Everything You Need to Know About The Biggest Loser Controversy – Including ‘Extreme Weight Loss’ Trainer Chris Powell’s Opinion
Written on February 12, 2014 at 7:59 pm , by Samantha Shelton
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, I’m sure you’re aware of all the controversy that’s been swirling around The Biggest Loser season 15 finale and its winner, Rachel Frederickson. But if you’re not clued in to all the dirty details, we’ve got you covered. Here’s what’s been happening:
After competing on the show and being monitored closely for seven-and-a-half months, Frederickson went home (unmonitored and without trainers) for the final stretch before the finale, working to get down to her lowest weight and hopefully claim the $250,000 prize and title of the Biggest Loser. She shocked viewers; the audience; trainers Bob Harper, Jillian Michaels and Dolvett Quince; and host Alison Sweeney when she strutted a 0-2 sized figure and clocked in at a startling 105 pounds. At the start of the show, Frederickson weighed in at 260 pounds. With a 5’4″ frame, let’s do the math: this girl shed 155 pounds fast, and she brought her BMI (body mass index) down to 18, which places her in the underweight category – a first in the show’s history.
Now, we know by now that BMI is not the end-all, be-all for telling whether or not a person is healthy. There are many other factors at play, like muscle mass. Had she gone too far? Despite the media storm, NBC stands behind their latest champion, and when People magazine asked Frederickson point blank whether or not she had an eating disorder, she told them, “I am very, very healthy.”
That being said, when you’re training for six hours a day and only eating 1,600 calories per day like this contestant was, the cause for concern seems warranted (however, that does not justify mean, negative comments). After all, it was widely reported that Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps chowed down a staggering 12,000 calories a day when training for the Beijing Olympics, and we all heard about how track-star-turned-bobsledder Lolo Jones consumes 9,000 daily calories to beef up for bobsledding. Even Olympic cyclists take in more than 3,300 calories, on average. Granted, Olympians aren’t trying to drop weight the way Frederickson was, but it’s the closest comparison we get when athletes are logging so many hours of exercise.
But before we all point fingers at the 24-year-old athlete (which she is, no question), let’s face the facts: The Biggest Loser is a competitive reality show, and Frederickson did exactly what she signed on to do: win a weight-loss show and bring home a life-changing amount of money. Whether she stays at the same weight or gains 20 pounds before the end of the week doesn’t matter – and with the amount of challenges she won throughout the season (4 out of 5 once they moved to singles, including the first-ever Loser sprint triathlon), we bet that played a strategic role. After all, we’ve heard time and time again how she’s always been an athlete and Loser helped her find that in herself again. She knew that as long as she trained hard and got down low enough, she was bringing home the goods. Also, let’s not forget that her 105-pound weight isn’t set in stone – the show’s winners generally gain back a good amount of weight post-finale to settle into their natural healthy weight.
Click through to find out what Extreme Weight Loss trainer Chris Powell has to say!
Written on February 11, 2014 at 9:00 am , by Christie Griffin
With so many fitness influencers on the web, it’s been fun to see the uber-popular Tone It Up girls, Katrina Hodgson and Karena Dawn, get the television spotlight for the past few weeks. Last Thursday was the final episode of Bravo’s reality TV series, Toned Up, which has followed the pair as they navigate both professional and personal challenges.
What’s next for the girls and what did they think of the reality TV experience? Find out:
FITNESS: How has your fan base changed since the show premiered?
TIU: It’s incredible how much the Tone It Up community has grown. There are more women than ever getting together all over the globe for meet-ups, workouts and just making new friends. The community welcomes each new member with open arms and we’re so grateful that we can make a positive impact in women’s lives.
FITNESS: What do you hope viewers took away from watching you run your business?
TIU: There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes of Tone It Up; and on Bravo you just catch a glimpse. We just hope that we can inspire other women to follow their dreams and do what their passionate about.
FITNESS: What has been your favorite part in general of this experience?
TIU: The entire experience has been a blast! Since the start of Tone It Up we have been approached for TV, but nothing felt right. Once Bravo came to us, we loved that we were able to show behind the scenes of our lives and how Tone It Up is run without having to quit our ‘day jobs’.
FITNESS: Now that the show is wrapping up, what’s next for you girls?
