
Latest Fitness
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds