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What You Can Expect From The Biggest Loser This Season

Written on September 11, 2014 at 8:05 am , by

Following up a controversial end to the last season, weight isn’t the only thing shifting on The Biggest Loser.

Season 16 “Glory Days” premiers tonight on NBC, and you can expect to see some all-around major changes, like the fact that there will be four trainers—two of them are brand new and replacing Jillian Michaels—and all of the contestants are former athletes.

Jessie Pavelka and Jennifer Widerstrom—along with return trainers Dolvett Quince and Bob Harper—will work their magic with 20 different contestants, including former NFL stars Damien Woody and Scott Mitchell.

“These guys have been kind of challenged to the max. So they can take heavy loads of exercises. They can take big moves, and as a trainer it makes it exciting,” Pavelka says. “Obviously they’ve been pushed. Yeah, they have a big issue with weight and a big issue with food, but they can still move well.”

Some of the moves you can expect to see: core exercises, balance and stability training, boxing, weight-training, plyometrics and running. If there’s a particular exercise someone hates, expect to see that contestant doing lots of it. “There’s a lot of empowerment that comes with facing things that are a struggle for you, and that’s what I like to do,” Widerstrom says. There will be lots of dynamic movements, which help to get the brain behind the muscle—super important for anyone physically working their bodies in new ways. “I connect them to the movement. I connect them to the joy of why that inertia in their body is important,” she says.

But the most exciting change with this season? The passionate energy.

“The weight-loss part of this is great, but listen to the words that the contestants using,” Pavelka says. “Listen to the way that they carry themselves—their confidence. Those are the things that I think will stand out even more than the weight loss this season.”

Still not convinced?

“It’s like not even the same TV show,” Widerstrom says. “I really get to connect with people and help share their stories and hopefully inspire people that are at home struggling with similar things.”

Follow the contestants’ journeys every Thursday at 8 p.m. EST on NBC. And in the meantime, check out the changes host Alison Sweeney is making in her personal and professional life.

Photos courtesy of NBC

More from FITNESS:

Alison Sweeney, Host of “The Biggest Loser”

The Biggest Loser 7-Day Diet Plan

10 Tidbits of Weight-Loss Wisdom from The Biggest Loser

What’s Next for the Tone It Up Girls

Written on February 11, 2014 at 9:00 am , by

Photo by John Segesta.

Photo by John Segesta.

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!

The Quirky Way A “Vampire Diaries” Star Stays Fit

Written on November 6, 2012 at 9:00 am , by

You may also recognize 28-year-old DeVitto from “One Tree Hill.” (Photo by Marc Cartwright)

Often, when you read interviews with celebrities about their fitness routines, you hear about their frequent appointments with trainers. Some even travel with their workout gurus!

That’s why it was refreshing to speak Torrey DeVitto of “The Vampire Diaries” and “Pretty Little Liars,” who prefers to sweat at home and with the masses at the gym. Keep reading to find out what else DeVitto does to stay healthy with a busy filming schedule.

Tell us about your fitness routine.

I used to be really into Pilates and hot yoga. I have a friend whose fiance is really into CrossFit, and right around the time when I learned that, I had watched the movie Warrior. I was inspired to try CrossFit myself! I’ve been going three times a week for the past month and love it. It’s so much fun, almost like a relay, and is always different. I’m so much stronger already.

My other fitness hobby is hula hoop dancing! After seeing a photo of a friend doing it on Facebook, I asked my mom for a Hoopnotica kit for Christmas. The hoop came with a DVD and I learned every move. I’d say I do it for an hour a day. Sometimes I just hoop along to music on YouTube, other times I take it to the park. I’d never been as sore in my life as I was when I was learning how to use the hoop.

Wow! It sounds like you’re very active. What do you eat to fuel all of your exercise?

I try so hard to eat well, but have to admit that I eat like crap sometimes. I’m such a sucker for bagels and barbecue chips. I don’t count calories, but try to eat the way my body wants me to eat most of the time. I love to grab cranberry tuna salads and kale salads from Whole Foods.

Read more

FITNESS Celeb Fan: Bewitched and Tropic Thunder Actress Valerie Azlynn

Written on June 28, 2012 at 8:40 am , by

(Photo by Marc Cartwright)

Actress Valerie Azlynn, who appears in the new TBS comedy Sullivan & Son premiering July 18, doesn’t rely on trainers to stay fit. With her “weird hours” on set (you may have also seen in the movies Bewitched and Tropic Thunder) it can be tough to schedule a training session, so she is constantly on the hunt for gym inspiration to stay motivated. In fact, Azlynn considers FITNESS to be the perfect tool to keep her workouts fun and fresh.

“I tear out pages from magazines so I can do the workouts in the gym. Right now, I have a hot pink binder full of FITNESS magazine stuff,” Azlynn told us when she visited our office recently. “I flip it open for new ideas to constantly change up my workout. It makes such a difference to mix it up!”

