Biggest loser back for second year

Got New Year’s resolutions…to lose weight? Sign-Up for the CRC’s Biggest Loser!

With applications due Tuesday, Jan. 17, the CRC’s Biggest Loser is an annual 12-week program held each spring. Open to students, faculty and the Atlanta community, the program offers a polar body age assessment, personal training, coaching, G.I.T FIT Group Membership, and motivational training.

In addition to the items listed, the program is set up to help create a supportive network for contestants to lose weight. Members learn better eating habits and nutritional requirements. In addition, they learn the discipline to consistently set aside time to workout.

At $175 for students and $200 for faculty members, this program is well worth the cost.

Similar to the show, participants are involved in teams; each with a trainer to help contestants lose the most weight. Each semester, there are four to five trainers that support three to six participants in meeting their weight loss goals.

Depending on the team’s goals and the trainer, each team meets with their trainer two-three times a week and are encouraged to participate in an additional two-three G.I.T FIT workouts.  To add to the competition, additional prizes are given for individual and team effort.

However, before participating, candidates must quality for the program though the selection process found on the CRC website (crc.gatech.edu). The selection process includes an application, interview, and other eligibility requirements.

“Possible participants must have a decent amount of weight to lose: a minimum of 20 to 30 pounds. Also, we look for candidates that have the time to commit. We look for commitment and determination,” said Greg Lennartz, a trainer.

As a trainer for four years, Lennartz helped last year’s “Biggest Loser” lose a total of 54 pounds.

Cumulatively, all 20 participants lost a combined weight of 278 pounds.

There is a wide range of reasons to join the program. Some older participants have health reasons for participating while many graduate students don’t have time to work out. They use the Biggest Loser to begin a concrete exercise schedule. For others, the program gives the resources needed to lose weight.

“I respond well to competition and enjoyed the environment to lose weight. We all tried to motivate each other to do well and our team did really well. I think the team helped each other to do better,” said one research faculty member who joined the Biggest Loser program at the CRC.

With the strong network, some members may find difficulty keeping the weight off.

“It’s hard for participants to keep up with the same intensity and schedule on their own which is why we try to keep them working out with us. We know how to push them and it’s sometimes difficult for them to do an appropriate workout on their own which will help them with their goals,” Lennartz said.

Despite this difficulty, G.I.T. FIT Coordinator, Faith Doldo and trainers such as Lennartz follow up with their team to help with weight loss goals.

“We try to follow up over the summer. Trainers follow up with teammates. Sometimes when you have the group support, it’s hard to do it on your own. So we encourage participants to meet up in groups even if it’s not necessarily with the trainer,” Doldo said.

Other than weight loss, Lennartz believes participants achieve confidence and dedication.  “I’ve noticed the confidence changes. My team gains a better sense of discipline. They make sure to set some time aside to workout. They have a better idea of eating habits and nutritional requirements. They feel better about themselves.”

Another participant couldn’t agree more. “I learned that I have quite a competitor in me. And I learned to love running. I’ve ran two 5Ks since then. I gained a lot more self-confidence.”