TIU: This year is huge for Tone It Up! We’re gearing up to film and plan our 4th annual Bikini Series that launches in April. It’s 8 weeks to get ready for summer! We’re expanding our Perfect Fit product line with a multi-vitamin for women, coconut water and more flavors of bars. Our new bikini line is releasing in March, our signature series of sunglasses with Oakley releases in June and we’ll be shooting a another self produced DVD series this summer. We’re also having our first official Tone It Up Retreat in September! We’re really excited about this, it’s a weekend of workouts, beach time, surfing, beach volleyball, music and fun with all our TIU Team! Hopefully we will have Season 2 to capture it all so everyone gets an inside look!
Written on January 27, 2014 at 6:48 pm , by Samantha Shelton
It’s almost game time, guys! You know I’m talking about the Super Bowl – or should I say Puppy Bowl? – and while I love watching men battle it out in tight pants, my beloved Patriots are not in the game, so I’m not nearly as interested as I should be. And let’s be honest, whether we’re big football fans or not, the half-time show is one of the best parts of the game (along with the commercials, obvi). Add on the fact that Bruno Mars will be performing (after securing a big Grammy win for Best Pop Vocal Album, no less) and the Red Hot Chili Peppers are making an appearance, and well, you basically won’t be able to tear my eyes from the TV screen.
So whether you’re planning a big party for the game, or just want to take a trip down memory lane, I recommend plugging into this playlist. We’ve gathered hit songs that were performed during the iconic halftime show in the past – including the always-infamous “Rock Your Body” by J.T. and J.J. – and sprinkled in a few tunes we hope Bruno and the Peppers (New band name? Maybe? OK, no…) grace us with on Sunday.
More from FITNESS:
Written on January 24, 2014 at 1:04 pm , by Lauren Cardarelli
Track & Field World Champion Lolo Jones embraces defeat. In fact, it’s the driving force behind her success so far, she says, and what the athlete will most definitely draw from on her bobsledding road to redemption in the upcoming Games. That’s right: this week the 31-year-old was selected for the 2014 Olympic Bobsled Team, along with fellow track star Lauryn Williams. No wonder Jones’ mantra is, “A failure isn’t a failure if it prepares you for success tomorrow.”
The duo became the ninth and tenth Americans to ever compete in both the Summer and Winter Olympics, which—let’s face it—is pretty darn cool. Fingers crossed that the third time is the charm for Jones when it comes to the podium. The speedy all-star has certainly put in the work, gaining 30 pounds of muscle (thanks to a new routine and proper recovery with Twinlab CleanSeries performance protein products) for her new gig’s dangerous terrain.
“I transitioned to bobsled about a month after track season,” she told us while prepping for team trials. “I’m still training to be a fast and powerful sprinter, but the main difference is, as opposed to running a 100-meter or hurdle race, now I’m running maybe 40 to 50 meters before jumping in a bobsled.”
The shift to colder temps hasn’t had too much of an effect on Jones, though. In fact, she finds it more peaceful to work out during the winter and even embraces trudging through the snow (more than we can say for ourselves). “I feel like I’m pushing my body more than when it’s easy and beautiful out,” she admits. I guess we should bundle up and embrace the Polar Vortex then?
Three to five layers are key to keeping toasty, Jones says, as are wool socks. “They’re waterproof and keep your feet warm!” For slick and slushie days, she relies on Asics GEL-FujiSetsu G-TX sneaks, too. The athlete swears she isn’t superstitious, but she does pride herself in being well-organized—especially before a competition. Her warm gear is neatly laid out before bedtime to avoid adding to any jitters. “The last thing I need to do is wake up race day and look for this or that,” she says. “You’re already nervous enough, the last thing you want is that one missing thing to add extra nerves.”
So what has been her biggest career highlight to date? That’s a tough question, to say the least. “Anytime I put on Team USA and represent tons of people back home, it’s a huge honor,” she says. And we wish her nothing but the best of luck in sporting red, white and blue yet again in the coming weeks. You got this, girlfriend!
More from FITNESS:
- 10 U.S. Olympic Hotties Heating Up Sochi
- Diet Tips from Olympic Nutritionists
- Sochi Sneak Peek: What You Need to Know About the Winter Games’ Locale
Written on January 24, 2014 at 9:32 am , by FITNESS Intern
Written by Alena Hall, editorial intern
There’s no stopping Jillian Michaels in 2014. She’s prepping for the second leg of her Maximize Your Life motivational tour, working on a new project that could get her into the food market and launched her new partnership with Curves, the international fitness franchise focused on women. Last week I had the pleasure (yes, pleasure) of getting my booty kicked when previewing the new workout program with Michaels herself, and I ended up learning a little more about one of our most beloved trainers in the process.