Azlynn admits that she occasionally gets odd looks from strangers, but to her, it’s worth it. “If they’re talking about me, maybe they’re just jealous of my fun moves!”

Azlynn adds new workouts from every issue—including this one from June. (Photo courtesy of Valerie Azlynn)

Need some new ideas to mix up your routine? Print out, bookmark or Pin a few of our current favorites!

Health is particularly important to Azlynn, as she had open heart surgery as a kid to repair a defect that she was born with. She uses this to fuel her healthy choices (which include a daily green smoothie with kale, lettuce, banana, raspberry, pear and peanut butter), yet she still keeps things light around the topic.

“I bought a butcher knife pendant for my necklace,” the funny actress says. “If you can’t laugh about it, what’s the point?”

Now tell us: How do you keep your workout routine from getting stale?

Hot Topic Tuesday: How Medically-Accurate is Pop Culture?

Written on May 15, 2012 at 3:16 pm , by

Your doctor may not look like McDreamy, but you should trust him more than the actor! (Photo by Susan Pittard)

“Ten blade—stat!” You’ve likely followed along (or tried to) as the paramedics rush patients in from ambulance to emergency room to operating room, all the while shouting precise medical terms to each other, on intense shows like Grey’s Anatomy and ER. It’s fun to get a peek into the powerful world of life-saving, and medical TV shows, movies and other pop culture references allow us to do just that (minus the real-life pain and blood).

But those of us who aren’t doctors have a tough time distinguishing what could be real and what is just drama. A recent New York Times article called out the new HBO series Girls for disseminating inaccurate information about the sexually transmitted infection HPV. The writer claims that an episode of Girls misinformed viewers about the prevalence of HPV (it is so common that at least 50 percent of  sexually active individuals get it at some point in their lives, according to the CDC), the severity of it and what is involved in testing and treatment for the STI.

Now tell us: Is this taking fictional dramas too seriously? Or do writers on health programs owe it to their viewers to have medical advisors on staff to guarantee the accuracy of their content?

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Veep Star Sufe Bradshaw Dishes About Her New Love of Yoga

Written on April 20, 2012 at 12:29 pm , by

Bradshaw fell in love with yoga last year. (Photo courtesy of Russell Baer)

Actress Sufe Bradshaw lives one hectic life. Whether she’s appearing on Bones, in the slim version of Star Trek, working on developing her documentary or volunteering in her Los Angeles community, her schedule leaves little room for down time. Yet Bradshaw still is able to find inner peace, thanks to her new love of yoga.

Read on to hear about her favorite poses and styles, then catch Bradshaw on Sunday for the premiere of her new HBO show Veep, co-starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

You began practicing yoga last year. Did you have other fitness favorites before that or was this your first love?

I’ve always been a physically active girl, dancing when I was younger, playing basketball and swimming. Adding yoga to the mix builds my muscles because it supports those activities as well. Yoga enhanced the things I did before and has created a greater awareness of my body now.

Do you have a style of yoga that you prefer over others? How about poses that you enjoy the most?

I like to practice Hatha/Vinyasa Flow. But I also like to practice Beach Walk Meditations. During these mediations, I feel more connected with nature, allowing the feet to feel the sand which grounds and roots me to the world.

In terms of specific poses, I feel that Crow challenges me mentally and physically and I also love Headstands. Being upside down, you rely on your hands to keep you balanced—and the pose gives you a new perspective. You have to focus on being present. I also love the Warrior series—not only does it build endurance, but it also gives me a sense of strength and courage.

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Ashlan Gorse Uncovers the Hidden Side of Hollywood

Written on April 13, 2012 at 10:04 am , by

Ashlan looks like a model, but acts like the girl next door. (Photo courtesy of Pivotal PR)

Last time we caught up with E! News anchor Ashlan Gorse, she revealed her diet and exercise secrets. Next month, Gorse will candidly spill about what it takes to look like a celebrity on her new website Hollywood Smoke and Mirrors.

“When I was growing up, I looked up to women like Molly Sims and Cindy Crawford. I wish I knew at the time that stars like them and the Victoria’s Secret angels have mostly fake hair! I’ll admit it, I have extensions in right now,” Gorse says.

Since many celebrities are coy about what it really takes to appear red carpet-ready (“all I did to lose the baby weight was breast feed,” Gorse says, giggling while mocking the average new Hollywood mom), she will offer insider tips on healthy ways to get the looks you see on TV. The first post will show Gorse walking in to the E! studios before 6 a.m. sans-makeup, in contrast to her TV-time face.

“So often, outfits are taped, pinned or clamped on—things you can’t tell from the front! Through my site, with the help of my hair and makeup team, you’ll learn positive ways to do it yourself. And I can’t wait to share how my stylists and I deal with chubby days,” Gorse says. (Hint: Seek out empire waists and belts and play up your legs!)

