Archive for January, 2009

Weekly Update 2 and 3

Monday, January 26th, 2009

“Biggest Loser” contestant Joelle Gwynn is a client at the CoachMeFit studio in West Bloomfield,  MI.  She works out with the owner of the studio, Catherine Munaco.

“Biggest Loser” airs Tuesday’s at 8:00pm on NBC.\

Catherine will be blogging weekly first-hand updates from Joelle’s training

(Oops!  Week 2 must have been busy!)

These past two weeks were difficult emotionally on Joelle. Week 2 and 3 aired episodes that portrayed Joelle as a slacker. It seemed that the cast’s attitude towards Joelle was less than cordial. Furthermore, Joelle was in the bottom two during the weigh-ins two weeks in a row. Joelle said this was the most difficult time on the ranch for her—Carla was putting a lot of pressure on her and so were her teammates. While this may motivate some people, it’s certainly not how Joelle is motivated. Because she is naturally quiet and not competitive, it actually defeated her more than it helped. It was initially hard to figure out what would motivate Joelle, but the more we trained together, the more I realized Joelle was motivated by positive feedback. What she really needed was a buddy (enter, Catherine!). While I feel it’s my primary job to give Joelle a tough, physically demanding workout, I also feel like she needs someone on her team. These past two weeks, we’ve tried to surround her with as much support as possible. Last Wednesday, after watching another difficult episode air the night before, she came in and said “I’m done worrying about the show. I want to focus on me.” SUCCESS! Let’s get rockin’

This week, Joelle and I also finalized a schedule for her workouts from now until the May 12 finale. We coordinated fitness class schedule with my availability and Joelle’s work schedule. When all was said and done, Joelle is working out a minimum of four hours a day, including multiple kickboxing classes, cardio interval workouts, and strength training sessions with me. We did allow Sunday to be a lighter day, so she could recuperate and prevent injury. Four hours a day is a lot for anyone, but it’s especially dense for someone who didn’t work out before starting at the ranch. Psychologically, Joelle mentioned having some difficulty getting her head around the idea of being skinny. Our schedule and workout plan put her on track to lose over 160 pounds since her initial ranch weigh in! That’s a lot of weight in a short amount of time. Even more noteworthy is that the last time she weighed less than 200 pounds was when she was ten years old. Joelle has literally never been thin—and the thought of success may take some getting used to. In the meantime, I’m keeping her on track and the weight is really starting to come off. Since starting at CoachMeFit, Joelle is losing weight at the same rate that she did while on the ranch. This is extremely encouraging. On the ranch, there is no job, no family, and few similarities to real life. It is infinitely more difficult to lose weight at home, where the demands of life can easily take precedence over working out. In this regard, Joelle seems most appreciative to have a trainer to keep her on track and motivated, although she has been teasing me about the phrases I use most as a trainer. She took a particular liking to my personal favorite, “Its only numbers”. I say it when we have 5 reps left and she’s hurting. Joelle said it puts things in perspective—only numbers! But I do use it a lot. I’ll have to scour the internet for some new motivating phrases.

As always, stay tuned…

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The Biggest Loser: Season 7

Tuesday, January 13th, 2009

Meet Joelle: The Inside Scoop

This is the first of weekly updates on CoachMeFit’s celebrity client, Biggest Loser contestant Joelle Gwynn. Joelle has been training at CoachMeFit West Bloomfield with owner/trainer Catherine Munaco since early January. At stake is a $250,000 prize for losing the most weight by the season finale on May 12, 2009. The Biggest Loser airs every Tuesday at 8pm on NBC.  Catherine will be blogging weekly first-hand updates from Joelle’s training

I met Joelle for the first time on Thursday and was immediately impressed with her work ethic and excitement. What I noticed first, though, was how much she needed a personal trainer from CoachMeFit. She was strictly following the nutritional program given to her by the show’s nutritionists, but she wasn’t exercising nearly as often or as intense and she needed to be. She told me accountability was key for her—when she goes to the gym, she works extremely hard, but waking up and getting to the gym was the difficult part (sound familiar?) I assured her that we had enough time to reach her goals by the finale on May 12, but we needed to—literally– get moving.

It didn’t take long for Joelle to show me how hard of a worker she was during her workouts. My favorite quote from her was “I can talk and work!” She didn’t want to take breaks. She didn’t want to go half speed. She wanted to do every exercise correctly and to its full capacity. It’s a personal trainer’s dream to have such a motivated client! (Of course, a live finale on national TV doesn’t hurt either.)

Joelle also told me she is extremely anxious about Week Two’s episode, set to air Tuesday January 13 at 8 pm. Apparently, she is yelled at by Bob and is portrayed as wimpy and lazy. It’s ironic, actually, because she’s probably the least lazy client I have ever had. But we understand the show needs to pick villains for dramatic flare, and I guess Joelle got picked to be one. There are multiple cameras running 24 hours a day, so in a week they get hundreds of hours of footage and have to cut it down to 2 for the show. Its unfortunate, but a part of being on the show Joelle will have to deal with.

I was also surprised with how little contact the show keeps with the contestants once they are at home. Keep in mind, week eleven was taped over a month ago—so ALL contestants are home now, whether they’ve been eliminated or not. Joelle had a comprehensive nutritional plan and access to workout clothes (hard to find for extremely plus sizes!) and caloric expenditure monitors. A trainer from the show had come to her gym in Michigan and showed her some workouts to do on her own, but after that there was little to no feedback. Joelle said she really missed the immediate feedback and accountability that she had while she was at the ranch, and that training with me at CoachMeFit made her accountable to working out even when she didn’t want to. As well, I could give her feedback on the types of workouts she was doing and how to improve them to burn even more calories. We forget that contestant have a maximum of eleven weeks on the ranch to learn about nutrition, exercise, and weight loss. I spent four years studying the same things at the University of Michigan. It’s unrealistic to think contestants return home as exercise gurus, and Joelle needed the guidance, accountability, and expertise that CoachMeFit personal trainers provide.

All in all, I can tell Joelle will be successful at her weight loss this time. Stay tuned…

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