Michaels’ partnership with Curves is the first time she’s been available in a brick-and-mortar gym. We know—crazy, right? From those at-home workout DVDs to episodes of The Biggest Loser, Michaels is coming to you in the gym. Now any woman training in one of the 3,000 Curves locations nationwide can see her on screen daily when sweating through her high-intensity circuit training workout. “It gives me access to thousands and thousands of women where I can literally affect a change in an environment I have yet to be in, which is really exciting,” says Michaels. “It’s everywhere, it’s affordable, there’s a coach there, it’s 30 minutes. It’s got all those factors, which is not an easy thing to do.”
The “trainer save” on the current season of The Biggest Loser was her idea. Quite a few changes have graced the famous weight loss reality show this season, from shortening episode airtime to one hour to removing the “yellow line” from the elimination process. But the “trainer save,” which allows each trainer to save one contestant from elimination, came from Michaels herself, and she shakes her head at how it turned out. “None of us got to use that thing the right way,” she says. “We all used it the first time; none of us had the ability to hold out and say no.” But she is hopeful about its potentially strategic role next season!
She tells her daughter kale helps Katy Perry “roar” so she’ll eat her veggies. The trainer admits that it’s probably not the best parenting method, but when her 3-year-old daughter isn’t cooperating with Michaels’ healthy eating requests, she turns to pop stars’ supposed habits for reinforcement. Since Lukensia loves Katy Perry and insists on listening to “Roar” constantly, she tells her, “She roars better with kale!” Seems like a pretty harmless—and successful—way to get a little girl to eat her greens, if you ask us.
Her weekly podcast is a must-listen for healthy living tips—and hilarious entertainment. If you want to add an extra dose of Michaels to your week without getting your booty kicked, pop in those ear buds and listen to The Jillian Michaels Show podcast. From “snappy fitness segments” to chats with callers as the self-proclaimed “Love Doctor” to tales of her latest parenting adventures, you’ll get to know Michaels on an entirely new level and appreciate her down-to-earth personality. Trust us, you’ll be laughing out loud at her and co-host Janice’s weekly antics.
She thinks every woman should have permission to be selfish. When we asked for a bit of motivational advice for FITNESS readers, she didn’t so much as hesitate to tell us to simply be awesome. “No one ever gives women the permission to just be awesome,” she says. “Be selfish, focus on you, don’t dumb yourself down for anybody else’s benefit, and go after your goals and your dreams. With no shame and no guilt, go out there and conquer the world.” If that doesn’t ignite a spark in you, we don’t know what will.
More from FITNESS:
- Live Big: Jillian Michaels on Exercise, Weight Loss, and The Biggest Loser
- The Secret to Jillian Michaels’ Amazing Arms
- Jillian Michaels’ Top 5 Snack Picks
Written on January 23, 2014 at 9:04 am , by FITNESS Intern
Written by Alena Hall, editorial intern
With the Winter Olympics around the corner, we’re gearing up to cheer on Team USA—and so are some of our fave summer athletes like Aly Raisman! “I was just at the figure skating nationals where they pick the Olympic team, so I’m super excited to watch the girls compete,” says Raisman. “I’m also really looking forward to watching hockey.”
Rather than venturing to Sochi and cheering from the stands (that trip is expensive!), Raisman will be supporting her talented friends from the comfort of her own home, providing the perfect opportunity to keep up her own prep for the next time she’s in the spotlight. Back in September, Raisman resumed her training with two-a-day workouts where she focused on conditioning and floor events practice. “It feels great to be back,” she says. “It’s exhausting but I love it, so it’s definitely worth it.”
While the extensive training may wear her out, Raisman truly missed it during her traveling year off. Spending almost every night in a different hotel, she found it tough to squeeze in a 45-minute sweat session—that might be the norm for us, but this athlete is used to pushing her body for six to seven hours a day! Bouts of cardio and ab toning kept her sane though, and she enjoyed “me” time during sprinting intervals on the treadmill while jamming to her favorite tunes. She also used creative bodyweight training to keep her arms and legs gymnast-strong.
Back at the grind, Raisman knows she has to fuel her body well to perform her best. “I love having Greek yogurt before a workout because it’s really light and has lots of protein,” she says. “After, I have a piece of fish or chicken with fruit or vegetables.”
