I was in a discussion forum today discussing The Biggest Loser, which is returning to Australian television shortly.
As I have written about in the past, I do think that The Biggest Loser is an exceptional way to inspire Australian's to get up and be pro-active in achieving their health and fitness goals. The amount of awareness that this show has created within the general community about body-image and health is excellent.
My biggest concern with The Biggest Loser are the exercise protocols that are implemented into these morbidly obese people's training regimes. Most of them, with very little training experience exercise vigorously, often performing extremely dangerous exercises. It's no wonder that injuries are extremely common on that show.
So, the question is whether or not you should exercise like they do on The Biggest Loser. Unless you know what you are doing, have the doctor's okay, with a solid grounding in years of exercise and have been exercising vigorously recently, then it may be okay. But in all likelihood, if you are reading this article because you genuinely are unaware as to whether or not you should exercise like they do on The Biggest Loser, then the answer is no.
No, you should not exercise in the same manner as these contestants because it can be unsafe, reckless, ineffective and outright dangerous to exercise in this manner if you:
- Do not know what you are doing
- Do not have the guidance of a trained exercise professional
- Have not obtained your doctor's approval
- Have any injuries or medical concerns
- Are limited in your exercise experience
- Have not exercised recently on a regular basis
- Have not trained at this level of intensity recently
- Don't like training in this manner
There are some very serious health concerns with training at such intensity, especially if you are unfit and/or overweight, obese or morbidly obese. There are also very serious health concerns by rapidly losing large amounts of weight.
Coming back to The Biggest Loser, keep in mind that this is a television show. It would not be entertaining to watch a bunch of contestants performing a typical gym workout. The producers need to make the television show exciting, and what better was to accomplish this than to push the contestants to their physical, mental and emotional limits? That's entertainment - but it's not necessarily the most effective way to accomplish a health and fitness goal.
I have written extensively on this topic and if you are interested in finding out more specific aspects to possible dangers, I do recommend to read a couple of articles on the topic:
Firstly read The Biggest Loser Australia which was a previous newsletter of ours that elaborated on these idea's I have presented in this post.
After that, have a read of Yo-Yo Dieting, No-No Dieting which is a fairly comprehensive read of the dangers of rapid weight loss.
Always remember that whilst losing weight may be important for your physical and emotional health, it is also very important to do so in a safe, sustainable and effective manner.