Hollywood Smoke and Mirrors is a welcome change for Gorse, who told us during a visit to the FITNESS offices yesterday that she occasionally tires of the topics in celebrity news. “It drives me crazy when the industry talks about how fabulous these women look in their bikinis when you just want to feed them a sandwich,” Gorse says. “Luckily, I think ‘skinny’ is celebrated less than ‘healthy’ now that women like Sofia Vergara and Christina Hendricks are on the scene.”

How Castle’s Tamala Jones Stays Healthy and Happy

Written on April 4, 2012 at 1:25 pm , by

Jones brightens up the screen—big or small. (Photo courtesy of Bobby Quillard)

Tamala Jones isn’t one of the biggest names in Hollywood (yet), but you’ve likely seen her onscreen before in movies like Can’t Hardly Wait and Up in the Air and on TV in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and ER. Now she’s one of the stars of ABC’s Castle, playing a forensic analyst who’s serious about her job but still maintains a sense of humor.

What makes her stand out in our eyes—beyond her serious acting and comedy chops—is her ability to overcome adversity. Jones was born with an abnormality that caused an aneurysm when she was just 23. She’s fully recovered since and now gets CAT scans yearly to protect her health (and advocates for those around her to take charge of their well-being as well).

We spoke to Jones to learn more about her diet and exercise secrets and her favorite memories from the set.

Are you similar to your character on Castle, Lanie?

We are both very sassy and are serious about our work. But personally, I love love and love seeing people in love. Lanie is more shielded.

What are your favorite ways to stay fit and healthy during your busy filming schedule?

Sleep! For fitness, I love the treadmill, swimming and hiking—things that work the whole body. I don’t have a trainer because scheduling is tough, so I sneak in activity whenever I can. My home isn’t very close to where we shoot Castle, so sometimes I spend the night at a friend’s house that is closer to the studio and walk to work.

So do you rely a lot on takeout or on-set catering?

Cooking is one of my hobbies. My grandma is a master chef and is my true cooking inspiration. I don’t cook her dishes often because they’re so rich, but her mac and cheese and Jamaican curry chicken are great for treat days!

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Fashion Diaries: Be a Super Bowl Stunner

Written on February 3, 2012 at 11:14 am , by

Whether you are a football fanatic or an “I watch it because my hubby hogs the TV on Sundays” kinda girl, there’s no doubt that we will all be tuning in on Sunday night to watch the Super Bowl; if not for the game, then at least for Madonna’s halftime show and the funny commercials!

If you are a die-hard Patriots or Giants fan though, you have to make sure you rep your team in style for the big game. Luckily for us girls, the NFL revamped their women’s collection this year, branching from the standard over-sized team jerseys and sweatshirts, to stylish boots, jewelry, handbags and super cute clothes all bearing our favorite team’s logos. The NFL has even teamed up with Victoria’s Secret PINK, TOUCH by Alyssa Milano, Junk Food Clothing and Cuce Shoes to tie in some of our favorite brands to their new collection. I wore these almost every Sunday during the season to root my team on—yes, I’m an Eagles fan and proud of it!

So before the game, make sure to grab your gear (check out our picks below), some healthy snacks (like this and this), and cozy up on the couch for a night full of football!

Victoria’s Secret PINK sweatpants, Littleearth earmuffs, TOUCH by Alyssa Milano necklace, KE Specialties nail polish, Victoria’s Secret PINK jersey, Reebok hat, Littleearth tote, Reebok set of 3 thongs, Cuce boots, Junk Food tee 

Celeb Trainer Harley Pasternak Gives Us the Scoop on His New “Revolution”

Written on January 13, 2012 at 2:12 pm , by

Pasternak trains two sisters at the beginning of their journey. (Photo courtesy of ABC/Rick Rowell)

First there was The View, then The Chew and now ABC’s starting The Revolution, the network’s latest talk show which is actually not all talk but more so action. We got the skinny from one of the show’s hosts, celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak, when he showed up at the video shoot of his Express Workout routine coming in the March issue of FITNESS.

“Small changes can make a big change in your life,” says Pasternak, who trains big-name beauties like Katy Perry and Lady Gaga. That’s the message of The Revolution which premieres this Monday, January 16 at 2 p.m. and each week features another woman’s five-month journey as Pasternak and a dream team of pros give her life a 360-degree upgrade. Think Extreme Makeover’s Ty Pennington remodeling your kitchen and Project Runway tastemaker Tim Gunn acting as your personal stylist. (They’ll be joined by top health, wellness and money experts to leave no rut unturned.)

“We make over her home, her fashion and her body. And unlike other shows, we do it while they’re still living their day-to-day lives,” says Pasternak, who packed his gym bag to travel around the country making house calls. Each day’s episode represents one month of one lucky gal’s transformation with Friday being the big reveal.

All along the way, viewers at home get DIY how-tos for achieving their own aha moments. “The goal is to inspire others with the lessons we share,” Pasternak says.