She also thinks that, while she’s not superstitious, some strange habits are worth abiding by. “My coaches say that wearing black is bad luck. For competitions I am never allowed to wear a black leotard, use a black gym bag or wear black warm ups,” she says. “I guess I feel like black is bad luck too, since I have been with my coaches for almost ten years. I won’t even buy a black car!”
In the end, if there were one thing we could all learn from Raisman this year, it would be the power of a positive attitude. “I try to start every morning with a positive thought of an image of myself having a good workout,” she says. “One of my favorite quotes is, ‘Whether you think you can or you can’t, you are right.’ I always think about this when I’m at workout. If I feel nervous or anxious to compete, I always think of myself landing each skill and executing it really well.”
More from FITNESS:
- Firm and Burn Like Gabby Douglas: The Golden Girl’s Strengthening Secrets
- 10 U.S. Olympic Hotties in Sochi
- Olympic Skier Lindsey Vonn’s Lower-Body Workout
Written on January 17, 2014 at 1:15 pm , by Marla Horenbein
If you could play a round of golf with anyone in the world, dead or alive,who would it be? Leo Dicaprio is at the top of my list (obvi), but for Lexi Thompson, one of the LPGA’s hottest and youngest stars, Michael Jackson, Kellan Lutz and Tiger Woods all make the cut. Talk about a group of all-stars. Can I be your caddie, Lexi?
For the 18-year-old Florida native, golf has always been a way of life. Growing up she stayed active by playing basketball and soccer, but putting was what she was best at. And it runs in the family – she grew up on the course (this chick started playing when she was just five years old!) watching her older brothers, Nick, who is currently on tour with the PGA, and Curtis, who is on a full golf scholarship at LSU, sink putts. With a little bit of their help and some major determination, Lexi soon became the youngest person to qualify for the U.S. Women’s Open in 2007, at the ripe age of 12. Seriously, that’s one superstar family!
Since practice makes perfect, Lexi spends a lot of time, both on and off the course, working out and staying fit. While training for a competition, she hits the gym three to four times a week with her trainer, Craig Slaunwhite (he’s the strength & conditioning coach for the NHL’s Florida Panthers), and takes hot yoga classes. When Lexi isn’t kicking butt and winning championships (her latest was the Lorena Ochoa Invitational in November), she’s hosting clinics for young golfers. Her most important piece of advice: have fun. “I always tell people to go out and practice with a group of friends, and just have fun. Don’t grind yourself down!” So the next time we’re struggling at the driving range, we’ll have to remind ourselves of that!
For a peek inside our interview with Lexi, check out the video below!
Written on January 14, 2014 at 5:37 pm , by Samantha Shelton
She’s one of the biggest names in the world of soccer, whether you’re looking at men’s or women’s teams. Christie Rampone. The superstar defender has been playing since 1997, experiencing firsthand major moments in the sport’s history (you know, the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, where she led the underdog team to come from behind and snatch gold. NBD.) As the first U.S. player to compete for four Olympic teams - not to mention the only active player remaining from the 1999 World Cup championship team – she knows what’s what. But that doesn’t mean this captain is ready to retire her cleats. In fact, even though she admits the thought of coaching sounds appealing, that’s all it is – an idea. With her focus zeroed in on giving her all – whether that’s to her teammates or her family of four (husband, Chris, and daughters Rylie and Reece) – Rampone is powering ahead, determined to stay on top of her game despite an ongoing battle with Lyme disease. We sat down with her to find out what it’s like being the only mom on the team, and how, even after thousands of hours of playing outside in the sun, she still manages to look so freaking fab. Steal her secrets below.
You’re one of the most iconic players in the sport, but you’ve also been able to work with other phenomenal athletes. Who have been some of your favorite teammates to play with?
I’ve looked up to Kristine Lily from the start. As an older player, she always led by example and always gave 100 percent, and I always aspired to have that on the field. Playing with Shannon Boxx in front of me has been a lot of fun, the two of us being able to coordinate and lead on the field. And going up against Abby Wambach in training to then step it up on the field.
Our readers love proving that age is just a number. As one of the oldest active players, what are your thoughts on that?
I think it’s great to be able to be that role model and aspire others to still compete and not look at age. Age comes up a lot for me, but I try to defer it and have them just look at my play. I’m not talking about the word retirement at this point – I’m going to continue to do what I love and just enjoy it while I can. My goal right now is to keep proving myself, earning my spot and helping grow the sport of soccer.
I would probably play ice hockey. It’s something I’ve always wanted to try to do because it’s a team sport – I don’t think I’d be good at an individual sport. Seeing how passionate they are [the hockey team], it coordinates with the soccer side. I think they’re just as inspiring. It looks fun but definitely challenging.
