FitLit: The Biggest Loser Fitness Program

I’m a huge sucker for the TV show, The Biggest Loser.I know there are arguments against the show—it sets unrealistic weight-loss goals for the average person, it makes a spectacle of overweight Americans, yada yada—but there’s little doubt that most of the contestants do completely change their lives for the better. And I’m a sucker for that every time.
I’m also a sucker for Biggest Loser swag, including books. (Erin is a sucker, too, and will be reviewing the show’s exercise DVD soon, so be on the lookout for that.) Last year, the BL enterprise released The Biggest Loser Fitness Program, and I finally allowed myself to partake in one of my favorite guilty pleasures: diet and fitness literature (other favorite indulgences include watching Sleepless in Seattle on TBS while eating Chunky Monkey ice cream and reading Us Weekly).The book is very accessible to the everyday fit bottomed girl. In eight chapters, it gives any person, at any fitness level (except elite athletes, they’re on a whole other level of crazy, awesome-crazy, but still crazy), a guide to building his or her own regular workout program. The pages are chock-full of interesting quotes and advice from the trainers and former contestants regarding hot topics including the truth about cellulite, functional fitness, proper hydration and fueling up post-workout.
The “meat” of the book focuses on fitness with detailed descriptions of proper form and photos of exercises along with recommendations for making the moves more challenging. Later in the book, those exercises are combined to build circuit-training routines for beginners, intermediate and advanced exercisers (each get three routines, equaling a total of nine routines in the book.)
Overall, the book is well done, but there are definitely high and low points:
Biggest Winners: It’s easy and fun to read, and, if you’re a fan of the show, it gives interesting tidbits about former contestants. It also includes recipes, nutritional information, logs to record your workouts, and its exercise plan is varied enough to prevent plateauing.
Biggest Losers: Although the circuit-training is intense enough that it gets your heart rate up, the book has very little information on cardio. In fact, activities such as walking, running and dancing hardly get a mention. Also, for women working out three times a week, the book recommends 1,050 calories to 1,400 calories a day for weight-loss. I believe I would die on anything less than 1,200 calories. And as my family will tell you, I get cranky if I don’t get my calories.
Another major con is that the book mostly features trainers Jillian Michaels and Kim Lyons. They’re good and all, but I want more of this:

Rodale publishers, take note: More Bob Harper. And more calories. Pretty please? —Jenn

Photo grabbed from http://www.photobucket.com/.

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  1. Every Gym's Nightmare says:

    YES more calories. I think they forget that not everyone is competeing for $250,000. you dont have to drop the weight really fast, which is my main problem with the biggest loser. Studies show, the faster you drop it, the faster its going to come right back on.

    im murderous anywhere under 1600, and im happy with that. my body burns around 1400 calories just to keep me alive. i have to eat above that to keep everyone around me alive.

  2. Jenn says:

    Totally! I’d love to see a study on some of the Biggest Losers from years past. Have they all kept it off? I feel like some of them get so competitive that they lose sight of what the weight-loss is all about: health.

    Although, for $250,000, I might get a bit crazy, too.

  3. every gym's nightmare says:

    yeah im pretty sure for 250 grand i could run on the treadmill for a week staright. but only if i were hooked up to a caffiene IV.

    i did an article on it recently and quite a few of them have put back on a lot of the weight cause they just cant keep up the workout schedule once they get back into the real world, with, you know, responsibilities

  4. Jenn says:

    Makes, sense. I can’t say I’m too surprised. But, I’m sure they’re healthier than they were.

    Send me the link, and I’ll check out the article. I’d love to read it. 🙂

  5. Erica says:

    Hi! I <3 your blog! I will be back to read more!

  6. Mark Salinas says:

    Good points. I have to admit we are regular viewers as well.

  7. Tish says:

    ok i’m actually thinking i’m gonna pick up my first fitness book…it sounds really interesting (sans the calorie stuff…) thanks for being a fitness guru…FBG’s and “Every gym’s nightmare”

  8. MizFit says:


    and less of my nemesis.


    MizFit, who needs to be around 2000 or she is a big ole beeeeatch.