You’re the only mom on the team. How do you juggle parenting with being a team captain?
It’s a lot. I try to balance it all by not overdoing one thing more than the other. For me, there are no days off, so being strong and healthy is critical. I compete every day on the field, and then I take care of my kids. But I think educating them is key. They know mom stays active – they see me run and lift, and we’ll bike to dinner if we’re going out, or bike to the soccer field. Reece loves that I pick her up from school every day on the bike.
As a player, becoming a mom has been great for me. It puts things in perspective, realizing that soccer is a privilege and I’m very lucky to be playing it for this long. And my kids help motivate me to be a better person and look after my teammates before myself. I have that motherly instinct, and I think that’s helped bring the whole sport full circle, rather than just thinking about myself on the field. It completes me.
You announced in 2011 that you have Lyme disease. How has that affected your career, and daily life?
I take Epicor, which helps my immune system tremendously. It keeps my insides strong while I work to stay physically fit and keep my outside strong. Otherwise, I have to be mindful of the fatigue and try to stay ahead of the game, resting when it’s necessary. To stay mentally strong, I think of my teammates and the end goal – the World Cup. If I’m having a bad day and need to rest, then I do. But when I feel good I make sure I go all out. I’ve learned from experience when to push through and when my body is telling me to give it a rest.
I have to say, your skin looks fabulous. What are your beauty secrets?
I drink a ton of water and use light makeup that my aunt makes to get that nice glow. Then I just eat right and take care of my body. I used to think I was invincible, but as you get older you realize how much time, energy and effort it takes every day to stay fit, so you become more mindful. And I use a little mascara to open up the eyes, and I’m good to go.
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Written on January 10, 2014 at 9:37 am , by Christie Griffin
It’s a #GetFitParty all month long for our FITNESS followers and we’ve got the perfect motivation for your workouts this weekend: Hot music videos that are fun to sweat to!
Our Instagram challenge this week has been for you to show us your “workout view,” i.e. what you see while you exercise…and we noticed quite a lot of you are working out at home. We teamed up with Vevo, the world’s leading music video platform, to create this playlist of FITNESS editor-selected videos to watch while you’re planking, squatting, or just going nuts on the treadmill. Enjoy!
Watch the full playlist here: FITNESS Magazine on Vevo
Or cherry pick which one(s) you’d like to watch:
- Feel like a rockstar with Beyoncé’s End of Time
- Distract yourself with Lady Gaga’s Applause
- Get fired up with Katy Perry’s Roar
- Give your cardio a kick with Pitbull’s Timber featuring Ke$ha
- Get sassy with Robin Thicke’s Give It 2 U
- Pump things up with Jennifer Lopez’s Goin’ In featuring Flo Rida
- Work a little harder with Britney Spears’ Work, B**ch
- Get psyched for Saturday night with Fergie’s A Little Party Never Killed Nobody
- Put some inspiration in your perspiration with Sara Bareilles’ Brave
- End your workout with a smile with Pharell Williams’ Happy
Written on January 9, 2014 at 9:42 am , by Lauren Cardarelli
New York City-based celebrity trainer Joel Harper knows a thing or two about building lean muscle. That’s why his star-studded clientele—ranging from Dr. Oz to Olympic medalists—keep him on speed dial. But sculpting that fit and firm dream bod doesn’t come from the gym alone – it starts in the kitchen. “When it comes to exercise, your body needs the fuel to make it work and then repair properly,” says Harper. “It needs the raw material to build muscle. The key is there are no shortcuts.”
Harper keeps his metabolism revved with three meals and five (yes, five!) snacks a day. “I’m always hungry, so I have healthy options automated,” he says. And don’t even think about giving him convenient, additive-laden garbage when his stomach starts to grumble. Harper sticks to organic grub and avoids anything pre-packaged, including dessert. So how does he curb his sweet tooth? He munches on fruit. “I love every kind of fruit and learning new healthy ways to eat them.”
One of his favorite techniques: blending fruit into a protein smoothie. It tastes great while pumping up muscle recovery and growth. Win, win. Harper whips one up like his go-to below within 30 minutes of a vigorous workout. Cheers!
- 1 cup of flax milk
- 1/2 of a banana
- 1/2 of a papaya or mango
- Handful of blueberries
- 1 scoop of Vanilla CleanSeries Protein Powder
- 4 ice cubes
- Dash of cinnamon
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.